Monday, January 13, 2014

Luther, Volume 76

The freshly translated Luther's Works, American Edition, Volume 76, came in the mail, last week.  !!!  Yea!  At this point, I have to put him on my reading pile, but I did get started into it already.  Who can resist sneaking a little Luther here and there...  (Not I...)

OK, ok, now I have to give you a sneak peak, too.

"The goal of the translation is to allow Luther to speak in modern English yet as a man of the sixteenth century.  The translators have been asked to resist bowdlerizing Luther's language to conform to modern sensibilities about society and gender--or scatology.  Editorial introductions and notes are offered to familiarize the reader with the particular circumstances of each text and its theological and social context."

I had to look up "bowdlerizing".  It means something like "censoring".  So Luther was not to be censored.  Good.  It would be a terrible mistake to try and fix him.

Ok, sneak peak:  the first piece is on Galatians 3: 23-29.  I think it is supposed to be a sermon, but it is 38 pages long. !!!  With 101 numbered paragraphs.  Well, it is on Galatians, his Katharina from Bora--letter, he can go on as long as he likes.

This is numbered paragraph 1:

"This is also a truly Pauline epistle, written about faith against works, and it is easy to understand from the previous Epistle.  What is said there about the slave is to be understood here about the student.  Here St. Paul introduces two comparisons to teach us what the law does and why it is useful.  Therefore, we must again speak about the law and its works, namely, that there are two kinds of works.  Some are extorted by fear of punishment or aroused by expectation of profit and reward;  others are done spontaneously, eagerly, and for free, without fear of punishment or striving for profit, but from pure kindness and desire for what is good.  The first are the works of the slave and the student;  the second are the works of the child and the free heir."

This is the beginning of the introduction into the much-treated matter:  law and gospel, slave vs. free, slave vs. heir.  Yet, Luther's insights into Paul have always been pivotal to us.

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Judy said...

Hello Brigitte,

The women's Bible study that I lead begins a study of Galatians this Wednesday. Wish I would have had this volume when I was assembling the study. We have a former catholic who married into our congregation. Several years ago she had a real "lighbulb" moment on the understanding of grace. This study of Galatians is for her, as it is her favorite book of the Bible.


Brigitte said...

Wow, a women's study on Galatians! It is such a great letter. It will be a blessing, no doubt. You, yourself might really enjoy any section of Luther's commentary. It helped me appropriate this freedom.