Much scholarly debate has focused on Luther's writings about the Jews. His statements that the Jews homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated, and liberty curtailed were revived and used in propaganda by the Nazis from 1933-1945.(1) As a result of this and his revolutionary theological views, his legacy remains controversial. Luther wrote about the Jews throughout his career, though only a few of his works dealt with them directly.(2) Luther rarely encountered Jews during his life, but his attitudes reflected a theological and cultural tradition which saw Jews as a rejected people guilty of the murder of Christ, and he lived within a local community that had expelled Jews some ninety years earlier.(3) He considered the Jews blasphemers and liars because they rejected the divinity of Jesus, whereas Christians believed Jesus was the Messiah.(4) In 1523, Luther advised kindness toward the Jews in That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew, but only with the aim of converting them to Christianity.(5) When his efforts at conversion failed, he grew increasingly bitter toward them.(6)
Luther's other major works on the Jews were his 65,000-word treatise On the Jews and Their Lies and On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ, both published in 1543, three years before his death.(7) Luther argued that the Jews were no longer the chosen people but "the devil's people"(Matthew 21:33-46; Romans 9:1-7; John 8:42-45): he referred to them with violent, vile language.(8) Luther advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews property and money, and smashing up their homes, so that these poisonous envenomed worms would be forced into labour or expelled for all time(9). In Robert Michael's view, Luther's words We are at fault in not slaying them amounted to a sanction for genocide, a sanction which the Nazis adopted in their Final Solution aimed at the Jews.(10)
Luther spoke out against the Jews in the German provinces of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Silesia.(11) Josel of Rosheim, the Jewish spokesman who tried to help the Jews of Saxony (see Myths of British Ancestry) in 1537, later blamed their plight on that priest whose name was Martin Luther-may his body and soul be bound up in hell!-who wrote and issued many heretical books in which he said that whoever would help the Jews was doomed to perdition.(12) Josel asked the city of Strasbourg to forbid the sale of Luther's anti-Jewish works: they refused initially, but relented when a Lutheran pastor in Hochfelden used a sermon to urge his parishioners to murder Jews.(13) Luther's influence persisted after his death. Throughout the 1580s, riots led to the expulsion of Jews from several German Lutheran states.(14) Luther's treatises against the Jews were reprinted again early in the 17th century at Dortmund, where they were seized by the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1613 and 1617 they were published in Frankfurt am Main in support of the banishment of Jews from Frankfurt and Worms. Vincent Fettmilch, a Calvinist, reprinted On the Jews and Their Lies in 1612 to incite hatred against the Jews of Frankfurt. Two years later, riots in Frankfurt resulted in the deaths of 3,000 Jews and the expulsion of the rest. Fettmilch and other leaders were executed by the Lutheran city authorities for attempting to overthrow them, but Robert Michael writes that his execution was for attempting to overthrow the authorities, not for his offenses against the Jews.(15)
Luther was the most widely read author of his generation, and he acquired the status of a prophet within Germany.(16) According to the prevailing view among historians, his anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of antisemitism in Germany, and in the 1930s and 1940s provided an "ideal underpinning" for the Nazis' attacks on Jews.(17) According to Robert Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Luther. Heinrich Himmler wrote admiringly of his writings and sermons on the Jews in 1940. Himmler wrote: what Luther said and wrote about the Jews. No judgement could be sharper. The city of Nuremberg presented a first edition of On the Jews and Their Lies to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, on his birthday in 1937; the newspaper described it as the most radically anti-Semitic tract ever published.(18) It was publicly exhibited in a glass case at the Nuremberg rallies and quoted in a 54-page explanation of the Aryan Law by Dr. E.H. Schulz and Dr. R. Frercks.(19) According to Daniel Goldhagen, Bishop Martin Sasse, a leading Protestant churchman, published a compendium of Luther's writings shortly after Kristallnacht, for which Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church in the University of Oxford, argued that Luther's writing was a blueprint.(20) Sasse applauded the burning of the synagogues and the coincidence of the day, writing in the introduction, On November 10, 1938, on Luthers birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany. The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words of the greatest antisemite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews.(21) Christopher J. Probst, author of Demonizing the Jews: Luther and the Protestant Church in Nazi Germany, (Published by Indiana Press in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2012), a visiting professor of modern European history at Saint Louis University, and a former Charles H. Revson Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has shown in his book that "a significant number of German theologians and clergy made use of the 1500's writings by Martin Luther on Jews and Judaism to strengthen the racial antisemitism and religious anti-Judaism already present among German Protestants. Drawing attention on major persons, Probst's study shows that a large number of pastors, bishops, and theologians of varying theological and political persuasions used Luther's texts with significant effectiveness in agitating for the creation of a "de-Judaized" version of Christianity. Probst shows that even that part of the Protestant church most critical of Luther's anti-Jewish writings agreed with the antisemitic stereotyping that assisted in justifying early Nazi measures against the Jews." See Demonizing the Jews: Luther and the Protestant Church in Nazi Germany. William Nichols, Professor of Religious Studies, recounts, At his trial in Nuremberg after the Second World War, Julius Streicher, the notorious Nazi propagandist, editor of the scurrilous antisemitic weekly Der Stürmer, argued that if he should be standing there arraigned on such charges, so should Martin Luther. Reading such passages, it is hard not to agree with him. Luthers proposals read like a program for the Nazis.(22) On December 17, 1941, seven Lutheran regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the yellow badge, since after his bitter experience [presumably dating to his so-called poisoning by kosher food] Luther had already suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory. According to Professor Dick (Richard) Geary, the Nazis won a disproportionately larger share of the vote in Protestant than in Catholic areas of Germany in the elections of 1928 to November 1932.(23) See Who voted for the Nazis?(electoral history of the National Socialist German Workers Party). Jörg L. Spenkuch and Philipp Tillman in a statistical study called Elite Influence? Religion and the Electoral Success of the Nazis show that after the Catholic bishops of Germany gave up their opposition to Adolf Hitler following the passage of the Enabling Act on March 23, 1933, and the signing of a concordat between Nazi Germany and the Roman Catholic Church on July 20 1933, the Nazis saw a huge increase in votes from the Catholic regions of Germany in elections, plebiscites, and referendums held under the Third Reich. After the Reichskonkordat of July 20 1933, German cities with larger Catholic populations tended to see more attacks on synagogues, more deportations of Jews, and more letters to the official Nazi newspaper known as Der Stürmer. Before the passage of the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler dictatorial powers, and before the signing of the concordat, the Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy in Germany was strongly opposed to both the Nazis and the Communists, while the German Protestant ministry was officially neutral towards the Nazis, although it too was opposed to the Communists. After the German federal election of March 5, 1933, in which the National Socialist German Workers' Party or Nazi Party gained 43.9% of the popular vote, the predominantly Protestant German National People's Party and the German Catholic Centre Party formed an anti-Communist, anti-Social Democratic coalition government with the Nazis which lasted until 14 July 1933, when all political parties except the Nazi Party were banned in Germany.
