Luther and March Madness

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Ben | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Mar 25 2017 2:22 PM

These all look "annotated." Can anyone make an argument for the 2-volume over the 1-volume or vice-versa?

The Annotated Luther, Volume 1: The Roots of Reform

The Annotated Luther, Volume 2: Word and Faith


Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings, 3rd ed

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 25 2017 5:31 PM

Luther wrote a lot, and as his fame grew, just about everything he said was notated and published. Not all of it has the same value - and not all of it was MEANT to have the same value. And so there have been centuries of editions of Luther for various needs.

The "Basic Theological Writings" is a one-volume selection of "important" Luther, largely based on the American Edition of the Mid-20th Century. In fact, the first edition of this Basic Theological Writings was basically a lithographic reproduction of pages from this edition with a few pages of new stuff - which meant that the footnotes sometimes noted discussion on "page x" where the page number given was the page in the American Edition - and not in that actual volume. The 3rd edition fixes this, and actually includes more recent sources for some works than the American Edition. It is probably the standard one-volume Luther collection in English today, and so if you want to start reading Luther, it is probably the best place to start. The 1st edition was largely my introduction to Luther - and unfortunately I do not know the newer editions well at all, since I have gone instead to the American Edition itself or a few other translations...

But "Luther Studies" is a dynamic field. Besides having a standard one volume edition of Luther, there is a place for new editions of works, with all the scholarly notes an expert in the field can give. And so for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Augsburg-Fortress is publishing a 6 volume new collection that can use the space to include more works, as well as more extensive annotations and introductions - which can be useful for those of us who are not 16th century theologians.

For example: from the introduction to the Heidelburg Disputation -

While generations of the disputation’s readers have been exposed to Luther’s theological critique of the tradition, the philosophical theses have often seemed to be extraneous. But a close reading of these theses and their probationes displays that Kolb’s statement of a paradigm shift applies to the entire disputation, including the explicitly philosophical material. Both the theological and philosophical theses concern the sinner’s inability to effect reconciliation with God: just as human doing does not place a demand upon the actions of God, so, too, human gazing on the visible objects of creation and history does not deliver a right conception of the divine. This cross clearly exposes our natural, human presuppositions in both epistemology and ethics, presuppositions resting upon a fundamental commitment to a theology of glory.

In the time since the first English translation of the Heidelberg Disputation by Harold Grimm in 1957, much has been learned about the philosophical theses. Most of the probationes accompanying the philosophical theses were unpublished until 1979, when Helmar Junghans published them. Research over the past five decades on Luther’s concerns in the philosophical theses has remained largely unknown to English-speaking audiences.p Indeed, no English translation of the probationes is yet available. Yet understanding the entire disputation demands making a connection between these theses and the first twenty-eight. Looking back on the Heidelberg Disputation, Luther acknowledged the importance of the philosophical theses: “For what could be gained with respect to the understanding of material things if you could quibble and trifle with matter, form, motion, measure, and time—words taken over and copied from Aristotle?” Luther maintained that Aristotle had been misunderstood by theologians of his time, that this misunderstanding had eventuated in much theological and philosophical mischief, and that theologians must understand Aristotle correctly if they are to avoid being misled with regard to the possibilities of human goodness and knowledge.

Bielfeldt, D. (2015). Heidelberg Disputation. In H. J. Hillerbrand, K. I. Stjerna, & T. J. Wengert (Eds.), The Roots of Reform (Vol. 1, pp. 73–75). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

This additional information is useful - but many still want a one volume collection of "essential" works.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Kevin Olson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 26 2017 4:40 AM


These all look "annotated." Can anyone make an argument for the 2-volume over the 1-volume or vice-versa?

The Annotated Luther, Volume 1: The Roots of Reform

The Annotated Luther, Volume 2: Word and Faith


Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings, 3rd ed

The Basic Theological Writings are not all complete works.  For example, it has only part 1 of the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, Part 3 of "On the Councils and the Church,"  and not all of the Bondage of the Will.   It has some of his prefaces to his other works.  It is a great collection, and I love having it.  But I think there are now five volumes in the Annotated Luther series, (4 in Logos)  which would be a great collection to have as well.   

Contents [Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings]

