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  1. St. John’s, Oak Creek, Bible Class Martin Luther - God’s Reformation Servant “The Monk and Teacher”

  2. “I Will Become a Monk” 1. Influence of early training • Fear of sudden death very real • 1502 serious fever • Easter 1503/4 nearly bled to death • 1505 Hieronymous Buntz died of plague 2. Deepening religious training 3. Special circumstances -- “Intimations of mortality”

  3. The Vow -- Stotternheim, July 2, 1505: “St. Anne, help me; I will become a monk” • “Anfechtung” • Serious contact with Scripture • End of June 1505 trip to Mansfeld • initiated by Martin • father summoned him home • On return, 6 km from Erfurt • Gathered friends at farewell party and gave his possessions away

  4. Monastic Life Augustinians -- Order of Observants of the Augustinian Friars; chartered in 1265 • 15th century “Observants” separated from “Conventuals” • 3rd largest mendicant order in 16th century

  5. At end of 15th century, 7 of 13 Saxon Augustinians houses had accepted reforms of Proles, their vicar general • 1503 Proles died and Johann von Staupitz succeeded as vicar general • at that time there were 27 Observantine houses in Germany, out of 200 Johann von Staupitz (ca. 1469/70 - 1524)

  6. Erfurt monastery founded circa 1265; initial construction 14th c.

  7. Why did Luther join Augustinians, when he had so many other choices in Erfurt? • St. George’s Bursa near Augustinian monastery • Augustinians known for their academic orientation • Monastery was reformed = rules were especially strict • Large, flourishing monastery with good reputation

  8. Monastic vows, according to views of the day, restored one’s original state of grace. • Meals served twice daily: midday, evening • Fasting = abstaining from meat • During fasts, evening meal replaced by “collation” (beer and wine served with gingerbread and salted bread) • Often Luther did not take water or bread for three days at a time

  9. Luther’s activities “If anyone would have gained heaven as a monk, then I would indeed have been among them.” • Novitiate lasted one year • Taught how to conduct himself • Took final vow on grave of Brother Jeremiah

  10. Soul torment -- in cloaca, tentatio tristitiae, Anfechtung • Joining monastery was supposed to bring peace • holy orders = clean as newly baptized baby • “Don’t you believe in the forgiveness of sins?” • Staupitz recognized Luther’s potential

  11. Staupitz -- Letter of May 30, 1518: “From you I learned . . . the biblical meaning of true repentance.” “Pater et praeceptor.” March 1545: “(Staupitz) was at the very beginning my father in this doctrine and gave birth to me in Christ.” • Staupitz not given to Semi-Pelagianism • Also not into Ockham or Biel who insisted “do what is in you” (aka “do your best and God will do the rest”)

  12. Studies and Ordination Studies for priesthood -- Under obedience. Directed reading. • Priesthood not Luther’s original intention • Staupitz prescribed program of directed reading in Bible and in Augustine under Director of Religious Studies • Gabriel Biel’s Canon of the Mass • priest = miracle worker in sacrament • Luther accepted without questioning

  13. Ordination -- April 3, 1507; first mass on May 2 • 1st mass postponed so father could attend • Invited guests • “honor father and mother” • Luther’s terror • Ordination of priest a major event -- ever since Black Death there had been a shortage of priests

  14. Academic progress in theology -- March 1509: Bachelor of Biblical Studies. 1512: Director of Studies in cloister. October 1512: Doctor of Holy Scriptures. • After ordination began new theological studies under Johann Nathin • Steps to Doctor of Theology • Biblicus or Lector [baccalaureus biblicus] • Formatus • Sententiarus [baccalaureus sententiarus] • Licentiatus • Doctor

  15. Special Assignments 1. Wittenberg beginnings -- Winter semester, 1508-09: Logic and Nichomachean Ethics of Aristotle • A professor on leave and Staupitz involved in visitations 2. Erfurt studies and teaching -- Lombard’s Sentences • Luther a student and teacher • 1510 town-gown riot

  16. Trip to Rome -- Autumn 1510. Amalgamation crisis. • Staupitz favored joining Observantines and Conventuals: upgrade laxer houses • 7 of 29 Observantines convents protested • Pope ruled against appeal • Negotiator sent to Rome to get decision reversed; no monk could travel alone • Heine Luder had recently died; opportunities for indulgences

  17. Persona non grata -- “Exiled” to Wittenberg • Efforts in Rome unsuccessful • Luther in minority in Erfurt when he insisted they needed to accept results and move on • As result, he was “exiled”

