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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Vom Schem Hamphoras – by Martin Luther (a translation, Part 9)

    This continues from Part 8.  See Part 1 for an introduction and Table of Contents.

     I have decided to set aside the balance of Luther's "little book" – the portion on the lineage or genealogy of Christ – for awhile, since this is quite labor intensive and there are 40% more paragraphs than in the first section.  I don't know CPH's schedule to publish the new volume of Luther's Works with this portion. I may get back to it as time permits.  But I will publish the first two paragraphs by way of introduction (and to prod CPH to get their translation published ASAP):
... and the Lineage of Christ, Matthew 1. – by Martin Luther
     83.  From the beginning, according to the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke, has the following question been raised:  Why are the two evangelists so different (or how much they have interpreted as contradictory to each other) on the persons or members of the lineage of our Lord Jesus Christ, and why especially that they both carry harmoniously the line or ranks of the people in the lineage and ending on Joseph, and not on Mary and Christ; from this the clever ones would like to say that there is no proof that Christ was of the tribe of David, because he came not from Joseph, whom first the evangelists describe of the lineage of David but then they suddenly leave Joseph and put in Mary.
     84.  Here they all are entangled, especially the Jews, and after that Julian the emperor with his heathen; again, many of the old teachers, and not a few of the new teachers; it is surprising of those who have to cope with this, as if our Christian faith would be false, uncertain, or completely dark.  This is why we also want to talk a little bit of it, however with leave for we gladly allow everyone to make it better than I.
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Dear Dr. Luther, no one will make it better than you! No theologian, scholar, commentator, or editor since the days of the apostles has or will make it better than you!  The devil has caused this writing of yours on Christ's lineage to be locked away from the non-German speaking world, in part because it follows the first part of your Vom Schem Hamphoras "little book".  It is a writing that so wonderfully strengthens the Christian faith... and refutes the Jews!

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