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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Luther's Collected Works in English Translation

Luther's Works CD-ROM Edition edited by Helmut T. Lehmann, Jaroslav Pelikan (Fortress Press)
The 55-volume set of Luther’s Works, a monumental translation project published jointly by Fortress Press and Concordia Publishing House in 1957, is singular in its value to church historians, Luther scholars, and Christians. The message of Martin Luther’s faith has never spoken more clearly and more comprehensively than here, and now that the entire set is available on CD-ROM, his message will never speak more freely. This truly exquisite offering will put the entire Luther corpus at the command of a few keystrokes and provide the reader with a Luther resource unrivaled in accessibility and convenience. Luther's Works CD-ROM Edition is indispensable for studies of Luther and invaluable for preachers.
The first thirty volumes contain Luther’s expositions of various biblical books, while remaining volumes include his Reformation writings and occasional pieces. The final volume of the set contains an index of quotations, proper names, and topics, and a list of corrections and changes. The CD-ROM will also contain a glossary of many of the technical terms that recur in Luther’s works and links to every biblical reference.

The following is an official description of the volumes contained on the CD-ROM Edition.

Luther’s Works, Volume 1
George V. Schick, who translated Luther's Lectures on Genesis from Latin into English, has succeeded admirably in reproducing the simplicity, the directness, and the lucidity of the Reformer's language. The Reformer's lectures on the First Book of Moses must be numbered among the great works in the field of exegetical writing. Unlike many scholars who have undertaken to expound Genesis, Luther is not afraid to adhere strictly to the letter of what Moses wrote. He does not indulge in wild allegories. He does not tear words or sentences out of their context. He knows that Genesis is the Word of God. Therefore he approaches the book with awe and reverence. His is a genuinely Christian commentary.

Luther’s Works, Volume 2
Luther's Lectures on Genesis is a great classic in the filed of theological literature. These discourses are clear, vigorous, pertinent, and comprehensive. They reveal vast learning as well as extraordinary ability to expound Scripture in a manner that is intelligible to everyone. Regarding style and method, Luther himself states that in his youth he was “enchanted” by allegories. Consequently, he sometimes resorts to allegorical interpretations when he expounds the Book of Genesis, though always in a manner that is “comfortable to the faith.” Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 6-14 deals with the Flood, with Noah and his descendants, with the Tower of Babel, and with Abram and Lot up to the time of Abram's vision and the promise of the Seed.

Luther’s Works, Volume 3
The Lectures on Genesis are remarkably extensive in their sweep and give conclusive proof of extraordinary diligence. Luther expounds Scripture in the light of Scripture. Furthermore, he couches his treatment of the Biblical text in a language of simplicity without compromising his forthright way of speaking that evidences profound learning. In the third volume of the American Edition of Luther's Works the great man of God deals with numerous happenings in the colorful and exciting career of Abraham, the father of the faithful. As he does so, he pays special attention to Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, Lot, and others. He is always at pains to point to the guiding hand of God. Human beings often sin—either willfully or out of the weakness of the flesh—but God is always present to shape the course of events and to reveal abiding love as well as unflinching justice. The great master holds his readers spellbound as he discourses on the Biblical narrative and applies Scriptural truths to what happened in the past, to what is taking place in his own time, and to what is bound to occur in the future.

Luther’s Works, Volume 4
In this volume, Luther ends his biography of Abraham (begun in Volume 2) and begins his focus on the later patriarchal narratives. Written, it is believed, during an outbreak of the plague in 1539, this section of the Genesis lectures includes Luther's moving study of the Abraham and Isaac story in which he compares Isaac's obedience to that of Christ.

Luther’s Works, Volume 5
In this volume Luther comments trenchantly and in a God-fearing manner on a somewhat complicated concatenation of events in the life of the patriarch Jacob. Esau has sold his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage. Issac aims to bestow a deathbed blessing on Esau. But in cahoots with Rebecca, Jacob cleverly succeeds in tricking Issac into giving him his brother's blessing. The blessing is irrevocable. Jacob is sent away to the home of Laban, his uncle, “to take a wife from there.” On the way Jacob has a dream that the Lord tells him he will be given the land that he is traveling on. When Jacob arrives on his uncle's land, he meets the beautiful Rachel and falls in love with her. Before Jacob can be wed, though, he must work for Laban for 7 years. After 7 years time, when Jacob was to then receive Rachel, Laban tricks him into serving for another 7 years to get Rachel. Luther discusses this involved account sagaciously and with due reverence. He does not deal in a flippant manner with matters pertaining to sex, for he realizes that the story of Jacob's adventures and deeds has not been set forth in vain. He never fails to bear in mind that all Scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.

Luther’s Works, Volume 6
In this section of Luther's Lectures on Genesis the subject is the mature child of God in the school of adversity. Says Luther, “We have seen the triumphs and glory of Jacob … let us now also descend with him into hell and see his sadness and terror.” Extensive treatment is given to a mounting series of afflictions for Jacob. In every affliction, Jacob “wrestles with great infirmity,” and one trial may be termed “light” only by comparison with another. Luther is also interested in pointing out the antidote for all adversity—the comforting mercy of God. This comfort is in Jesus Christ; therefore Luther observes: “These emphatic words, which Moses scatters like jewels here and there in his writings, are wonderfully sweet, provided they are referred to Christ.” Luther does not hesitate to draw comparisons: “These things are written to comfort us so that we may know that our afflictions and disasters are not extreme.”

Luther’s Works, Volume 7
To achieve an adequate understanding of Luther's supreme importance in the field of theology, examining his biographies is not enough; the student of Luther must delve into his writings to observe this human being as a scholar, as a teacher, as a mighty and intrepid writer, as a humble Christian, and as a theologian who never toadies or cringes. The Lectures on Genesis, which were delivered in Latin, reveal an amazing familiarity with what may be called the genius of the language. Just as Luther was a master of his native German, so he acquired an all-embracing command of Latin. The editors of this series successfully permit the clarity, force, and pungency of Luther's language to radiate just as it does in Latin. Among the topics covered in this volume are: Judah and Tamar, whom many interpreters of Scripture neglect; Joseph, whom Potiphar had brought from the Ishmaelites and had brought down to Egypt, his interaction with Potiphar's wife, his imprisonment, and the interpretation of his dreams; and the provisions against the famine that had been foretold.

Luther’s Works, Volume 8
In this volume Luther concludes his Lecture on Genesis. Joseph, whom God has made lord of all Egypt, reveals himself to his brothers. “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.” Although he has the power to sentence them to severe punishment for their heinous crime, he gives them full forgiveness. Since his heart has been pining away for his aged father, he orders his brothers to return in haste to their homeland and to bring Jacob to Egypt. When Jacob hears the good news, his disconsolate spirit revives. Then he and his household—70 souls in all—migrate to Egypt and settle in the land of Goshen.—“I can do no more,” says Luther after he has completed his last lecture on the Book of Genesis. But could any theologian have done more? Although Luther was by no means full of physical vigor when he delivered these discourses, his mind was razor-sharp and constantly alert. His comprehensive acquaintance with Scripture is always in evidence.

Luther’s Works, Volume 9
Luther did not agree with the view of many Bible scholars who considered the five books of Moses to be of small value. He saw them as a wellspring of all-important knowledge and understanding. Far from seeing the Book of Deuteronomy as a list of dry laws that had little to do with faith, Luther's Lectures on Deuteronomy was an effort to apply the Deuteronomic interpretation of the Mosaic Law and covenant to both the flesh and the spirit. Translated from the Latin.

Luther’s Works, Volume 10
On October 22, 1512, the faculty of the still newborn University of Wittenberg welcomed an ominous new colleague to its body. Martin Luther was taken under the wing of none other than the vicar general of the German Augustinian order: Johann von Staupitz. Luther quickly advanced in honor and prestige. Once settled down and committed to university life, Luther took up his new lifework with enthusiasm. Before a year had passed, the Chronicle of Johann Oldecorp recorded: “At this same time [1513] M. Luther began to lecture on the Psalter of David. He was very busy with this and had many hearers.” The lectures were indeed given in the traditional fashion, but there was something new in them nevertheless, something that was talked about then and that drew “many hearers.” Even the modern reader of Luther’s notes for these lectures can hardly escape noticing that the message, compared with that of other contemporary lectures, reveals greater individual involvement in the message being expounded. The prime emphasis is constantly on Christ as the center of the whole Psalter. The lecturer is dealing not with idle academic definitions but with the issues of life and salvation that affect the speaker and hearer directly and personally. This is where Luther’s theology begins, and so these First Lectures on the Psalms are often called initia theologiae Lutheri.

Luther’s Works, Volume 11
This volume presents the second half of Luther’s First Lectures on the Psalms. Written from 1513 to 1515, these lectures focus on Psalms 76 to 126. It was a challenging editorial task to assemble these lectures because they were not printed in Luther’s time—the only extant source is the photocopies of the Dresden manuscript of the scholia.

Luther’s Works, Volume 12
This is the initial volume in the new American Edition of Luther’s Works—56 volumes in all—in modern English—the largest and most authentic English edition available anywhere. It brings to the English reading public for the first time Dr. Martin Luther’s most important writings. Ministers, theological students, and searching laypeople now have the opportunity to study and read extensively, and thus with greater comprehension, the enlightening and moving writings of God’s own chosen Reformation instrument. The first volume (numbered Volume 12) contains Luther’s commentaries on selected psalms beloved by Christians everywhere. They are for the most part the outgrowth of sermons and classroom lectures, family devotions, and private conversations held between 1524 and 1537. Figures of speech, allusions, and references not immediately clear have been carefully explained for a fuller understanding of the text. The archaic literary forms have been removed and obscurities of earlier translations cleared up. This is an updated version of an important piece in Luther’s tomes of work seminal to theological consideration everywhere.

Luther’s Works, Volume 13
From Luther’s thorough-going expositions of Psalms 68, 82, 90, 101, 110, 111, and 112 it is evident at once that the Reformer had a keen insight into secular and ecclesiastical affairs as they existed in his time. But it is no less apparent that his understanding and his statements had a prophetic quality—a quality which, among other characteristics, makes his commentaries altogether timeless in their significance. “The commentaries in the present volume,” writes editor Jaroslav Pelikan, “like those in Volume 12, are derived principally from Luther’s classroom and from his pulpit; but they do not all owe their origin to his activity as a professor and a preacher. This collection of commentaries also provides some insight into Luther’s work as an author.” From explication of the religious and moral life of his day to the elucidation of differences between Jewish and Protestant interpretations of Psalm 111, Luther’s literary breadth and depth provide the reader with an unrivaled uniqueness of commentary on these Psalms.

Luther’s Works, Volume 14
The commentaries contained in this volume show conclusively that Luther achieved great things in the field of Biblical scholarship. Luther’s language is simple and always to the point. He curries to no one’s favor as he goes to the heart of the sixteen psalms expounded in this volume. His attention to the texts is “personal, devotional, political, exegetical, polemical—all at the same time,” writes Jaroslav Pelikan. His commentaries contain many references and allusions to errors and false practices prevalent in his time, but after the lapse of more than four centuries the commentaries still have the quality of timelessness. Both clergy and laity will profit much—spiritually as well as intellectually—from Luther’s incisive and straightforward words.

Luther’s Works, Volume 15
In this volume, Luther offers interpretations of three Old Testament texts that are often poorly translated and often misinterpreted. He gives fresh interpretations of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon, calling upon readers to view them as "Solomon's Economics" and "Solomon's Politics." He then offers the reader a line- by-line commentary on 1 Samuel 23:1-7 as an example of simple, clear interpretation that keeps as its goal "to recognize our dear Lord and Savior clearly and distinctly in Scripture." Translated from the German and Latin.

Luther’s Works, Volume 16
Luther treats Isaiah and his message as one still relevant for modern times, in fact for all time. The lesson is that God in Jesus Christ comes to the rescue of God’s people in God’s own good time, just as God did to the nation and government of the Jews in Isaiah’s time. Meanwhile, God’s people are to await God’s help in complete confidence and not rely on self-help and on alliances with other men. The great danger then and now, however, lies in humankind’s rebellion against God’s way, for humankind is naturally impatient about waiting for God to do all things well. To God’s invitation that humankind find strength “in quietness and in trust,” humankind is always under temptation to respond: “No, we will speed upon horses!” Luther bids us learn from Isaiah that we are helped and protected by God as the people of Israel were and that we are also chastened like them when this is necessary.

