1522 Luther Phamplets, Item # ML1522AS
Windows to the Continental Reformation
LUTHER, Martin. Eyn Bett
LUTHER, Martin. Eyn Bett Buchlin [Personal Prayer Book] Wittemberg: Johann [Rhau-]Grunenberg, 1522.
Pamphlet. Twelvemo size in eights; approx. 150 x 100mm; A-E8; colophon on [E7v], [E8] a blank. Stab-stitched (original stab-stitching apparently intact). In speckled 18th Century (?) wrappers, with wraparound manuscript labeling. Trimmed but fully margined. Absolutely fine condition.
This little publication, humble but perfectly preserved, sits in a unique transitional period of the Reformation.
By genre, it looks backward to the ubiquitous private Catholic devotional texts known as Books of Hours (Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis) “The Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary”; by the nature of Luther’s ever-more-confident Reformation theology, and his use of German vernacular, this little “personal prayer book” of 1522 looks forward to the key textual event of the German and therefore Continental Reformation: Holy Scripture in Luther’s German translation from original tongues, affordably printed in quantity for the general lay public.
This little book also speaks to an important turning point in Luther’s complex Mariology, especially when read in light of his sermons from 1519-1523.
This pamphlet tellingly contains Luther’s German versions of the Ave Maria, the Pater noster, and the Ten Commandments.
Of greatest historical significance – without question -- is the appearance in print, in Luther’s German translation, of Paul’s Letter to Titus (here printed slightly in advance of Luther’s world-changing “September Testament” – his New Testament of September, 1522) and of several of the Psalms (years before Luther’s Old Testament was published, and not only rendered in Luther’s German but versified, the first vernacular versification of any portion of Scripture, which was not to be repeated until the 1550s).
In passages, and in contents and issues addressed, Eyn Bett Buchlin also points to Luther’s Larger and Smaller Catechisms of 1529, the Augsburg Confession of 1530, the Schmalkald Articles of 1537, and on eventually to the Lutheran Book of Concord, 1580.
This wonderfully fine copy of Eyn Bett Buchlin is now chemised and cased in a leather-backed conservation clamshell, appropriately set with a near fine wrappered 1537 printing of Luther’s pamphlet Zwo Schone Trostliche Predigt zu Schmalkalden, Wittemberg: Joseph Klug. (4to, A-F4).
This pamphlet is an enlightening companion piece, of course, specifically to the Schmalkald Articles in their entirety (not actually published till the following year), but it is also a nice companion to the original 1522 “Bett Buchlin” as an example of the growth and clarification of Luther’s theology in general from the early 1520s to the late 1530s. Stab-stiched in drab wrappers with MS titling; some very early underlining and marginal notes. Woodcut bordered title-page.
The Schmalkald Articles were articles of belief named for the town in Hesse-Nassau, Germany, where they were presented to Protestant leaders; now part of the Book of Concord, the normative collection of Lutheran confessions. The Articles were occasioned by the call of Pope Paul III for a council at Mantua. Invited to attend, the German Protestants through Elector John Frederick of Saxony asked Luther to prepare a confession for them to submit. Luther wrote them during Christmas, 1536. Together with his Small and Large Catechisms, they comprise his contribution to the Book of Concord. Luther's articles were subscribed by most of the theologians in attendance. The princes delayed action, declaring their refusal to recognize the council, which never did convene.
The Schmalkald Articles are grouped in three parts: (1) those concerning "the chief articles" of "the Divine Majesty," about which there was no controversy with Rome, as the Trinity; (2) those concerning "the articles which refer to the office and work of Jesus Christ or our redemption," about which there was controversy with Rome and no compromise was possible, as justification by grace alone through faith; (3) those concerning miscellaneous matters, about which there was controversy but which were open to negotiation, as monastic vows and the marriage of priests.
The articles were valued as "a bold, clear-cut testimony of the Lutheran position" and as a testimony of Luther's personal faith, for he wrote them at a time when he felt his death was near. Published by Luther in 1538, a Latin translation appeared in 1541. By 1553 they were named the Schmalkald Articles in an edition issued at Weimar. Within a generation they won wide approval in Lutheran Germany and were included in the Book of Concord. Attached to them was the "Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope" (1537) by Philip Melanchthon. It was officially adopted at Schmalkald and, while intended to supplement the Augsburg Confession, it became associated with the articles.
Both if these pamphlets are in exceptionally nice condition – the Bett Buchlin seemingly almost new. Both are excessively rare because of their ephemeral nature. Both are hugely significant small contemporary “snapshots” – if you will – into the living thought processes of the Continent’s greatest Reformer while these events were actually in the process of unfolding. Remarkable on every count.
