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Martin Luther’s Teaching on Sin  

L'ubomír Batka

Online publication date:
Dec 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

... Martin Luther’s Teaching on Sin Martin Luther distinguished between original sin ( peccatum originale ) and a transgression of the law of God, which is actual sin ( peccatum actuale/peccata actualia ). The term peccatum originis ( Ursünde ) is used by Luther when he spoke about the first sin of Adam and Eve in Paradise. The German term Erbsünde can be translated as “inherited sin” ( peccatum hereditare ). It expresses the notion of the whole of the human race submerged in sin. Especially from 1517 onward, a development can be observed in Luther’s...

Portrayals of Martin Luther in Print, Stage and Film  

Derek R. Nelson

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...; for instance “Elijah” means, he thinks, “strong man” in Hebrew, and “Martin” is the Latin equivalent of “Hermann,” or “fighting man.” But the stakes were high for Spangenberg, and therefore any comparison of Luther with the prophets was permissible; soon he would lose his position in Mansfeld because of his support for Flacius in the dispute about how to interpret Luther on the matter of sin and the imago dei . There are many characterizations of Luther’s theological work, of course, in the various wings of the Reformed and Anabaptist churches and sects, but ...

Martin Luther on Grace  

Hans Wiersma

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...Aquinas, or Aristotle. Indeed, during this period, Luther saw Augustine as Paul’s “most trustworthy interpreter.” 7 Although he would continue to hold Augustine in the highest regard, Luther also later acknowledged that “even he is not satisfactory everywhere,” including in regard to the notion of imputed righteousness. 8 Grace and the Righteousness of God Signs of Luther’s affinity for Augustine and his teachings on sin and grace are already discernible in his “Lectures on the Psalms,” begun in 1513 . In fact, Luther interpreted Psalm 1:6 as a verse “that contains...

Martin Luther's Life, 1517-1525  

Christopher Boyd Brown

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...10/II:375–501, LW 43:47–55. 65. Brecht, Martin Luther . 66. Heinrich Bornkamm , Luther in Mid-Career: 1521–1530 , trans. E. Theodore Bachmann (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983). 67. Walther von Loewenich , Luther’s Theology of the Cross, trans. Herbert J. A. Bouman (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1976); Gerhard O. Forde , On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997); and Alister E. McGrath , Luther’s Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther’s Theological Breakthrough , 2d ed. (Oxford:...

Martin Luther’s Biblical Commentary: New Testament  

Erik H. Herrmann

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...foil. In this regard, Luther was particularly influenced in these lectures by Augustine’s teaching on original sin and how he interpreted the role and purpose of the law in Paul’s writings. 46 By 1518 , after having used Augustine extensively during these lectures, Luther embraced the church father as Paul’s interpres fidelissimus —his “most faithful interpreter.” 47 In addition to the appropriation of Augustine, these early lectures on Paul helped Luther to clarify and galvanize his critique of late medieval scholastic theology. Luther was not alone in his c...

Martin Luther in the Eyes of His Roman Catholic Opponents  

Jared Wicks

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...possible canonical action against Luther as suspect of heresy. 9 Prierias brought an escalation in Catholic judgments on Luther after he examined the Ninety-Five Theses and published his Dialogue on the Presumptuous Conclusions of Martin Luther concerning Papal Authority . 10 To ground his demonstration of errors in Luther’s theses, Prierias posited fundamental criteria centered on the pope’s headship of the church under Christ and on papal infallibility in official teaching, so that dissent makes one a heretic. Fatefully, to papal teaching of doctrine Prierias added Roman...

Martin Luther’s Sermons and Postils  

John M. Frymire

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

... Here Luther critiqued popular pious practices as dangerous, urging believers to turn inward, to conform to Christ, to be tormented by their sins as He was. This required outside help: “For unless God buries it in our hearts, it is impossible for us, on our own, to meditate thoroughly on Christ’s passion … Seek and desire God’s grace so that you master it not by your own power but by God’s grace.” 34 In simple language readers encountered the rudiments of Luther’s notions of justification and the theology of the cross. It is reasonable to assume that Luther repeated...

