So speaks Martin Luther,
Jesus of Nazareth
The Protestant Lutheran Church bases
itself on Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, as well as on Martin Luther. Is
Luther's teaching christian?
THE THEOLOGIAN No. 3 documents contradictions
between Martin Luther and Jesus of Nazareth. In so doing, he compares
Luther's words with those of Jesus in the Bible.
Illustration from the 16th century, showing pastors and monks devouring
the sheep of the Christian flock instead of being an example for others.
1) Luther: Authority is the punishing servant of God
Authority is a servant of God.
Of itself it cannot keep any public order. It is like a net in water: The good
Lord drives the fish to it. God guides the evildoers to the authority, so that
they do not escape
God is a just judge on earth. For this reason, no one
escapes who does not do penance, the just punishment by way of the authority.
Even if you escape from me, you do not escape the hangman.
Luther Deutsch, [Luther German.
The works of Martin Luther chosen
anew for the present time. Published by Kurt Aland. Volume 9: Tabletalk]
Third, completely newly reworked edition, Stuttgart 1960; Reclam Edition,
Ditzingen 1987, p. 430)
Jesus: ”My kingship is not of this
a) My kingship is not of this
b) Render to Caesar the things
that are Caesars, and to God the things that are Gods.
John 18:36; b) Mark 12:17) (Bible used in this
translation. The New Oxford Annotated Bible, revised , 1973, 1977; the quotes
from Luther are translated without the use of English versions of the same.)
Luther calls on the princes to kill the rebellious peasants
Such strange times are here that
a people can earn heaven with bloodshed rather than others usually with
Stab, beat, throttle here, whoever can. If you remain dead in the
happy you, you can never attain a
more blessed death. For you die obedient to the divine word and command.
(Wider die stürmenden Bauern
[Against the storming peasants] Weimar Edition of Luthers Writings (= WE) 18,
Jesus points out the
commandment You shall not kill.
He teaches reconciliation and non-violence
a) ”If you would enter life, keep the
commandments ... You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery ...”
b) Make friends quickly with
your accuser while you are going with him to court
c) But if anyone strikes you on
the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
(a) Matthew 19:17; b) Matthew 5:25; c)
3) Luther about preachers: God ordered an office of the word
is wonderful, who commands us preachers to take up the office of his word,
with which we shall govern the hearts of the people
(Tischreden [Tabletalk] Luther
German, ob. cit., p. 318)
Jesus says Follow me, but
he does not appoint anyone to an office of the word. He warns about
so practice and observe
whatever they [the scribes] tell you, but not what they do; for they preach,
but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on
mens shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.
They do all their deeds to be seen by men
they love the place of honor at
and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.
But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all
4) Luther: Preachers are the greatest killers of all, because God commands it
Preachers are the greatest
killers of all. For they admonish the authorities that they should administer
their office with resolution and punish the pests. I have killed all the
farmers in the rebellion;
all their blood is on my neck. But I lay the blame on our good Lord; he
ordered me to say such things
Weimar Edition of Luther’s Writings (= WE), p. 75)
Jesus: Do not use force,
You know that those who are
supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men
exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever
would be great among you must be your servant
sent by God not as judge, but as Savior
God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world
might be saved through him.
Luther: God kills through the soldiers hand
For the hand that guides the
sword and kills is then no longer the hand of a human being, but the hand of
God, and not of the person; instead, God hangs, breaks on the wheel,
decapitates, kills and leads the war. For all things are his works and his
court. Summarized: When a soldier, one
may not see how one kills, burns, beats, takes prisoner, etc. This is what the
inexperienced do, simple childrens eyes which do not continue to watch the
doctor either as he amputates the hand or saws off the leg, and do not see or
notice that it concerns saving the whole body. Likewise, one must also look at
the office of the soldier or the sword with manly eyes, why it kills as it
does and is cruel. Then it itself will prove that it is a divine office
through and through and necessary for the world and as useful as eating and
drinking. But that some abuse this office is not the fault of the office, but
of the person
indeed, ultimately they cannot escape the judgement of God,
that is, his sword. He finally finds and meets them indeed as it has also now
gone for the peasants in [their] rebellion.