Luther's works have been published frequently and in many languages; the first attempt at an edition of them was in 1539–58. See H. Grisar, Martin Luther, His Life and Work (tr. 1930, repr. 1971); H. Boehmer, Luther and the Reformation in the Light of Modern Research (tr. 1930) and The Road to Reformation (tr. 1946, repr. 1957); R. H. Fife, The Revolt of Martin Luther (1957); J. MacKinnon, Luther and the Reformation (4 vol., 1962); V. H. H. Green, Luther and the Reformation (1964, repr. 1969); P. Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther (tr. 1966); J. Atkinson, Martin Luther and the Birth of Protestantism (1968); E. G. Rupp, comp., Martin Luther (1970); H. G. Koenigsberger, comp., Luther: A Profile (1973); A. G. Dickens, Martin Luther and the Reformation (1976); H. A. Oberman, Luther: Man between God and the Devil (1982); G. Brendler, Martin Luther: Theology and Revolution (1989).
Selected Bibliography regarding this description and essay notes on Eyn Bett Buchlein, by D. Martin Luther, 1522:
LUTHER, Martin. Devotional Writings I, Luther’s Works, Volume 42, Martin O. Dietrich, ed., Helmut T. Lehmann, general editor, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969).
LUTHER, Martin. Devotional Writings II, Luther’s Works, Volume 43, Gustav K. Wienke, ed., Helmut T. Lehmann, general editor, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968).
Kittelson, James M., Luther the Reformer: The Story of the Man and His Career, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1986).
Arand, Charles P. “The Battle Cry of Faith: The Catechisms’ Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer.” Concordia Journal. Volume 21 (January 1995). 42-65.
Bayer, Oswald. “Luther’s Ethics as Pastoral Care.” Lutheran Quarterly. Volume 4 (Summer 1990). 125-42.
Carter, Lindberg. “The Liturgy after the Liturgy: Welfare in the Early Reformation.” Through the Eye of a Needle:
Cousins, Peter James. “Luther’s Poor Reform and Christian Liberty.” Vox Scripturae Volume 6 No. 2 (December, 1996). 263-75.
Davis, Thomas J. “‘His Completely Trustworthy Testament’: The Development of Luther’s Early Eucharistic Teaching, 1517-1521.” Fides et Historia: Official Publication of the Conference on Faith and History Volume 25 (Summer 1993). 4-22.
Gritsch, Eric W, ed. “Luther, Prayer, and Pastoral Care.” Lutheran Theological Seminary Bulletin. Volume 67 (Winter 1987). 1-59.
Johnson, Donald W. Praying the Catechism. Winnipeg: Wallingford Press (ELCIC), 1995.
Kelly, Robert A. “Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio Faciunt Theologum: Luther’s Piety and the Formation of Theologians.” Consensus. Volume 19, No. 1 (1993). 9-27.
Kolb, Robert. “God’s Gift of Martyrdom: The Early Reformation Understanding of Dying for the Faith.” Church History. Volume 64 (1995). 399-411.
________. “Luther the Master Pastor: Conrad Porta’s Pastorale Lutheri, Handbook for Generations.” Concordia Journal. Volume 9 (1983). 179-187.
Krispin, Gerald S. “A Study in Luther's Pastoral Theology.” Logia. Volume X, No. 2 (2001).
Leaver, Robin A. “Luther’s Catechism Hymns: ‘Lord, Keep us Steadfast in Your Word’.” Lutheran Quarterly. Volume 11, no. 4 (Winter, 1997). 397-409.
Leaver, Robin A. “Luther’s Catechism Hymns: Ten Commandments,” Lutheran Quarterly. Volume 11, no. 4 (Winter, 1997). 410-21.
Lehmann, Martin E. Luther and Prayer. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1985.
Nagel, Norman. “Luther and the Priesthood of All Believers,” Concordia Theological Quarterly, Volume 61, no. 4 (1997), 277-98.
Nebe, August. Luther as spiritual adviser . tr. Charles A. Hay and Charles E. Hay. Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society. 1894.
Possset, Franz. “The Threefold Pastoral Care According to Bernard of Clairvaux and Its Impact on Martin Luther.” Semper Reformanda: A Journal for Lutheran Reformation (30 June 1997).
Schaaf, James L. “The Large Catechism: A Pastoral Tool.” Trinity Seminary Review. Volume 1, No. 1 (Spring 1979). 16-22.
Tinder, Galen. “Luther’s Theology of Christian Suffering and its Implication for Pastoral Care.” Dialog. Volume 25, No. 2 (Spring 1986). 108-113.
Wengert, Timothy. “‘Fear and Love’ in the Ten Commandments.” Concordia Journal. Volume 21 (January 1995).
________. “Forming the Faith Today through Luther’s Catechisms,” Lutheran Quarterly Volume 11, no. 4 (Winter 1997) 379-96.
Item # ML1522AS
In Full Description
Appraisal Value: $41,800
Sale Price: $19,500