Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Walch Edition of Luther's Works

The Walch Edition of Luther's Works dates from 1740-1753 and was compiled by Johann Georg Walch. It is a collection of 24 topical volumes. This set is German, and Walch translated many of Luther's Latin writings into German. Sometimes this set is referred to as the St. Louis version, the St. Louis-Walch version, or the Halle edition, and Luthers Samtliche Werke, herausgegeben von J. G. Walch. This set also includes writings by others, friends and foes of Luther. The set was revised from 1885-1910 (in St. Louis), and may not match up with the earlier set. Sometimes the revision is referred to as St.Lb or St.L. Volumes 15-17 contain rare Reformation history texts, and contemporary letters.

I've found many obscure quotes referring back to Walch, often without noting which particular treatise is being cited. What follows is a brief collection of some of the treatises found in each volume. Page numbers are both to the old Walch set, and sometimes to the St. Louis edition, without noting which is which. I'll update this entry from time to time.

Volume 1:
Lectures on Genesis

Volume 2:
Lectures on Genesis

Volume 5:
The Eighty Second Psalm Translated and Explained (1530), pp. 696-731

Volume 6:Treatise Concerning The Blessed Sacrament of the Holy and True Body of Christ and Concerning the Brotherhoods, p. 522

volume 10:Sermon on Threefold Righteousness by Martin Luther; from Philippians 2 (1518).
A Brief Explanation of the Ten Commandments, The Creed, and the Lord's Prayer (1520), p. 182; 149
An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the German People Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate (1520), p. 296-399, 266-351.

Whether Soldiers Too, Can Be Saved p. 488.
On Trading and Usary and The Treatise on Usary (1524), pp. 914-937, 825-854
Preface to an Ordiance of a common Chest (1523), 954-977
The Three Symbols or Creeds of The Christian Faith, pp.992-1019.
The Disputation Concerning The Passage: “The Word Was Made Flesh”, 1168–1173.
Two Kinds of Righteousness pp. 1262-1277.
The Right and Power of a Christian Congregation or community to Judge all Teaching and to Call, Appoint, and dismiis Teachers, Established and Proved From Scripture (1523), pp. 1538-1549
Concerning The Ministry, 1548ff.
Admonition Concerning The Sacrament Of The Body And Blood Of Our Lord, 2170–2209.
An Order Of Mass And Comunnion For The Church At Wittenberg,2230 ff.

Volume 11:The True and False Worship of God, 404

Volume 14:Preface To Galeatius Capella’s History, pp. 376-381.
Preface To The Wittenberg Edition Of Luther’s German Writings, pp.
420–427; or 432–437.
Preface To The Complete Edition Of Luther’s Latin Writings, pp. 1740–1753 or 438–449.

Volume 15:Proceedings at Augsburg 448-625
Let Your Sins Be Strong: A Letter from Luther to Melancthon. Letter no. 99, 1 August 1521, pp. 2585-2590.

Volume 16
Letter 215 To Philip Melanchthon[Coburg,] June 29, 1530, 901 ff
An Admonition to Peace: A Reply to the Twelve Articles of the Peasants in Swabia (1525), pp. 45-70
Against The Robbing and Murdering Hordes of peasants (1525), pp. 71-76
An Open Letter Concerning The Hard Book Against The Peasants, pp.77-98
Exhortation To All Clergy Assembled At Augsburg, pp. 1120–1179 or(945) 946–992.
On The Councils and the Church (1539), p.1247.

Counsel Of A Committee Of Several Cardinals With Luther’s Preface, pp. 1971-1994
Commentary On The Alleged Imperial Edict, pp. 2016–2062; or (1665) 1666–1700.

Volume 17
This seventeenth volume of the new edition of Luther's works may be divided into two parts. First of all, it contains the documents against the Papists which belonged to the conclusion of the Reformation history, namely, between the years 1528 and 1546. Secondly, it contains the documents against the Reformed, from the year 1524 on. Among the documents against the Papists are those relating to Nuremberg League of 1538, those relating to the Convention at Brunswick and the following year, those relating of the renewed Schmalcald League, from 1536 to 1538, those relating to the transactions of the King of England in reference to the protesting estates, between 1535 and 1539, those relating to the transactions of King Francis I of France with the members of the Schmalcald League in 1535, those relating to the conventions at Frankfort, Schmalcald, Hagenau, those relating to the colloqium at Worms in 1540. and the Diet at Regensburg in 1541, with its colloqium, those relating to the Diet at Spires in 1542 and to the Diets again held at Spires, Worms, and Regensburg, 1544 to 1546, also those relating to the expedition of the Emperor Charles V against the members of the Scbmalcald League, 1546. Among the documents against the Reformed are those relating to the controversy concerning the Lord's Supper, the transactions of the disputation at Berne, the efforts of Philip of Hesse to secure a union, the Wittenberg Concord, the great Sacramentarian controversy in 1542, with the action of Luther subsequent thereto, and letters concerning various other controversies.With this volume the revision of the old Walch edition of Luther's works has been completed to the twenty-first volume, which contains the letters of Luther, to which the editor of the German edition will now give attention, being able to rely on the sources which have recently been made public in Europe.

Against The Thirty Two Articles of the Louvain Theologians, pp. (1494) 1497–1505.
On Rebaptism (1528),2644

Zwingli: Letter to Matthew Alber, published in 1525, p. 1512.

Bucer: Preface to the Fourth Volume of Luther’s Postil, Containing a Summary of the Doctrine of Christ. Letter by the Same Author [Bucer], Expounding the Passage of I Corinthians 10 [9:24–10:5], With a Few Annotations on Certain Expressions of Luther. Letter of Martin Luther to John Herwagen Complaining of the Above. Martin Bucer’s Reply to This, Also Amends to Bugenhagen Concerning the Version of the Psalter, 1527. Bucer’s Preface appears in German translation in St. L. 17, 1584 ff. In March, 1527, Bucer republished his additions to Luther’s Postil, defending himself against Luther’s and Bugenhagen’s reproaches, and rebuking their wrath. Luther appears to have been informed of Bucer’s intentions prior to the publication.

Volume 18
Disputation Against Scholastic Theology, pp. 18-27.
Heidleberg Disputation, pp. 36-71.
95 Theses, pp. 72-81.
Explanations of the Ninety-Five Theses or Explanations of the Disputation Concerning the Value of Indulgences pp. 299-533.
Eck's Obelisks (an attack thirty-one of Luther’s Ninety-five Theses). Luther answered with Asterisks in March, 1518. pp. 536–589.
The leipzig Debate 718-721

Volume 19:
Treatise Concerning The Blessed Sacrament of the Holy and True Body of Christ and Concerning the Brotherhoods, p. 426(st.l)
On Translating, an Open Letter, p. 968 (st.l)
A Treatise Concerning the Ban (1520), p. 1089 or 884.
The Private Mass And The Consecration Of Priests, 1220-1285.
A Letter Of Dr. Martin Luther Concerning His Book On The Private Mass, 1286–1299.
The Disputation Concerning Man, pp. 1462-1467.
The Licentiate Examination Of Heinrich Schmedenstede pp. 1468–1473 or 1782–1787.
Theses Concerning Faith And Law, pp. 1745–1761; or 1486–1450.
The Disputation Concerning Justification, pp. , 1761–1768; or 1450–1455.
The Babylonian Captivity of the Church

Volume 20:
Wolfgang Capito:What One Should Think and Answer Concerning the Dissension Between Martin Luther and Andreas Karlstadt, late 1524. St. L. 20, 340 ff. A brief German pamphlet.

Zwingli: Commentary on True and False Religion, 1525. pp. 441 ff.
Zwingli: Reply to the Letter of John Bugenhagen of Pomerania, 1525. pp. 506 ff.

Oecolampadius:Reasonable Answer to Dr. Martin Luther’s Instruction Concerning the Sacrament, Together with a Brief Summary Against the Treatise of Certain Preachers in Swabia Regarding the Words of the Lords Supper, 1526. St. L. 20, 582 ff. A lengthy rebuttal, in German, of Luther’s German Preface to the Swabian Syngramma (1526); the second part is a brief excerpt from the Antisyngramma.

Oecolampadius: Apologetics: Two Sermons on the Dignity of the Eucharist; Reply to Theobald Billican …; Antisyngramma, to the Swabian Clergymen, 1526. Billican had written a refutation of Oecolampadius in December, 1525; the Swabian Syngramma had been published in January, 1526. The reply to Billican, in German translation, appears in St. L. 20, 634 ff. rebuttal of Oecolampadius earlier in the same year.

That These Words Of Christ, “This Is My Body,” Etc., Still Stand Firm Against The Fanatics 1527, pp. 762-893.
Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper, 894-1105.

Zwingli: Answer to Strauss’ Pamphlet Concerning Christ’s Supper, January, 1527. pp. 1494

Brief Confession Concerning The Holy Sacrament, 1764–1791.
On War Against The Turk p.2108.

Eight Sermons by Dr. Martin Luther (1522)

Volume 21:
The Burning of Frian Henry in Dithmarschen (1525), pp. 94-121.
An Italian Lie Concerning Martin Luther's Death, pp. 252-256 (or 3374–3377).
Luther's Will, pp.270-273 (or 273-274)

Volume 22: The Tabletalk
Early editions of the works of Martin Luther did not include the Table Talk. It was with some misgivings that Johann Georg Walch finally decided to incorporate the Table Talk in his edition, which was published in twenty-four volumes in Halle between 1739 and 1753. Walch was aware that many Protestants were embarrassed by some things in the Table Talk—for instance, the earthy language which Luther occasionally employed and the freedom with which he criticized the composition and contents of some books of the Bible. It was feared that Protestants in general and Lutherans in particular would be exposed to damaging attacks at the hands of Roman Catholic polemicists if the Table Talk were included in an edition of Luther’s works. Attempts were even made to deny its genuineness, to claim that it was an unfriendly fabrication and forgery.(D. Martin Luthers Sämtliche Schriften, herausgegeben von Johann Georg Walch (24 vols.; Halle: J. J. Gebauer, 1739–1753), XXII, 4, 15, 21, 23–24, 30–38).

Volume 23: contains an index of key words.

Addendum 3/11/15
A lot more has surfaced in cyberspace in regard to the  Walch / St Louis Edition of Luther's Works. A blog entitled Back to Luther (from a somewhat fanatical Lutheran) has put together some very helpful posts in regard to these volumes.

Luther Index, online resources for Luther's works

St. Louis Edition of Luther's (German) Writings – complete text

The following links are the result of the labors of Back to Luther. I'm posting them here because I got tired of  going though his blog to get to them, I'm grateful for his hard work:

St. Louis Edition of Luther's Works
Dr. Martin Luthers Sämmtliche Schriften  

St. Louis Edition
HathiTrust Text?
(single pgs only)
all line breaks are soft returns –good for proofing but must manually add hard returns every paragraph!
Google Books?
Plain Text?
(all txt files are gibberish)


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Dr. Martin Luthers' sämmtliche Werke / hrsg. von Joh. Georg Plochmann.

Main Author:Luther, Martin, 1483-1546.
Other Authors:Irmischer, Johann Conrad, 1797-1857.Plochmann, Johann Georg.
Published:Erlangen : C. Heyder, 1826-1857.
Note:Bd. 44-67 published by Heyder & Zimmer, 49-67 at Frankfurt a. M. und Erlangen.
Bd. 1-20 edited by Joh. Georg Plochmann, 21-67 by Dr. Johann Konrad Irmischer.
Physical Description:67 v. ; 18 cm. 
Locate a Print Version:Find in a library


Unknown said...

On my website I have the entire WA and all volumes in both versions of Walch.
Direct link:,%20Weimarer%20Ausgabe%20-%20WA.htm

James Swan said...

Hi Finn:

Thanks for the link.... I've been linking to your website now for a number of years on my sidebar. Thank you so much for making those volumes available!