The confession heard 'round the world!

Bonnie

Super Member
Today to the very date is the 500th anniversary of Luther's "Here I stand!" confession of faith before the Diet of Worms, in Germany. Luther could NOT recant what he had found in Scripture, which the RCC had buried under centuries of man-made doctrines, like Indulgences and Purgatory. He said his conscience was "captive to the word of God." His conscience was submissive to God's holy word, the Bible. NOT to the Pope.

This is part of a blurb about this in our bulleting this Sunday:

Today, we stand in the footsteps of Martin Luther 500 years alter. We stand boldly, proclaiming the One Who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We stand boldly, renouncing the devil and all his works and all his ways. WE stand, by the grace of God steadfast and ready to suffer all rather than fall away. We do NOT stand ON Luther, but we will gladly stand WITH him, firm on the testimony of the Holy Scriptures to confess the saving Gospel of Christ, our Good Shepherd, Who died and rose, in whose name is forgiveness of sins for all people. Here we stand; we can do no other. God help us. Amen!

Our synod put out a sermon all pastors could use today, based on this 'here I stand" which our pastor used, though he tweaked it a bit, to bring in the OT message. But I noticed that, while the sermon did mention Luther, it was only peripherally. Instead, the sermon brought in how God worked through Luther to bring the true Gospel message to all, preaching the forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake on account of His finished work on the cross and His great love for us. NOT on the basis of works we have done in righteousness, but on account of His mercy!
 
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Timket

Active member
His conscience was submissive to God's holy word, the Bible. NOT to the Pope.

It is interesting to note that Luther believed the Scriptures taught:

1) The True Presence of Jesus in communion (Consubstantiation)
2) The perpetual virginity of Mary (Schmalkaldische Artikel, Part LIV)
3) That James, Jude, Hebrew, and Revelations should not be numbered with the Scriptures
4) The Veneration of Mary.
5) Luther also believed that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by any apostle EDITED LINK VIOLATION

He was.... an interesting guy to be sure.
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
It is interesting to note that Luther believed the Scriptures taught:

1) The True Presence of Jesus in communion (Consubstantiation)
2) The perpetual virginity of Mary (Schmalkaldische Artikel, Part LIV)
3) That James, Jude, Hebrew, and Revelations should not be numbered with the Scriptures
4) The Veneration of Mary.
5) Luther also believed that the Epistle to the EDITED

He was.... an interesting guy to be sure.
Luther believed in Mary's PV, but it is considered pious opinion in our church. Not doctrine.

We do not call the Real Presence consubstantiation. We do not think any term can actually describe what happens in Communion, so we call it the Real Presence and leave it at that.

Luther did not invent his own set of canon, but he was reflecting what the ancient church believed about those 4 books. They are the "antilegomena--ones spoken against." It took longer for the early church to accept these books, but they were eventually included in the canon. We have a German Luther Bible and those books are in it.

Luther did not venerate Mary as the Catholics do, though he did love and honor her. He wrote that Catholics make too much of the mother, while forgetting her Child. Better to forget the mother than the Child, he wrote!

No one knows exactly who wrote Hebrews, though it was attributed to Paul since about the 3rd or 4th century. I think Luther thought that Barnabas might have written it, but we don't know for certain. No one does.

But yes, he was interesting. So was his marriage to his Katie, a sharp-tongued Saxon woman, but he didn't mind--he loved her wit and that she gave as good as she got!
 
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Timket

Active member
Luther did not invent his own set of canon, but he was reflecting what the ancient church believed about those 4 books. They are the "antilegomena--ones spoken against." It took longer for the early church to accept these books, but they were eventually included in the canon. We have a German Luther Bible and those books are in it.

Thank you Bonnie - The edit link violation (from his 1522 Lutherbibel) shows that he didn't number them with the rest of Scriptures (they are the last four in the image) - what is more surprising, he wrote in his very Bible that James edit link violation ("widerstehet damit Paulo vnd aller schrifft ... Darumb will ich yhn nicht haben ynn meyner Bibel").

He also said the whole Epistle of Jude was edit (der Apostel Judas ist ... doch eyn vnnotige Epistel)

It's very shocking that Luther denied a large section of the Bible (that is, entire books), but unfortunately that seems to be the case.

Luckily others did not accept this, and the later Lutherbibels gave them back their rightful status (like the one you own).