Luthers last sermon was delivered at Eisleben, his place of birth, on 15 February 1546, three days before his death.(24) It was entirely devoted to the obdurate Jews, whom it was a matter of great urgency to expel from all German territory, according to Léon Poliakov.(25) James Mackinnon writes that it concluded with a fiery summons to drive the Jews bag and baggage from their midst, unless they desisted from their calumny and their usury and became Christians.(26) Luther said, we want to practice Christian love toward them and pray that they convert, but also that they are our public enemies...and if they could kill us all, they would gladly do so. And so often they do.(27)Michael Berenbaum writes that Luther's reliance on the Bible as the sole source of Christian authority fed his later fury toward the Jews over their rejection of Jesus as the messiah.(28) For Luther, salvation depended on the belief that Jesus was the Son of God, a belief that adherents of Judaism do not share. Historian Robert Michael writes that Luther was concerned with the Jewish question all his life, despite devoting only a small proportion of his work to it.(29) As a Christian pastor and theologian Luther was concerned that people have faith in Jesus as the messiah for salvation (John 14:6, Mark 16:15-16). In rejecting that view of Jesus, the Jews became the quintessential other,(30), a model of the opposition to the Christian view of God. Professor Robert Michael, Professor Emeritus of European History at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, has argued that Luther scholars who try to tone down Luther's views on the Jews ignore the murderous implications of his antisemitism. Michael argues that there is a strong parallel between Luthers ideas and the antisemitism of most German Lutherans throughout the Holocaust.(31) Like the Nazis, Luther mythologized the Jews as evil, he writes. They could be saved only if they converted to Christianity, but their hostility to the idea made it inconceivable.(32) Nevertheless, Jesus Christ and Saint Paul said that in the last days leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Jews would convert to Christianity (Matthew 23:37-39, Luke 13:34-35, Romans 9-11, Zechariah 12:10, John 19:37, Revelation 1:7, Zechariah 12-14, Ezekiel 38-39, Ezekiel 47-48, Revelation 22, Revelation 4:6). This leaves the question of what would happen to all those Jews who died before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ without having converted to Christianity. Will they go to hell, as Jesus is alleged to have said by the author of Mark 16:15-16? The Roman Catholic Church today does not believe in carrying out Christian missionary work in order to convert the Jews to Christianity, believing that they will convert en masse in the last days before the Second Coming of Christ as the Parousia, although some Christian denominations, for example the Baptists, actively seek to make converts from Judaism to Christianity, basing their views on such Biblical passages as Matthew 28:18-20 and Romans 10:12-17. In the meantime, until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as the Parousia, the kingdom of God will be taken away from the Jews and given to those nations who believe in Jesus as the Messiah, for this is what Jesus Christ said according to Matthew 21:42-46. Saint Paul wrote in Romans 9:6-7 that only the Christians are genuine Jews, the New Israel of God. Revelation 2:9 and Revelation 3:9 says that those Jews who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah are a synagogue of Satan. Saint Paul wrote the following in his First Epistle to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verses 14-16 (New King James Version):
14. For you brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, 15. Who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and they have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, 16. Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.This may refer to the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem built by King Herod the Great by the then pagan or polytheist Romans in A.D. 70, whose destruction had been prophesied by Jesus Christ according to the Gospels. Since Saint Paul was beheaded in Rome between 64-67 A.D., roughly at the same time that Saint Peter was crucified in Rome, the author of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians might have been a follower of Saint Paul. Jesus never taught the Jews to rise up against their Roman imperial masters, since He desired to use the far flung networks of the Roman Empire to spread the message of Christianity. Christianity, once established in Europe, was to spread throughout the world in the Age of European overseas colonial expansion which began with the discovery of the Americas for Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1492, and that was to end with the post-World War Two Age of decolonization. According to the author of the Gospel of Luke 14:23-24, Jesus urged His disciples and missionaries to compel or force the non-Jewish nations to convert to Christianity. It must always be remembered that Jesus never personally wrote any part of the New Testament. Jesus did after all teach us the golden rule to do to others as we would want them to do to us (Luke 6:31; Matthew 7:12), and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28, Galatians 5:14, Romans 13:8-10, Deuteronomy 6:4, Leviticus 19:18). Jesus said in Matthew 7:6 that we should not cast our pearls before dogs and pigs, lest they tear us in pieces and trample us under foot, which means that Christian missionaries should not try to force the Gospel onto those who ridicule, insult and reject it. When Christian missionaries fail to convert people to the Gospel, they are to shake the dust off their feet and try somewhere else as Jesus taught in Matthew 10:14 and Luke 10:11. See in Google Search What Did Jesus Mean When He Said to Not Cast Your Pearls Before Swine (Matthew 7:6)? As mentioned before, in Robert Michael's view, Luther's words We are at fault in not slaying them amounted to a sanction for genocide against the Jews(33), a sanction which the Nazis attempted to carry out against the Jews under their occupation during the Second World War as part of the Final Solution. This is part of what Martin Luther wrote in the conclusion to his treatise On the Jews and Their Lies (1543):
There is no other explanation for this than the one cited earlier from Moses - namely, that God has struck [the Jews] with madness and blindness and confusion of mind. (Deuteronomy 28:28) So we are even at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and of the Christians which they shed for three hundred years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the blood of the children they have shed since then (which still shines forth from their eyes and their skin). We are at fault in not slaying them.(34)Although it is true that the ancient Romans were the ones who actually crucified Jesus Christ, they were pagans or polytheists at the time, and unlike the large minority of Jews, they eventually all converted to Christianity during the centuries following the crucifixion. In addition, the New Testament teaches that it was the Jews who preferred to set Barabbas rather than Jesus Christ free from execution when given the choice by Pontius Pilate, and who willingly handed him over to the Romans for crucifixion in the first place, after they refused to believe in Him when He said that He was the Messiah whose coming had been prophesied on a number of occasions throughout the Old Testament. Luther is recorded for having said on other occasions that the Jews should be slain. When Luther was asked whether it would be justifiable to box the ears of a Jew, he said "Certainly. I for one would smack him on the jaw. Were I able, I would knock him down and stab him in my anger. It is lawful, according to both the human and the divine law, to kill a robber; then it is even more permissible to slay a blasphemer." Luther went on to say that "if I had to baptise a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe (river), hang a stone round his neck and push him over with the words 'I baptise thee in the name of Abraham.'" Luther even declared that "the Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows seven times higher than ordinary thieves." See Peter F. Wiener, Martin Luther: Hitler's Spiritual Ancestor, Part 3: Luther's Political Doctrines - Luther and the Jews, Huthinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, published online by Patsy Jackson for Tentmaker Ministries, Hermann, Missouri, U.S.A. It is true that there are several passages from the New Testament which could be used by antisemites in an attempt to justify persecution of the Jews because of their allegedly evil nature. One of them is I John 2:22-23, which says the following:
22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.In effect, this passage from the Bible says that the Jews who refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God do not have the favor of the Father either, and are therefore spiritually illegitimate. Other passages from the New Testament which have been used by Anti-Semites are I John 4:1-3, The Gospel of John 14:6, Mark 16:15-16, II Thessalonians 2, Revelation 12-13, Revelation 17-18, Galatians 4, Revelation 11:8, Romans 9:6-7, Galatians 3, Matthew 27:15-26 (n.b. Luke 23:34), Matthew 10:1-33, Luke 10:1-10, John 19:1-16, John 8:42-45, Matthew 3:7-9, and Mark 16:15-16. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ taught according to Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 the Golden Rule of doing to others what we would want them to do to us, thereby implying that persecution of the Jews and forced conversions to Christianity are unchristian. I John 3:15 says that whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. It is also interesting to note that the near death experiences of Jews and other non-Christians who have been resuscitated from clinical death do not necessarily all result in hellish experiences, thereby implying that a lack of belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ do not automatically result in everlasting damnation. Today there are Jews who belong to the Jews for Jesus movement, Hebrew Catholicism, and Messianic Judaism, who observe Jewish religious holidays but also acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. Although the apostle St. Paul taught that Christians of Gentile or pagan origin were free from following the Law of the Torah, this does not necessarily mean that Christians of Jewish origin should not observe it, either in its entirety or partially. Jesus Christ Himself taught the Jews to observe whatever the scribes and the Pharisees told them to observe, because they sit in Moses seat, even if they themselves did not do what they said (Matthew 23:1-4). Jesus said that He had come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, not to abolish them (Matthew 5:17-20). Jesus went on to say that those who do unto others as they would want them to do to them fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12). Saint Paul is said in passing in The Acts of the Apostles to have observed Jewish religious holidays (Acts 18:21, Acts 20:6, Acts 20:16, I Corinthians 16:8, New King James Version of the Bible), and he also said after his conversion that he was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6). Jesus Christ Himself observed the Jewish religious holiday of the Passover at His last supper with the apostles on the night before His crucifixion. Saint Paul is said to have observed the Jewish laws of purification and almsgiving in the Temple of Herod in Jerusalem (Acts 21:17-29 and Acts 24:17-18). Saint Paul shaved his head because of a vow he had taken in Cenchrea (Acts 18:18), and he did the same for four Christians of Jewish ethnicity who had also taken a vow (Acts 21:23-24). Saint Paul wrote that when he was with the Jews he lived as a Jew, and when he was among the Gentiles he lived as a Gentile, in order to win both groups to Christianity (I Corinthians 9:19-22). Saint Paul wrote in Romans 2:13 that the doers of the Law are just in the sight of God, but not those who merely hear it. He also affirmed his belief in the necessity of good deeds or good works in Romans 2:5-11 and Galatians 2:10. In 1988 theologian Stephen Westerholm argued that Luthers attacks on Jews were part and parcel of his attack on the Catholic Church - that Luther was applying the apostle St. Pauls critique of Phariseism as legalistic and hypocritical to the Catholic Church. Westerholm rejects Luthers interpretation of Judaism and his antisemitism but points out that whatever problems exist in Pauls and Luthers arguments against Jews, what Paul, and later Luther, were arguing for was and continues to be an important vision of Christianity.
Luther taught that salvation is not from good works, but a free gift of God, received only by grace through faith in Jesus as redeemer from sin. In other words, it is only through faith in Jesus Christ, a faith received by the grace of God, that good works will flow, and flow from the motive of wishing to serve God because of love for Him. This teaching by Luther is succintly stated by the Apostle Saint Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians 2:8-10:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 Not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.Luther regarded The Bondage of the Will his most essential publication. In it he attacked the teachings of the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus who had argued for a democratic human free will in choosing whether to accept or reject Christs gift of salvation, published in his On Free Will (1524). Luther tried to prove in his response to Erasmus "that people cannot do anything to earn their salvation by good works, but that they must receive it from God as a gift.(35)" In effect, Luther argued for the doctrine of single predestination, which says that God predestines some people to heaven, and abandons the rest to hell. Nevertheless, in II Corinthians 5:15, Saint Paul wrote that Christ died for everyone, not just the so-called predestined elect. It could therefore be argued that those Jews who refused to convert to Christianity were allegedly predestined to everlasting damnation as members of the non-elect, the reprobate, the damned. In arguing so, Luther was apparently unaware of the teachings in I Timothy 2:3-4 and II Peter 3:9, where God is said to wish the salvation of everyone, which strongly implies that free will does exist. In addition, Jeremiah 18:7-10 says that we have the power to change the future, and that the future is not fixed beforehand. Nevertheless, God, who has no beginning and no end, and who is outside of time itself in an eternal present, knows beforehand what we will choose of our own free will within the passage of time. Other parts of the Bible which support free will include I John 4:8, Ezekiel 18:32, Ezekiel 33:11, Deuteronomy 30:19, Joshua 24:15, II Corinthians 5:15, and Revelation 2:5, 2:16, 2:21, 3:3, and 3:19. According to II Timothy 3:16-17, all of the Bible is inspired by God. See Genetic Predestination, Free Will, and Universal Salvation. The Nazis seem to have argued by implication that the Jews by genetic predisposition or heredity were allegedly predestined to be an evil people who could not be morally reformed and therefore deserved genocide, a case of the theory of eugenics being used to justify ethnic extermination. That is why the Nazis even persecuted those German Christians of Jewish descent, despite the fact that the earliest converts to Christianity were Jews. Adolf Hitler in his manifesto known as Mein Kampf (My Struggle), published originally in two volumes in 1925-1926, on several occasions refers to predestined Fate and the role of genetic predestination in forming character.