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Saturday, August 13, 2011

More on Luther's writing "On the Jews and Their Lies"

There are virtually no writers today who follow Luther, especially in this writing.  Why?  Because of Nazi Germany. To various degrees, Luther and Christianity are being blamed for the famed "Holocaust", that is the "genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II... by Nazi Germany". (Wikipedia).

But the St. Louis Edition (volume 20, intro page 63, Google Books here) of Luther's writing (in German) had this comment about Luther's harsh proposals for the Jews (my own best translation):
Here Luther goes, though as we see from paragraph 315 of this writing that this advice is only given to the government, in his eagerness for God's glory advises to interfere too far in matters of religion with the fist. But we suspect that this was just a blank shot, to defend against the great audacity of the Jews; because we do not hear that such had been carried out, at least in Luther's day, what certainly would have happened if Luther had insisted on it with all earnestness.
So we see true followers of Luther (the old German Missouri Synod) saw his harsh proposal in a spiritual light...  "a blank firing, to defend against the great audacity of the Jews".

- - - - - - - - Note (1) of St. Louis Edition introduction to volume 20, page 63 - in German. - - - - -
(1) Hier geht Luther, wiewohl es, wie wir aus § 315 (Bande 20, Seite 1994) dieser Schrift sehen, nur die Obrigkeit ist, der dieser Rath ertheilt wird, in seinem Eifer für GOttes Ehre darin zu weit, dass er räth, in Sachen der Religion mit der Faust einzugreifen. Doch vermuthen wir, dass dies nur ein Schreckschuss gewesen ist, im der grossen Frechheit der Juden zu wehren; denn wir hören nicht, dass solches, wenigstens zu Luthers Zeiten, ausgeführt worden sei, was sicherlich geschehen wäre, wenn Luther mit ganzem Ernst darauf bestanden hätte.

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