  18. Call to Wittenberg 1. Transfer - April 1511 • Staupitz had been first dean of theology faculty at Wittenberg in 1502 • He established Augustinian monastery in Wittenberg • Staupitz became vicar general in 1503 • He gave up his professorship in 1512 • Staupitz brought Luther to Wittenberg to be his successor

  19. 2. Staupitz’s departure -- Headquarters in Nürnberg • Luther offered a variety of excuses, since he did not aspire to the doctorate • At same time Luther also picked up additional duties • 1511 Luther appointed preacher at Black Cloister • 1512 became subprior and Generalstudium • 1514 began to preach at Town Church

  20. Augustinian monastery in Wittenberg -- the “Black” Cloister

  21. 3. Successor -- Leader of Augustinians at Wittenberg, 1515. District Vicar for Meissen and Thuringia, 1516 • 29 April - 1 May 1515 Augustinians met in Gotha • Luther elected to 3-year term as district vicar for 10, later 11, convents in Meissen and Thuringia • Due to press of duties, became negligent in reading his breviary

  22. 4. Duties - “I do almost a sermon daily at the parish church, am district vicar, . . . Business manager of our fish farm, . . . Lecturer on St. Paul, assistant lecturer on the Psalter. . . . You see how idle I am!” • Elector Frederick provided 50 gulden for expenses connected with doctorate Academic Progress 1. Studies for doctorate - Ockham and Biel, John Tauler

  23. “It will be the death of me.” • William of Ockham promoted return to the Scriptures; willingness to recognize errs of popes and councils • John Tauler insisted one cannot be satisfied with humanistic tools. One needs to call on the living God, who operates in the living Word. • Together with Biel, these men did not make Luther a reformer -- contributed a piece

  24. 2. Growing reputation - 1517: Disputation against Scholastic Theology, 1518: A German Theology • When Luther arrived in 1512, majority of theology courses were scholastic • Luther had one class that met for one hour, four days a week • Later had 2 hours per week • initially at 6:00 a.m.; then at 1:00 p.m. • Humanists appreciated his “ad fontes” approach • Prepared A German Theology for publication

  25. 3. Reaction to Reuchlin broil • Johann Reuchlin twice faced Inquisition for Hebrew work, biblical and extra-biblical • Luther insisted that people needed all help they could get to read Hebrew and understand the Scriptures • 1518 Reuchlin suggested to grandnephew Philip Melanchthon that he accept position at University of Wittenberg 4. A new New Testament teaching tool - Erasmus’ New Testament, 1516.

  26. Lecturing and Preaching 1. Psalm lectures - First, 1513-15; then, 1518-21 • Mondays and Tuesdays, one hour • Lecture hall was at Black Cloister • first series, 16 August 1513 to 21 October 1515

  27. Used best resources available • Psalterium Quintuplex (1509) by Jacques Lefevre d’Etaples • Commentaries of Nicolaus of Lyra and Paul of Burges • Reuchlin’s De Rudimentis Hebraicis • By 1516 Luther no longer considered Vulgate to be authoritative text • Second series of lectures on Psalms took place from 1518-1521

  28. 2. Other Old Testament lectures - Genesis • 31 May 1535 Luther announced: “I will devote the remaining years of my life to an exposition of the books of Moses.” • Began lectures on Genesis, 1 June 1535 3. New Testament lectures - Romans (1515-16), Galatians (1516-17), Hebrews (1517-18) • Lectured at Wittenberg, 1512-1544 • No fixed repetition of lectures

  29. Romans: 3 November 1515 - 7 September 1516 • Galatians: 27 October 1516 - 10 March 1517 • Hebrews: 27 March 1517 - April 1518 4. Town church pulpit • 1514 pastor of St. Mary’s had serious throat ailment; Luther substituted • Work at St. Mary’s helped in development of Catechism • Many years preached 170 sermons/year

  30. All Saints -- “Castle Church” St. Mary’s -- “Town Church”

  31. Durchbruch “Break Through” 1. Process or “enlarging experience”? Both. Concerning the grasp of iustitia dei: “Diese Kunst hat mir der S.S. auf dies’ Cl. eingegeben.” “Turmerlebnis”? • Understanding “righteousness of God” not original with Luther • From 432 AD until 1517: at least 60 teachers in 20 countries understood this truth properly

  32. 2. Significance • In his Tower Discovery Luther had obtained key to Scripture • After 1514 it shines through his lectures • Bible once again became Christo-centric • Luther now ready to help others clearly see the implication of justification by faith