(36) Although Hitler was baptized a Catholic, and Catholicism believes in free will, there was a heretical sect within Catholicism called Jansenism which believed in predestination, like the Lutherans and Calvinists still do. Hitler at one point writes that the born criminal is and remains a criminal.(37) Hitler apparently believed that all the Jews were born criminals, for he writes Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it?. If you cut even cautiously into such an abscess, you found, like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light-a kike!.(38). Hitler claimed that in defending himself against the Jew, he was fighting for the work of the Lord.(39) On several occasions Hitler quotes passages from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, and on one occasion he mentions that Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, was strongly opposed to those Jews who refused to convert to Christianity, and found it necessary to drive the Jewish moneylenders out of the Temple in Jerusalem with a whip, which Hitler regards as one of the reasons why the Jews handed him over to the then pagan Romans to be crucified.(40) Hitler also wrote that Protestantism in Germany was a better defender of the interests of Germanism than Catholicism, and was a strong opponent of the Jews. He also classed Martin Luther as one of the great reformers of Germany, along with Frederick the Great and Richard Wagner.(41) The Nazi pseudo-sciences of Social Darwinism and Eugenics as applied to racial politics showed that National Socialism or Nazism, in other words German Fascism, was the twentieth century version of emotional, irrational Romanticism hiding behind the facade of scientific rationalism. The Nazis believed in the secular version of predestination known as Eugenics, Social Darwinism, Phrenology, and Geopolitical Determinism, while the Communists believed in a secular version of predestination known as Economic Determinism, as did also the Nazis to a certain extent. In 1878, the Lutheran court preacher to the German Kaiser, Adolf Stoecker, founded the ultra-nationalist, antiliberal, antijewish Christian Socialist Workers' Party. However, unlike the Nazi Party, which flourished during the years of the Great Depression when unemployment peaked at around 44% in Germany in January 1933, the Christian Socialist Workers Party did not succeed in winning many votes. See chapter title International Comparison of Unemployment Rates by Walter Galenson and Arnold Zellner in National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), in the volume titled The Measurement and Behavior of Unemployment, 1957, page 455 and Unemployent in Weimar Germany, November 13, 2013, by Weimar and Nazi Germany.Co.UK. In Luthers Refutation of the Argument of Latomus,, one of his most emphatic statements on justification by faith, he argued that every good work designed to attract Gods favour is a sin.(42) All humans are sinners by nature, he explained, and Gods grace, which cannot be earned, alone can make them just. On 1 August 1521, Luther wrote to Philipp Melanchthon on the same theme: Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides.(43) It could be argued that the Nazis campaign of genocide against the Jews was a case of sinning strongly, and after all Luther did write in his On the Jews and Their Lies that the Jews should be slain. Luthers recommendation to sin strongly goes against the grain of Christs teaching to not only try to avoid sin to the best of our abilities, but also to do what is good. After all, Jesus told the woman whom He forgave for adultery to go and sin no more (John 8:11), not to be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, as Luther recommended. Did not Jesus teach in Matthew 7:21 that
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Luthers theology challenged the authority of the pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge(44) and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptised Christians to be a holy priesthood(45). His marriage to the former nun Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry(46). One of the passages from the New Testament which has been used by Catholics as a justification for the institution of the papacy comes from Matthew 16:18-19, where Jesus is portrayed as saying to Simon Peter:
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.Traditionally, Roman Catholics regard the above passage as evidence that Jesus chose Saint Peter to be the first head of His church. They believe He established the position of pope through Peter. Protestant scholars interpret the passage to mean that Jesus meant His church to be founded on Peters faith in Him. However, both groups agree that Peter led the early Christian community, as shown by chapters 1-2, 10-11, and 15 of The Acts of the Apostles. In Matthew 18:18 and John 20:19-23 Jesus gave the power to bind and loose in both heaven and earth, in other words to forgive, to the whole Christian Church, be they members of the laity or the ministry. See also Luke 18:9-14. Other passages from the New Testament which have been argued by Roman Catholics as evidence that Jesus intended Saint Peter to be the first pope include Luke 22:31-32 and John 21:15-19. Saint Peter has been called the Shepherd because of what Jesus said to him in John 21:15-19. Saint Peters original name in Hebrew was Shimon Bar-Jonah, or Simon son of Jonah. Jesus gave him the name Peter, which is the Greek word for rock. He was also known as Cephas, which is the Aramaic word for rock. The argument for clerical marriage comes from I Corinthians 9:5, where Cephas, the other apostles, and the brothers of Jesus are shown to be married to Christian wives. Luther based his argument for the priesthood of all believers from the New Testament passages of I Peter 2:5;9. However, the New Testament, written originally in Greek, also mentions such clerical positions as bishops (from the Greek word for overseer, episkopós), priest (Greek presbýteros or old man,, elder), and deacon (Greek diakonos, servant). In the New Testament book of Titus, chapter one, Saint Paul is described as authorizing Bishop Titus to appoint priests throughout the cities of Crete. Again, priests are shown as being permitted to marry and have children (Titus 1:6). Deacons are mentioned in Philippians 1:1 and I Timothy 3:8;12, where they appear in close association with bishops. I Timothy 3 also shows that bishops and deacons in the early church were permitted to be married and have children. "Lutherans do not have any single form of organization that distinguishes them from other Christian groups."(47) Some Lutheran groups have bishops, who were called superintendents by Martin Luther, while some other Lutherans have a congregational organization. Other Lutheran groups have a presbyterian church organization. Catholics argue that the pope is infallible when he speaks on matters of faith and morals, but if the pope has free will, however much that free will is influenced by genetics and environment, he can choose to ignore what the Holy Trinity says to his conscience by lying to himself, in other words through denial. Saint Paul in Galatians 2 denounced Saint Peter to his face for forcing Gentiles to live as Jews.