Luther’s Works, Volume 17
In discoursing on the second half of Isaiah, Luther seems especially concerned about students preparing for the ministry. His central theme, from chapter 40, “The Word of our God will stand forever,” reappears again and again in his commentary, like a bell tolling its purpose. Luther probably felt the need to repeat this message first of all for his own comfort. He admits: “If I had known that the world was so puzzlingly evil, I would never have begun the task of preaching and writing.” Concerning Isaiah’s message he says, “These are words of consolation. Just hold tight, even if you are oppressed and persecuted and your thoughts and conscience trouble you.” As his faith strengthens and solidifies, so Luther encourages his students to hold fast to the same by taking up the work of Christ and warning: “Beware that you do not neglect the Word. It indeed stands firm, but it moves and will be given to others. … Therefore let us prayerfully keep busy with the Word.”

Luther’s Works, Volume 18
Luther’s lectures on the minor prophets are hardly minor. In fact, they are so prolific as to require three volumes. The first, Hosea-Malachi, is compiled from the so-called Altenburg manuscript, and complemented with a Zwicjau manuscript and a Wittenburg manuscript. These pieces put together present a complete set of commentaries on these minor prophets. These lectures occupied Luther’s lecture time at the university for about two years, March 1524 to early spring 1526. At this time Luther was decried the source of all problems concerning the Reformation movement. But as responsibilities, anxieties, enmities, and threats increased, Luther’s confidence in the message of Scripture also rose to meet every test. These lectures reflect the crucible in Luther’s life during their deliverance. Just as these lectures give insight into these minor prophets, so do they reveal the life of this lecturer at this defining moment in the Reformation movement.

Luther’s Works, Volume 19
Among the Minor Prophets, Jonah and Habakkuk were obviously of special significance for Martin Luther. The special treatment accorded these two is matched only in the case of one other of the Minor Prophets—Zechariah (Vol. 20). In addition to the usual Latin lectures, Luther added popular versions in the manner of a German commentary, carefully written out expressly for printed publication. It is clear why Luther gave these prophets the chance to speak to a wider audience: Jonah and Habakkuk have a message for all of humankind. Of Jonah, Luther says, “[Jonah] teaches us not to despair of the fruit of the Gospel, no matter how badly it appears to be devoid of fruit and prophet. … I am tempted to say that no apostle or prophet, not even Christ Himself, performed and accomplished with a single sermon the great things Jonah did.” As for Habakkuk—unfortunately confined to the dark since the time of the apostles—Luther reveals that he actually holds a central place in Paul’s theology with the passage: “The righteous shall live by his faith.” Luther here uncovers the jewels embedded in the traditions of these prophets, now contained in this volume for all to witness.

Luther’s Works, Volume 20
The year 1525 was perhaps one of the most tumultuous for Luther and his Reformation. It was the year of the break between Luther and a number of forces heretofore presumed to be on his side. The ultra-radical reformers alienated the lower classes from the Lutheran Reformation with the charge that Luther was only a halfway reformer. Luther responded with Against the Heavenly Prophets. In May Luther tried to avert a peasant uprising by an appeal both to the princes and to the peasants. But the Peasant Revolt broke out nevertheless, and Luther responded with Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants. 1525 was also the year when world famous scholar Erasmus declared himself against Luther, provoking him into responding with On the Bondage of the Will. This, plus the death of friends, his protector prince, and rumor of an assassin coming for Luther from Poland, was still not enough to prevent Luther from continuing his lectures on the minor prophets. This volume demonstrates Luther’s perseverance and triumph against all odds. Luther’s commentary on Zechariah points to Zechariah as “an outstanding model” in comforting people not to despair when the promises of Christ’s kingdom do not seem to come true. This comfort is for all time.

