Re: Luther

From: David Haeuser (
Date: Thu Feb 25 1999 - 03:31:40 EST

Heiko Obermann, in his Luther, Man between God and the Devil, states: ...
Professor Luther know his limits, -- and thus his strengths as well, as we
se from his ridicule of certain colleagues clumsy attempts at biblical
exegesis. During his sojourn at the Wartburg Castle he devoted himself to a
task that began by demonstrating his shortcomings to him but that was to
guarantee his fame in centuries to come: the translation of the New
Testament into German. When Luther returned to Wittenberg in March 1522,
after almost ten months of solitude at Wartburg, he brought with him a draft
of the translation. Before it was printed he went through the manuscript
with Melanchthon, who was a fine scholar of Greek, and they consulted
specialists to clarify problematic points. The New Testament appeared in
German in September 1522 -- hence the common designation 'September
Testament.' Though the Testament was Luther's, he realized it could not have
been completed without his colleagues' help." p. 304-305.

The text which served as the basis for the translation, of course, was
Erasmus' Greek New Testament, which was published with a fresh Latin
translation by Erasmus in 1516. It was based on late Byzantine type
manuscripts and was similar to the Textus Receptus.

The works of Luther on CD ROM that have been mentioned are from the public
domain Philadelphia or Lenker editions, not the 50+ volume American Edition
published by Fortress and Concordia.

David Haeuser
Lima, Peru
-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Crick <>
To: Biblical Greek <>
Date: Thursday, February 25, 1999 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: Luther

>On Thu 25 Feb 99 (09:06:06 +0800), wrote:
>> I would be interested in any references where Luther discusses [his]
>> Greek text relating to his translation work.
>> Also if anyone knows of a CD-Rom with the works of Luther, either in
>> German or English
> Dear Steven,
> In the /Table Talk/, paragraph III, Luther says
> "St. Jerome, after he had revised and corrected the Septuagint, translated
> the Bible from Hebrew into Latin; his version is still used in our church.
> Truly, for one man, this was work enough and to spare. /Nulla enim privata
> persona tantum efficere potuisset/. 'Twould have been quite as well had
> he called to his aid one or two learned men, for the Holy Ghost would then
> have more powerfully manifested itself unto him, according to the words of
> Christ: 'Where two or three are gathered together on my name, there am I
> in the midst of them.' Interpreters and translators should not work
> alone; for good /et propria verba/ do not always occur to one mind."
> The question now arises: did Luther work alone when he translated the
> Bible into German? Or did he have the assistance of two or three helpers?
> I have some of Luther's works from Public Domain sources; but I see others
> have details of CD ROMs for you.
> Ben
> Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
> <>
> 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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