Martin Luther Quotations

On His Addition to Romans 3:28

“If your Papist annoys you with the word (‘alone’ – Rom. 3:28), tell him straightway, Dr. Martin Luther will have it so: Papist and ass are one and the same thing. Whoever will not have my translation, let him give it the go-by: the devil’s thanks to him who censures it without my will and knowledge. Luther will have it so, and he is a doctor above all the doctors in Popedom.”

(J. Dollinger, La Reforme et les resultants quelle a produits. (Trans. E. Perrot, Paris, Gaume, 1848-49), Vol III, pg. 138.)

On Sacred Scripture

“To my mind it (the book of the Apocalypse) bears upon it no marks of an apostolic or prophetic character…  Everyone may form his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it.”

(Sammtliche Werke,  63, pp. 169-170, ‘The Facts About Luther,’ O’Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 203.)

“The book of Esther I toss into the Elbe.  I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist, for it Judaizes too much and has in it a great deal of heathenish foolishness.”

(‘The Facts About Luther, O’Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 202.)

“…the epistle of St. James is an epistle full of straw, because it contains nothing evangelical.”

(‘Preface to the New Testament,’ ed. Dillenberger, p. 19)

“Of very little worth is the Book of Baruch, whoever the worthy Baruch might be.”

(‘The Facts About Luther, O’Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 202.)

“Let no one believe himself competent to understand Holy Scripture, unless he has, for a hundred years, governed the Church with the Prophets, with Elijiah and Elisha, St. John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the Apostles.”

(Table-talk, trans. Gustave Brunet, Paris, Garnier, 1844, pg. 290.)

On Lying

“What harm could it do if a man told a good lusty lie in a worthy cause and for the sake of the Christian Churches?”

( Lenz: Briefwechsel, Vol. 1. Pg. 373.)

“To lie in a case of necessity or for convenience or in excuse – such lying would not be against God; He was ready to take such lies on Himself”

(Lenz: Briefwechsel, Vol. 1. Pg. 375)

On Christ

“I have greater confidence in my wife and my pupils than I have in Christ”

(Table Talk, 2397b)

“It does not matter how Christ behaved – what He taught is all that matters”

(Erlangen Vol. 29, Pg. 126)

On Pride

“St. Augustine or St. Ambrosius cannot be compared with me.”

(Erlangen, Vol. 61, pg. 422.)

“What I teach and write remains true even though the whole world should fall to pieces over it”

(Weimar, Vol. 18, Pg. 401.)

On God

“I look upon God no better than a scoundrel”

(Weimar, Vol. 1, Pg. 487. Cf. Table Talk, No. 963)

On Peasants

“Peasants are no better than straw. They will not hear the word and they are without sense; therefore they must be compelled to hear the crack of the whip and the whiz of bullets and it is only what they deserve.”

(Erlangen Vol 24, Pg. 294)

“To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Let there be no half measures! Crush them! Cut their throats! Transfix them. Leave no stone unturned! To kill a peasant is to destroy a mad dog!” – “If they say that I am very hard and merciless, mercy be damned. Let whoever can stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs”

(Erlangen Vol 24, Pg. 294)

“I, Martin Luther, have during the rebellion slain al the peasants, for it was I who ordered them to be struck dead. All their blood is upon my head. But I put it all on our Lord God: for he commanded me to speak thus.”

(Tischreden; Erlanger Ed., Vol. 59. p. 284)

On Jews

“My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire… Second, that all their books– their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible– be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted…Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country…Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it…He who hears this name [God] from a Jew must inform the authorities, or else throw sow dung at him when he sees him and chase him away”

(Martin Luther; On the Jews and Their Lies, translated by Martin H. Bertram, Fortress Press, 1955)

“Burn their synagogues.  Forbid them all that I have mentioned above. Force them to work and treat them with every kind of severity, as Moses did in the desert and slew three thousand… If that is no use, we must drive them away like mad dogs, in order that we may not be partakers of their abominable blasphemy and of all their vices, and in order that we may not deserve the anger of God and be damned with them.  I have done my duty.  Let everyone see how he does his.  I am excused.”

(About the Jews and Their Lies,’ quoted by O’Hare, in ‘The Facts About Luther, TAN Books, 1987, p. 290.)

“If I had to baptize a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe, hang a stone round his neck and push him over with the words I baptize thee in the name of Abraham”

(Grisar, “Luther”, Vol. V. pg. 413.)

“The Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows seven times higher than ordinary thieves.”

(Weimar, Vol. 53, Pg. 502.)

On Marriage

“Know that Marriage is an outward material thing like any other secular business. The body has nothing to do with God. In this respect one can never sin against God, but only against one’s neighbour.”

(Weimar, Vol. 12, Pg. 131.)

“In spite of all the good I say of married life, I will not grant so much to nature as to admit that there is no sin in it. .. no conjugal due is ever rendered without sin. The matrimonial duty is never performed without sin.”

(Weimar, Vol 8. Pg. 654.)

“It is not in opposition to the Holy Scriptures for a man to have several wives.”

(De Wette, Vol. 2, p. 459)






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