Luther’s Works, Volume 21
Luther’s expositions of the Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat are masterpieces. Here Luther speaks about faith, about good works, about prayer, about Christian love, about the giving of alms, about war, about bearing witness to the Truth, about virtues and vices of many kinds. Above all, he stresses the everlasting love of Christ. Luther, always fearless and forthright, becomes bitingly eloquent when he talks about greed—greed as it came, and still comes, to the fore among men, women, and children in every walk of life, among many preachers as well as among many politicians. He writes: “This much is sure: as soon as a preacher or minister becomes greedy, he becomes useless,`and his preaching becomes worthless. He has to be cautious; he does not dare to denounce anyone; he lets the donations come in till they stuff his mouth. … Thus he neglects his duty to denounce the wicked.” The Reformer also shows that Mary’s canticle has an important message for everyone. His outstanding ability as a linguist and his deep understanding of the Word of God are evident on every page.

Luther’s Works, Volume 22
The fifty-three sermons contained in this volume show that Luther was one of the most eloquent preachers since the days of Christ. The Reformer warns his hearers against perversions of Scripture. He speaks boldly and bluntly against sins rampant in his day and sins that will afflict mankind until the end of time. He wields the sword of the Spirit without fear and with telling effectiveness. His mastery of language is evident on every page. These sermons are models in every respect. When reading them in the translation my Martin H. Bertram, one can share the admiration and the edification that must have been felt by the men, women, and children who sat in the pews of the church in Wittenberg and listened intently while the mighty Luther addressed them.

Luther’s Works, Volume 23
Luther set special store by the Gospel According to St. John. He often spoke and wrote of John as the foremost of the evangelists. The tenderness with which the writer of the fourth Gospel sets forth the message of God’s love and mercy made a deep and lasting impression on the Reformer. Luther lays special stress on what they evangelist states about the Messiah as the one and only Way to salvation and about good works as the inevitable fruits of that faith. Luther’s assaults on those who either misinterpreted or deliberately falsified the Biblical teachings are sharp and devastating. Although he often speaks with the utmost tenderness, he does not hesitate to hurl thunderbolts at those who sought to discredit him and played fast and loose with Scriptural truth. The Reformer’s discourses are plain, clear-cut, and logical. He calls John a master in the doctrine of justification.

Luther’s Works, Volume 24
The sermons contained in this volume show how masterfully Luther employed the cardinal principles of effective preaching. The Gospel According to St. John was close to Luther’s heart. To him this book was a never-failing source of edification, wisdom, and strength. In his preface to the sermons he delivered on the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth chapters of Saint John’s Gospel he states that he is “resolved to interpret these chapters for the common man, but especially to defend and preserve the true and pure doctrine of Christ and of the Christian faith against the vile mobs of the devil, whether present or future.” The Reformer commends the words written by the evangelist “to pious Christians as their highest and most precious treasure and consolation.”

Luther’s Works, Volume 25
When Luther was prevailed upon to write a preface to the projected complete edition of his Latin writings in 1545, about a year before his death, he took the opportunity to review the high points of his career—to show that he really never had the time and talent to produce literature worth preserving, that in publishing these works he was now merely yielding to his friends’ argument that his works would be published in any case, if not with his cooperation, then possibly by men who had no real understanding of them. That was one thing. But in that preface Luther also implored the reader of his Latin writings “for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself to read those things judiciously, yes, with great commiseration”. With Luther’s lectures on the Epistle to the Romans he had a splendid opportunity to share with his students the great find of his life, “that place in Paul which was for me truly the gate of Paradise.”

Luther’s Works, Volume 26
Just as St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians has been called the Magna Carta of Christian freedom, so the Lectures on Galatians delivered by Martin Luther in 1531 and published for the first time in 1535 have been hailed as the great Reformer’s Magna Carta of Christian liberty. In Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners John Bunyan (1628-88), who was languishing in jail, told how a long time before this “the God, in whose hands are all days and ways, did cast into my hand, one day, a book of Martin Luther; it was his comment on the Galatians…this, methinks, I must let fall before all men, I do prefer this book of Martin Luther upon the Galatians, excepting the Holy Bible, before all books that ever I have seen, as most fit for a wounded conscience.” Luther treasured St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. Luther’s Lectures on the Galatians, like Paul’s letters, contain many distinctively autobiographical statements. In more than one respect these two men of God were kindred spirits. Both inveighed sharply and vigorously against their adversaries, but they also never lost sight of the Christian love that permeates the words of those who bring God’s message of salvation to their fellow men.

