Luther lade till ordet ”allena” så att det blev frälst av ”tro allena”

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Det finns många artiklar om Luther där han prisas, så det känns inte som det behövs ännu en sådan artikel. Den här bloggartikeln handlar därför om Luthers mindre bra sidor.

Frälst av tro allena? Luther lärde att frälsning inte följer av goda gärningar utan är en fri gåva av Gud som endast åtnjutes av nåd genom tro på Jesus som har sonat våra synder. Det problem som var viktigast för Luther var frågan om rättfärdigande, det vill säga att människan genom tro allena betraktades som rättfärdig av Gud, genom Guds nåd. Han drog det till sin spets genom att hävda att rättfärdigheten inte bara härstammar från Kristus, utan rentav är Kristus, inympad i människan genom tron på Jesus som Messias. Detta är anledningen till att tron allena saliggör, och får människan att följa lagen. Tron är det som frambringar den Helige Ande, tack vare Kristi gärningar, skrev Luther. Enligt Luther var tron en gåva från Gud. ”Därmed är det klargjort att det är tron, och tron alena, som frälser oss … Inget i denna artikel kan ges upp eller förändras, om så himlen och jorden och allt annat går under ”

Problemet är bara att BIBELN inte lär ut ”tro allena”.  Luther skräddarsydde sin översättning av Bibeln 1522 enligt sin egen lära. När han fick kritik för att han lade till ordet ”allena” efter ”tro” i Romarbrevet 3:28, svarade han: ”Det är mitt testamente och min översättning, och den ska fortsätta att vara min.”Resultatet blev en evangelikal Bibel, som anpassats för den framväxande lutherska kyrkan. Luther hade bekymmer gällande Jakobsbrevet som talar alltför mycket om kravet på gärningar ihop med tron. Om tron är en gåva så kan det inte stämma det som Bibeln säger att tron kommer av att höra Guds ord. Att vår rättfärdighet egentligen är Jesus egen läggning (rättfärdighet) inympad i oss är HELT FEL och inte vad Bibeln ger stöd för.  Jesus är vår rättfärdighet på så sätt att han levt ett prickfritt liv för vår skull, och att vi genom hans död kan få förlåtelse för våra begångna synder via omvändelse. INTE att det skett någon form av transfusion av hans rättfärdighet till oss.

I ”Vederläggning av Latomus argument” argumenterade Luther för att varenda god gärning som utförs i syfte att vinna Guds gunst är synd!  Alla människor är syndare av naturen, förklarade han, och endast Guds nåd, som inte kan förtjänas, kan göra dem rättfärdiga. Den 1 augusti 1521 skrev Luther till Melanchthon på samma tema: ”Var en syndare, och låt dina synder vara starka, men låt din tro på Kristus vara starkare, och gläds i Kristus, som besegrar synden, döden och världen. Vi kommer att begå synder medan vi är här, för i detta liv bor ingen rättvisa.” Det stämmer dock inte alls att människan är syndare av naturen, och självfallet har Gud inga problem med att vi strävar efter att göra goda gärningar. Bibeln lär att tro utan gärningar är DÖD och att grenar kan huggas av vinträdet pga brist på frukt, så självfallet vill vi leva lydiga Gud eftersom våra SJÄLAR hänger på det. Vi är inte frälsta av tro allena och inte heller av gärningar allena. Att Luther menar att vi är syndare av naturen och kommer att synda ända tills vi dör, är helt emot det Bibeln lär, och detta är ingenting annat än en gnostisk lära. I Bibeln är det Satan som lär att synd inte leder till en själslig död. I Luthers ögon är synd alltså helt normalt i en kristens liv. Men inte heller Luther var konsekvent med sin egen lära. Ibland gick inte Luthers  reformer upp mot hans tidigare proklamationer. Till exempel underströk skriften Unterricht der Visitatoren an die Pfarrherren in Sachsen 1528, författad av Melanchthon med Luthers godkännande, botgöringens roll i syndernas förlåtelse, trots Luthers ståndpunkt att tron allena garanterar rättfärdighet. Vi har även sett ibland att dopet också har en central roll i frälsningen, enligt Luther. Reformatorn Johannes Agricola från Eislebenprotesterade mot denna kompromiss, och Luther fördömde honom för att han lärde att tron är åtskild från gärningarna. Unterricht är ett problematiskt dokument för dem som söker en konsekvent evolution i Luthers tankar och prakt.