(Luther, Concerning the question
when as a soldier one lives in a state pleasing to God,
Weimar Edition of Luther’s Writings (= WE), pp. 623-662)
Jesus: Love your enemies
Love your enemies and pray for
those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in
6) Luther slanders the Jewish population and
demands their persecution
that one forbids them, with
to publicly praise God, to thank, to pray, to teach, by loss of body and
b) If I could I would cut him
[the Jewish fellow citizen] down and in my rage bore through him with the
c) The wicked Jew will not
cease, sucking you dry and (when he can) killing you. The Jews can
administer medicine from which he [the patient] must die in an hour, in a
month, in a year, even in ten or twenty years. They have the cunning.
d) These good-for-nothings and
pillagers are worthy of neither grace nor pity.
a) Martin Luther, Von den Juden
und ihren Lügen [About the Jews and their Lies], Wittenberg 1543,
(= symbol of the Jena Edition of the Luther Writings from the 16th
C.) 8, p. 98 b; also in Volksausgabe [Peoples Edition], pub. Hans Ludolf
Parisius, Munich, o. J., p. 46
b) 1543, Tischreden [Tabletalk],
quoted from H.-J. Böhm, Die Lehre M. Luthers – ein Mythos zerbricht [The
Teachings of Martin Luther – A Myth Breaks Apart], Self Edition, Post-Box 53, 91284 Neuhaus, Germany (available free of charge in German), 1994, p. 250
c) Luther, Letzte Kanzelabkündigung
vom 15. February 1546
[Last Announcement from the Pulpit
] 3 days before his death in Eisleben,
cited from W. Bienert, Martin Luther und die Juden [Martin Luther and the
Jews], Frankfurt 1982, pp. 174-177;
d) Tischrede [Tabletalk] from Dec. 18,
1536, cited from Böhm, ob. cit., p. 250
weeps over the Jewish people
when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, Would that even
today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your
7) Luther calls for Jewish homes and gathering places to be destroyed
that one set their synagogues
or schools afire
that one likewise break up and destroy their houses
Luther über die Juden – Weg mit ihnen!
[Martin Luther about the Jews –
Away with Them!] pub. Landesbischof Martin
Sasse from Eisenach, Sturmhut-Verlag, Freiburg 1938, p. 9)
had the desire to gather the Jewish people
How often would I have gathered
your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings
8) Martin Luther calls for war and for the murder of the Turkish enemies
because the Christians
and every one by his authority, are urged and called to strife against the
Turks, they shall act as loyal and obedient subjects (as they most certainly
do if they are proper Christians) and raise their fist in joy and with
confidence beat, murder, rob and do harm as much as they can, because they can
they are killed for this, it is well, then they are not
solely Christians, but were also obedient, loyal subjects, who put body and
property to work for their superiors in obedience to God. They are blessed and
Heerpredigt wider den Türken [An Army Sermon Against the Turk], D. Mar.
Luther, Anno 1529; Tomos 4, pp. 494 b-496)
did not take part in war. Also in times of war, he called for spreading his
message of peace
And you will hear of wars and
rumors of war; see that you are not alarmed, for this must take place
because wickedness is multiplied, most mens love will grow cold. But he who
endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be
preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations
24:6 & 12-14)
9) Luther: Evil ones are among us
came from Abraham and the patriarchs, those who nailed Christ to the cross,
the Antichrist came forth from the Roman Church, Judas and the pseudo-apostles
came from the apostles
from Constantinople the Turks, from the settlers of
Arabia Mohammed, from the wench adultery, from the virgin the whore
heretics come from the church. From food becomes excrement, from wine urine,
from blood pus. From Luther comes Müntzer [the leader of the rebelling
peasants] and the rebels – and so should we wonder when evil ones are among us
and come forth from us?”
[Tabletalk], Luther German, ob. cit., p. 271)
At first take the speck out of your own eye
do you see the speck that is in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log
that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the
speck out of your eye, when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite,
first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take
the speck out of your brothers eye.
10) Luther: Christ confirmed the death penalty
This law of the sword has
existed since the beginning of the world
that one should kill the murderer.
After the great flood, God expressly put it into practice again and confirmed
it, by saying in the first book of Moses [Genesis], 9:6: Whoever sheds the
blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.
all who take the
sword will perish by the sword. [Matthew 26:52] which can be understood
like Genesis 9:6: Whoever sheds the blood of man etc. Without doubt with
this word Christ refers to this passage, thus wanting to bring in this term
[anew] and confirm it.
