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Posts Tagged ‘way away from Wurms’

Martin Luther, on his way away from Wurms, was “kidnapped” (by friends) and wisked to Wartburg Castle.  Here he, “Sir George,” a knight (the nicest knight the castle ever knew), translated the New Testament into the German language, making brief visits to neighboring villages to listen to “everyday German” being spoken.  He translated from Erasmus‘ Greek New Testament (2nd edition), the Textus Receptus, avoiding the Vulgate “official translation” of Roman Catholics.

 

This feat was to prove a defeat for Romish heiarchy.  Now folks had the NT in the venacular.  It was now a Book of the people.  Schaff says it “was so much multiplied and spread by printers that even tailors and shoemakers, yea, even women and ignorant persons who had accepted this new Lutheran gospel, and could read a little German, studied it with the greatest avidity as the fountain of all truth.” – Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), 6

 

It appears that though Luther’s Bible wasn’t the first translation into German, it had the greatest influence – influence in church, home, school and yea, in helping create a national spirit for Germany.   

 

Martin Luther on this date, 9/21/1522,  first published his German translation, six months after his return to Wittenberg.  Luther was extrmemly important in what is commonly called the Reformation, his hymn “A Mighty Fortress” has earned him a high rank among the best hymn writers, but his New Testament (and translation of the entire Bible, 1534) is probably his greatest literary achievement.

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