Another source of controversy surrounding Luthers legacy is the attitude he took towards the German Peasantss War of 1524-25. In his Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants, published in 1525, Luther called for the nobles to put down the rebels like mad dogs: Therefore let everyone who can, smite, slay, and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel.(48) Luther based his opposition to the peasant rebels on St. Pauls epistle to the Romans 13:1-7, which says that all authorities are appointed by God, and for this reason should not be resisted. The First Epistle of Peter 2:13-20 says the same thing. It could therefore be argued that such revolutions as the English Revolution (1642-1660), the American War of Independence (1775-1783), and the French Revolution (1789-1799), and the resistance movements during the Second World War against the Axis occupation forces were Biblically unjustifiable. However, it must be remembered that when Saint Paul wrote his epistles most of the authorities of the Roman Empire held their office either by inheritance, appointment, co-optation, election on a narrow franchise, or a coup détat. Jesus Christ Himself did not support the Jewish zealot party in their resistance to the occupation of Israel by the pagan Romans, but said to the spies of the chief priests and scribes who were sent to ask of Him whether it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not the following: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are Gods. (Luke 20:25). History has shown that following Christs teaching of non-resistance to oppression (for e.g. Matthew 5:38-48) is a hard thing to follow for many people, although St. Francis of Assisi is the notable exception. Jesus according to the author of John 19:10-11 told Pontius Pilate that his authority as governor of Palestine came from God. David, while he was a fugitive, refused to kill King Saul when he had the chance to do so, because he was God's anointed king of Israel, having been annointed at the hands of the prophet Samuel. According to Saint Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 7, verses 20-24, Christians should remain in that station of life in when they were called to Christianity, even if it is one of slavery. The First Epistle of Saint Peter Chapter 2, verses 18-20, says that servants should be obedient to their masters with all fear, even to those who are harsh, and Saint Paul taught something similar in Ephesians 6:5-9, although he also urged masters to treat their servants fairly. However, Jesus also taught His disciples that if they do what He commanded them to do they were His friends, not His servants, according to the Gospel of John 15:12-15. As mentioned before, Jesus also taught the golden rule that we should do to one another as we would want them to do to us, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, which strongly implies that slavery is immoral. In Matthew 20:25-28, Mark 9:35, and Mark 10:42-45 Jesus said to His disciples that unlike the Gentile or then pagan non-Jewish rulers of the world who enjoy being absolute rulers over their subjects, Christians should practice equality and service towards each other. However, Jesus also said that nothing is impossible with God, and God can save a rich man who follows the Ten Commandments, according to Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27. God's grace can save the rich who do not evade their taxes, earn their money legally, invest their money legally, and give generously to charitable causes (Romans 2:5-11, Ephesians 2:8-10, and Galatians 2:10). In the developed Western World, taxpayers fund relief to the needy at home through social security programs, and to the needy abroad through national government provided foreign aid programs. The failure of Communism proves that God would not endorse such a politico-economic system, because God is all-wise or omniscient and is not the God of stupidity. The inefficient communist system, which ignored the free enterprise laws of supply and demand, meant that the Soviet Union until its demise in 1991 was seldom if ever self-sufficient in food production, and was dependent on imported wheat from such countries as The United States, Canada, Argentina, and Australia.(49) The Communist system, because it ignored the free market laws of supply and demand, meant that Soviet industry regularly produced shortages and surpluses. The shortages led to inflation in real terms via a black market, and the surpluses led to Soviet factories running at a loss and having to be ultimately subsidized by taxpayers.(50) Usury in Old Testament times was the sin of a Jew lending money on interest to a fellow Jew who lived in poverty (Proverbs 28:8, Proverbs 22:26-27, Proverbs 19:17, Proverbs 22:7, Exodus 22:25 and Ezekiel 18:16-17). A Jew was allowed to lend money on interest to a non-Jew according to Deuteronomy 23:20-21. The Apostle Saint Paul in I Corinthians 6:9-10 tells the early Christians to accept being wronged and cheated, and not to go to court before the pagan Romans, a strange advice since in The Acts of the Apostles, which was written by another author at a later date than the epistles of Saint Paul, it is recorded that Saint Paul as a Roman citizen went to Rome to be tried before Caesar's court after having demanded it as his legal right.
As a priest and theology professor, Luther confronted indulgence salesmen with his The Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. Luther strongly disputed their claim that freedom from Gods punishment of sin could be purchased with money. In 1516-17, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and papal commisioner for indulgences, was sent to Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to sell indulgences to raise money to rebuild St Peters Basilica in Rome. Roman Catholic theology stated that faith alone, whether fiduciary or dogmatic, cannot justify man, and that only such faith as is active in charity and good works can justify man. This is what is taught by the Apostle Saint James in James 2:17: "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead", and Saint James also said in James 2:19 that even the demons believe in one God and yet tremble in fear. Martin Luther wished to exclude from his translation of the Bible into German the book of James, believing it to be apocryphal, that is of doubtful authorship or authority. According to Roman Catholic theology, the benefits of good works could be obtained by donating money to the church. Luther however adhered to Saint Pauls teaching in his epistle to the Ephesians 2:8-10, which says that faith is prior to good works. "Luther believed that people can only be saved by faith - rather than through their own moral efforts or good works. Instead, people are freed from sin by God through Gods gift of grace through Jesus Christ on the cross. Once set free from sin by the grace of God, people become new creatures, able and willing to serve God and their neighbor"(49), in other words, to do good works. Saint Paul stressed the importance of good deeds or good works in Romans 2:5-11 and Galatians 2:10. Luther objected to a saying attributed to Johann Tetzel that As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory [also attested as into heaven] springs.(51) He insisted that, since forgiveness was Gods alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. In addition Luther did not believe in the existence of purgatory. Nevertheless, there is some scientific evidence for the existence of a purgatorial process from the studies of life reviews of those who have had near death experiences. The following website called Impact of the Near-Death Experience on Grief and Loss, by Bruce Horacek Ph.D and IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies) says the following on page 2 about a life review:
During a predominantly pleasurable NDE (i.e. Near Death Experience), usually while in the light, the NDEr (Near Death Experiencer ) may experience a life review. In this review, the NDEr typically re-views (sees again) and reexperiences every moment of his or her life. At the same time, the NDEr fully experiences being every other person with whom the NDEr interacted. The NDEr knows what it was to be on the receiving end of his or her own actions including those that caused others pain. At this time, the NDEr usually reports feeling profound remorse, along with extreme regret that the harm cannot be undone. At the same time, the NDEr typically reports feeling consistent unconditional love from the light who communicates that the NDEr was still learning how to be a more loving person what NDErs tend to say is the purpose of life.Some Protestant fundamentalists might argue that a life review in a near death experience is a trick of the Devil, but would the Devil make people more morally good by allowing them to experience the impact of their actions from the viewpoint of those people they have interacted with? Roman Catholics base their Biblical evidence for the existence of purgatory on two passages from the Bible, II Maccabees 12:38-46, and I Corinthians 3:10-15. II Maccabees 12:38-46 speaks of prayers for the dead and monetary offerings or indulgences for the dead. Saint Paul in I Corinthians 3:10-15 mentions a testing of the quality of each ones work by fire on the Day of Christ, and that those whose works survive the fire will be rewarded, but those whose works are burnt up will suffer loss, but nevertheless they too will be saved, yet so as through fire. The Day of Christ apparently refers to the passing away of this present world by means of fire, as referred to explicitly or implicitly by II Peter 3:7-13 and Revelation 20:9-11. This purgatorial fire might be the same as the fire from the altar in heaven (see Revelation 8:5). Another reason for the existence of purgatory arises from the situation where someone repents of their sins, but are not forgiven by those they have sinned against. Such repentant persons would have to make reparation or atonement to the ones they have sinned against by means of suffering in purgatory, in order to meet the demands of justice. Such a demand for justice is referred to in various passages from the New Testament, sometimes by means of parable, in John 20:23, Matthew 18:18, Matthew 5:25-26, and Luke 12:58-59. The last two mentioned passages from the New Testament, i.e. Matthew 5:25-26 and Luke 12:58-59, apparently preclude against an early release from purgatory by means of prayers and indulgences for the dead, stating emphatically that one must stay in the prison of purgatory until full atonement has been made to those sinned against. Nevertheless, Matthew 6:14-15 says that if we do not forgive the sins of our transgressors, neither will God forgive our sins, and as a result, according to the parable taught by Jesus in Matthew 18:21-35, we too will do time in purgatory. To avoid such a situation, Jesus said that our forgiveness must be from the heart, in other words, sincere (see Matthew 18:34-35). The second book of Maccabees, chapter 12, verses 38-46, which does mention prayers and monetary indulgences for the dead, forms that part of the Bible which Protestants call the Apocrypha, and Roman Catholics call the Deuterocanonicals. The Protestants dispute the canonicity of the Apocrypha, and if they include it in their Bibles, it is placed either between the Old and the New Testaments or as an appendix after the New Testament. "The Apocrypha consists of 15 books or parts of books written from about 200 B.C. to A.D. 100. Some were written in Hebrew, others in Greek, and still others in Aramaic. The word apocrypha comes from a Greek word that means hidden books. Biblical scholars disagree on why they are called this."(53) The word deuterocanonical comes from the Greek word deúteros, meaning second, and the English word canonical. The Roman Catholic Church regards the deuterocanonical books as constituting a second canon, accepted later than the first, but of equal authority. "Biblical scholars since the middle of the Twentieth Century have taken renewed interest in the Apocrypha. They consider its writings of great importance to understand Judaism during the period between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament."(54) One of the reasons why Martin Luther did not believe in the existence of purgatory was because he was of the belief that after death one sleeps until resurrected body and soul before the Last Judgement, after which people are either consigned to heaven and hell. Yet there are passages in the Bible that say that after death the soul is separated from the body for a while. For example, in Revelation 6:9-11, mention is made of the souls of those who had been killed because they had proclaimed Gods word and had been faithful in their witnessing, crying out to God for justice. Presumably they are those early Christians who had been killed by the pagan Romans in their anti-Christian persecutions. Jesus Christ Himself told the parable of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus whose souls went to hell and heaven respectively after their deaths (Luke 16:19-31). In the Old Testament the ghost of the prophet Samuel appears to King Saul after he had consulted the medium of Endor (I Samuel 28:3-25). The possibility of a state of existence after death which is neither heaven nor hell is mentioned in I Peter 3:18-20, where Christ after His death on the cross but before His resurrection preached to those imprisoned souls who had disobeyed God in the days that Noah was building his ark. Personally, I do not believe that nearly the whole world perished by flood, but that there was a catastrophic flood in Mesopotamia (now Iraq), along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers circa 3000 B.C. which gave rise to the account of a great flood in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, an account which has many parallels to the Biblical story of Noah. The flood was probably caused by the unusually rapid melt of the snowfall in the mountains of what is now eastern Turkey, where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers have their source. Some Protestants argue that one can never fully make amends to those they have sinned against in Purgatory, but did not Jesus say that what is impossible with men is possible with God, for all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27).
Martin Luther could sometimes play loose with the truth, and even recommended outright lying on one notable occasion. He tailored his translation of the Bible into German to fit his own doctrine. When Luther was criticised for inserting the word alone after faith in Saint Pauls Epistle to the Romans 3:28, he replied: It is my Testament and my translation, and it shall continue to be mine.(55) Another occasion of Luthers duplicity concerns the Philip of Hesse controversy. From December 1539, Luther became implicated in the bigamy of Philip I, Landgrave (Count) of Hesse, who wanted to marry one of his wifes ladies-in-waiting. Philip solicited the approval of Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, and Martin Bucer, citing as a precedent the polygamy of the Old Testament Hebrew patriarchs. The theologians were not prepared to make a general ruling, and they reluctantly advised the landgrave that if he was determined, he should marry secretly and keep quiet about the matter.(56) As a result, on 4 March 1540, Philip married a second wife, Margarethe von der Sale, with Melanchthon and Bucer among the witnesses. However, Philip was unable to keep the marriage secret, and he threatened to make Luthers advice public. Luther told him to tell a good, strong lie and deny the marriage completely, which Philip did during the subsequent public controversy.(57) In the view of Luthers biographer Martin Brecht, giving confessional advice for Philip of Hesse was one of the worst mistakes Luther made, and, next to the landgrave himself, who was directly responsible for it, history chiefly holds Luther accountable.(58) Brecht argues that Luthers mistake was not that he gave private pastoral advice, but that he miscalculated the political implications.(59) The affair caused lasting damage to Luthers reputation.(60) Christianity was in need of a reformation during the 1500's, but Martin Luther and John Calvin were the wrong men for it. The Calvinist and Lutheran predestinationist doctrine of eternal security, also known as "once saved, always saved", based allegedly on Romans 8:28-39 in The New Testament, which in my opinion really speaks about God's unconditional love rather than eternal security, is undermined by many Biblical passages which declare that people can lose God's grace if they grow weary in doing good for the glory of God. These biblical passages are Ezekiel 3:20, Ezekiel 18:24-26, Ezekiel 33:13, Ezekiel 33:18, Galatians 6:9, Revelation 2:10, Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20, I Peter 2:10, II Peter 1:5-11, Acts 20:28 and I Timothy 4:1-2, Revelation 2:4-5, II Peter 2:20-22, Mark 4:16-17, Luke 8:13, Revelation 3:5, Luke 9:62, I Corinthians 10:12, Matthew 24:13, Matthew 7:21, Romans 2:13, I Corinthians 9:26-27, Matthew 10:22, I Timothy 4:1-2, Hebrews 3:13-14, James 1:12, I Peter 4:17-18, Romans 11:19-23, Revelation 2:11, Revelation 3:11, Revelation 3:21, Revelation 21:7, Matthew 18:24-35, Hebrews 10:38, John 8:51, Romans 11:22, Hebrews 3:14, II Timothy 2:12, I Corinthians 15:2, Colossians 1:23, I John 3:6, and I John 1:5-10. See Once Saved Always Saved-Fact or Fiction?