Martin Luther – O Lord, Look Down From Heaven, Behold


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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Martin Luther – If God Were Not Beside Us Now


IF GOD WERE NOT BESIDE US NOW – By Martin Luther 1524

From Martin Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth page 17-18:
Luther’s friend Justus Jonas in 1524 wrote an eight-stanza paraphrase of Psalm 124. In contrast to the smooth-flowing style of Jonas, Luther also undertook the paraphrasing of the same psalm, his being shorter, more rugged, and closer to the text of the psalm. After Luther’s version was published in Walter’s Wittenberg hymnal of 1524, both his and Jonas’ paraphrases were included in early Lutheran hymnals. Walter’s tune is the one most associated with this text.

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Martin Luther on Music

My favorite excerpt from this writing of Martin Luther is this:

“A person who gives this some thought and yet does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs.” – Martin Luther

As quoted by Carl F. Schalk in “Luther on Music”. More thoughts on Martin Luther’s views on music and the quoted text in context follows:

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Martin Luther’s Account of his Conversion

Martin Luther’s Account of His Own Conversion by Martin Luther (1483-1546)

The following selection is taken from the Preface to the Complete Edition of Luther’s Latin Writings. It was written by Luther in Wittenberg, 1545. This english edition is availble in Luther’s Works Volume 34, Career of the Reformer IV (St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1960), p. 336-337. In the first few lines of this selection, Luther writes, “during that year;” the immediate context indicates he is refering to the year of Tetzel’s death (July, 1519). This puts the date for Luther’s conversion, in his own view, two years after the posting of the ninety-five theses.

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Martin Luther Quotes

A compilation of quotes by Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546). I have NOT cross referenced all quotes with multiple references. (So check them before you use them in your Master’s Thesis).

For sourced quotes please refer to

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Martin Luther Tells Nuns OK to Lose Chastity

Ok, so my post title is a little dramatic, but not far from the truth. On August 6th, 1524 Martin Luther writes an open letter to nuns which includes the words:

“Though womenfolk are ashamed to admit to this, nevertheless Scripture and experience show that among many thousands there is not a one to whom God has given to remain in pure chastity. A woman has no control over herself.  God has made her body to be with man, to bear children… He has also ordered man and woman to be in marital union. Suffice it to say that no one needs to be ashamed over how God has made and created him, not having been given the high, rare mercy to do otherwise.”

I can understand why the Catholic church does not care for him even some 500 years later. I can also understand why I find him sometimes frustrating, sometimes embarrassing, and sometimes utterly delightful…

The full letter appears below with the full passages in context translated from the original German.

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The Wit of Martin Luther

Wit of Martin Luther
Wit of Martin Luther

“I’m like a ripe stool and the world’s like a gigantic anus, and we’re about to let go of each other.” – Martin Luther?

Some of the last words spoken by Martin Luther? I ran across this online and searched to verify it. I know Martin Luther to be crass, but THIS crass? Sure enough, it’s quoted in “The Wit of Martin Luther” which I happen to own a copy of here in China. It was purchased at a church sheet music conference hosted by Augsburg Press. So for the moment this seems legit. Can anyone find a cross reference on this? I still have my doubts…

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Katie Luther: The Morning Star of Wittenberg


Video produced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Katie Luther: The Morning Star of Wittenberg looks at the life of the woman Katie Luther, the woman who helped 16th century reformer Martin Luther change the course of history. Katarina von Bora Luther (1499-1552).

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16th Century German Folk Song


From the author:
This is a german folk song from the 16th century. My singing sucks, I still have to rehearse the accompaniment I developed on the guitar. Singing will be next. Maybe I’ll come up with a better version soon.

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