Nattvarden. Luther hävdade att Jesus verkligen var närvarande, i kött och blod, i nattvarden som han kallade det förenande sakramentet, medan hans motståndare ansåg att Gud endast var symboliskt eller andligen närvarande

Filip den ädelmodige, lantgreve av Hessen-Kassel, ville gifta sig med en av sin hustrus hovdamer, och bad om Luthers, Melanchtons ochBucers godkännande i december 1539. Han hänvisade till patriarkernas polygami. Teologerna var inte beredda att ta ett generellt beslut, utan rådde motvilligt honom att gifta sig i hemlighet och hålla tyst om saken.[162] Den 4 mars 1540 gifte han med Margareta von der Saale, med Melanchthon och Bucer bland vittnena. Filip lyckades dock inte hålla äktenskapet hemligt och han hotade med att offentliggöra Luthers råd. Luther rådde honom att berätta en ”stark lögn” (stark zu lugen) och fullständigt förneka äktenskapet, vilket Filip gjorde under den följande tvisten. Kyrkohistorikern Martin Brecht menar att ge Filip dessa råd var ett av de värsta misstag Luther gjort, och historien håller Luther ansvarig för detta, förutom lantgreven själv som var direkt ansvarig.[164] Brecht menar att Luthers misstag var inte att ge privata råd som präst, utan att han missbedömde de politiska konsekvenserna.Händelserna skadade bestående Luthers rykte.

Luther och hans antisemitism. I skrifter om de judiska folken framför Luther att judars hem ska förstöras, deras synagogor brännas, pengar konfiskeras och frihet beskäras. Hans åsikter utnyttjades i nazisternaspropaganda mellan åren 1933 och 1945. Som ett resultat av detta och av hans revolutionära teologiska synpunkter är Luther ännu kontroversiell. År 1523 uppmanade Luther till godhet mot judarna i skriften Att Jesus Kristus föddes som jude, men endast i syfte att försöka omvända dem till kristendomen. När hans ansträngningar att omvända dem misslyckades, blev han alltmer bitter gentemot dem.

Luthers andra större verk om judarna var hans 60 000 ord långa avhandling Von den Juden und ihren Lügen (Om judarna och deras lögner), och Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi, som båda publicerades 1543, tre år före hans död. Luther menade att judarna inte längre var det utvalda folket utan ”djävulens folk”: han hänvisade till dem med ett våldsamt och vidrigt språk. Luther propagerade för att sätta synagogor i brand, förstöra judiska böneböcker, förbjuda rabbiner att predika, att beslagta judars egendomar och pengar samt slå sönder deras hem, så att dessa ”giftiga maskar” skulle tvingas att arbeta eller utvisas för gott. Enligt Robert Michaels tolkning, innebar Luthers ord ”Vi begår fel genom att inte slakta dem” att Luther sanktionerade mord.

Luther propagerade mot judarna i Sachsen, Brandenburg och Schlesien. Josel av Rosheim, den judiske talesmannen, som försökte hjälpa judarna i Sachsen år 1537, gav senare skulden för deras svårigheter på ”den där prästen vars namn är Martin Luther — må hans kropp och själ bli bunden i helvetet!som skrev och gav ut många kätterska böcker där han påstod att vem som helst som gav judarna hjälp var dömd till undergång”. Josel bad staden Strasbourg att förbjuda försäljning av Luthers anti-judiska arbeten: staden vägrade inledningsvis att utfärda ett förbud, men gav efter då en luthersk präst i Hochfelden använde högmässan för att uppvigla sina församlingsmedlemmar att mörda judar. Luthers inflytande kvarstod efter hans död. Genom 1580-talet ledde upplopp till att judar fördrevs från flera tyska lutheranska delstater. Luther var sin generations mest läste författare, och han uppnådde en profets status i Tyskland. Enligt den förhärskande åsikten bland historiker bidrog hans anti-judiska retorik starkt till antisemitismens utveckling i Tyskland, och gav på 1930- och 1940-talen ett ”idealiskt stöd” åt nationalsocialisternas angrepp mot judar.

