A student who doesn't want his work to go for nothing ought to read
and reread some good author until the author becomes part, as it
were, of his flesh and blood. Scattered readingconfuses more than it
teaches. Many books, even good ones, have the same effect on the
student. So he is like the man who dwells everywhere and therefore
dwells nowhere. Just as in human society we don't enjoy the
fellowship of every friend every day, but only of a few chosen ones, so
we ought to do in our studies.
See Timothy F. Lull, ed., Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1989), 20.
Heiko Oberman, Luther: Man Between God and the Devil (New York: Image
Table Talk No. 4075 (September 29, 1538), in Luther's Works (Philadelphia:
Fortress Press, 1967), 54:311.
Bernhard Lohse, Martin Luther: An Introduction to His Life and Work (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), 97.
Martin Luther, ”Table Talk for Winter of 1542–3, “in LW 54, 439–40.
See the highly useful resource Luther's Works on CD-ROM (Minneapolis and St.
Louis: Fortress Press and Concordia PublishingHouse, 2002) which makes the
55-volume American Edition available in this format.
Jaroslav Pelikan, Luther the Expositor (St. Louis: Concordia, 1959).
Philip Melanchthon, ”Loci Communes“(1521), in Melanchthon and Bucer,
Library of Christian Classics (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1969).
John Dillenberger, ed., Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings (Garden City:
Theodore Tappert, ed., Book of Concord (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959)
or now preferably Robert Kolb and Timothy Wengert, eds., Book of Concord
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000). Cf. the useful resource, The Bookof Concord
on CD-ROM, ed. Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert (Minneapolis: Fortress
See Lohse, Martin Luther, ch. 4.
Among the lives of Luther, the best current resource in English is the threevolume set by Martin Brecht: Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), Martin Luther: Shaping and Defining the Reformation
(Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1990), and Martin Luther: The Preservation of the
Church (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993). Among the studies especially significant are Oberman, Luther, and Bernhard Lohse, Martin Luther's Theology
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999). For background see Hans Hillerbrand, ed., Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. 4 vols. (New York: Oxford, 1996) and
Thomas Brady, Heiko Oberman, and James Tracy, eds., Handbook of European
History 1400–1600. 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995).