Today With Luther

From the Table Talk, recorded on 9 February, 1533-

The issue in the controversy over the papacy is that the pope boasts that he’s the head of the church and condemns all who don’t live under his power, for he says that although Christ is the [spiritual] head of the church, there must nevertheless also be a bodily head on earth. (I would gladly have conceded this to the pope if he had only taught the gospel.) In addition, he claims for himself authority over the church and the Scriptures. No one may expound the Scriptures except the pope alone, who does it as he pleases. He boasts that he is lord over the church, and the church in turn is mistress over the Scriptures, and so everybody must submit to him. This was intolerable to me and provoked me to write against the papacy. Our opponents still admit today that our teaching’s true, but they defend themselves by saying that it’s not yet approved by the pope.