Martin Luther - which works do I want?

Page 1 of 2 (21 items) 1 2 Next >
This post has 20 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 4839
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Sep 2 2016 2:22 PM

FaithLife carries a number of collections of the works of Martin Luther. I'm not Lutheran, but I want to make sure that I have in my own library a readable, well-translated collection (or two) of at least some of his work that includes anything particularly important, frequently cited, etc.

I don't need to have everything, and I don't want to spend a huge amount of money on this. For the purposes of this thread, I'm not very interested in other early Reformers.

What, in the FL catalog, should I look at, and why? What might I want to skip over, and why?

I do have a $10 USD pre-order in for this: https://www.logos.com/product/54505/works-of-martin-luther-with-introductions-and-notes but I don't know if it will be sufficient or even suitable for my purposes. 

What do you all think?

“I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 (EOB:NT).

Posts 13413
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 2 2016 2:43 PM

SineNomine:

What, in the FL catalog, should I look at, and why? What might I want to skip over, and why?

I do have a $10 USD pre-order in for this: https://www.logos.com/product/54505/works-of-martin-luther-with-introductions-and-notes but I don't know if it will be sufficient or even suitable for my purposes. 

Personally, I'd skip that. There's too much missing.

If you don't want to buy the full 55 volumes, then I'd suggest Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings, 3rd ed. It includes most of the important stuff, such as:

  • The Ninety-Five Theses
  • Lectures on Galatians
  • The Bondage of the Will (though not all of it)
  • Table Talk

Plus it has introductions, which is probably helpful to you.

Posts 4839
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 2 2016 3:36 PM

Mark Barnes:

SineNomine:

What, in the FL catalog, should I look at, and why? What might I want to skip over, and why?

I do have a $10 USD pre-order in for this: https://www.logos.com/product/54505/works-of-martin-luther-with-introductions-and-notes but I don't know if it will be sufficient or even suitable for my purposes.

Personally, I'd skip that. There's too much missing.

I don't even know what's in it, never mind what's missing.

What I have already of Luther's is HC#36 and a separate edition of the 95 Theses, so it isn't much.

I don't intend to do an in-depth study of Luther, or even to do a focused study of Luther, at this point. I just want to hand expand my holdings usefully beyond what I have.

“I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 (EOB:NT).

Posts 4839
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 8:55 AM

Can anyone offer any further input?

“I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 (EOB:NT).

Posts 248
Colin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 10:25 AM

Hi SineNomine, 

I think Mark's suggestion is an excellent one. I suspect for your purposes that primary works (without editorial comments coming from an evangelical protestant perspective) may be more useful. Still, the volume Mark recommends has a really good mix of theological, polemical, pastoral and exegetical material. 

In any case, here are the primary works of Luther in these 2 volumes. Each one has a separate editorial introduction. 

Volume 1.

Disputation On Indulgences (1517)

Treatise On Baptism (1519)

Discussion Of Confession (1520)

The Fourteen Of Consolation (1520)

Treatise On Good Works (1520)

Treatise On The New Testament (1520)

The Papacy At Rome (1520)

 

Volume 2.

A Treatise Concerning The Blessed Sacrament And Concerning The Brotherhoods (1519).

A Treatise Concerning The Ban (1520).

An Open Letter To The Christian Nobility (1520).

The Babylonian Captivity Of The Church (1520).

A Treatise On Christian Liberty (1520).

A Brief Explanation Of The Ten Commandments, The Creed, And The Lord’s Prayer (1520).

The Eight Wittenberg Sermons (1522).

That Doctrines Of Men Are To Be Rejected (1522)

I hope that helps.

Colin. 

Posts 4839
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 10:57 AM

Colin:
I hope that helps.

I think it does. The two volume collection seems to be focused very much on the early Luther, and therefore to exclude a lot of his better known work.

“I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 (EOB:NT).

Posts 960
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 11:38 AM

I was thinking about getting the Basic Works suggested by Marc Barnes but I have a question. I see "Table Talk" is listed as part of fragments. Does that mean it's only part of the existing work or are fragments all that exist of this work?

Sorry for my ignorance on the subject.

WIN 10 i7 9750H, RTX 2060, 16GB RAM | iPad Air 3
Verbum 9 Ultimate

Posts 248
Colin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 11:46 AM

Hi David, 

It is part of the standard volume of Luther's works in English (beginning at p. 428 as can be seen from the contents page on the Logos listing). 

LW 54 itself has 516 pages and consists of a selection from over 7,000 conversations in the German edition.  

In my opinion, Table Talk can be entertaining but it is not one of the more representative and authoritative parts of Luther's writings available to us. 

Colin. 

Posts 960
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 11:50 AM

Colin:

Hi David, 

It is part of the standard volume of Luther's works in English (beginning at p. 428 as can be seen from the title page). 

LW 54 itself has 516 pages and consists of a selection from over 7,000 conversations in the German edition.  

In my opinion, Table Talk can be entertaining but it is not one of the more representative and authoritative parts of Luther's writings available to us. 

Colin. 

I understand. I was mainly interested because I have seen snippets quoted but with no idea as to whether they were quoted in context or unjustly mangled to make him look bad. (That's also why I am interested in the whole basic set. I figure it is better to be informed than to repeat misinformation)

WIN 10 i7 9750H, RTX 2060, 16GB RAM | iPad Air 3
Verbum 9 Ultimate

Posts 31326
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 12:59 PM

You definitely need The Book of Concord. Then what I would do if I wasn't sure I was following Mark's suggestion would be to run some of my books with quotes from Luther through the concordance and see what is quoted most frequently.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 4839
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 5:36 PM

MJ. Smith:

You definitely need The Book of Concord. Then what I would do if I wasn't sure I was following Mark's suggestion would be to run some of my books with quotes from Luther through the concordance and see what is quoted most frequently.

