Faith, Righteousness and Justification: New Light on Their Development Under Luther and Melanchthon
Lowell C. Green, Appalachian State University
From The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1, April 1973. Copyright 1973 by Forum Press, Saint Louis, Missouri, reprinted by permission.
One of the most central questions of the Reformation remains without a completely satisfactory answer: When did Luther make the transition from an Augustinian monk to the Protestant reformer, and in what did that change consist? The older view seems still to predominate, according to which the evangelical discovery came rather early, somewhere around 1513-1514; this position necessarily views Luther, consequently, as a rebellious critic of the Church, who entered the indulgence controversy in order to oppose the traditional doctrine of penance. Over against this interpretation, a growing minority is favoring a comparatively late date for Luther's new doctrine of justification, setting it in the year 1518-1519. This view, advanced by scholars like Uuras Saarnivaara, Ernst Bizer, Kurt Aland, and F. Edward Cranz,1 is capable of further support. It is the purpose of this article to produce additional evidence which shows that Luther's evangelical discovery was the result, rather than the cause, of the indulgence controversy.
Saarnivaara's pioneering work, of 1951, unknown to many European scholars, was a book of great merit; however, it suffered at the point where it tried to identify Luther's "discovery of the Gospel" with that elusive "tower experience." Bizer's valuable investigation has deservedly attracted much attention in America as well as in Europe; nevertheless, one suspects that his finding the "theology of the Word" as the center of Luther's discovery has been colored unduly by contemporary theology, such as that of Karl Barth. Moreover, while Bizer correctly finds a great change reflected in the Acta Augustana of 1518, he overlooks some important aspects of the new understanding of faith, righteousness, and justification.
It is surprising how little research has been devoted to the evolution in Luther's concept of faith. Instead, it has been falsely assumed that his doctrine of faith underwent little change between 1514 and 1519. The term credulitas is central in Luther's lectures on Romans; yet, a glance at the published research shows that this term has been almost totally neglected (infra!). This understanding of faith as submission to the teaching authority of Mother Church is an integral part of his thinking, until the transition takes place which will be described below. Previous to 1518, Luther's doctrine of faith was definitely pre-Reformational. It was still dominated by the medieval construction of the three theological virtues of fides, caritas et spes. Not until Luther overcame this view of faith as a virtue formed by charity could he find place for faith as a relationship with God [fiducia]. The importance of this aspect has received almost no attention until now. Schwarz's splendid investigation (infra!) examined the reformer's earlier use of these three terms, but did not draw all the necessary conclusions because of the assumption that the evangelical discovery had occurred at an earlier date. Consequently, the momentous change in Luther's doctrine of faith, righteousness, and justification did not emerge clearly enough.
Some scholars still confuse the issue of the Indulgence Theses because they fail to realize that Luther, loyal to Catholic teaching, accepted the free remission of guilt in 1517, while still requiring a subsequent remission of the punishment. We shall take time to clarify this point, and realize that Luther could not possibly have held his later view of Romans 1:17 until his views had clarified under the fire of his Roman opponents.
I. The Conservatism of the Ninety-Five Theses
The medieval church had distinguished between the remission of sins (remissio culpae) and the remission of punishment (remissio poenae). Sins were remitted freely for Christ's sake, but the punishment remained. An indulgence was a leniency on the part of the church which made it easier for the sinner to bear his punishment.2 In his 95 Theses,3 Luther accepted (in theory) all the official points of Roman Catholic teaching on the indulgence,4 except that (in practice) he felt that indulgences often tended to lower spiritual standards. Under the fire of his critics, Luther clarified his position in his theologia crucis: the Christian cherishes punishment, death, and crosses [WA, I, 613]; he seeks and loves to do penance for his sins [Thesis 40].
