This was a quote I just couldn't pass up posting. Over on the CARM boards a Roman Catholic stated:
"Luther's use of the word "allein" was deliberate, NOT to make the passage clearer, but to advance his own personal doctrine. No wonder that he disliked the epistle of James, and rejected it's APostolic origin and wanted to expunge it from the Bible, because he saw that James 2:29 contradicted his addition of "allein" to Romans 3:28."
When asked if this was a personal opinion, this Roman Catholic then stated:
It is not only MY opinion, but that of some Protestant scholars as well, people like HOJ Brown: …Martin Luther would once again emphasize…that we are “justified by faith alone”, apart from the works of the Law” (Rom. 3:28), adding the German word allein (”alone”) in his translation of the Greek text. There is certainly a trace of Marcion in Luther’s move (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, pp. 64-65).
Guess which book I have in front of me at the moment? Yes, it's Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Harold O.J. Brown never states Luther's intention was "not to make the passage clearer," nor does Brown accuse Luther of "advancing his own personal doctrine" rather than what was taught in the Scripture.
Brown speaks of Marcion's radical rejection of the Torah (Law), and noted those criticizing Marcion's position did so because "his own personal life [was] in gross violation of Old Testament standards of conduct" (p.63). He then states:
"Orthodox Christianity has always lived in tension between the Law and the Gospel. Over thirteen centuries after Marcion, Martin Luther would once again emphasize the discrimination of Law and Gospel, and reaffirm that we are 'justified by faith alone, apart from the works of the Law' (Rom. 3:28), adding the German word allein ('alone') in his translation of the Greek text. There is certainly a trace of Marcion in Luther's move, but unlike Marcion he possessed and treasured the entire canonical Scriptures. Consequently the separation between Law and Gospel in Lutheranism remains a discriminatio (distinction), not a radical separation. Marcion called for such a radical separation, but only a minority of Christians followed him" [Harold O.J. Brown, Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church (Peabody:Hendrickson Publishers, 1988), pp. 64-65].
Note the importance of what was left out: "Orthodox Christianity has always lived in tension between the Law and the Gospel." It should be fairly obvious what Brown intended by seeing a broader examination of what he actually said, rather than the snippet of spin posted. The snippet spins Luther "Marcion." Brown though simply intended to show Marcion's false position by contrasting it with a true position. There is no meaningful discussion of the word "allein" from Brown. And, I think the "spin citation" is reading more into Brown's use of the word "trace" than was intended.
In fact, on page 305, Brown discusses Luther's understanding of justification by faith, stating:
"Justification by faith is a concept that is quite consistent with the teaching of the Apostle Paul- in whose writings Luther rediscovered it- and indeed with the whole emphasis of the early church on the finished work of Christ."
On page 306, Brown states:
"It was not justification by faith alone that was the innovation and therefore the heresy; transubstantiation was the innovation that made the orthodoxy of the past into the heresy of the present. it made the promise of justification by faith alone appear fraudulent."
I'm always interested with following quotes around cyberspace. The Harold O.J. Brown quote used above can be found here in the same form as used by the Roman Catholic. Funny, the webpage authors have something to do with the old Herbert W. Armstrong Church of God cult. Now this is somewhat humorous- that a Roman Catholic is using this non-Catholic wacky web page to spin Luther.