Babylonian Captivity of the Church

A Prelude of Martin Luther
On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church


Martin Luther, Augustinian, to his friend, Hermann Tulich, greeting.

(Tulich was born at Steinheim, near Paderborn, in Westphalia; graduated from Wittenberg (A.B., 1511); was a proofreader in Melchior Lotter’s printinghouse at Leipzig. He returned to Wittenberg in 1519 and received the doctorate in 1520; became professor of poetry at the university; rector of the same, 1525. He was a staunch supporter of Luther; rector of the school at Luneberg from 1532 until his death in 1540.)

Whether I wish it or not, I am compelled to become more learned every day, with so many and such able masters eagerly driving me on and making me work. Some two years ago I wrote on indulgences, but in such a way that I now deeply regret having published that little book (probably the Explanations of the Ninety-five Theses (1518)). At that time I still clung with a mighty superstition to the tyranny of Rome, and so I held that indulgences should not be altogether rejected, seeing that they were approved by the common consent of so many. No wonder, for at the time I was still engaged singlehanded in this Sisyphean task. Afterwards, thanks to Sylvester (Sylvester Prierias–more properly called Mazzolini–from Prierio in Piedmont, 1456-1532, was a prior of the Dominicans. He became Grand Inquisitor and Censor of Books in 1515. he and others of the order (e.g., Tetzel and Hochstraten) had written against Luther), and aided by those friars who so strenuously defended indulgences, I saw that they were nothing but impostures of the Roman flatterers, by which thy rob men of their money and their faith in God. Would that I could prevail upon the booksellers and persuade all who have read them to burn the whole of my booklets on indulgences, and instead of all that I have written on this subject adopt this proposition: INDULGENCES ARE WICKED DEVICES OF THE FLATTERIES OF ROME. Posted by Picasa


16 responses

  1. Reformed and always reforming.
    A good lesson to learn, and one that I need to keep learning.

  2. No matter how much we’ve learned, there’s still plenty of truth waiting to be discovered.

  3. head

    what can you say about Luther’s writing, ON JEWS AND THEIR LIES?


  4. All that I can say about Luther’s writing, ON JEWS AND THEIR LIES, is that my newest commenter just asked about it.

    (Whew! Tough crowd!)

  5. This is October isn’t it?


    I can send you the link if you want more?


  6. Captain, if your really aren’t familiar with Luther’s attitude towards Jews, you should read some of his stuff. Saying he would be considered anti-Semitic in today’s world is a slight under-statement. But I’m afraid he all to close to the truth.

    Here is a good primer for you.

  7. Hey David

    what’s your view on that writing of Luther?


  8. I don’t think Luther would make a very good dispensationalist.

  9. Head,

    if you want us to take this conversation elsewhere please say so, ?


    yea but, what about what Luther was writing about, what do understand Luther was bringing out here? Do you believe as some Lutherans I have discussed this matter with that this was a low moment for Martin?

    So you believe Christianity is revelant for the Jews in 1498 then?

    Oh, let me guess, YOU WILL ANSWER, DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, YES, stupid, get a life, geeesh!

    Well words and thoughts to that effect anyway or not?


  10. Would all you “Reformed” dogmaticians lay off of my baptist friend… he is now learning proper Reformation History… he just sold his “Trail of Blood” book to Half-Price books and is looking for something “Reformed”. He is still contemplating of unloading his Jack Van Impe Books and has finally gotten rid of Hal Lindsey. So c’mon give my baptist brother a break. (:(:(:(:


  11. Gage,

    Who you callin’ “Baptist,” sucka?!
    Membership is only outward in the flesh . . . (tongue in other cheek)

    You and David are perfectly welcome to pad my stats right here! Carry on, let it grow! (Oh, no, now I’m talking like the Baptist Gage was accusing me of being–oh, well, the flesh dies hard!).


    Thanks for the link.

    And now, to answer natamllc’s question for myself. All I can say is back when Gage and his buddies were indoctrinating me back at “The Reformation Station” (my pet name for the print shop at which we all used to work together–meaning, that’s the place the Reformation finally caught up with me, and I learned what pit bulls Calvinists are, because I had them latch onto my ankle at the beginning of the day for an entire 8 hour period. I think I do believe in Purgatory!)they would mention the fact that Luther fell into some harsh views against the Jews, but I just allowed him to be human and didn’t allow it to trouble me.

    But you know, this is a website that’s out to make Luther look good! I’m not a public school history book out to turn the memory of Luther, and his influence on the life of the church upside down, in order to major on all the bad stuff he ever did. But, by all means, fill me in!

  12. Well Head


    I need prayer seeing David sent the link and I WANTED TOO! I don’t think I will forgive him for doing that!

    Yes, this is a “tough crowd”.

    But, anyone here a Messianic Jew?

    How about working with some Jews, Jews in New York, Los Angeles, Antwerp, Geneva or Tel Aviv?

    Well yours truly has and when I was reading what Luther was writing about in that primer, I thought, yeap, HE KNOWS EM’ TOO!

    All I gots to ask is will I get to Heaven if I don’t forgive david?


  13. My childhood pastor said there are some things that just don’t need prayer. That’s what he’d say when junior high and high school students would request prayer for tests. “If you haven’t done your homework, there’s no point in praying for you to pass the test!” he’d say.

    Perhaps, rather than prayer, you should confidentially email David and confront him with this sin he has committed against you; if repents, then you have regained your friend.

    Don’t you hate it when people reply seriously to jokes? Hope you’ll forgive me!

    So, do you and David not hold Luther’s comments about Jews in as unfavorable of an opinion as most would assume his views should be held? Is emperical experience giving you as bad an attitude as Luther’s? I haven’t read the whole thing yet. But I’m looking forward to it.

    Happy Reformation Month!


    Yes, doe-s jews can be stubborn! Especially when they have control of your money!

    By Grace we are saved through Faith and that not of our works lest we should boast and believe the LAW the wrong way!

    I’m sure David will come around sometime? maybe??


  15. I believe, in principle Luther’s views are correct concerning the Jews. They more than anyone have lost their “first love”. The Gospel went first to the Jew, then the Greek. They have denied the Savior, therefore rejecting the Father. The religion of Judaism is not compatable with the Christian faith. This is where Dispensationalist have caused so much harm to the Faith. Their incessant catering to ethnic Jews has caused the Church to lose focus of those “circumcised not of the flesh, but of the heart”.

  16. Yes,

    putting all the foolishness aside,

    when we let the TRUTHS settle deep in our spirit, at least for me, I am pained as well because I realize we are here now and this is our time to REACH AS MANY AS WE CAN THROUGH CHRIST as He reconciles the world to God through us!

    Rom 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
    Rom 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
    Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
    Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
    Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

    Sobering the thought of one dying in their sins!


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