Luther believed in Mary's PV, but it is considered pious opinion in our church. Not doctrine.

That is interesting. I know that Luther put it in his "Smalcald Articles" which is in the Book of Concord - doesn't the LCMS not use the BoC?

Edit: I looked on the LCMS website and saw that the Book of Concord was called a "true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and serve as authoritative texts for all pastors, congregations"

We do not call the Real Presence consubstantiation. We do not think any term can actually describe what happens in Communion, so we call it the Real Presence and leave it at that.

Ah, interesting. I wasn't aware. Thank you for the correction!
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
Thank you Bonnie - The edit (from his 1522 Lutherbibel) shows that he didn't number them with the rest of Scriptures (they are the last four in the image) - what is more surprising, he wrote in his very Bible that James edit ("widerstehet damit Paulo vnd aller schrifft ... Darumb will ich yhn nicht haben ynn meyner Bibel").

He also said the whole Epistle of Jude was edit (der Apostel Judas ist ... doch eyn vnnotige Epistel)

It's very shocking that Luther denied a large section of the Bible (that is, entire books), but unfortunately that seems to be the case.

Luckily others did not accept this, and the later Lutherbibels gave them back their rightful status (like the one you own).



That is interesting. I know that Luther put it in his "Smalcald Articles" which is in the Book of Concord - doesn't the LCMS not use the BoC?

Edit: I looked on the LCMS website and saw that the Book of Concord was called a "true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and serve as authoritative texts for all pastors, congregations"



Ah, interesting. I wasn't aware. Thank you for the correction!
Luther still included those books in his Bible, but in the back. And I have seen Luther write a few good things about James.

I haven't read the Smalcald articles, and only a smattering of Concord, though I imagine my husband has. I seem to remember some writing saying that when Mary birthed Jesus, it did not disturb her virginity any more than Jesus popping into a locked room after His Resurrection disturbed the locks on the door. But I disagree with that. Mary would still be a virgin after birthing Jesus, even if she did tear her hymen in the process, since she never had sex with anyone prior to Jesus' birth. Unless they meant it was preserved supernaturally, and after her time of purification was up, she then lost her hymen the normal way with Joseph.

At any rate we do not teach as doctrine Mary's PV, something one MUST believe to be a member of our church. It is pious opinion. The virgin birth? Absolutely!

I found this on the LCMS website:

"LCMS theologians have found no difficulty with the view that Mary and Joseph themselves together had other children, including James."

The Bible - Frequently Asked Questions - The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (lcms.org)
 
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BJ Bear

Well-known member
Today to the very date is the 500th anniversary of Luther's "Here I stand!" confession of faith before the Diet of Worms, in Germany. Luther could NOT recant what he had found in Scripture, which the RCC had buried under centuries of man-made doctrines, like Indulgences and Purgatory. He said his conscience was "captive to the word of God." His conscience was submissive to God's holy word, the Bible. NOT to the Pope.

This is part of a blurb about this in our bulleting this Sunday:



Our synod put out a sermon all pastors could use today, based on this 'here I stand" which our pastor used, though he tweaked it a bit, to bring in the OT message. But I noticed that, while the sermon did mention Luther, it was only peripherally. Instead, the sermon brought in how God worked through Luther to bring the true Gospel message to all, preaching the forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake on account of His finished work on the cross and His great love for us. NOT on the basis of works we have done in righteousness, but on account of His mercy!
Thanks for the post!

The blurb points out what non-Evangelicals gloss over or deny, namely, in Christ is the forgiveness of sins of all people. By definition this is true, otherwise, the gospel of Jesus Christ ceases to be objective true good news to all men that can only be received through faith, faith alone.
 

1Thess521

Well-known member
Thanks for the post!

The blurb points out what non-Evangelicals gloss over or deny, namely, in Christ is the forgiveness of sins of all people. By definition this is true, otherwise, the gospel of Jesus Christ ceases to be objective true good news to all men that can only be received through faith, faith alone.
Faithful, knowledgeable, Church-loving, Catholic Author Peter Kreeft
quote
"How do I resolve the Reformation?​
Is it faith alone that justifies, or is it faith and works?​
Very simple. No tricks.​
On this issue I believe Luther was simply right; and this issue is absolutely crucial.​
As a Catholic I feel guilt for the tragedy of Christian disunity because the church in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was failing to preach the gospel.
Whatever theological mistakes Luther made, whatever indispensable truths about the Church he denied, here is an indispensable truth he affirmed — indispensable to union between all sinners and God and union between God’s separated Catholic and Protestant children."​
end quote
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
It is interesting to note that Luther believed the Scriptures taught:

1) The True Presence of Jesus in communion (Consubstantiation)
2) The perpetual virginity of Mary (Schmalkaldische Artikel, Part LIV)
3) That James, Jude, Hebrew, and Revelations should not be numbered with the Scriptures
4) The Veneration of Mary.
5) Luther also believed that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by Paul any other Apostle.

He was.... an interesting guy to be sure.
Says who? Re: 1) Real Presence, yes; Consubstantiation, no.

Re: 2) The statement in the SA, Part I, Article IV is concerning how the Son became man without the cooperation of man, that is, He was born of the virgin Mary [German], always virgin [Latin]. It was a point of agreement with the Roman Papacy. It was not an affirmation of other Marian practices and customs within the Papacy and certainly not the Mariolatry of the other Roman church, the Orthodox.

Re: 3) Luther translated as many books as were in the longest canon of Christendom, more than were then in use in the Papacy.

Re: 4) Luther's question, "Was ist das?" or, "What does this mean?" like in the previous points should again be applied. It is again not a point of agreement with the abuses in this regard of the Papacy or of the Orthodox.

Re: 5) So? There are other books in the NT that everyone acknowledges weren't written by an Apostle.
 

Timket

Active member
The statement in the SA, Part I, Article IV is concerning how the Son became man without the cooperation of man, that is, He was born of the virgin Mary [German], always virgin [Latin]. It was a point of agreement with the Roman Papacy.
Exactly - I've seen what Luther wrote in the Smalcald Articles: Jesus "was born from the always-virgin Mary" (ex Maria sempervirgine nasceretur).

Re: 3) Luther translated as many books as were in the longest canon of Christendom, more than were then in use in the Papacy.

While the four were inside the physical book binding of the Lutherbibel he did not number them with the Scriptures, as can be seen here. And before one read the text of James and Jude, he put a prefatory note saying that James "contradicted all the Scripture" and "therefore I do not want it in my Bible." ("widerstehet damit Paulo vnd aller schrifft ... Darumb will ich yhn nicht haben ynn meyner Bibel")

Clearly he was incredibly wrong here and it's a very good thing this error wasn't allowed to stand, or spread.


At any rate we do not teach as doctrine Mary's PV, something one MUST believe to be a member of our church. It is pious opinion. The virgin birth? Absolutely!

I found this on the LCMS website:

"LCMS theologians have found no difficulty with the view that Mary and Joseph themselves together had other children, including James."

It was in the question and answer section. I am on my phone and it is hard to cut and paste on it, or open up more windows.

Thank you Bonnie. I appreciate the response. I wonder how LCMS theologians can say it's not doctrine for the LCMS - Luther wrote it in the Smalcald articles, and the Smalcald articles and the rest of Concord are (according to the LCMS website) a "binding exposition of Holy Scripture" 🤔 - any idea how this conundrum might be cleared up?

Here's what Luther wrote, Smalcald Article (article I section IV):

"The Son thus was made man, conceived by the Holy Spirit without the work of man, and born of the pure, holy, always virgin Mary."
(“Filius ita factus est homo, ut a spiritu sancto sine virili opera conciperetur et ex Maria pura, sancta, semper virgine nasceretur…”)
 
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BJ Bear

Well-known member
Faithful, knowledgeable, Church-loving, Catholic Author Peter Kreeft
quote
"How do I resolve the Reformation?​
Is it faith alone that justifies, or is it faith and works?​
Very simple. No tricks.​
On this issue I believe Luther was simply right; and this issue is absolutely crucial.​
As a Catholic I feel guilt for the tragedy of Christian disunity because the church in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was failing to preach the gospel.
Whatever theological mistakes Luther made, whatever indispensable truths about the Church he denied, here is an indispensable truth he affirmed — indispensable to union between all sinners and God and union between God’s separated Catholic and Protestant children."​
end quote
Thank you for posting that. A whole lot of things could be resolved or better understood if people would at least acknowledge the contexts in which each speaks and thinks.

I haven't read much of Kreeft but I still have the Handbook of Christian Apologetics that he did with Tacelli.

Peace.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
Exactly - I've seen what Luther wrote in the Smalcald Articles: Jesus "was born from the always-virgin Mary" (ex Maria sempervirgine nasceretur).
So long as people realize you are quoting the Latin rather than the German. The point being that it is a point of agreement in reference to Christ rather than a point of agreement on some thought abstracted solely in reference to Mary.

The bottom line is that neither "virgin Mary" or "Ever Virgin Mary" obscures Christ. As such Luther didn't see EV or not EV Mary to be a point to argue about at a council, hence the difference in language. (in his intro to the SA he made the point that he was trying to keep things short.)

While the four were inside the physical book binding of the Lutherbibel he did not number them with the Scriptures, as can be seen here. And before one read the text of James and Jude, he put a prefatory note saying that James "contradicted all the Scripture" and "therefore I do not want it in my Bible." ("widerstehet damit Paulo vnd aller schrifft ... Darumb will ich yhn nicht haben ynn meyner Bibel")

Clearly he was incredibly wrong here and it's a very good thing this error wasn't allowed to stand, or spread.
Regardless of numbering those books are listed as NT books. The lack of numbering reflects their status as antilegomena and their content relative to the others.

Luther's opinion of them was just an opinion and he left their inclusion to the canon or their exclusion from the canon up to the reader. Neither Luther nor the Evangelical Church of that day recognized or stated a set canon.

Thank you Bonnie. I appreciate the response. I wonder how LCMS theologians can say it's not doctrine for the LCMS - Luther wrote it in the Smalcald articles, and the Smalcald articles and the rest of Concord are (according to the LCMS website) a "binding exposition of Holy Scripture" 🤔 - any idea how this conundrum might be cleared up?

Here's what Luther wrote, Smalcald Article (article I section IV):

"The Son thus was made man, conceived by the Holy Spirit without the work of man, and born of the pure, holy, always virgin Mary."
(“Filius ita factus est homo, ut a spiritu sancto sine virili opera conciperetur et ex Maria pura, sancta, semper virgine nasceretur…”)
There is no conundrum as you continue to quote the Latin rather than the German and consider the matter as if the German didn't exist. The context of SA is that in a general council what points are in agreement with the Papacy and what points are in disagreement and which therefore are not be surrendered.

Wrangling over EVM or not EVM with regard to how the Son became man without the cooperation of man is only a wrangling about words rather than about substance.
 

Timket

Active member
So long as people realize you are quoting the Latin rather than the German.
I'm not sure that it would make a difference - Luther wrote both. I'm not trying to argue that one or the other "obscures Christ", I'm just making the point that he wrote Mary was an ever-virgin (which is clear in the document).

as you continue to quote the Latin rather than the German and consider the matter as if the German didn't exist
The German doesn't contradict the Latin, and both were written by Luther (or at least approved by him). Luther wrote that Mary was ever-virgin; it is in his Statement of Faith - that's all I was trying to point out.

Regardless of numbering those books are listed as NT books.

Honestly I'm not sure one can say they were NT books - he objectively treated them differently than the "rest" of the NT.
 
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BJ Bear

Well-known member
Don't care about your "synod." Sola Scriptura, amen?
That is a non sequitur. Either the sermon was a right reflection of Scripture or it wasn't. I didn't read anything in the OP about the sermon that was at odds with the witness of Scripture.
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
I'm not sure that it would make a difference - Luther wrote both. I'm not trying to argue that one or the other "obscures Christ", I'm just making the point that he wrote Mary was an ever-virgin (which is clear in the document).
Within the context of Article IV and as bare statements, "virgin Mary," and, "Ever Virgin Mary," don't obscure Christ but EVM goes beyond Scripture and the non-Evangelicals who hold to EVM pray to Mary. That is a mind-boggling obscuration of the person and work of Christ.

The German doesn't contradict the Latin, and both were written by Luther (or at least approved by him). Luther wrote that Mary was ever-virgin; it is in his Statement of Faith - that's all I was trying to point out.
The language is contradistinctive, a deliberate contrast, because within the context of the SA Article IV point of agreement it makes no difference whether Mary was virgin or ever virgin. Taking the statement out of that context leads to misunderstanding.

Elsewhere, Luther wrote of people going on and on about ever virgin but not knowing why they do so. It was enough for him that Scripture's last statement in this regard was that she was a virgin at the birth of Christ, that is, He was born of the virgin.