-Preparing For Eternity and Scriptural Refutation of "Eternal Security"-Bible.Ca. The original aim of the Protestant Reformation movement, from Luther's protest in 1517 until the end of the Thirty Year's War in 1648, was to return Christianity to the literal, fundamental teachings of the Bible, from which the Protestants believed that the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox had departed. The problem with this goal is that modern historical, archaeological, and genetic research has disproved the recorded facts of the Bible on many occasions, and in addition the books of the Bible were written or re-edited decades, if not centuries after the historical events which they purport to describe. Many of the Biblical stories, philosophy, and theology were in fact borrowings from the legends and myths of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Sumerians, Assyrians, and Persian Zoroastrians. Palestine or Canaan in the ancient world lay on an important intersection of trade or caravan routes of the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, linking the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Kush with Phoenicia, Assyria, Babylonia, Sumeria, and Persia. The Fertile Crescent of the Middle East comprised the valleys of the Nile, Jordan, Litani, Orontes, Euphrates, and Tigris rivers, as well as the originally forested mountains, hills, and coastal plains of the Levant. The Levant today consists of the modern nations of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and the parts of these nations which face the Mediterranean Sea have subtropical dry climates with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, and are covered with such trees as Cedars of Lebanon and Cypresses on the uncleared parts of hills and mountains. See Via Maris (The Way of the Sea), The Ancient King's Highway, and The Fertile Crescent. The Samaritans who live in the former northern, ancient Jewish kingdom of Israel, have been revealed to be of mixed Jewish and Assyrian-Mesopotamian ancestry according to DNA or genetic testing. When the Assyrians conquered Israel in 721 B.C. they deported many of the wealthier Israelites and left behind the poorer Israelites, and the latter group intermarried with subject peoples of the Assyrian Empire who settled in Israel, which after 721 B.C. came to be known as Samaria (Assyrian Captivity or Exile). After the Babylonian Empire became supreme in the ancient Middle East, the southern Jewish Kingdom of Judea was conquered by the Babylonians between 597-586 B.C., and again the wealthier Jews were deported while the poorer ones were left behind. After the Babylonians were conquered by the Persian-Iranian Zoroastrians in 539 B.C., the Jews living in exile throughout the former Babylonian imperial provinces were allowed by their new Persian masters to return to Judea if they so wished (Babylonian Captivity or Exile). From 66-136 A.D. the Jews of Roman Palestine fought three failed wars of independence against their Roman masters, and at the end of each war a large part of the Palestinian Jewish population was killed in combat, died of starvation and disease, or were sold into slavery. The Jews who survived in Palestine came to form a minority in their own country, outnumbered by Samaritans, whom the Jews regarded as half-caste Jewish heretics, Greco-Roman pagans or the descendants of Jews who had converted to Greco-Roman paganism, and by Christians, many of whom were converts from Judaism or Greco-Roman paganism (Jewish-Roman Wars). The Jewish minority in Palestine came to be largely concentrated in the Galilee region, where they continued to live until the reestablishment of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948 (Continuous Jewish Presence in the Holy Land (with Maps). After Christianity was declared the official state religion of the Roman Empire in 392 A.D., Greco-Roman paganism entered into a rapid terminal decline towards extinction, especially in the East Roman or Byzantine provinces, and after the Arab Muslim conquest of Palestine in the 630's A.D., many of the Palestinian Jews, Samaritans, and Christians began to convert to Islam in increasing numbers. Some historians believe that the number of Palestinan Jews who died as a result of the Roman-Jewish wars as given by ancient sources were inaccurate exaggerations, as ancient sources often are. The Jews believed in one God, called Yahweh, who was served by a huge number of subordinate angels of various ranks, and who was opposed by a host of fallen, rebellious angels or demons led by the former archangel Satan. The Romans believed in the supreme sky god Jupiter or Diespiter/Deus-Zeus, whom the Roman Emperors claimed to be sons of, and who ruled over many gods and godessess of lower rank who had dethroned an earlier generation of deities known as the Titans. See List of Angels in Theology and List of Theological Demons or Rebel, Fallen Angels. The Jews were influenced by the Persian Zoroastrians when they ruled Palestine from 539-332 B.C. with their concept of an all-good, supreme God called Ahura Mazda (compare with Yahweh), an all-evil god called Angra Mainyu or Ahriman (compare with the archangel Satan), the war-god Mithras (compare with the archangel Michael, Revelation 12), the Saoshyant (Messiah), and the sacred fire from heaven (compare with Revelation 8:5, Luke 3:16-17, Mark 9:49, Luke 12:49-50, I Corinthians 3:10-17, II Peter 3:10-13, and Revelation 20:9-15). See Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity by Hannah M.G. Shapero, 9/6/1997. Emperor or Shah Cyrus the Great of Persia freed the Jewish exiles in captivity in Babylon in 539 B.C., and the three wise men or Magi who visited the Christ Child, i.e. Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, were Zoroastrian priests. Many of the books of the Old Testament were first written or re-edited when Palestine was an imperial Persian province. In 332 B.C., the pagan or polytheist Greek southern Macedonians conquered Persian Palestine. There are nine orders of angels mentioned in both the Old and New Testament of the Bible, and they rank as follows in order of importance from first to last: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels.
Martin Luther did not preach religious toleration for non-Lutheran Protestants. He was against the Anabaptists who believed that adult baptism was the only valid kind of baptism, because Jesus Christ decided to become baptized as an adult at the hands of John the Baptist. Luther also denounced the Unitarians who denied the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which can be found in such New Testament Biblical passages as John 1:1-5, John 20:19-23, and The Acts of the Apostles chapters one to two. Luther also wished to eliminate the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, because they believed in justification by good works as well as by God given faith and grace. The Apostle Saint James wrote in James 2:19 that even the demons or Satan's rebel, fallen angels believe in the one and only God Yahweh, and yet tremble in fear before Him. Luther wished to exlude the New Testament Book of James from his German translation of the Bible because it disagreed with his belief in justification by faith alone, a faith which is given by the grace of God. According to Martin Luther, the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican was the Whore of Babylon, and the Pope was the Antichrist or the Beast whose number is 666. Today, Bible scholars believe that 666, which is the number of a man according to Revelation 13:18, was a code for the pagan Roman Emperor Nero (reign 54-68 A.D.), who was the first Roman Emperor to persecute the Christians. Moreover, according to Revelation 18:17-19, the new Babylon is a great seaport and center of international trade, as was the original Babylon located along the banks of the Euphrates River in what is now the nation of Iraq. Rome's port of Ostia located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea is hardly now a great center of international trade, as it once was in the days of the Roman Empire, both in its pagan and early Christian eras. New York City, New York Harbour, Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ is now a center of international trade, and The United States of America is currently the world's sole and genuine superpower. According to Revelation 18:23 the merchants of Babylon were the great men of the earth, and the new Babylon is the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth according to Revelation 17:18. New York City is the headquarters of the United Nations Organization, with its Security Council, General Assembly, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund. See Is the Statue of Liberty the Whore of Babylon?