Luther’s Works, Volume 27
These lectures give eloquent evidence of Luther’s determined espousal of the doctrine of justification by faith. But although in 1531 the Reformer’s position with regard to this cardinal teaching of the Holy Writ was identical with what he had set forth in his earlier series of lectures, a sharp difference is discernible to a careful reader. The Luther of 1535 has at his command far greater simplicity and pungency of expression than one finds in the work he compiled in 1519. With the passing of the years the Reformer grew in knowledge and exegetical skill. It is not surprising, therefore, that the lectures he delivered at a later period in his life overshadow the former series in popularity as well as in significance. These, his Lectures on Galatians, reflect his development.

Luther’s Works, Volume 28
This tri-sectioned volume offers three short commentaries on Pauline Epistles that were written with a particular purpose and called for by a specific need. The commentary on 1 Corinthians 7 must have been a study item for Luther himself, for in it he gives himself the opportunity to come to grips with the whole matter of celibacy versus marriage. The second item is an extended series of sermons on 1 Cor. 15, the great chapter on the resurrection. These sermons were delivered by Luther in a time of great physical weakness, and there can be little doubt that the consciousness of personal weakness contributed much toward the desire to study and proclaim the message of 1 Cor. 15 in depth. To this we add Luther’s lectures on 1 Timothy, one of those shorter series of lectures undertaken when most of the University of Wittenberg had moved to Jena to escape the plague. Yet the subject here is not sickness or death, but the office of a bishop, or pastor, and how to administer it in faithfulness to the Gospel.

Luther’s Works, Volume 29
These two lectures were given about a decade apart. The first in point of time, the Hebrews lectures, were delivered in the “Theses” year, 1517. Luther was finishing his lectures on Hebrews when he was summoned to Heidelberg to attend a convention of the German Augustinians order in April 1518. Presumably the Augustinians were to settle the controversy precipitated by Luther in the Ninety-five Theses, but instead of receiving a rebuke, Luther gained a new following at Heidelberg, especially among the younger theologians. The lectures on Titus and Pilemon were given ten years later, when controversy and polemics had become a necessary part of Luther’s daily routine. Then too, Luther’s commentary shows him to be most deeply concerned about imitating his favorite apostle in preaching effectively and relevantly.

Luther’s Works, Volume 30
This volume contains Luther’s expository sermons on 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude, and includes Jakob Propst’s compact transcript of the Reformer’s lectures on the First Epistle of St. John. The sermons were preached in German; the lectures were delivered in Latin. Just as the Reformer has a special fondness for the Gospel According the St. John, so he regarded this apostle’s first letter as a little book filled to overflowing with testimonies of God’s mercy and love. Here, as in St. Peter’s two epistles, he found in rich abundance everything a Christian needs to know about the one and only way to everlasting life. His comments never fail to stress justification by faith without the deeds of the Law. Consequently, he warns against false teachers and scoffers. When preaching on St. Jude’s brief letter he inveighs caustically against the clerics who did not give Christ’s sheep the proper spiritual nourishment and were bent on seeking aggrandizement for themselves.

Luther’s Works, Volume 31
The young Luther emerges in this volume in his role of reformer. We follow him through his early years of clarifying his evangelical doctrines and relive with him the stirring events that were to influence the fate of Germany, all of Europe, and eventually the whole world.

Luther’s Works, Volume 32
Luther stands out as the defender of his understanding of the Christian faith in this volume. What he had said and written was attacked by leaders of the Roman Church and the Holy Roman Empire. Though friends and enemies sought to deflect him from his purpose, he remained steadfast so that what took place at the Diet of Worms has a become a watershed in the history of Christendom.

Luther’s Works, Volume 33
On the Bondage of the Will was considered by Luther himself as one of his best writings. This particular treatise is a reply to Erasmus’ work On the Freedom of the Will. Students of Luther and the Reformation period will welcome the helpful footnotes and many excerpts from Erasmus’ writings that accompany On the Bondage of the Will.

