Sin is the oracle of the wicked in the depths of his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. He sees himself with too flattering an eye to detect and detest his guilt; all he says is malicious and deceitful, he has turned his back on wisdom. To get his way he hatches malicious plots even in his bed; once set on his evil course no wickedness is too much for him. (Ps. 36:1-4)
Let’s be honest- if you’re an American biblical scholar/ theologian and you only read English, you are terribly hobbled by that. The greatest hindrance to learning is monolinguism.
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Einen Gruß an das Geburtstagskind: Heute vor 533 Jahren wurde Martin Luther geboren. Und fast 500 Jahre ist es her, dass der Urheber der Reformation seine 95 Thesen am Hauptportal der Schlosskirche in Wittenberg angeschlagen hat. Zahlreiche Gemälden des Reformators haben wir der Werkstatt von Lucas Cranach dem Älteren zu verdanken, die ab den 1520er Jahren ganze Serien produzierte. Nicht nur gelten sie als Meisterwerke der Porträtkunst dieser Zeit sondern prägen tatsächlich unser Luther-Bild bis in die Gegenwart. Dieser erscheint mal als energischer und unbeugsamer Mönch, als Junker Jörg mit Vollbart oder als Gelehrter mit und ohne Doktorhut. So gestaltete Cranach nicht nur von Beginn an das öffentliche Image Luthers, sondern gab der gesamten Reformation ein Gesicht, das die neue Lehre in ganz Europa bekannt machte. Auch Doppelporträts mit Ehefrau Katharina von Bora gehören zum Repertoire der Cranach’schen Kunst. Den Theologieprofessor und den Maler Cranach verband eine enge Freundschaft.
Concerning my family background, no one can give more trustworthy information than the counts of Mansfeld. I believe that these nobles have enough of a name and authority in the Empire to deserve to be believed on this subject. … I was born, by the way, at Eisleben, and baptized there in St. Peter’s Church. I do not remember this, but I believe my parents and the folks at home.
My parents moved there from [a place] near Eisenach. Nearly all my kinfolk are at Eisenach, and I am known there and recognized by them even today, since I went to school there for four years, and there is no other town in which I am better known. I hope the people there would not have been so stupid that any one of them would call the son of Luther “nephew,” another “uncle,” another “cousin” (I have many of them there), had they known that my father and my mother were Bohemians or other such People, rather than those born in their midst.
The rest of my life I spent in school and in the monastery at Erfurt until I came to Wittenberg. I was also in Magdeburg for one year at the age of fourteen.*
Luther tells Spalatin all this because, at the time he wrote the letter, some were accusing him of being a native of Bohemia. It is the only place in his writings where he mentions his birth (that I’ve been able to track down).
*M. Luther, Luther’s works, vol. 48: Letters I, pp. 145–146.