(1) McKim, Donald K. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther. New York:Cambridge University Press, 2003, 58; Berenbaum, Michael. Anti-Semitism, Encyclopaedia Britannica, accessed 2 January 2007. For Luther's own words, see Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, translated Martin H. Bertram, in Sherman, Franklin. (ed.) Luther's Works. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971, 47:268-72.
(2) Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred:Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York:Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, 109.
(3) Edwards, Mark. Luther's Last Battles. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983, 121.
(4) Brecht, Martin, Martin Luther, translated James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985-93, 3:341-43; Mullet, Michael A., Martin Luther, London: Routledge, 2004, 241; Marty, Martin Martin Luther. Viking Penguin, 2004, 172.
(5) Brecht, 3:334; Marty, 169; Marius, Richard, Luther London:Quartet, 1975, 235.
(6) Noble, Graham. Martin Luther and German anti-Semitism, History Review (2002) No.42:1-2; Mullet, 246.
(7) Brecht, 3:341-47.
(8) Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, quoted in Michael, 112; Luther, On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ, quoted in Michael, 113.
(9) Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, in Luther's Works. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann (eds), Vol 47:268-271, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999
(10) Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, quoted in Robert Michael, Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews, Encounter 46 (Autumn 1985) No. 4:343-344.
(11) Michael, 117.
(12) Quoted by Michael, 110.
(13) Michael, 117.
(14) Michael, 117-18.
(15) Michael, 117-18.
(16) Gritsch, Eric W., A History of Lutheranism, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002, 113-14; Michael, 117.
(17) Berger, Ronald. Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach (New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 2002), 28; Johnson, Paul. A History of the Jews (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1987), 242; Shirer, William. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960); Grunberger, Richard. The 12-Year Reich: A Social History of Nazi Germany 1933-1945 (NP: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971), 465.
(18) Ellis, Marc H. Hitler and the Holocaust, Christian Anti-Semitism http://www3.baylor.edu/American_Jewish/everythingthatusedtobehere/resources/PowerPoints20Anti-Semitism%20(part%202).ppt, (NP: Baylor University Center for American and Jewish Studies, Spring 2004), Slide 14.
(19) Noble, Graham. Martin Luther and German anti-Semitism, History Review (2002) No.42:1-2.
(20) Diarmaid MacCulloch, Reformation: Europes House Divided, 1490-1700. New York: Penguin Books Ltd, 2004, pp.666-667.
(21) Bernd Nellessen, Die schweigende Kirche: Katholiken und Judenverfolgung, in Büttner (ed), Die Deutchschen und die Jugendverfolg im Dritten Reich, p.265, cited in Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners (Vintage, 1997).
(22) Nichols, William. Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate (Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson, 1995), p.271
(23) Geary, Dick. Who voted for the Nazis? (electoral history of the National Socialist German Workers Party), History Today, October 1998, Vol.48, Issue 10, pp.8-14.
(24) Luther, Martin. Sermon No.8, Predigt über Mat. 11:25, Eisleben gehalten, 15 February 1546, Luthers Werke, Weimar 1914, 51:196-197.
(25) Poliakov, Léon. History of Anti-Semitism: From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews, (N.P: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p.220.
(26) Mackinnon, James. Luther and the Reformation. Vol. IV, (New York: Russell&Russell, 1962), p.204.
(27) Luther, Martin. Admonition Against the Jews, added to his final sermon, cited in Oberman, Heiko. Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, New York: Image Books, 1989, p.294.
(28) Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1993, 2000), pp.8-9.
(29) Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p.109.
(30) Michael, Robert, p.109.
(31) Michael, Robert, Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews, Encounter 46:4 (Autumn 1985), pp.339-56.
(32) Michael, Robert, Ibid, pp.339-56.
(33) Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, quoted in Robert Michael, Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews, Encounter 46 (Autumn 1985) No. 4:343-344.
(34) Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, Translated Martin H. Bertram, in Luthers Works (Philadelphia: Fortess Press, 1971), 47:267.
(35), Pelikan, Jaroslav, Luther, Martin, The World Book Encyclopedia, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, Vol. L, No.12, page 460.
(36) Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf(My Struggle), Translated by Ralph Manheim, with an introduction by D.Cameron Watt, Pimlico, London, 1992 Edition, 2007 Reprint, pages 34, 307, 320, 377, 386, 391, 395, 406, 464, 527, 531, 549, and 553
(37) Ibid, page 377.
(38) Ibid, page 53.
(39) Ibid, page 60.
(40) Ibid, page 278.
(41) Ibid, pages 103 and 194.
(42) Pelikan, Jaroslav, Lutherans, The World Book Encyclopedia, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, Vol. L , No.12, page 461.
(43) Brecht, 2:7-9; Marius, 161-62; Marty, 77-79.
(44) Luther, Martin, Let Your Sins Be Strong, a Letter From Luther to Melanchthon.
(45) Ewald M. Plass, What Luther Says, 3 vols., (St. Louis: CPH, 1959), 88, no.269; M. Reu, Luther and the Scriptures, (Columbus, Ohio: Wartburg Press, 1944), 23.
(46) Luther, Martin. Concerning the Ministry (1523), translated by Conrad Bergendoff, in Bergendoff, Conrad (ed.) Luthers Works. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1958, 40:18 ff.
(47) Bainton, Roland. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. New York: Penguin, 1995, p.223.
(48) Pelikan, Jaroslav J. and Oswald, Hilton C., Luthers Works, 55 vols. (St. Louis and Philadelphia: Concordia Publishing House and Fortress Press, 1955-1986), 46:50-51.
(49) Robert O. Paxton, Europe in the Twentieth Century, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., Second Edition, Updated Printing, 1991, pages 599 and 642.
(50) William G. Dewald, Capitalism, page 157, The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume C-ch, No.3, 1987, Chicago, U.S.A.
(51) Pelikan, Jaroslav, Lutherans, The World Book Encyclopedia, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, Vol. L, No.12, page 461.
(52) Bainton, Roland. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. New York: Penguin, 1995, 60; Brecht, Martin.
(53) R. Francis Johnson, Bible, The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. B, No.2, Chicago, U.S.A, 1987, page 222b
(55) Mullett, Michael A, Matin Luther, London: Routledge, 2004, 148.
(56) Brecht, Martin, 3:206.
(57) Brecht, Martin, 3:212.
(58) Brecht, Martin, 3:214.
(59) Brecht, Martin, 3:205-15.
(60) Oberman, Heiko, Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006, 294.
By Ardent Seeker