Luther’s Works, Volume 34
Included in this volume therefore are four of the debates or disputations held in Wittenberg University between 1535 and 1542. Thirteen of the fourteen treatises appear in their entirety in an English translation for the`first time with publication of this volume.

Luther’s Works, Volume 35
The writings in this first of four volumes of Luther’s Works on Word and Sacrament are for the most part from a fifteen year span- from the year of the Leipzig Debate to the publication of Luther’s German Bible. All twelve are translated either for the first time or in revised form by the editor.

Luther’s Works, Volume 36
Six major movements of the resultant symphony are included in this volume, all dealing with the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. In addition to providing observations on vows, sin, celibacy, sainthood, and spirits, Luther expresses his views concerning authority in the church, the place of Scripture, and the merits and limitations of a “Lutheran” confession.

Luther’s Works, Volume 37
This volume contains Luther’s most extensive exposition of his understanding of the Lord’s Supper. Directed against the more radical representatives of the sixteenth century reformation movement, this exposition is contained in the two major treatises appearing in an English translation in this volume. The translation and the wealth of historical commentary provided in this volume is a good starting point for a reassessment of the reformation contribution to our understanding of the Lord’s Supper.

Luther’s Works, Volume 38
The final volume in the section entitled “ Word and Sacrament” of Luther’s Works traces the development of Luther’s concept of the Lord’s Supper from the time of the Marburg Colloquy in 1529 down to 1544, two years before his death.

Luther’s Works, Volume 39
This volume includes two writings dealing with the plight of the common person who Luther felt had become a victim of the ecclesiastical establishment. These are followed by treatises taken from Luther’s literary feud with three staunch supporters of Rome: Augustine Alveld, Jerome Emser [the “Leipzig goat”], and Albrecht of Mainz. The final treatise contains Luther’s argument for congregational authority.

Luther’s Works, Volume 40
This volume in Luther’s Works contains writings of Luther directed for the most part against the fanatical front on the left. In denying the reality of the church, the validity and need of the office of the ministry, the fanatics relegate the sacraments to a secondary position, thus bypassing the Word as God’s means of communication to men.

Luther’s Works, Volume 41
Conflict between the church of Rome and the reformers reached its most violent peak in the five years before the Council of Trent in 1545, a council the pope had been delaying for years. Luther had not only given up hope for a "free, Christian council," but had also come to the conclusion that the authority of such a council was limited to reaffirming the ancient faith of the apostles. This radical departure from Rome's interpretation of its own authority forms the basis of Luther's new doctrine of the church—and also of his advice to Protestant princes on the problems of ecclesiastical property. It is this doctrine of the church which is the theme of the three treatises written during this period and included in this volume.

Luther’s Works, Volume 42
The seven pastoral writings presented in this volume are notable for their lack of polemic. Although his very life was literally at stake, Luther does not allude to his own situation, but subdues himself to the message with which he was committed.

Luther’s Works, Volume 43
These are not devotional writings in the sense of being edifying discourses or daily meditations for the cultivation of general spiritual sensitivity. Rather they are concrete expressions of evangelical faith and piety written by Luther the Pastor to deal with specific and burning life situations. In a very real sense they are “letters of spiritual counsel.” The contents of this volume cover the years between 1522 (the year after the Diet of Worms) and 1545 (the year before Luther’s death).

Luther’s Works, Volume 44
During the interval between the Leipzig Debate in 1519 and the dramatic, decisive Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther faced a wide array of major problems. He was forced to defend the emerging Reformation against its secular and ecclesiastical enemies and to clarify his own position. At the same time he had to address himself to a host of friends, supporters, and sympathizers who were apprehensive about where Luther's theology was leading. It was during this critical period that the writings contained in this volume were written.

Luther’s Works, Volume 45
In the eleven treatises comprising this volume, it is of extraordinary interest to note how the foremost exponent of evangelical ethics interprets the dictates of love in the concrete circumstances of his time. A Christian's behavior is determined more by the situation in which he finds himself than by any fixed and final ethical formulations or codes of moral conduct.

Luther’s Works, Volume 46
This volume contains eight significant works written between the Peasants War of 1525 and the Diet of Augsburg in 1530.