We reject the notion of a once-for-all conversion of Luther in the sense of the Romantics, and insist that, besides the daily spiritual onslaughts which he regarded as normal, he spoke of special struggles over such doctrines as predestination, justification, and, here, repentance (poenitentia). In his Explanations of the Ninety-Five Theses,5 Luther opens with a letter addressed to John Staupitz. In it he refers to a period in his life when the word repentance had been bitter; more recently it had become sweet, when related to the wounds of the Savior [WA, I, 525]. Luther continues to relate how subsequently, through the studies of "most erudite men" who taught Greek and Hebrew (Erasmus and Reuchlin), he had come to learn that repentance meant not only to do penance, as in medieval theology, but involved a total renewal of the mind and heart [WA, I, 526f.]. A glance at Erasmus' Annotations on Matt. 3:2 will immediately confirm Luther's indebtedness to the humanist. It is this insight that Luther developed in Thesis 1, when he stressed that not only in doing penance, but in one's life as an entirety, there must be continuous repentance.6
If this were true, then it follows that the remission of punishment through the indulgence is vilissimum — "a very slight thing" [WA, I, 609]. Yet, although he sees many problems in connection with the indulgence, Luther is not ready to abandon the concept. Why not? Because the believer must submit to the judgment of the pope and the church. "If anyone speaks against the apostolic verity of indulgences, let him be anathema and accursed" [Thesis 71]. There could be no exception to this [WA, I, 618, 620].7
While it is true that Luther's acceptance of indulgences was largely due to his obedience to Mother Church, this does not alter the fact that his doctrine at this point did not accord with his "mature" understanding of justification. In Protestant thinking, a forgiveness of guilt which did not include the remission of punishment for the sin was no forgiveness at all. Scholars have often overlooked this when they have interpreted the 95 Theses in the light of their own systems; it would be better instead to interpret their systems in the light of the 95 Theses. Taken out of context, Theses 81-90 have been interpreted as sarcastic arguments by Luther against the whole indulgence system; reviewed more carefully, these will be seen as scornful remarks made by the man on the street in response to the abuses of men like Tetzel. Luther, in seeking to defend the proper doctrine of the indulgence, firmly believes he is supported by the pope, and is defending his holiness [Theses 80f., 90f.].
Therefore, our brief reference to the Indulgence Theses points toward a doctrine of justification at variance with the common notion of what Luther taught regarding faith, righteousness, and justification in 1517. Is it really true that Luther had not come to his "evangelical discovery" of passive righteousness before his encounter with Tetzel? This seems to be a distinct possibility, at the very least. However, we must test our hypothesis against the evidence of Luther's development as shown in a larger context. Accordingly, we shall next look into the reformer's understanding of faith and righteousness during this period.
II. Faith and Righteousness in the Young Luther
Luther scholars have almost unanimously agreed that the break-through in justification was the illumination of Romans 1:17: "For herein is the righteousness of God revealed, as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.' " Here, at least, they agree with Luther himself [WA, LIV, 185]. But this assertion from Luther's autobiographical sketch of 1845 is almost the only point of consensus between the reformer and his interpreters. He states in his autobiography that his great turning-point occurred in 1519. Many modern scholars feel that Luther actually reached his "mature" doctrines of faith and righteousness by 1514, and that these doctrines, as found in the Lectures on Romans, already presented his reformational teaching. Who is right—Luther or his historians? If we consult the primary sources, we shall have to decide in favor of Luther. We possess the Lectures on Romans in unusually good transmission. There are four redactions of what Luther said concerning Romans 1:17 in 1515. But a perusal of these texts will reveal not a shred of evidence that this verse from the Bible held any especial meaning for him in 1515, or that he possessed the new doctrine of justification by faith, ascribed by himself first in 1519, 50 early as the Romans Lectures. The treatment of Romans 1:17 is painfully short. The exposition of those crucial words, iustitia Dei revelatur, extends to only eighteen lines, half of which are padded with quotations from Augustine and Aristotle; only 24 additional lines are devoted to the second part of the verse, ex fide in fidem, and this length is attained by citing the views of Nicholas of Lyra, the Glossa ordinaria, Augustine of Hippo, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Paul of Burgos. Luther even leaves out of the scholia any mention of the famous passage, "The just shall live by faith" (!), while, in the glossae, he remarks soberly, at the crucial point, that "by faith" means ex Credulitate, i.e., by faith as intellectual assent.8 "The just shall live by faith," a citation from Habakkuk 2:4, recurs in Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38; but in his lectures on both these Epistles (in 1517 and 1518), he still dodged that locus classicus of the Protestant doctrine of justification [WA, LVII, ii, 80; WA, LVII, iii, 226].