I followed your advice and then some, creating concordances for my most frequently accessed resources, important reference books, the few Luther/Reformation-focused studies in my library, and everything else with a lot of hits for Martin Luther in a basic search. Judging by the results, all I need are the Book of Concord and the 95 Theses. Other than those, I think I saw maybe one or two references to a sermon or two. That said, my library is not representative of my reading in theology, largely because FaithLife has many, many relevant academic journals still to add to its collection.

“I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 (EOB:NT).

Posts 13413
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 5 2016 11:50 PM

The Book of Concord postdates Luther by several decades. It's obviously useful for studies on Lutheranism, but it won't enlighten you too much regarding Luther himself. 

As for the 95 theses, whilst it's obviously vital, it's also very early. You'll need more than that if you want something representative. 

Posts 31326
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 12:06 AM

The Book of Concord contains the following by Martin Luther:

  • Small Catechism
  • Large Catechism
  • Smalcald Articles
  • and in some editions A brief Admonition to Confession (appendix to Larger Catechism)

Edited by Phillipp Melanchthon, close ally of Luther and standard source for early Lutheran thought:

  • Augsburg Confession
  • Apology of the Augsburg Confession
  • Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope

Other documents:

  • 3 Ecumenical Creeds
  • Formula of Concord

It was collected to quell the religious quarrels within the Lutheran movement following Luther's death with the intent of preserving pure Lutheranism.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2726
Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 12:34 AM

David Wanat:

I was thinking about getting the Basic Works suggested by Marc Barnes but I have a question. I see "Table Talk" is listed as part of fragments. Does that mean it's only part of the existing work or are fragments all that exist of this work?

I found the answer to that. There are more than 7000 table talks, according to the German Wikipedia page on Luther's works:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimarer_Ausgabe_(Luther)#Abteilung_Tischreden

Here's a list of what's available in English:

http://therebelgod.com/Luther/

I guess the table talks are listed as "fragments" because only about 4500 of them have been translated (yet).

Past IT Consultant. Past Mission Worker. Entrepreneur. Future Seminary Student.
Why Amazon sucks: Full background story of my legal dispute with the online giant

Posts 353
Virgil Buttram | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 5:30 AM

MJ. Smith:

The Book of Concord contains the following by Martin Luther:

  • Small Catechism
  • Large Catechism
  • Smalcald Articles
  • and in some editions A brief Admonition to Confession (appendix to Larger Catechism)

Edited by Phillipp Melanchthon, close ally of Luther and standard source for early Lutheran thought:

  • Augsburg Confession
  • Apology of the Augsburg Confession
  • Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope

Other documents:

  • 3 Ecumenical Creeds
  • Formula of Concord

It was collected to quell the religious quarrels within the Lutheran movement following Luther's death with the intent of preserving pure Lutheranism.

Current scholarship credits Luther with the "Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope". This does not appear to be a consensus view among all Reformation scholars.

Budget permitting, Luther's Works is the most extensive set of Luther's writings available in Logos. The other Luther collections are subsets, and likely from different translators.

As noted upthread, when Luther wrote something is important to consider. His basic theology did not change, but the tone and emphasis of his topics did.

Posts 960
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 6 2016 6:39 AM

Jan Krohn:

I found the answer to that. There are more than 7000 table talks, according to the German Wikipedia page on Luther's works:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimarer_Ausgabe_(Luther)#Abteilung_Tischreden

Here's a list of what's available in English:

http://therebelgod.com/Luther/

I guess the table talks are listed as "fragments" because only about 4500 of them have been translated (yet).

Thanks. That clears up my question.

WIN 10 i7 9750H, RTX 2060, 16GB RAM | iPad Air 3
Verbum 9 Ultimate

Posts 1
Don Stults | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 17 2016 3:03 PM

Luther himself suggested his catechism and the commentary on Genesis.  Outside of the book of Concord his commentary on Galatians is the only required Luther I remember from seminary.  He is most loved for his Hymns and sermons.  Yet you get the most intimate look at him in his letters.

Posts 8899
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 18 2016 12:00 PM

Given your background, I suspect you'd find his little commentary on the Magnificat interesting.

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

Posts 1779
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 18 2016 1:28 PM

fgh:

Given your background, I suspect you'd find his little commentary on the Magnificat interesting.

Yes, it is good - and would show some important continuity with Rome. But I would also recommend the Apology to the Augsburg Confession (by Melanchthon and in the Book of Concord) or the new addition of Freedom of a Christian to a Roman Catholic who is interested in listening to Lutherans seriously. I suspect you will see them as deeply influenced by theology that has gone before - even while they do criticize some formulations as well.

Unfortunately Luther learned his theology from Biel - and so we Lutherans and Roman Catholics can easily talk past each other...

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

L8 Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox Silver, Reformed Starter, Academic Essentials

L7 Lutheran Gold, Anglican Bronze

Posts 353
Virgil Buttram | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 19 2016 6:28 AM

Ken McGuire:

Unfortunately Luther learned his theology from Biel - and so we Lutherans and Roman Catholics can easily talk past each other...

I knew that we have been talking past each other since the Reformation, and I knew that Luther was trained in the tradition of Biel, but I had never put the two together before. Thanks for the insight!

I would recommend Luther's Faith by Daniel Olivier as an excellent Roman Catholic take on Luther, which takes him and his theology at face value, neither demonizing nor lionizing him. Unfortunately, it is not (yet!) available in Logos.

Page 1 of 2 (21 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS