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’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’s 95 Theses in Latin and English

The original text of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in original Latin and translated English text. More correctly the 95 Theses was actually called the “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” by Dr. Martin Luther (1517).

English text first, Latin text follows:

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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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