Much has been said and written about the importance of Luther's concept of faith. Strangely enough, there has been a dearth of genetic studies, based on sources of Luther's late medieval teachers as well as on his own works. Our knowledge of Luther's development is seriously hindered by the lack of studies into the medieval background of his youth to provide the necessary Sitz im Leben behind his ideas; however, we can point to two monumental investigations by Reinhold Schwarz and Heiko Oberman.9 A key word for faith in the Young Luther was credulitas [credulity or assent]; yet, this term, with its rather unpleasant connotations, has been overlooked by most Luther scholars.10 Some interpreters to the contrary, Luther in this earlier period saw faith not in the reformational sense of fiducia [trust], but as assent to the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church. He associated the concept with the "theological virtues" syndrome of faith, charity, and hope—fides, caritas et spes [note the scholastic word-order, varying from I Cor. 13]. One can hardly look for a reformational insight within this medieval structure, under which Luther had been educated.
What was the role of faith, charity, and hope in late medieval scholasticism? We can only give a generalized sketch here.11 Crucial was the idea of grace as a medicinal, healing substance; infused through the Sacraments, it developed these three virtues, resulting eventually in the justification of the believer, after a long process of "making righteous." Fides [faith] was in some ways the least of the virtues. As fides infusa, it was divinely imparted through Baptism; when developed by instruction in the creeds and doctrines of the Church, it became an acquired faith [fides acquisita] and was termed credulitas.12 Such faith, being assent and located in the intellect, was called "unformed" [fides informis] until it learned to perform meritorious good works and practiced them through charity [fides caritate formata]. Caritas, often identified with "grace," seemed superior to faith since it produced meritorious works. In scholasticism, spes [hope] took over much of the position occupied by "faith" in later Protestant thought, since fiducia [trust] was correlated with spes rather than with fides. While faith was oriented to the present aspect of time, hope was the link with the future: the confidence that God was just, and would reward one's merits with justification and everlasting life. Hence, justification was futuristic. Under this system, of course, there was no sure certainty of salvation until the end of one's life. As Schwarz has abundantly documented in his monograph, the Young Luther shared most of these views for a number of years. However, it is clear that there was no room for the reformational concept of justification by faith until Luther's understanding of righteousness could be separated from this system of virtues, and his idea of faith become a term of relationship comprehending also the future aspect of time. This came to pass when he was able to equate faith with fiducia. But he did not reach this insight before 1518.
In his Biblical lectures between 1515 and 1517, Luther still saw good works as a part of justification. Of course, he rejected the Law's works [opera legis]—those which were thought to be sufficient for righteousness and salvation. But he who performs truly good works, in order that he may prepare himself for the grace of justification, is already just, in a way," . . . since a large part of righteousness is the desire to be righteous" [WA,LVI, 254]. These are works of faith [opera fidei] in contrast to works of the law; the latter are wrong, because confidence is placed in them, but the former are good, since they result from faith in God. "Therefore salvation and righteousness can be had neither without works, nor out of works, but with works—nevertheless with this difference, that the more they increase within, the more they decrease without" [WA, LVII, ii, 68].13 While, perhaps, we cannot follow Karl Holl all the way, at least we can agree with him that for Luther during this period, justification was "analytic," i.e., based upon a person's inward state of sanctification, and that the declaration of justification was proleptic, anticipating a state of perfection which God would achieve within the believer following a life-long process of making him just.14
This earlier doctrine of justification cost Luther many a struggle. One senses his uncertainty in the exposition of Romans 4:7: "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." How can one call men "blessed" who actually are sinners? Luther found them sinners in empirical reality, but justified in hope of the future: Peccatores in re, iusti autem in spe [WA, LVI, 269]. Here, justification is futuristic; certitude of salvation was unclear. Unable to explain it any other way, Luther has developed, here, a paradox based on time. Justification is seen in terms of a contrast between present and future, so that the believer is justified only in anticipation of actual perfection in the future. After 1518, the paradox would change from one of before-and-after to one of both-and, or simultaneity: the believer would be both sinner and saint. He would be seen as completely justified in view of the extrinsic righteousness of Christ, but as totally sinful from the aspect of his own, intrinsic state of goodness. Writing on a different subject, Cranz has also noticed this change in Luther's thought about 1518; Cranz finds a new awareness that the Christian dwells in two realms of experience, the worldly and the spiritual. In the eyes of the world, man remains a sinner; but in the eyes of God, the believer is justified.15
If, as we noted before, Luther's new understanding of Romans 1:17 is not yet present in the Lectures on Romans, where does it first appear? In a very careful investigation, Ernst Bizer locates it in the Acta Augustana of October 1518. Luther writes, "The just shall live by faith," and then identifies faith with righteousness for the first time: "Therefore the righteousness of the just, and his life, is his faith" [WA, 11,131. Bizer stresses that such faith is none other than faith in the divine promise, or in the Word. He finds this a decisive advance over the Romans Lectures, where humility had taken this place belonging to faith, and had been capitulation before the Word as the condemning voice of the Law. Here, it is faith in the Saving voice of the Gospel.16
This interpretation of Romans 1:17 in the Acta Augustana contains another important development which should be added to what Bizer has shown. Here Luther finally leaves the view of faith as virtuous credulity, adherence, or assent, limited to past and present but linked to the future though fiducial hope; in its stead appears faith as a term of relationship which effects immediate justification and communion with God, beginning already in the present time, and, by embracing also the future, assuring one's eternal salvation. Thus, justification is no longer confined to hope, making it futuristic, but is related especially to faith, bringing it into the present.17 There are several features in Luther's view of faith in the Acta Augustana which might be synthesized as follows.
(1) Luther's new view of faith, called fides specialis or particularis, is clearly contrasted to a more general view, fides generalls or historica. This individual or specific faith is the only faith that justifies.18
(2) Specific faith operates without any pre-disposition or preparation [dispositio] prior to justification. This is in contrast to the view previously mentioned, according to which an act of the will and works of faith help to provide the basis for justification.19 He writes: Sola fides justiticat [WA, 11,14]!
(3) Specific faith achieves a visible effect [effectus]. Luther cites Biblical examples—the Canaanite woman who secured healing for her daughter by her specific faith, the two blind men in Matt. 9:28f., the centurion, the nobleman in John 4, and a number of other instances in the teachings of Christ.
(4) Repeatedly, Luther shows how this specific faith, which achieves visible effects, is thereby active in the present, and not merely in some remote future. Applied to Romans 1:17, this means that the man with a specific faith receives justification which is actual instantaneously.20
This treatment of faith and righteousness, one of several fragments in which the Acta Augustana consist, makes up less than three pages in the modern Weimar Edition. Yet, the new insight that specific or individual faith appropriates actual justification at the very first instant in which the faithful believe is stated explicitly five times, while the entire fragment treats this implicitly throughout. Quoting Heb. 11:6, Luther states: "If one should believe that he is a Rewarder, one should all the more believe that he is the Justifier and the Giver of Grace in the present time, aside from which there will be no award" [WA, II, 13/291.21 The Roman centurion sought and found healing for his servant in that very hour because not with a general but "with a specified faith he believed according to the result in present time, and he got it" [fide . . . speciali de praesenti effectu credidit et impetravit. Ibid., 14/25]. Luther says that his (nine) arguments are but a few of many examples from Scripture, which treat not a general or historical faith, but a particular or individual faith, "and which pertain to some effect in the present" [Ibid., 15/2]. When Jesus rebuked Peter and the other disciples for their unbelief in the tempest, it was not a general but a specific faith which they lacked [Ibid., 15/7]. "And briefly, whatever illustrious deed we read about in the old or the new Law, we read that it was accomplished by faith—not by works or by a general [historical!] faith, but by a faith determined for a result in present time" [Ibid., 15/21]. Luther summarizes his position on justification in this rather remarkable statement, in which his emphasis upon the sola tides is especially noteworthy: "Through no preparation [dispositlo] will you be worthy, nor through any work will you be fitted for the sacrament [of penance], but through faith alone. This is because only faith in the word of Christ justifies [present tense!], makes alive, makes worthy, and prepares; without faith all other attempts are Strivings of presumption or despair. But he who is just does not live on the basis of his disposition but on the basis of faith" [Ibid., 14/5].22
It appears, then, that Luther has taken a major step. From now on, the faith-concept will be centered in Rom. 1:17 rather than I Cor. 13:13 or Heb. 11:1; faith has become soteriological as never before. Righteousness IS no longer the dominance of virtues in the believer, but the apprehension of Christ and his righteousness through a new relationship of faith as trust.
III. The Position of Philip Melanchthon
Just as Luther must be studied against the background of his medieval predecessors, so he must also be seen in conjunction with his contemporaries, and especially the Biblical humanists. Several prominent Luther scholars have pointed out that his evangelical discovery was really an accomplishment in scholarship.23 Three humanists who decisively guided Luther in his Biblical studies were John Reuchlm, Desiderius Erasmus, and Philip Melanchthon. John Reuchlm, the first Christian scholar of the Hebrew language of the Renaissance, published in 1506 his De Rudimentis Hebraeicis, a three-volume work including a grammar and lexicon, which was procured and used by Luther years before he became proficient in the Greek. Luther introduced Greek word-studies in the latter part of his Lectures on Romans, following the publication of Erasmus' Novum instrumentum omne of 1516; while Erasmus' Greek Testament had many defects, it did mark an important milestone in history, and in Luther's career. Erasmus chief accomplishment, of course, was his skill in the Latin language. A much greater Graecist was Reuchlm's grand-nephew, Philip Melanchthon.
Luther and Melanchthon first met when the latter began his career as professor of Greek literature at Wittenberg in August 1518. Right at the start, Luther began his first systematic study of the Greek language under his younger colleague. One of Melanchthon's claims to undying fame is that he equipped Luther for his interpretation of the Hebrew and Greek Testaments and his monumental translations of the Bible into Latin and German. One can also call Melanchthon a theologian—after all, his Loci communes, the first Protestant dogmatics, preceded Calvin's Institutes by fifteen years, and excelled them in many points!—but he should be regarded first and foremost as a humanist, philologist, educator, and "father of the German education system."24 Still, one can no longer foster the claim that Melanchthon was a tabula rasa, religiously and theologically, before he met Luther. Recent research by Wilhelm Maurer has shed new light upon Melanchthon's work in theology and Biblical studies during the early years at the University of Tubingen.25 In his Inaugural Address at Wittenberg, Melanchthon announced courses in the philology of Homer and Paul's Epistle to Titus—an indication of things to come.
Luther had been planning to prepare his Lectures on Galatians (1516-1517) for publication. However, at the end of 1518 he destroyed his manuscript and started over; the new result was the Shorter Commentary on Galatians of 1519 [WA, II, 443-618]. In this commentary, which was ready for the printer in May, Luther drops an interesting remark about his relationship with the young humanist, in. which he candidly says that it was Melanchthon who led him to clarity in the meaning of Hebrews 11:1, that "definition" of faith which for so long had been an obstacle for him. Luther wrote:
Jerome understood faith as described by the apostle in Heb. 11 as the "substance of things hoped for." Thus he expounds substantia as "possession," saying: "Because that which we now hold by faith, we do hope will come in the future" [Quia quod fide possidemus, speramus esse venturum]. I also was of this opinion for a long time, because I had observed that substantia was commonly employed in various parts of the Holy Scriptures to denote capabilities and possession. I held tenaciously to the authority of Jerome on this doctrine. For who would revise all the things that the sententiarians had compiled concerning substantia? But since then I have begun to employ Philip Melanchthon as my teacher in Greek—a man young in respect to his body, but a hoary-headed sage in regard to his intellectual powers! —who would not let me understand it thus, and showed me that when substantia means "faculties", it doesn't come from the Greek word hypostasis (the word the Apostle uses in Heb. 11), but from either ousia, broton, or hyparxis. Then I changed my mind, and I now concede that in my understanding, hypostasis or substantia properly signifies subsistentia and the essence of anything which subsists in itself, as Chrysostom understands it [WA, II, 595].