Luther’s Works, Volume 47
In these four treatises, written between 1530 and 1542, we see Luther wrestling with volatile aspects of the Christian’s ethical attitude toward the governing authorities, toward other Christians who appeared to be preaching incorrect doctrines, and toward the Jews. This volume completes the section of Luther’s Works on the Christian in society.

Luther’s Works, Volume 48
Luther wrote the 119 letters in this volume between 1507 and 1522, during the momentous years that saw him change from an obedient and determined priest of his Order to a vigorous critic of the sale of indulgences and finally to the leader of a reformed church. In these letters Luther discusses his posting of the Ninety-five Theses, the disputations at Heidelberg, Augsburg, and Leipzig, and the bull excommunicating him.

Luther’s Works, Volume 49
For Martin Luther, the period stretching from March 1522 to October of 1530 marked a time of tremendous change—ecclesiastical, political, and personal. Through the 117 letters presented here, the reader is given a well-rounded look at shaping forces and milieu of Luther’s life and of the entire Reformation. Each letter in this volume, given in its entirety, unveils important aspects of Luther’s complex personality. Historical introductions explain clearly the political and religious background of each letter.

Luther’s Works, Volume 50
Volume 50 of the American Edition of Luther’s Works is the third and final volume of letters in this series; it presents 89 letters written by Luther in the period from January 1532, to February 14, 1546, a date four days prior to Luther’s death.

Luther’s Works, Volume 51
This volume contains a selection of forty- three sermons arranged in chronological order. Beginning with what may be Luther’s earliest extant sermon and ending with the last he delivered before his death, this collection of sermons can give the reader a glimpse into the Reformer’s development as a preacher. The forty-three sermons in this volume represent but a fragment of Luther’s total output. Even the two thousand sermons or more contained in the Weimar Edition of Luther’s writings do not include all of Luther’s sermons.

Luther’s Works, Volume 52
This volume includes selections from the Christmas Postil, specifically sermons on the Gospel lessons for Christmas Eve, the Early Christmas Service, St. Stephen’s Day, the Sunday after Christmas, New Year’s Day, and the Festival of the Epiphany.

Luther’s Works, Volume 53
For the first time, all of Luther’s chants and hymns are here available with their music in modern notation. This volume also contains all of his liturgical writings. Along with the basic works in which Luther developed some general premises for liturgical reform, with practical suggestions for their realization, this volume includes orders for the occasional services, such as baptism, private confession, and marriage, collects and other prayers, prefaces to hymnals and a brief motet Luther composed.

Luther’s Works, Volume 54
The conversations selected for this volume of Luther’s Works have been carefully chosen from among more than seven thousand entries of the Weimar Edition with two aims in veiw: historical perspective and contemporary relevance. The annotations are precise and are related directly to the material at hand.

Luther’s Works, Volume 55 Index
Here is Volume 55, the long-awaited index to the American Edition of Luther’s Works—all 54 volumes! It is the capstone to a 27- year publishing project, the key to all future use and study of this literature. Monumental in scope, this index is comprehensive. It includes:

  • Over 9,000 names, subjects, and pieces of literature (both titles cited by Luther and titles by Luther himself)
  • A complete index of Scripture passages (Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocrypha) referred to outside of commentaries on a specific scriptural book.

The Book of Concord
Confessional writings of the Lutheran Church and other information essential to understanding the confessions. The Late Theodore G. Tappert, a distinguished church historian and author, was Schieren Professor of the History of Christianity at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He was also archivist of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod and a consultant to the Lutheran Church in American's Board of Publication.

The Augsburg Confession, Translated From the Latin
The Augsburg Confession, Translated from the Latin, by Theodore G. Tappert. The Late Theodore G. Tappert, a distinguished church historian and author, was Schieren Professor of the History of Christianity at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He was also archivist of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod and a consultant to the Lutheran Church in American's Board of Publication.

The King James Version
Also known as the "Authorized Version," The King James Version of the Bible is still the most widely used text in the English language. The Logos KJV includes the Strong's Numbers which allow English readers to identify and search for underlying Greek and Hebrew words in the original text.

The King James Version Apocrypha
Includes the books of I & II Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Additions to Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Song of Three Youths, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh, and I & II Maccabees.

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