Faith to Faith

Martin Luther

Martin Luther

Since Romans 1:17 was such a crucial passage in Luther’s understanding the gospel and coming to Jesus I wanted to re-post an article I wrote examining how several scholars translated that passage.

There is an interesting series of blog posts at the Bible Gateway called “Perspectives in Translation” (which is no longer available). Here is the assignment on translating Romans 1:17 and the summary of the responses.

If any Bible passage could be credited for igniting the Protestant Reformation, it’s Romans 1:17. Yet as Luther understood so well, this one verse could inspire a thousand scholarly monographs.

Michael Bird addresses four areas that need to be addressed in rendering a translation for this verse. Continue reading

Happy Reformation Day (Three Walls)

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther (1483–1546) posted the 95 Theses protesting among many things the sale of indulgences.

#27 There is no divine authority for preaching that the soul flies out of the purgatory immediately the money clinks in the bottom of the chest.

His goal was to reform the Roman Catholic Church. The result was the Protestant Reformation. Continue reading

Twas the dawn of Reformation (a poem/parody)

What happens when a history buff and theology geek can’t sleep around Christmas time?
How about a mash-up that goes something like this (updates in italics):

Reformers: Luther, Erasmus, and Zwingli

Reformers: Luther, Erasmus, and Zwingli

‘Twas the dawn of Reformation, all thro’ the land,
penance was sold for a Cathedral so grand.
The theses were hung on Wittenburg with great care,
In hopes that needed reform soon would be there.
Now, Martin Luther was torn with guilt you see,
the gospel of Romans was what set him free,
But the marketing plan used by one Tetzel,
tied up good news into a works based pretzel.

When all across Europe there arose such a clatter,
it was clear to see the gospel does matter.
Cajetan was sent to Ausburg in a flash,
to examine Luther who was acting quite rash.
Next up was Eck, the debate was quite a show,
to Papal authority Luther said no.
Then what in Martin’s inbox should now appear,
but a Bull from the Pope, you’re out now my dear.

Now, what next in history should happen , just wait
But the Diet of Worms to decide Luther’s fate.
More rapid than eagles his accusers came,
they questioned his writings and put him to shame.
Luther asked for more time and prayed thru the nite,
Before them he said – Here I Stand for what’s right.
Tho’ captive to God, he was hidden from view,
Tis’ dangerous to challenge the Pope’s purview.

Erasmus the scholar, who brought back the Greek,
A fight with Luther he did not want or seek.
For, the Catholic Church, both sought to restore,
But on this issue they created rancor.
Does anyone have the ability to choose,
or is it our God who determines you lose?
The Bondage of the Will or is it set free,
a doctrine on which we may never agree.

In Zurich, Zwingli joined Luther’s reform work,
After fighting in Marsburg, called him a jerk.
Despite much in common, one thing caus’d tension,
the presence of Christ, the point of dissention.
Now what do you believe and hold to be true?
These things Luther presents in Augsburg to you.
Translating the Bible so it can be read,
Luther helped many change to living from dead.

Now two more reformers entered the fray,
and sola scriptura was what they did say.
The faithful, Calvin said, only God can elect,
sorry if it was you He did not select.
But, Arminius did not see it as such,
instead he taught that coming to faith ‘went Dutch’.
Now, this doctrine they tried to settle in court,
and a TULIP was grown at the Council of Dort.

While in doctrine we don’t all see eye to eye,
In God and His Word, does authority lie.
Reformed and reforming by this we’re driven:
Telling all – by faith, salvation is given.
’cause Jesus exclaimed as He rose out of sight,
be My witness to all, thru My power and might.
And in all that we do may God get the glory,
as we live our lives based on this Christmas story.