Martin Luther's Views on the Body, Desire, and Sexuality  

Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth

Online publication date:
Oct 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...the fall has spread sin like a leprosy, God’s grace justifies and saves the whole of the human person. This view has specific implications for Luther’s understanding of desire and sexuality. Certainly the view that the fallen human person is justified by grace is Augustinian, as Luther himself claimed in his Lectures on Romans and in his response to Emser’s understanding of the spirit and the law. Luther quoted Augustine’s On the Spirit and the Letter with confidence. 32 However, subtle differences in Luther’s view of sin from Augustine’s correlate to emphatic...

Martin Luther’s Treatises and Essays  

Mark D. Tranvik

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...should also be made of Peter Matheson’s Rhetoric of the Reformation . Promising as well are essays by Mary Jane Haemig on Luther’s preaching and teaching and Anna Vind on Luther’s polemics. Readers of this article will also recognize the significant influence of Birgit Stolt. The literature on the five treatises of 1520 is immense. Attention should be given to Reinhold Rieger’s work on The Freedom of a Christian . Thomas Kaufmann has exhaustively examined To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation . As for Luther’s Treatise on Good Works , a new translation by...

Martin Luther’s Life, 1526–1546  

Mickey L. Mattox

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...subjection to Adam’s dominion, therefore, followed as a consequence of the fall, rather than as a reflection of the original order. 14 The rule of one person over another thus originated in fallen Adam’s rule over his wife. Thus, the elder Luther sometimes described the state, in typically hyperbolic terms, as a “kingdom of sin.” 15 Developments such as these suggest that marriage changed Luther both as a man and as a theologian. Martin and Katharina also pioneered the Protestant parsonage. Their love and mutual respect in the context of Luther’s own continued devotion...

Martin Luther’s Perspectival Eschatology  

Vítor Westhelle

Online publication date:
Aug 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...into hell is thus affirmed by Luther as the work of Christ on the Cross for those who live and die in sin. How this happens Luther claims not to know: quomodo factum, nescio . 38 Even if double predestination cannot be denied, Luther’s reluctance to define its logical consequence leads him to the following deduction in interpreting Matthew 22:32 (also Luke 20:38), that for the God of the living “all are alive”: “But if it is true, that they live in God, then it must first be true that they have forgiveness of sin. If they have no sin, they surely have the Holy Spirit...

Martin Luther on the Church and Its Ministry  

Cheryl M. Peterson

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...Brecht, Martin , ed. Martin Luther und das Bishofsamt . Berlin: Calwer Verlag, 1990. Daniel, David P. “Luther on the Church.” In The Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther’s Theology . Edited by Robert Kolb , Irene Dingel , and L’ubomír Batka , 333–352. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Fischer, Robert H. “Another Look at Luther’s Doctrine of the Ministry.” Lutheran Quarterly 18.3 (1966): 260–271. Hendrix, Scott H. Ecclesia in Via: Ecclesiological Developments in the Medieval Psalm Exegesis and the “Dictata Super Psalterium” (1513–1515) of Martin Luther...

Martin Luther’s Understanding of Earlier Reformers  

Phillip N. Haberkern

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...Ladner , The Idea of Reform: Its Impact on Christian Thought and Action in the Age of the Fathers (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959), 35. 8. Ladner, The Idea of Reform , 31. 9. For overviews of Luther’s studies as a monk and preparation for university teaching, see Martin Brecht , Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483–1521 , trans. J. Schaaf (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), chs. 3 and 5; and Volker Leppin , Martin Luther , 2d ed. (Darmstadt: VBG, 2010), chs. 2 and 3. 10. On Luther’s use of Bernard, with particular reference...

Martin Luther in Finland and the Baltics  

Antti Raunio

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...( 1893–1972 ) published a study about Luther’s conception of God’s grace during the 1930s, a book on The Special Nature of Luther’s Ethics , and a Luther biography. In the beginning, Sormunen follows the main line of the Luther Renaissance: the justification is not a metaphysical and nature-like condition but a personal and ethical relation. It cannot be any metaphysical change nor a remaining state but a relation to God and a repeatedly new experience of sin and grace. 49 Even though Sormunen criticized the Ritschlian Luther interpretation about rationalism and moralism...

