From Martin Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth page 26-27:
A paraphrase of Psalm 12, this hymn was written in 1523, the same time as many of Luther’s other psalm-hymns. It was published in the first Lutheran hymnal, Achtliederbuch, of 1524. Luther’s version of the psalm reflects much of his own experience in the early days of the Reformation. Though several different tunes were used for this text with various levels of success, the present tune dates from 1524 and is possibly by Luther himself.
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This is the English translation of a letter sent by Martin Luther to Pope Leo X in 1518. Martin Luther had previously published his “95 Theses” and was starting to get into trouble with Rome. This letter accompanied his “Resolutions to the 95 Theses”.
Martin Luther tells the Pope that clergy are using the Pope’s name to intimidate people into giving money they cannot afford to give. He also tells the Pope he will follow whatever punishment the Pope declares for Martin Luther speaking out.
My favorite quote from this letter is: “But necessity compels me to be the goose that squawks among the swans.”
Here is the full letter in context:
Continue reading “Martin Luther Letter to Pope Leo X” →