Luther Doesn’t Need Your Papist Help

martin-luther-1539-detailIn his ‘Open Letter on Translating’ (a gem of a work everyone should read) Luther writes

If I, Dr. Luther, could have expected that all the papists taken together would be capable enough to translate a single chapter of the Scriptures correctly and well, I should certainly have mustered up enough humility to invite their aid and assistance in putting the New Testament into German. But because I knew – and still see with my own eyes – that none of them knows how to translate, or to speak German, I spared them and myself that trouble.

It is evident, indeed, that from my German translation they are learning to speak and write German, and so are stealing from me my language, of which they had little knowledge before. They do not thank me for it, however, but prefer to use it against me. However I readily grant them this, for it tickles me that I have taught my ungrateful pupils, even my enemies, how to speak.

Get hold of the open letter and enjoy it. The whole thing is succulently brilliant.