(Martin Luther, Die weltliche Obrigkeit und die Grenze des
Gehorsams [Worldly Authority and the Limits to Obedience] in Martin Luther,
Taschenausgabe [Pocket Edition] Vol. 5, Berlin 1982, p. 112)
Luther took Matthew 26:52 out of context and cited it in a translation that
falsified the meaning of the Bible text. He also cited Genesis 9:6 in a
translation that falsified the meaning. In the end, Luther justified the
twisting of the original meaning with the other. The specific facts: In the
Hebrew original text of
Genesis is not meant:
Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. The
meaning of the Hebrew sentence says in the English translation: Whoever sheds
the blood of man, by man will his blood be shed, which indicates the
spiritual law of sowing and reaping, or cause and effect. And in the Greek
original text of the Gospel of Matthew the meaning is likewise ”will”
and not ”shall” (see quote from Luther and from Jesus). Jesus
also points out the law of cause and effect. Neither the first book of Moses
nor Jesus give the authorities the right to the death penalty. (Concerning
How the Bible was adapted)
Jesus warned of retaliation.
The law of sowing and reaping holds true
Put your sword back into its
place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you
think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than
twelve legions of angels?
11) Luther demands the death of usurers
as one breaks on the wheel and
beheads the street robbers, murderers
how much more shall one break on the
wheel and bleed all usurers and chase away, curse and behead all skinflints
die Pfarrherren wider den Wucher zu predigen.
[To the Pastors for Preaching
Against the Usurers] Vermahnung [Admonishment] D. Martini Lutheri, Anno 1540,
Tomos 7, p. 415)
Jesus stays at the homes of
usurers and deceivers
Zacchaeus, make haste and come
down [from the tree]; for I must stay at your house today. So he made haste
and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all
murmured, He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner. And
Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give
to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it
fourfold. And Jesus said to him: Today salvation has come to this house,
since he also is a son of Abraham.
12) Luther demands the death of unfaithful partners
it would be better: kill, kill
him, in order to avoid more evil examples
It is the fault of the
authorities: Why does one not kill the adulterer?
(Martin Luther, Vom ehelichen
Leben – Das ander[e] Teil (About Married Life – the Other Part] First Edition
Wittenberg 1522, cited from Böhm, ob. cit. p. 153; there cited from Lorenz, Vom ehelichen Leben, Reclam
Edition, Ditzingen 1978, p. 16 f.)
Jesus did not condemn an
The scribes and Pharisees brought
a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they
said to him, Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
in the law Moses] ”commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?
Jesus said to them: Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a
stone at her. [To the woman]: ”Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin
(John 8:3 & 5 & 7 & 11)
13) Death by torture for prostitutes
If I were a judge, I would want
to have such a French, poisonous whore broken on the wheel and bled.
(Ernste Vermahn- und Warnschrift
Luthers an die Studenten zu Wittenberg, am 13.5.1543 öffentlich an der Kirche
angeschlagen [Serious Writing of Admonishment and Warning by Luther to the
Students in Wittenberg, publicly nailed to the church on May 13, 1543],
8, pp. 172-172 b)
Jesus: Prostitutes are more
likely to enter the Kingdom of God than theologians
[To the scribes:] Truly, I say to
you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before
14) Luther: Torture
and kill women with spiritual and magical abilities
a) You shall not let the
It is a just law that they are killed. They cause much harm
They can also cast a spell on a child so that it continuously screams and no
longer eats or sleeps. If you look at such females, you will see that they
have a devilish face. I have seen it on several
one can only kill them.
b) ”Therefore, kill them, because
they have dealings with the devil.
c) ”When they do not confess, we
will hand them over to the torturers.
(a) Sermon from 1526; WE
16, p. 551
b) 1526, cited from the magazine Esotera, 3.3.1985, p. 245
c) Cited from Hans-Jürgen Wolf, Sünden der Kirche [Sins of the Church], Erlensee/Switzerland 1995, p. 717 ff.)
A comrade of Luther:
Pray against the witches, in
order to detect them and kill them
About the Wittenberg Deacon G.
Röhrer: On Sept. 12 
he [Röhrer] repeated the admonishment that one
should pray against the witches, so that they are detected and so that the
hangmen receive their pay.
(cited from H.-J. Wolf, ob. cit.,
Jesus promises the full
authority of the spirit
If you have faith as a grain of
mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it
will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
Jesus threatened no one with
torture and death. He affirmed the positive in people. He let his feet be
anointed by a scorned woman
Therefore I tell you, her sins,
which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.
