Daily Archives: 2 Nov 2019

What Luther Thought of the Papacy

This damned ass-pope and his accursed school of scoundrels in Rome take such great, immeasurable pleasure in making a monkey, fool, and laughingstock of the poor Christian man, indeed, in blaspheming against God in heaven and causing such idolatry in his holy church—he laughs up his sleeve to see such blasphemous, idolatrous lies worshiped, and robs and steals the goods and obedience of the whole world for it—that one is forced to understand that the papacy is (as was said above) the very image of the devil set in the church by the devil to do nothing but instigate lies, blasphemy, and idolatry in order to destroy faith and God’s word, and thus rob the world under him of all it has and owns and lead all the souls to the devil.

Selbstschadenfreude

‪There’s an astonishing amount of Selbstschadenfreude among Christians these days.

Boasting of Christ and his sufferings has become boasting in one’s own sufferings and ‘overcomings’. Astonishing.

Christians outdoing each other in claims of misery.‬

Yup

Luther Confesses His Ignorance of Hebrew: January, 1522

Luther Bible, 1534

In a letter to Nicolas von Amsdorf Luther writes

… I shall translate the Bible, although I have here shouldered a burden beyond my power. Now I realize what it means to translate, and why no one has previously undertaken it who would disclose his name.

Of course I will not be able to touch the Old Testament all by myself and without the co-operation of all of you.

Therefore if it could somehow be arranged that I could have a secret room with any one of you, I would soon come and with your help would translate the whole book from the beginning, so that it would be a worthy translation for Christians to read. For I hope we will give a better translation to our Germany than the Latins have.

It is a great and worthy undertaking on which we all should work, since it is a public matter and should be dedicated to the common good.*

Worth noting is the fact that when Zwingli and the Zurichers translated the Bible, Zwingli was chiefly in charge of the Hebrew Bible.  The entire Zurich Bible appeared in 1531.  Luther’s, in 1534.   Poor Luther, he couldn’t read Jeremiah (or the rest) without help… like a little child led by the hand.

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*Luther’s Works, vol. 48: Letters I, p. 363.

Today With Zwingli: Why He Wrote His “Suggestio deliberandi super propositione Hadriani Nerobergae facta”

zw.jpgA friend, writing from Ravensburg, in Wurtemberg, twenty-two miles east-north-east of Constance, had informed Zwingli, under date of November 2, 1522, that at the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg that year it was declared that the Pope had four plans in hand: “peace between Cæsar and Pompey [i. e., between the Emperor and the King of France]; the annihilation of the cause of Luther; the reform of the Church; and a war against the Turks.”

This was the occasion of Zwingli’s Latin pamphlet, hastily written as usual, entitled: “A suggestion of the advisability of reflecting upon the proposal made by Pope Adrian to the princes of Germany at Nuremberg; written by one who has deeply at heart the welfare of the Republic of Christ in general and of Germany in particular.”

It is characterised by Zwingli’s qualities of clear-mindedness, candour, modesty, and Christian zeal. It contains several skilful quotations of Scripture. It expresses great scepticism as to the reality of the alleged papal schemes except the crushing of Luther; and against that it utters an emphatic protest. No reformation could come from Rome.*

Zwingli concludes this little Flugschrift thusly:

Summa summarum: Nemo tam hebes sit, ut propter Romanenses, qui Germaniam tot sęculis riserunt, quicquam tumulti excitet etiamsi Christi causa non ageretur; iterum nemo tam servili ac abiecto animo, ut, ultro oblata libertate, nolit ea iuxta Pauli verbum potius uti, quam infructuosę imo detrimentosę, servitutis loris teneri. Esaię 8 [Jes. 8. 9f.]: Congregamini populi et vincemini, et audite universę procul terrę! Confortamini et vincemini, accingite vos et vincemini, inite consilium et dissipabitur, loquimini verbum et non fiet, quia nobiscum deus.

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*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (Heroes of the Reformation; New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 176–177.

A Little Tale Luther Tells

In the year of our Lord 1510 (if I remember correctly) I was in Rome and heard tell this story: about seven German miles this side of Rome there is a spot called Ronciglione, where lived, at the time of Paul II (who reigned seventy years ago), a papal official who saw the blasphemous, devilish nature of the pope and his scum in Rome, and did not give the pope his annual tax from his office.

The pope sent for him, he did not come; and whatever the pope ordered him to do, he ignored. Finally the pope put him under the ban, but he did not care about this either. After this, the pope had him tolled out with bells and thrown out and damned with lights extinguished from the pulpit, as is the custom; this did not bother him either. At last, because such obstinate disobedience to the pope in his canon law must be called heresy, he had the official’s portrait drawn on paper, with many devils over his head and on both sides, and had it brought to court, accused, and sentenced to the stake for heresy.

Then straightaway he took the paper to the fire and burned it. The official also had a portrait of the pope amid his cardinals drawn on paper, with lots of devils above and around them, called a court into session, and the pope and cardinals were accused as the worst scoundrels living on earth, doing immeasurable harm to poor people; and if their leader were to die, they would diligently set in his place the very worst one they could find among themselves; they were surely worthy of hell-fire, and many witnesses testified to all this.

Then the judge, the official, and the plaintiffs stepped forth and declared that they should be burned; and quickly, in the name of a thousand devils, he put the picture of the pope and cardinals into the fire to burn them, until the pope forcefully drove him out.*

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* Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 41, 278–279.