Reinhold Lewin skriver att ”vem som helst som skrev emot judarna, av vilka skäl som helst, ansåg sig ha rätt att rättfärdiga sig själv genom att jublande hänvisa till Luther.” Enligt Michael innehöll mer eller mindre varenda antijudisk bok som trycktes i Tredje riket referenser till och citat från Luther. Heinrich Himmler skrev 1940 med beundran om hans skrifter och predikningar om judarna. Staden Nürnberg skänkte en förstaupplaga av Om judarna och deras lögner till Julius Streicher, redaktör på den nazistiska tidningen Der Stürmer, på hans födelsedag 1937; tidningen beskrev det som den mest radikalt antisemitiska skrift som någonsin publicerats. Den 17 december 1941, sju regionala protestantiska kyrkors samfällighet gav gemensamt ut en policy där de anslöt sig till förslaget om att alla judar skulle tvingas bära den gula stjärnan, judestjärnan, ”då Luther efter sina bittra erfarenheter redan hade föreslagit förebyggande åtgärder mot judarna och för fördrivandet av dem från tyskt territorium.”

Luther skrev inte lika engagerat om islam som han gjort om judendomen, och han ställde aldrig några krav på att muslimer skulle omvändas. Även om Luther betraktade islam som ett djävulens verktyg, förhöll han sig likgiltig till dess utövande: Låt turken tro på vad han vill, precis som man låter påvedömet och andra falska former av kristendom fortleva. Luther motsatte sig även att Koranen skulle förbjudas, då han menade att det var bättre att genom publikation utsätta den för granskning och kritik.

Luthers död. Hans svaga fysiska hälsa ledde till ett hetare temperament och ännu skarpare uttryck i sina skrifter och kommentarer. Hans fru Katharina hördes en gång säga: ”Käre make, du är för elak” och han svarade: ”De lär mig att vara elak.”Sin sista predikan höll han i Eisleben, hans födelseplats, den 15 februari 1546, tre dagar före sin död. Den var ”genomgående ägnad mot de förhärdade judarna, som var ett akut problem att undanröja från allt tyskt territorium,” med hänvisning till Léon Poliakov. James Mackinnon skriver att den avslutades med en ”glödande uppmaning att driva judarna med pick och pack från deras tillhåll mitt ibland oss, om de inte avsa sig sitt förtal och sitt ocker och blev kristna.” Luther sa, ”vi skall praktisera kristen kärlek mot dem och be för att de ska konvertera,” men också för att de är ”våra allmänna fiender … och om de kan döda oss alla, så skulle de gladeligen göra det. Och så gör de ofta.”

Luther var inte konsekvent med att vilja döda judarna samtidigt som han gick emot våld i andra sammanhang. ”Vet ni vad djävulen tänker när han ser människor använda våld för att propagera för evangeliet? Han sitter med korsade armar bakom helvetets eldar och säger med ondskefull min och ett skrämmande flin: ”Åh, så klokt dessa galningar spelar mitt spel! Låt dem fortsätta; jag ska skörda frukterna. Jag glädjer mig åt det.” Men när han ser Ordet fara och kämpa ensamt på slagfältet, darrar han av skräck. 

Men i Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern förklarade han evangeliernas syn på rikedom och förbannade våldet som djävulens verk och manade adeln att avliva rebellerna som galna hundar. Låt därför alla som kan slå, dräpa och knivhugga göra det, i hemlighet eller öppet, med åtanke att inget kan vara mer giftigt, skadligt eller djävulskt än en rebell —Våra bönder vill dock att andras egendomar ska bli gemensamma, men behålla sina egna själva. Vilka fina kristna! Jag tror inte att det finns en enda djävul kvar i helvetet; de har alla farit i bönderna. Deras galenskap går bortom alla gränser.

CITAT från LUTHER 

”Whoever rejects infant baptism shall be punished with death, As for the simple people, who have not preached or administered baptism, but who were seduced to permit themselves to frequent the assemblies of the heretics, if they do not wish to renounce Anabaptism, they shall be scourged, punished with perpetual exile, and even with death if they return three times to the place whence they have been expelled.” (Bennett, pp. 843-845)

”If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.” (A Letter From Luther to Melanchthon, Letter 99, 1 August 1521).

”With regard to God, and all that bears on salvation or damnation, man has no ‘free-will’, but is a captive, prisoner and bond slave, either to the will of God, or to the will of Satan.” (‘Bondage of the Will,’ ‘Martin Luther: Selections From His Writings’, ed. by Dillenberger: Anchor Books, 1962, p. 190.)

”Therefore, necessity, not free will, is the controlling principle of our conduct. God is the author of what is evil as well as well as what is good, and, as He bestows happiness on those who merit it not, so also does He damn others who deserve not their fate.” (‘De Servo Abitrio’, 7, 113 seq., quoted by O’Hare in ‘The Facts About Luther’: TAN Books, 1987, pp. 266-267.)

”Christ committed adultery first of all with the women at the well about whom St. John tell’s us. Was not everybody about Him saying: ‘Whatever has he been doing with her?’ Secondly, with Mary Magdalen, and thirdly with the women taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even, Christ who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.” (Trishreden, Weimer Edition, Vol. 2, Pg. 107.)

”to my mind it (the book of Apocalypse) bears upon it no marks of an apostolic or prophetic character… Everyone may form his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to me this is sufficient reasoning to REJECT IT it.” (Sammtliche Werke, 63, p.169-170, ‘The Facts About Luther,’ O’Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 203.)

”For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Rev. 22.18). ”And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22.19).

”Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here in this world we have to sin. This life is not a dwelling place of righteousness. No sin will separate us from the lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to. The imputation of righteousness we need very much, because we are far from perfect. As long as we have this body, sin will dwell in our flesh. Then, too, we sometimes drive away the holy spirit; we fall into sin, like Peter, David, and other holy men. Nevertheless we may always take recourse to this fact, that our sins are covered, and that God will not lay them to our charge. Sin is not held against us for Christ’s sake, your sin cannot cast you into hell. No sin can harm me.” (Martin Luther’s Saemmtliche Schriften, Letter #99, 1 aug. 1531)

”This is the highest degree of faith – to believe that He [”god”] is merciful, who saves so few and damns so many; to believe Him just, who according to His own will, makes us necessarily damnable, that He may seem, as Erasmus says, ‘to delight in the torments of the miserable, and to be an object of hatred rather than of love.'” (Bondage of the Will”. p. 30)

Martin Luther lade också till ordet ”allena”  i Rom. 3.28 så att det blir ”tro allena”, men det står inte så i originaltexten. Se också Jak. 2:24 som säger motsatsen.  (Amic. discussion, 1, 127, ‘The Facts About Luther,’ O’Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 201.)

We should throw the epistle of James out of this school [Wittenberg], for it doesn’t amount to much. It contains no syllable about Christ. Not once does it mention Christ, except at the beginning. I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any (Luther’s Works, 54, 424-425).*)

*) See more info in the end of this document.

Luthers skrift On Jews and their Lies’ Part Two” 

I shall give you my sincere advice: First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly_and I myself was unaware of it_will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

In Deuteronomy 13:12 Moses writes that any city that is given to idolatry shall be totally destroyed by fire, and nothing of it shall be preserved. If he were alive today, he would be the first to set fire to the synagogues and houses of the Jews. For in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 he commanded very explicitly that nothing is to be added to or subtracted from his law. And Samuel says in I Samuel 15:23 that disobedience to God is idolatry. Now the Jews’ doctrine at present is nothing but the additions of the rabbis and the idolatry of disobedience, so that Moses has become entirely unknown among them (as we said before), just as the Bible became unknown under the papacy in our day. So also, for Moses’ sake, their schools cannot be tolerated; they defame him just as much as they do us. It is not necessary that they have their own free churches for such idolatry.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them the fact that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuteronomy 17:10) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: ”what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord.” Those villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people’s obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16:18, ”You are Peter,” etc., inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the right to teach.

Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let them stay at home. I have heard it said that a rich Jew is now traveling across the country with twelve horses his ambition is to become a Kokhba devouring princes, lords, lands, and people with his usury, so that the great lords view it with jealous eyes. If you great lords and princes will not forbid such usurers the highway legally, some day a troop may gather against them, having learned from this booklet the true nature of the Jews and how one should deal with them and not protect their activities. For you, too, must not and cannot protect them unless you wish to become participants in an their abominations in the sight of God. Consider carefully what good could come from this, and prevent it.