15) Luther: Some children are truly devils
when one tells of devil-like children, of whom I have seen several, then I
think that they are either made by the devil, but not procreated by him, or
that they are real devils.
exegetica [Exegetical Works], Erlang Edition, II, p. 127)
legacy: Kill handicapped children
a) The Lutheran belief in
witches took shape dramatically, for it joined in the viewpoint that one
should drown poor, feeble-minded and mentally disturbed children in whom one
thought he could recognize children of the devil.
b) This distortion of the human
is given back to the Creator”.
(a) Hans-Jürgen Wolf, ob cit., p.
b) The head doctor of the
Lutheran facility for the handicapped in Neuendettelsau, Dr. Rudolph Boekh, on April 5,
1937, cited from: Ernst Klee, Die SA Jesus Christi [The SA of Jesus Christ],
Frankfurt/Main 1989, p. 180)
In 1940/41, based on Luthers teaching (obedience to authority), the people
entrusted to the Lutheran facility for the handicapped in Neuendettelsau in
Bavaria, Germany, were finally handed over to state officials. That they would
be killed was known to those responsible.
Jesus admonished to respect
See that you do not despise one
of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold
the face of my Father who is in heaven.
16) Luther and his colleague Melanchthon: Unbaptized babies are threatened with
of the baptizing of babies should be killed
of children, original sin
meanwhile these articles are also important,
because there is not much point in throwing the children out of Christendom
and putting them in an uncertain state, yes, bringing them to damnation
Meanwhile, one indeed sees and comprehends that these are coarse, false
articles [by those of other faith], in the end we conclude that in this case
the obstinate ones should also be killed.
(Melanchthons report: ”Ob
christliche Fürsten schuldig sind, der Wiedertäufer unchristliche Sekte mit
leiblicher Strafe und mit dem Schwert zu wehren [Whether Christian princes
are guilty of fighting against the Anabaptists unchristian sect with physical
punishment and with the sword], 1536; Tomos 8, p. 383 ff;
– Luther agreed with
did not teach the baptism of children. He says: Teach first, then baptize!
Go therefore and make disciples
of all nations; baptize them
teaching them to observe all that
I have commanded you.
Jesus asked first to teach or to inform or to make disciples of and
later to baptize the informed, if they wanted this. Those baptized were also
taught further after their baptism.
Luther persecuted Christians, for example, the so-called Baptists
a) ”On the other hand, it is now
important for us to damn these and to make them known as damned, so that
those who follow, are freightened off by their heresy an the doubting and
vacillating consciences will be helped.”
b) They are to be considered as
rabble-rousers and murderers”. (Note:
even though almost all of them
c) Therefore, without doubt the
authority is obligated
with physical violence and according to
the circumstances also punish with the sword,
hand over to the hangman (=
(a) Tischreden, Luther Deutsch [Tabletalk],
Luther German, ob cit., p. 272
b) and c) The 82nd
Psalm written and interpreted by D. M. L. Anno 1530; Tomos 5, p. 74 b-76 b)
Jesus comforted the
Blessed are you when men revile
you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my
account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men
persecuted the prophets who were before you.
18) Luther: Faith alone is sufficient for salvation
so, in us we are sinners and nevertheless, as long as God sees us as
righteous, righteous through the belief.
zum Römerbrief [Lectures on Letter to the Romans] WE 56, p. 271 ff.)
explained that the act of doing is decisive for salvation
a) Not everyone who says to me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the
will of my Father in heaven.
b) Every one then who hears
these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his
house upon the rock.
c) So whatever you wish that men
would do to you, so do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
d) And behold, a lawyer stood up
to put him to the test, saying Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal
life? He said to him, What is written in the law? How do you read? And he
answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all
your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your
neighbor as yourself. And he said to him: You have answered right; do
this, and you will live.
Matthew 7:21; b) Matthew 7:24; c) Matthew 7:12; d) Luke 10:25-28)
19) Luther taught freedom from the commandments. However, he announced that the
followers of his teaching should nevertheless do good works in order to serve
So we see that a Christian
person has enough faith; he does not need any works to be pious. If works are
then no longer needed, then he is certainly released from all commandments and
laws; if he is released, then he is certainly free. This is the Christian
freedom, the sole faith, which does not cause that we can be idle or do evil,
but that we need no works to gain piety and bliss
are the first fruits
of the Spirit.
