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Luther Quotations

Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a German friar, priest and professor of theology. What he did, helped the Protestant Reformation of the Church.

As a friar, Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, where he was a monk. He came eventually to challenge the authority and office of the Pope from God, for he disputed the papal claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be bought with money (wealth to the Church). He held harsher views than that too.

In turn Luther was banned by the Pope and condemned as an outlaw by the Emperor in 1521, also banning his literature, and requiring him arrested: "We want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic." It also made it a crime for anyone in Germany to give Luther food or shelter. Anyone could kill Luther without legal consequence.

Meanwhile, rescued and given shelter by some helpers, he translated the Bible into the vernacular German (instead of Latin); in turn it had a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. His German Bible fostered a standard version of the German language. His hymns helped forth that the congregation too would sing in churches.

The former friar married a former convent nun, Katharina von Bora. He had smuggled her and eleven other nuns out of their convent in herring barrels. The man and woman married and got six children. Their marriage looked happy and successful, set a model, and in consequence Protestant priests were allowed to marry. Allowed by whom? you may ask.

Before marrying, Luther had been living on the plainest food, and he admitted his mildewed bed was not properly made for months at a time.

Luther's Reformation flourished under the wing of the secular power. Today, Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestantism and overall Christianity, with some 80 million adherents.

Here are some Luther quotations:


A person who . . . does not regard music as a marvellous 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

A thousand books is not too many! - Martin Luther

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. - Martin Luther

For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel. - Martin Luther

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. - Martin Luther

If I am not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there. - Martin Luther

Music is . . . the gift of God. - Martin Luther

People must have righteous principals in the first, and then they will not fail to perform virtuous actions. - Martin Luther

Superstition, idolatry and hypocrisy have ample wages, but the truth goes begging. - Martin Luther

Teaching is of more importance than urging. - Martin Luther

The fewer the words, the better the prayer. - Martin Luther

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right. - Martin Luther

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. - Martin Luther

There is no wisdom save in truth. Truth is everlasting, but our ideas about truth are changeable. - Martin Luther

There never yet have been, nor are there now, too many good books. - Martin Luther

We are to know the tree from its fruits. - Martin Luther

[W]hen I wake up [and] the devil is there and wants to dispute with me. . . . that the Christian is without the law and above the law . . , I instantly chase him away with a fart. - Martin Luther, Table Talk, 469.

When schools flourish, all flourishes. - Martin Luther

Whoever wants to do good in the world must be able to tolerate the ingratitude. - Martin Luther

Without knowledge of literature pure theology cannot at all endure. - Martin Luther


Martin Luther Quotations, Luther quotes, Literature  

Martin Luther's Writings: Sermons, Commentary and other Works. East Stroudsburg, PA: CRTA, ◦Online ⍽▢⍽ Many works.

Luther, Martin. Luther's Table Talk: Extracts selected by Dr. Macaulay. London: Religious Tract Society, 18--? Online at ⍽▢⍽ A collection of Luther sayings, that is, a compendium of excerpts from conversations with his students and colleagues - frequently anecdotal, much opinionated, and at times sublime.

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