Chronology of Luther’s Writings in This Volume


Preface—William R. Russell

Preface to the First Edition—Timothy F. Lull

Introduction—William R. Russell

Part 1. Luther on Theology

1. Disputation against Scholastic Theology (1517)—LW 31:9–16

2. The Ninety-Five Theses (1517)—LW 31:25–33

3. Heidelberg Disputation (1518)—LW 31:39–58

4. Confession concerning Christ’s Supper—Part III (1528)—LW 37:360–72

5. A Practical Way to Pray (1535)—LW 43:191–209. Revised by William R. Russell

6. Preface to the Wittenberg Edition of Luther’s German Writings (1539)—LW 34:283–88

7. Sermon in Castle Pleissenburg, Leipzig (1539)—LW 51:301–11

Part 2. Luther on Scripture

8. “Concerning the Letter and the Spirit” (1521)—LW 39:175–203

9. A Brief Instruction on What to Look for and Expect in the Gospels (1521)—LW 35:117–24

10. Preface to the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans (1522, revised 1546)—LW 35:365–80

11. Lectures on Galatians (1535)—LW 26:3–11

12. Preface to the New Testament (1522, revised 1546)—LW 35:357–62

13. Preface to the Old Testament (1523, revised 1545)—LW 35:235–51

14. How Christians Should Regard Moses (1525)—LW 35:161–74

Part 3. Luther on the Gospel

15. Two Kinds of Righteousness (1519)—LW 31:297–306

16. A Meditation on Christ’s Passion (1519)—LW 42:6–14

17. A Sermon on the Three Kinds of Good Life for the Instruction of Consciences (1521)—LW 44:231–42

18. The Bondage of the Will—Introduction, Part vi, and Conclusion (1525)—LW 33:15–19, 246–95

19. Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day (1530)—LW 51:211–18

20. Against the Antinomians (1539)—LW 47:99–118

Part 4. Luther on Sacraments

21. The Blessed Sacrament of the Holy and True Body and Blood of Christ (1519)—LW 35:48–73

22. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church—Part I (1520)—LW 36:11–57

23. The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ—Against the Fanatics (1526)—LW 36: 329–60

24. Concerning Rebaptism (1528)—LW 40:229–62

25. Confession concerning Christ’s Supper—From Part I (1528)—LW 37:206–35

26. The Marburg Articles (1529)—Robert Kolb and James Nestingen, eds., Sources and Contexts of the Book of Concord (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001), 88–93

27. Consolation for Women Whose Pregnancies Have Not Gone Well (1542)—Translated by William R. Russell

Part 5. Luther on Reform

28. Eight Sermons at Wittenberg (1522)—LW 51:70–100

29. Concerning the Order of Public Worship (1523)—LW 53:11–14

30. An Order of Mass and Communion for the Church at Wittenberg (1523)—LW 53:19–40

31. The Small Catechism (1529)—BC: 338–56

32. The Smalcald Articles (1537)—BC: 288–318

33. On the Councils and the Church—Part III (1539)—LW 41:143–78

Part 6. Luther on Ethics

34. A Sermon on the Estate of Marriage (1519)—LW 44:7–14

35. A Sermon on Preparing to Die (1519)—LW 42:99–115

36. The Freedom of a Christian (1520)—The Luther Study Edition, translated by Mark Tranvik, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008), 31–96

37. Temporal Authority: To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed (1523)—LW 45:81–129

38. To the Councilmen of All Cities in Germany That They Establish and Maintain Christian Schools (1524)—LW 45:347–78

39. Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague (1527)—LW 43:119–38

Part 7. Luther the Man


40. Letter to George Spalatin (Wittenberg, January 14, 1520)—LW 48:143–47

41. Letter to Hans Luther (Wartburg, November 21, 1521)—LW 48:329–36

42. Letter to Wolfgang Capito (Wittenberg, July 9, 1537)—LW 50:171


43. A Sincere Admonition by Martin Luther to All Christians to Guard against Insurrection and Rebellion (1522)—LW 45:51

44. Luther’s Table Talk (1542)—LW 54:428ff.

45. Preface to the Complete Edition of Luther’s Latin Writings (1545)—LW 34:336–38

46. On the Jews and Their Lies (1543)—LW 47:137ff.

47. Luther’s Will (Wittenberg, January 6, 1542)—LW 34:289–97

Chronology of Martin Luther’s Life


Select Bibliography


Posts 171
Dave Colclough | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 26 2017 4:55 AM

Ben, if you haven't seen the promo video on the Annotated Luther series page, you might find it helpful:

Posts 1011
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 26 2017 8:07 AM

I wonder what kind of discount you would get on the whole set if you bought the two Ben mentions first at 50% off?

Posts 121
DBR | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 26 2017 9:09 AM

Somehow I have the first two. Must have been part of a base package in 6 since they are in Lutheran Starter 7 and I don't have that package. Anyway, the price for the set is $62.50 with a dynamic pricing discount of $62.49. Doesn't look like there is a discount price for the set itself so you would still be buying the other two at full price so it would be at 25% discount on the set.

The other two volumes are included in the Fortress Lutheran Library which only gives a 5% regular discount but is the feature of the month so it is 30% off (which makes it a 34% discount). Still, you have to buy a lot of books you might or might not want. It would be a 9% greater discount for the books. 

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 26 2017 1:22 PM


I wonder what kind of discount you would get on the whole set if you bought the two Ben mentions first at 50% off?

Only dynamic pricing, i.e. the set at 49% off since you own nearly half of it. That's my situation currently. It's a shame that they didn't put Vol 3 & 4 on the MM discount (or the Annotated Luther set in its entirety) - currently i'm reluctant to pay full price on those works, but at MM discount I would purchase them instantly.

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 26 2017 4:44 PM

If you don't own any of it, it costs $124.99, with no reduction in price noted. So I guess the discount for the first two volumes isn't rolled in.

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