Martin Luther, History, and Its Meaning  

Curtis L. Thompson

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...to the Young Luther (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969), 211. 23. Preus, From Shadow to Promise , 267–268. 24. Bayer, Martin Luther’s Theology , 48. 25. LW 8:192. Bayer cites this passage in Martin Luther’s Theology , 48. 26. Thompson, “Luther on God and History,” 133. 27. Heinrich Bornkamm , Luther’s World of Thought , trans. Martin H. Bertram (St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1958), 202, 196. 28. Leonard S. Smith , “Martin Luther and the Foundations of a Lutheran Ethic,” Religion and the Rise of History: Martin Luther and the Cultural...

Martin Luther’s Theology of the Lord’s Supper  

R. David Nelson

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...to consult Köhler’s massive study of Luther and Zwingli, which is unsurpassed for its detailed exposition of the political and theological issues surrounding the Colloquy. 51 A handful of significant monographs focus on the development of Luther’s teaching on the Lord’s Supper against the background of his complicated relationship with the contemporaneous Catholic church. Albrecht Peters, well-known for his comprehensive research on Luther’s Catechisms, produced a brief but important study in this vein on the theme of real presence in Luther’s theology. 52 The work...

Martin Luther’s Pastoral Writings  

Ronald K. Rittgers

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

... , and Peter D. S. Krey , eds. and trans. Luther’s Spirituality . New York: Paulist, 2007. Leroux, Neil R. Martin Luther as Comforter: Writings on Death . Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2007. Luther, Martin . Devotional Writings II . Edited by Gustav K. Wienke . Vol. 43 of Luther’s Works . Edited by Helmut T. Lehmann . Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968. Luther, Martin . Devotional Writings I . Edited by Martin O. Dietrich . Vol. 42 of Luther’s Works . Edited by Helmut T. Lehmann . Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969. Luther, Martin . Letters of Spiritual...

Martin Luther’s Life, 1483–1516  

Volker Leppin

Online publication date:
Jul 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...1517 . Erasmus’s Greek New Testament came out in the midst of Luther’s preparations for the Romans lecture, and Luther started interpreting the Bible not according to the Vulgate but to the Greek original. But his engagement with Pauline theology had a greater impact, resulting in a disputation on the power of the human will without grace in 1516 ( Disputatio de viribus hominis sine gratia disputata ). Luther’s intellectual development observed in these years has two aspects. On the one hand, he pointed out that a human being was the captive of sin, which he now defined...

Emotions and Experience in Martin Luther  

Pekka Kärkkäinen

Online publication date:
Oct 2016
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...and victory over death and hell. 41 Luther’s use of emotional terms like anger and love for describing God has also attracted some interest. Despite the relatively great importance of God’s wrath, Luther ultimately conceived God as a loving Father. On God’s love, see Martin Luther and Love . Pinomaa comes to the conclusion that the view of God’s anger is not destructive for Luther’s view of God as an ultimately loving Father. His main argument is that God’s anger arises as a reaction to human sinfulness, and for Luther God is a loving Father even toward sinners...

Martin Luther’s Disputations  

David Luy

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Oxford Research Encyclopedia:
Religion

...especially WA Tr 4:5047. 57. Martin Luther , Solus Decalogus est aeternus: Martin Luther’s Complete Antinomian Theses and Disputations , ed. Holger Sonntag (Minneapolis: Lutheran Press, 2008), 16. 58. Ibid. , 36 ; WA 39/I:363. 59. For more background on this disputation, see Martin E. Lehmann’s introduction in LW 38:237–238. 60. LW 38:243; WA 39/II:6–7. 61. Helmer, The Trinity and Martin Luther , 46 and 50. 62. For more on the appointed goals of the disputation in the medieval context, and in Luther’s estimation, see Lohse, “Luther als Disputator,” 251; and...

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