”For this reason this [the
Christian´s] intention should be free und directed only to the goal that he
may serve other people and be use to them; he should not imagine anything
else than what is necessary for the others.”
(Martin Luther, Von der Freiheit
eines Christenmenschen [About the Freedom of a Christian Person]; pub. by L.
E. Schmitt, 1953, 3rd Edition, p. 37,1 – 79,21; WE 7, pp. 20,24
Jesus taught how a life
according to the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount leads to the
If you would enter life, keep
You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You
shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and
mother; and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself
If you would be
perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have
treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Jesus explained: The one
who only proclaims to do good, but does not do it does not fulfill the will of
What do you think? A man had two
sons; and he went to the first and said, Son, go and work in the vineyard
today. And he answered, I will not; but afterward he repented and went. And
he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, I go, sir, but did
not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, The first.
20) Luther indicated execution without court action for Christians who do not
approve of the Lutheran teaching of justification
Likewise the authority shall
also punish or not even suffer those who teach that Christ did not die for our
sins, but that each one do enough for this himself
Moses in his law also
ordered that such blasphemers, yes, all false teachers, be stoned. And so, one
should not dispute much here, but should damn, without a hearing and without
taking the responsibility, such public blasphemy.
(The 82nd Psalm
written and interpreted by D. M. L., Anno 1530, Tomos 5, pp. 74 b-76 b)
The commandment for the stoning of those of other faiths does not go back to
Moses, but was merely attributed to him.
Jesus commanded those who
refer back to him to love one another
A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one
another. By all this men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love
for one another.
Jesus to his followers: Do
And do not fear those who kill
the body but cannot kill the soul
Luther: About the wish
to kill the pope and the bishops:
Just as we punish thieves with rope, murderers with sword, heretics with
fire, why do we not much more attack these noxious teachers of corruption,
like popes, cardinals, bishops and the entire ulceration of Roman sodomy, with
all sorts of weapons and wash our hands in their blood ...? But God, who
speaks here: The revenge is mine, will indeed find in good time these enemies,
who are not worthy of temporal punishments, but must have their punishments
eternally in the abyss of hell.
b) The pope is the devil; if I
could kill the pope, why do I not want to do it?
c) Luther urged that one should
tear out the tongues of the pope and the Curia all the way back to the throat
and should nail them like seals on the papal bulls according to order of
precedence on the gallows.
& b) Martin Luther, Zwo harte ernstliche Schriften Doct.
Martini an den Christlichen Leser
[Two hard, earnest writings from Dr. Martin to the Christian readers], 1518,
Tomos 1, Point II, pp. 24 & 24b
c) E. Erikson, Der junge Mann
Luther [The Young Man Luther], 1958, p. 229, cited from Friedrich Heer, Gottes
erste Liebe [Gods First Love], Esslingen 1967)
warned those who judge: You will get the measure you give
Judge not, that you be not
judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the
measure you give will be the measure you get.
Luther raised his teaching to Gods teaching and declared himself to also be a
judge of the angels
I want my teaching to be
unjudged by everyone, also by all angels. For since I am certain of it, I will
be your judge and also that of the angels, as St. Paul says (Galatians 1:8), so
that the one who does not accept my teachings may not become blessed. For it
is Gods and not mine; therefore, my court is also Gods and not mine.
(Wider den falsch genannten
geistlichen Stand [Against the falsely named spiritual state],
Index verborum, Martin Luther´s German Writings, 1516-1525, Boston College 1999,
volume 10 / 2,
Jesus encourages us to
believe that his teaching is from God and points to his works
Believe me that I am in the
Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works
Jesus prophesied that the
teaching of another would be accepted
I have come in my Fathers name,
and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will
23) Luther called for killing preachers who could not prove ordination by an
official church, even if they are angels from heaven and teach the pure Gospel
even if they wanted to teach
the pure Gospel, indeed, even if they were like angels and Gabriel from heaven
If he wants to preach, then he must prove the calling or order
If he does
not want to, then the authorities should hand over such scoundrels to the
proper master, who is called Master Hans (= the hangman).
82nd Psalm through D. M. L., written and interpreted Anno 1530,
Tomos 5, pp. 74 b ff.)
let a man have his own way who did miracles in his name, but did not join the community of followers
John said to him, Teacher, we
saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was
not following us. But Jesus said, Do not forbid him; for no one who does a
mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he
that is not against us is for us.
