Dear media, (and everyone) – a ‘religion scholar’ is not the same thing as a theologian, or a biblical scholar. Stop asking ‘religion scholars’ stuff about the bible and theology. They don’t know what they’re talking about. If you want to know something about theological issues or biblical studies, ask someone who knows them. #KthnxBye
Please give these asses no other and no further answer to their useless braying about the word sola than simply this, “Luther will have it so, and says that he is a doctor above all the doctors of the whole papacy.” It shall stay at that! Henceforth I shall simply hold them in contempt, and have them held in contempt, so long as they are the kind of people—I should say, asses—that they are. There are shameless nincompoops among them who have never learned their own art of sophistry—like Dr. Schmidt and Doctor Snotty-Nose, and their likes—and who set themselves against me in this matter, which transcends not only sophistry, but (as St. Paul says [I Cor. 1:19–25]), all the world’s wisdom and understanding as well. Truly an ass need not sing much; he is already well known anyway by his ears.*
So, go right on with your bad self and annoy Luther with criticism of his scholarship. You won’t be very happy that you’ve done so in the end.
*M. Luther, Luther’s works, vol. 35: Word and Sacrament I, p. 187.
But what do I care if they rage or rave? I shall not prevent them from translating as they please. However I shall translate too, not as they please but as I please. Whoever does not like it can just leave it alone and keep his criticism to himself, for I shall neither look at nor listen to it. They do not have to answer for my translation, nor bear any responsibility for it. Listen well to this! I shall say “gracious [holdselige] Mary,” and “dear [liebe] Mary,” and let them say “Mary full of grace [volgnaden].” Whoever knows German knows very well what a fine, expressive [hertzlich] word that word liebe is: the dear Mary, the dear God, the dear emperor, the dear prince, the dear man, the dear child. I do not know whether this word liebe can be said in Latin or other languages with such fulness of sentiment, so that it pierces and rings through the heart, through all the senses, as it does in our language.*
Luther’s letter really is pungently brilliant from beginning to end. Every biblical scholar and theologian should read it. No, should have read it. His reasons for translating- encased within his vitriol- are invaluable. And you’ll learn 5000 times more from three pages of Luther than you will from 50,000 pages of NT Wright.
*M. Luther, Luther’s works, vol. 35: Word and Sacrament I, p. 192.