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us an they possess. Such money should now be used in no other way than the following: Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred florins, as personal circumstances may suggest. With this he could set himself up in some occupation for the support of his poor wife and children, and the maintenance of the old or feeble. For such evil gains are cursed if they are not put to use with God’s blessing in a good and worthy cause.

Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen. 3 [:19]). For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting., and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.

But if we are afraid that they might harm us or our wives, children, servants, cattle, etc., if they had to serve and work for us — for it is reasonable to assume that such noble lords of the world and venomous, bitter worms are not accustomed to working and would be very reluctant to humble themselves so deeply before the accursed Goyim — then let us emulate the common sense of other nations such as France, Spain, Bohemia, etc., compute with them how much their usury has extorted from us, divide, divide this amicably, but then eject them forever from the country. For, as we have heard, God’s anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!

In brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule: if my counsel does not please you, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews … Do not grant them protection, safe-conduct, or communion with us … so it is not necessary to burden ourselves also with these alien, shameful vices of the Jews …

And you, my dear gentlemen and friends who are pastors and preachers, I wish to remind very faithfully of your official duty, so that you too may warn your parishioners concerning their eternal harm, as you know how to do, namely, that they be on their guard against the Jews and avoid them so far as possible. When you lay eyes on or think of a Jew you must say to your self: Alas, that mouth which I there behold has cursed and execrated and maligned every Saturday my dear Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed me with his precious blood; in addition, it prayed and pleaded before God that I, my wife and children, and all Christians might be stabbed to death and perish miserably. And he himself would gladly do this if he were able, in order to appropriate our goods … If I were to eat, drink or talk with such a devilish mouth, I would eat or drink myself full of devils by the dish or cupful just as I surely make myself a cohort of all the devils that dwell in the Jews and that deride the precious blood of Christ. May God preserve me from this!

Nor dare we make ourselves partners in their devilish ranting and raving by shielding and protecting them, by giving them food, drink, and shelter, or by other neighborly acts, especially since they boast so proudly and despicably when we do help and serve them that God has ordained them as lords and us as servants. For instance, when a Christian kindles their fire for them on a Sabbath, or cooks for them in an inn whatever they want, they curse and defame and revile us for it, supposing this to be something praiseworthy, and yet they live on our wealth, which they have stolen from us. Such a desperate, thoroughly evil poisonous, and devilish lot are these Jews, who for these fourteen hundred years have been and still are our plague, our pestilence, and our misfortune.

Especially you pastors who have Jews living in your midst, persist in reminding your lords and rulers to be mindful of their office and of their obligation before God to force the Jews to work, to forbid usury, and to check their blasphemy and cursing. For if they punish thievery, robbery, murder, blasphemy, and other vices among us Christians, why should the devilish Jews be scot-free to commit their crimes among us and against us? We suffer more from them than the Italians do from the Spaniards, who plunder the host’s kitchen, cellar, chest, and purse, and, in addition, curse him and threaten him with death. Thus the Jews, our guests, also treat us; for we are their hosts. They rob and fleece us and hang about our necks, these lazy weaklings and indolent bellies; they swill and feast, enjoy good times in our homes …

But if the authorities are reluctant to use force and restrain the Jews’ devilish wantonness, the latter should, as we said, be expelled from the country … much more leave our Lord the Messiah, our faith, and our church undefiled and uncontaminated with their devilish tyranny and malice. Any privileges that they may plead shall not help them; for no one can grant privileges for practicing such abominations. These cancel and abrogate all privileges.

If you pastors and preachers have followed my example and have faithfully issued such warnings, but neither prince nor subject will do anything about it, let us follow the advice of Christ (Matthew 10:14) and shake the dust from our shoes, and say, ”We are innocent of your blood.” For I observe and have often experienced how indulgent the perverted world is when it should be strict, and, conversely, how harsh it is when it should be merciful. Such was the case with King Ahab, as we find recorded in I Kings 20. That is the way the prince of this world reigns. I suppose that the princes will now wish to show mercy to the Jews, the bloodthirsty foes of our Christian and human name, in order to earn heaven thereby. But that the Jews enmesh us, harass us, torment and distress us poor Christians in every way with the above mentioned devilish and detestable deeds, this they want us to tolerate, and this is a good Christian deed, especially if there is any money involved (which they have filched and stolen from us).