Luther indirectly threatened with the death penalty citizens who do not betray
the person who preaches without ordination by an official church
And a citizen is guilty where
such insidious scoundrels [preachers without ordination by an official church]
when someone comes to him, before he has heard this person, that he tell his
authority and also the pastor whose pastoral child he is. If he does not do
this, then he shall know that he acts as one disobedient to his authority
against his oath and as one who despises his pastor (to whom he owes honor) he
acts against God, and thus is guilty himself and like the hypocrite [Who will
be executed] becomes a thief and a rogue
(The 82nd Psalm
through D. M. L., written and interpreted Anno 1530, Tomos 5, pp. 74 b ff.)
Jesus foresees many
betrayals of his followers, also by family members
”You will be delivered up even by
parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to
By your endurance you will gain your lives.”
(Luke 21:16 & 19)
Luther attributes truth to himself and considers, for example, his Jewish and
Christian opponents, whom he fought against, as enemies of God
a) For along with Paul I dare to
attribute to myself the knowledge and to confidently deny it to you [his
My dear Creator and Father, you will graciously see it as good, that I
talk so despicably against your accursed enemies, devils and Jews. You know
that I do it out of the heat of my faith and to honor your divine majesty.
WE 18, p. 601 – Luthers statement refers to an argument with the
Erasmus of Rotterdam.
b) WE 53 (1920), p. 605)
warned of exalting oneself
a) The Pharisee, standing by
himself, was praying thus, God, I thank thee that I am not like other men:
extortionist, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector
”For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles
himself will be exalted.
18:11 & 14)
prophesied that those who murder Christians believe they are doing God a favor
”… indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will
think he is offering service to God.”
prophesied that his followers would be called devils
it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher
If they have called the
master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his
household! So have no fear of them ...
Luther: God wants the death of certain sinners and their eternal damnation
the receiving of salvation and
of no salvation depends solely
which persons he [God] wants to let be lost,
and which not
also stated it more precisely
what he [God] wants,
namely the death of the sinners, whom he in no way mourns or is even willing
to eliminate. And it is for the reason already said, that God is effective
omnia in omnibus (= everything in all things), also death.
(The Lutheran theologian Dr. Wolfgang Behnk in: Contra Liberum
Arbitrium Pro Gratia Dei, Frankfurt 1982, p. 362)
Jesus: The Son of Man seeks
the lost ones and helps them to turn back
a) For the Son of Man came to
seek and to save the lost.
b) Just so, I tell you, there is
joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
c) Parable of the lost son:
for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And
they began to make merry.
(a) Luke 19:10 b) Luke 15:10 c)
Luther: He likes opponents who kill themselves
like the fanatical and angry zealots; they kill themselves.
[Tabletalk], Luther German, ob cit., p. 279)
Unconditional love for all people
If you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them
love your enemies
6:32 & 35)
Luther: The Holy Ghost makes use of death for punishment
Christians could easily endure
death if they did not know that Gods wrath is connected with death. This
makes death unpleasant for us
The Holy Ghost makes use of death
for punishment, so that he frighten us – not for fun.
[Tabletalk] Luther German, ob cit., pp. 814 & 816)
The Holy Spirit comforts
a) ”But when the Counselor comes,
whom I shall send you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds
from the Father, he will bear witness to me.
I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet
shall he live ...
John 15:26; b) John 11:25)
Luther: God must become the devil sometimes; what is believed conceals itself
in the appearance of the opposite
a) God cannot be God; first He
must become a devil
I must grant divinity to the devil for a brief hour, and
let devilishness be attributed to our God. But its early days yet. In the end
we can indeed say: His kindness and loyalty rule over us.
b) What is believed conceals
itself in the appearance of the opposite.
(a) WE 31, p. 249 f.
b) WE 18, cited from H. G. Pöhlmann, Abriss der Dogmatik [Outline of Dogmatism], Gütersloh 1980, 3rd Edition, p. 82)
Jesus: There was nothing
devilish about his works. He brought about visible good
a) I have not a demon; but I
honor my Father
b) Jesus to the question whether
he is he who is to come: The blind receive their sight
and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are
raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who
takes no offense at me.
