Martin Luther: The Preservation of the Church, 1532-1546

Martin Luther: The Preservation of the Church, 1532-1546

Martin Luther: The Preservation of the Church, 1532-1546

Martin Luther: The Preservation of the Church, 1532-1546


This first volume in Martin Brecht's three-volume biography recounts Luther's youth and young adulthood up to the period of the Diet of Worms. Brecht, in a clear, eloquent translation by James Schaaf, discusses Luther's education at the University of Erfurt, his monastic life, his canonical trial in 1519, the Leipzig debate, and his earliest contributions to the beginning of the Reformation. Illustrations enrich the text.


This volume completes the translation of the three-volume biography of Martin Luther written by Martin Brecht. The previous volumes, published by Fortress Press in 1985 and 1990 respectively, were entitled Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation, 1483–1521 and Martin Luther: Shaping and Defining the Reformation, 1521–1532. It is a pleasure to have made this thorough and up-to-date work available to English-speaking readers.

The same general principles have been followed in this volume as in the preceding ones. Where translations of passages quoted from Luther’s writings were included in Luther’s Works, the fifty-five-volume American edition published by Concordia Publishing House and Fortress (Muhlenberg) Press, they have generally been used in preference to my own translation. References to this standard English translation have been added to the author’s original notes. As in the first and second volumes, the word Anfechtung (pi. Anfechtungen), which may refer either to trials sent by God or to the temptations of Satan, has been consistently left untranslated.

Professor Brecht read through the translation and was extremely helpful in clarifying some expressions and correcting my errors. I appreciate his thorough scholarship and cherish his friendship. Working with him has been a joy and privilege.

I wish to thank my wife, Phyllis, for reading through the translation as a “nonspecialist,” and making many helpful suggestions for improving its readability. The book has also benefitted from her careful proofreading. But, most of all, I thank her for her patience during this project, which has consumed a major portion of my time for more than ten years.


Columbus, Ohio July 1992 . . .

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