Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Shocking Beliefs About Martin Luther: "If your Papist annoys you with the word (alone), tell him straightway: Dr. Martin Luther will have it so"

This is a follow-up to a recent post: Shocking Beliefs of Martin Luther: Sin Boldly. Once again, I left a comment on Shocking Beliefs About Martin Luther, and it wasn't posted, but the entry was revised. Here's what the blog post orginally said:

In Romans 3:28, Paul wrote, “We account a man to be justified by faith.” However, in Luther’s translation, Luther added the word “alone” to make the sentence read, “We are justified by faith alone.” When challenged with this change, Luther responded, “If your Papist annoys you with the word (alone), tell him straightway: Dr. Martin Luther will have it so. Whoever will not have my translation, let him give it the go-by; the devil’s thanks to him who censures it without my will and knowledge. Dr. Martin Luther will have it so, and he is a doctor above all the doctors in Popedom.” [16]
[16] Amic. Discussion I, 127, quoted in The Facts About Luther by Partrick O’Haire.


Here's my unpublished comment:
Here's another one where I think a reading of the context says something a little different than your quote and commentary suggests. You may be interested in my link here:Luther Added The Word "Alone" to Romans 3:28? Luther lashed out at his papal critics because while they criticized his translation, some of them also plagiarized it. In the same context from which the quote you use comes from, Luther actually goes on to give a detailed explanation of why he uses the word "alone" in Romans 3:28. Luther gives multiple examples of the implied sense of meaning in translating Romans 3:28 into German. He also notes he wasn't the first to do this. In my link above, you'll find a list of theologians previous to Luther who used the word "alone" in Romans 3:28. As I said previously, the basic thrust of your blog entry makes a good point: Luther had faults, but this doesn't mean his historical significance is to be dismissed. On the other hand, one should strive to not make him worse than he actually was. Regards, James
The revised entry now includes my link:

[16] Amic. Discussion I, 127, quoted in The Facts About Luther by Partrick O’Haire. For further context on Luther’s translation of Romans 3, see http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2006/02/luther-added-word-alone-to-romans-328.html

While I appreciate the revision, I see an unfortunate pattern: this blogger may have a problem with allowing comments that may reflect on his credibility. I didn't even mention the minor mistakes:  The Facts About Luther was not written by O'Haire, but rather, O'Hare. I didn't even question the fact the quote was taken from a secondary source, O'Hare, (without a page number! O'Hare uses the quote on page 201, 1987 reprint) which took the quote from a secondary source, Amic. Discussion I, 127.  The blogger actually mis-cited the quote (it isn't "Dr. Martin Luther will have it so," O'Hare cites it as, "Luther will have it so"). For the sake of tedium, Amic. Discussion I, 127 probably refers to: An Amicable Discussion on the Church of England and on the Reformation in General (O'Hare mentions this source elsewhere). I'm not sure which edition O'Hare used, but the quote is not on page 127, or in any of the editions of this book I was able to check.

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