(a) John 8:49 b) Matthew 11:3 & 5-6)
Luther: No free will in decisive questions of faith and life; no freedom to
In this way, the human will is
put right between the two [God and Satan], just like a riding animal, when God
sits upon it, it wants and goes where God wants to
When Satan sits upon it,
it wants and goes where Satan wants to. And when it does not have the freedom
to decide, to run to one of the riders or to seek him, but the riders
themselves must fight to hold it firmly and to possess it.
(WE 18, p. 635)
Jesus invited the people to
follow him of their free will. He promised the seeking ones that they would
a) Follow me!
seek, and you will find
(a) Luke 9:59 (also 18:22, among
others) b) Matthew 7:7)
Theologians are in heaven
It is very questionable whether
jurists become blessed, for it is indeed even hard for the theologians, even
though the theologians are already righteous and in heaven.
(Tischreden [Tabletalk], Luther
German, ob cit., p. 361)
Jesus: Theologians do not
go to heaven and also prevent others from doing so
But woe to you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men. For
you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.
Luther: The Churchs concern is heaven
When the Church expresses anger,
it is concerned about the soul and heaven.
(Tischreden [Tabletalk], Luther
German, ob cit., p. 512)
Theologians and their adherents make children of hell out of people
”Woe to you, scribes an Pharisees, hypocrites! For you
traverse sea and land to make an single proselyte, and when he becomes a
proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”
Luther: About anger as the best medicine
no better medicine than
anger. For if I want to write, pray and preach well, then I have to be angry;
then all my blood refreshes itself, my mind becomes sharpened, and all
(Tischreden [Tabletalk], Luther
German, ob cit., p. 357)
Jesus concerning anger as a
violation of the commandments
You have heard that it was said
to the men of old, You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to
I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to
With judgment the law of sowing and reaping is meant, with which each one
judges himself. For everything that one does to another comes back to him
Luther: God punishes
himself punishes, but secretly, either through poverty, a bad wife, through
disobedient children an in many other ways. So, what kind of a punishment do
(Tischreden [Tabletalk] Luther
German, ob cit., p. 655)
about the loving God
What do you think? If a man has
a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the
ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And
if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the
ninety-nine that never went astray.
Luther: The devil causes illness
But they [the physicians] do
not consider the devil as the originator of an otherwise natural cause of an
I think that with all severe illnesses, the devil is the originator
[Tabletalk] Luther German, ob cit., p. 678)
In the end, it is a persons sins that cause illness
a) To a paralytic: My son, your
sins are forgiven.
b) To a man who had been healed:
See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you.
Mark 2:5 b) John 5:14)
Luther: To ask why concerning misfortune and well-being is the worse
worst doubts are when the devil brings us to the point that we look for the
causes of well-being and misfortune
The why has tormented all saints.
[Tabletalk] Luther German, ob cit., p. 672)
The one who recognizes sin and repents can prevent misfortune
Do you think that these
Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered
thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
13:2-3 – Note: In verse 4, Jesus spoke of the 18
people killed when the tower of Siloah collapsed.)
37) Luther said,
reason is diabolic
Reason is a whore of the devil.
(WE 51, 126, 7 ff.; compare
10 I, 1, 326, 16;
18, 164 ,24 & 182,11)
The people are impressed by
the mind of the young Jesus
and all who heard him were
amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Jesus takes mans reason
For example: From the fig tree
learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its
leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things
taking place, you know that he [the day on which Jesus returns] is near, at
the very gates.
Luther against revelations from the mouths of prophets
I clobber your spirit on the
(1520, against the Zwickau
prophets; cited from Walter Nigg, Prophetische Denker [Prophetic Thinkers],
Rottweil 1986, p. 87)
Jesus on the examination of
revelations through prophets
You will know them by their
fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
39) Luther about passivity as a
characteristic of Christians
A Christian is passive before
God, because here he merely receives, and before the person, for here he
(Tischreden [Tabletalk] Luther
German, ob cit., p. 604)
Jesus about active faith,
the doing, as the distinguishing feature of Christians
a) Every one then who hears
these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house
upon the rock
And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do
them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.
as you did it to one of the
least of these my brethren, you did it to me.
(a) Matthew 7:24 & 26 b) Matthew 25:40)
Sin bravely, but believe even more bravely!
Sin bravely, but believe [even]
more bravely and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor over sin, death and the
(Letter to Philipp Melanchthon on
August 1, 1521; WE, Letters 2, No. 424)
Jesus: Your faith has made
you well. Sin no more!
a) Rise and go on your way; your
faith has made you well.
b) See, you are well! Sin no
(a) Luke 17:19 b) John 5:14)
Luther wished death to his opponents
should let them die like dogs and sows.
