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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Luther's Timeline – events surrounding Luther (w/ download)

In the previous blog post, I published my work that compiled much information and paraphrased most of Luther's many letters.

In this post I am publishing my similar work on Luther's Timeline.  As with my work on Luther's Letters, I did not do this work to be another cataloger of Luther, but because I had to cut through all of modern theology's limitations and blindness when it comes to knowing Luther.  The funny thing to me is that even though most modern theologians do not understand Luther very well (or not at all), they can at least be quite good at dating the events of his life.  Because I do not understand German, I was at a great disadvantage to those who know the languages of Luther – German and Latin.  I spent a large amount of time scouring available sources in English and cross referencing them.

I published the MDB (Microsoft Access 97) database file in the previous blog post on Luther's Letters.  The data file also contains the table on the Timeline.  But to make this information accessible to the general reader, I have output a report.  Download the TimeLine file below:
LutherTimeLine.PDF  (.5 MB or 500 KB, 42 pages, over 2000 records)
Here is a listing of the sources I used to compile this information with their abbreviations – many of these are also shown on the 1st page of my TimeLine document:
(listing last updated Nov. 29, 2012)
And below is a single page showing some explanations of the report layout (click on it or download PDF here):
I have not updated this information in over 10 years because I consider it fairly complete for my purposes.  Modern catalogers may be able to add tidbits, but that is no matter to me.  When I read Walther and Pieper, and yes, the Lutheran Confessions, I feel like I'm reading from the faith of Martin Luther.

What astounds me today is what the Internet (Google Books, HathiTrust, Google Translate,, Finn Andersen, etc) has done to bring so much useful information and so many writings from Martin Luther... right to our fingertips.  I think of all the trips to libraries I made, the hours of copying or scanning dozens of books, the many hours of reading, machine translating and data input into my data files.  Robert Kolb wants to thank God for "psychology and sociology" as tools for the Church.  Rather I thank God for the Internet — you and I are reading from it and using it right now!

I dedicate this blog post to two men that I ran across in my readings of the Reformation:
  • Nicholas Lithenius, Swedish Lutheran Pastor in London wrote that "the English Reformation was not started by disciples of Zwingli and Calvin, but by those of Luther, so that Luther, the great instrument of God in reforming the British Church, opened the way to England and Scotland to extricate themselves from Papal servitude."
  • Archbishop John Bramhall of Armagh, Ireland († 1663) said: "The name Protestants is one to which others have no right but by communion with Lutherans".

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