Honestly I'm not sure one can say they were NT books - he objectively treated them differently than the "rest" of the NT.
It is hard not to conceive of them as NT books when they are on the page which lists the NT books and leaves it up to the reader to include or exclude them from the canon. There is a difference between homologoumena and antilogoumena.
 

Bonnie

Super Member
That is a non sequitur. Either the sermon was a right reflection of Scripture or it wasn't. I didn't read anything in the OP about the sermon that was at odds with the witness of Scripture.
Thanks. Also, what our church said, was that the "Here I stand!" WAS STILL all about Jesus Christ and the Gospel.

We can be glad Von Staupitz told an Augustinian monk in the 16th century to do a study on Romans. The rest, as they say, is history.
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Within the context of Article IV and as bare statements, "virgin Mary," and, "Ever Virgin Mary," don't obscure Christ but EVM goes beyond Scripture and the non-Evangelicals who hold to EVM pray to Mary. That is a mind-boggling obscuration of the person and work of Christ.


The language is contradistinctive, a deliberate contrast, because within the context of the SA Article IV point of agreement it makes no difference whether Mary was virgin or ever virgin. Taking the statement out of that context leads to misunderstanding.

Elsewhere, Luther wrote of people going on and on about ever virgin but not knowing why they do so. It was enough for him that Scripture's last statement in this regard was that she was a virgin at the birth of Christ, that is, He was born of the virgin.


It is hard not to conceive of them as NT books when they are on the page which lists the NT books and leaves it up to the reader to include or exclude them from the canon. There is a difference between homologoumena and antilogoumena.
And as I wrote, Luther was not inventing his own canon list, by keeping those 4 books as "antilegomena"--ones spoken against. (2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John were also in that list, if memory serves me correctly). One thing we learned in midweek Bible class, when we were studying how we got the Bible, is the the antilegomena books should be judged in light of the homolegomena books. That sounded like a good idea.

But most of us Lutherans do not agree that James contradicts Paul, BUT BOTH must be read in context. My friend Theo1689, who is a reformed Baptist, thoroughly exegeted James 2:24 last year, on the APO board. I will repost it here:

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

As Jeff Durbin likes to point out, this passage is NOT about "faith vs. works". This passage is about "living faith" vs. "dead faith".

Here he gives and example of someone who CLAIMS to have faith. That faith may be true, or it may be false. The fact that he "does not have works" shows that the faith is false. He then says, "can THAT faith save him" (the word "that" which is found in the ESV is justified, because the word "faith" is articulated, specifying a particular kind of faith, since it has the definite article, referring back to the previous mention of "faith".

"Can that faith save him?" is a rhetorical question, and the obvious answer is "no, it can't". But it's not because he has a true "faith", but simply hasn't added "works" to it. It is because he has a "dead faith" (v.17), instead of a "living" faith.

15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

If one truly has faith, they will not simply give "well-wishing". They will actually DO something to help the needy. True faith WORKS.

In fact, I believe John MacArthur has written a book called, "Faith Works", which you would do well to read. For that matter, you would do well to read the two chapters on "Faith" in C.S. Lewis' famous work, "Mere Christianity".

James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

"I will show you my faith BY my works".

Works are not simply something you "add" to your faith, they are something that DEMONSTRATES the faith you already have. They are the FRUITS of a living faith, the EVIDENCE of a living faith, the JUSTIFICATION of a proclamation of faith.

You can tell if someone has faith BY their works.
If someone claims to have faith, but has no works, they don't have "faith", and their claim is false. If they had a true faith, a living faith, that faith would RESULT in good works.

Works aren't something you "add" to faith.
Works are something that FLOWS from a true, living faith.

But works aren't "required" for salvation (which is "not by works", Eph. 2:9, 2 Tim. 1:9, Tit. 3:5, Rom. 4:1-6, Rom. 11:5-6, etc. etc.), they are something that provide EVIDENCE for faith, which faith saves.

19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

Now James gets into the double meaning of "pistis". It can mean "faith" or "trust", or it can simply mean, "acknowledge something as true", which is how the demons believe. A faith or trust WILL result in good works (as explained above).

20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

The term "justified" can sometimes mean "saved" in Biblical context, but it can also men "vindicated". And this is how it is being here. James began this narrative with someone who simply CLAIMED to have faith, but did not have works. And James explained how works DEMONSTRATE a true faith ("I will SHOW you my faith BY my works"). So when we see works, they JUSTIFY the man's claim to having faith.

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