(In: Vermahnung zum Sakrament [Admonishment to the Sacrament], 1530, by Hans-Joachim
Neumann, Luthers Leiden [Luthers Suffering], Berlin 1995, p. 173)
Forgiveness for his murderers
forgive them; for they know not what they do.
The scholar Luther: The most important thing is speech
Even though I may be found
guilty of being haughty, miserly, as an adulterer, murderer, enemy of the pope
and of all blasphemies, may I just not be accused of godless silence.
(Letter to von Staupitz, WE
Letters 2, pp. 264, 24-27)
Luthers biographer and admirer, Hans-Joachim Neumann has put together much
circumstantial evidence, which indicates, that Luther (who was named Luder
until 1520) killed his friend Hieronimus Buntz in a duel in 1505 and entered a
monastery to escape punishment. In addition, Luder had a relationship with a
married woman since 1503. (Luthers Leiden [Luthers Suffering] ob cit., p.
Jesus warned of the scribes
who talk, but do not do. To his family belongs the one who also does his
Concerning the scribes:
but not what they do; for they preach, but do not
b) My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and do it.
Matthew 23:3 b) Luke 8:21)
Compare the passages cited in No. 18 showing that the deed is what counted
Luther, the prophet of the Germans
Eternity and Germaness come
together in his figure. In this connection to eternity, concerning his mission
on earth, he grew to be the prophet of the Germans, as he described himself,
even though hesitatingly
Luther must be prophet and forerunner
(path-breaker) for the new time in the world history of the Third German Reich
Lutheran Christendom is and remains the highest revelation of God in the
(Theodore Knolle in: Quarterly
Magazine of the Luther Society, 1933, pp. 121 & 123)
Jesus: Beware of false
Beware of false prophets, who
come to you in sheeps clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will
know them by their fruits
Luther is honored by many
For example, by Adolf
Hitler: Luther was a great man, a giant. He broke through the
twilight with one blow; he saw the Jew as we are first beginning to see him
(Adolf Hitler in: Dietrich Eckart, Der
Bolschewismus von Moses bis Lenin, Zwiegespräche
zwischen Adolf Hitler und mir [Dialog between Adolf Hitler and Me], Munich 1924, p. 35)
After 1945 in East and
Luther is continued to be praised and celebrated, for
example, in ”Luther Year” 1983 on the occasion of his 500th birthday or with
the Luther Celebrations in 1966, 500 years after his death.
Jesus: Woe to you when all
speak well of you!
to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false
”We have been admonishes by
Martin Luther´s legacy for centuries: ´Such strange times are here that a
people can earn heaven with bloodshed rather than others usually with
praying` ... Heil Hitler!”
(Call to support the German army in war in New
Years message for 1944 in: Thüringen Church Newspaper No. 1/1944)
Jesus: Each one must
account for his words
I tell you, on the day of
judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by
your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Luther and his adherents:
Kill valiantly in war when
Be a strong sinner, but believe
even more strongly and rejoice in Christ, Luther wrote to Philip Melanchthon,
when the latter saw violence as the only means against iconoclasm, but
recoiled from the sinful character of violence. The field chaplains in the
Balkan should comfort the soldiers with this redeeming sentence every
(The Lutheran theologian and
journalist Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto in April 1999, in:
idea-spektrum N° 14/1999)
Make peace and do not hit back!
a) Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
if anyone strikes you on
the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Matthew 5:9 b) Matthew 5:39)
The Free Spirit
Dieter Potzel, Edition N°3: So speaks Martin Luther, so speaks Jesus of
Nazareth, Wertheim 1999, English Translation: Wertheim 2001,
version from 27 th May 2022
The law of sowing and reaping and the reincarnation with Jesus, in Bible
and Early Christianity
How the Devil wreaked Havoc in the
Elija, Amos and Jeremiah: Prophets as
The Dangerous Doctrine of Justification
Anyone who would like
to help finance costs for printing, mailing and Internet can
transfer a contribution to the following account: Dieter Potzel, Volksbank
Bank Identifier Code (BIC):
GENODE61WTH, internBank-AccNr (IBAN): DE06 6739 0000 0002 0058 08;
Purpose: Contribution to The
Theologian; Many thanks!