What are we poor preachers to do meanwhile? In the first place, we will believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is truthful when he declares of the Jews who did not accept but crucified him, ”You are a brood of vipers and children of the devil [cf. Matt. 12:34]. This is a judgment in which his forerunner John the Baptist concurred, although these people were his kin. Now our authorities and all such merciful saints as wish the Jews well will at least have to let us believe our Lord Jesus Christ, who, I am sure, has a more intimate knowledge of all hearts than do those compassionate saints. He knows that these Jews are a brood of vipers and children of the devil, that is, people who will accord us the same benefits as does their father, the devil, and by now we Christians should have learned from Scripture as well as experience just how much he wishes us well.

I have read and heard many stories about the Jews which agree with this judgment of Christ, namely, how they have poisoned wells, made assassinations, kidnaped children, as related before … However, it all coincides with the judgment of Christ which declares that they are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil who sting and work harm stealthily wherever they cannot do it openly … That is what I had in mind when I said earlier that, next to the devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than a Jew. There is no other to whom we accord as many benefactions and from whom we suffer as much as we do from these base children of the devil, this brood of vipers.

Now let me commend these Jews sincerely to whoever feels the desire to shelter and feed them, to honor them, to be fleeced, robbed, plundered, defamed, vilified, and cursed by them, and to suffer every evil at their hands — these venomous serpents and devil’s children, who are the most vehement enemies of Christ our Lord and of us all. And if that is not enough, let him stuff them into his mouth, or crawl into their behind and worship this holy object. Then let him boast of his mercy, then let him boast that he has strengthened the devil and his brood for further blaspheming our dear Lord and the precious blood with which we Christians are redeemed. Then he will be a perfect Christian, filled with works of mercy for which Christ will reward him on the day of judgment, together with the Jews in the eternal fire of hell!

On Jews and their Lies’ Part Three

But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews’ synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God’s name? They will still keep doing it in secret … They must be driven from our country … Indeed, if they had the power to do to us what we are able to do to them, not one of us would live for an hour. But since they lack the power to do this publicly, they remain our daily murderers and bloodthirsty foes in their hearts. Their prayers and curses furnish evidence of that, as do the many stories which relate their torturing of children and all sorts of crimes for which they have often been burned at the stake or banished … everyone would gladly be rid of them … For Christ does not lie or deceive us when he adjudges them to be serpents and children of the devil

(En del av informationen från wikipedia)

*) Luther’s controversial writing concerning the Epistle of James and the Revelation can be found in Volume 35 of Luther’s Works, American Edition, pages 395-397 and 399-400.
An excerpt from his ”Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude” — ”…I praise [the Epistle of James] and consider it a good book, because it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God…. However, …I do not regard it as the writing of an apostle, and my reasons follow.
”In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works [2:24]….
”In the second place its purpose is to teach Christians, but in all this long teaching it does not once mention the Passion, the resurrection, or the Spirit of Christ….
”In a word, he wanted to guard against those who relied on faith without works, but was unequal to the task. He tries to accomplish by harping on the law what the apostles accomplish by stimulating people to love. Therefore I cannot include him among the chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from including or extolling him as he pleases, for there are otherwise many good sayings in him,”
Lutherans generally do not agree with Luther’s devaluation of this epistle.
An excerpt from Luther’s earlier preface to Revelation: ”About this book of the Revelation of St. John, I leave everyone free to hold his own opinions. I would not have anyone bound to my opinion or judgment. I say what I feel. I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic.
”First and foremost, the apostles do not deal with visions, but prophesy in clear and plain words, as do Peter and Paul, and Christ in the gospel…. I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it….”
In 1530, Luther revised the Preface, but had not really changed his view regarding Revelation:
”…Some of the ancient fathers held that it was not the work of St. John, the Apostle…. For our part, we still share this doubt. By that, however, no one should be prevented from reading this as the work of St. John the apostle, or of whomever else he chooses….”
Lutherans generally do not agree with Luther’s devaluation of the book of Revelation.
When Luther wrestled with the question of whether these books belong in the canon of scripture, he was not questioning the inspiration or the authority of god’s word. The question for him was what is properly part of God’s Word. As with other questions of faith and doctrine, Luther is never the final authority.

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