How shall we evaluate these words? They should neither be laughed out of court, as some narrow Luther enthusiasts have wanted to dispose of them, but neither should they be bagatellized to assign an exaggerated importance to Melanchthon. Taken by themselves, the words do not say that Luther derived his concept of faith from Melanchthon, although, of course, they also do not deny this. Basically, three points can be gleaned from this testimony. 1) As a competent linguist, Melanchthon rendered Luther valuable service in his Biblical studies. 2) Besides, the younger associate had an excellent grasp of patristic and scholastic theology and philosophy. 3) This knowledge of Melanchthon was of great value to Luther in arriving at his concept of faith. Just what this episode implies is largely a matter of judgment. However, if our finding is correct that Luther's mature concept of faith first appeared in the Acta Augustana (supra), we then are faced with the fact that this doctrine may have been formed through his Biblical studies under Melanchthon; and if we should dare to bring this into conjunction with the self-disclosure in the Galatians Commentary [WA, II, 595), we should have some ground for pondering the question whether Melanchthon's contribution was theological as well as philological. At any rate, the new concept of faith (fiducia) appears more often in the writings from this period of Melanchthon than those of Luther, just as the new concept of grace (favor Dei) more quickly replaced the view of grace as a medicinal substance in Melanchthon than in Luther. In fact, the development of this sort of term was typical of the scholarly Melanchthon much more than of the dynamic Luther, and one may have strong reasons for crediting them to the humanist.26
The 1519 Commentary on Galatians made a tremendous impression when it first appeared, and has always been regarded as one of Luther's best works. However, the commentary was partly the work of Melanchthon; the extent to which this is true has never adequately been determined. J. K. F. Knaake, the editor of the Weimar Edition of our commentary, found Melanchthon's collaboration reflected in the statement about his guiding Luther in interpreting Heb. 11:1 [WA, II, 436]; however, one would rather object that whatever Malanchthon provided, at least it was not this praise of himself! This must come from Luther. It is widely accepted that the preface was written by Melanchthon under the pen-name of Otho Germanus [WA, II, 443], and that the postscript, entitled PAVLVS COMMODVS BRETANNVS LECTORI S., refers to Melanchthon, who was born in Bretten. Of course, these fragments, of themselves, would provide no reason for attributing parts of the commentary itself to him. But Karl Meissinger, editor of the more recently-published original Lectures on Galatians (1516-1517), asserts a Melanchthonian editorship on the basis of the elegant Latin style of certain passages, which he also lists [WA, LVII, ii, p. XVI ff.] This theory is supported by the circumstance that Melanchthon was a professional editor and proofreader, having worked for years in the printery of Anshelm at Tubingen.27 Furthermore, we know that Luther was so over-burdened with work that he was assisted by Melanchthon and others in preparing his works for publication. For example, he had been at work on the publisher's draft of the Galatians Lectures as early as 1516, but had been hindered, first, by the pressure of other duties, and, more recently, by a modification of his views. Maurer accepts Melanchthon's involvement in the project, but insists that this can only have influenced the outward form, not the content; however, as Maurer himself admits, a more thorough investigation will be needed before one can determine the extent of Melanchthon's influence upon the content of the Commentary.28 At least, this leaves us with the tantalizing question—what if Melanchthon's pen had also contributed positive content in matters like the concepts of faith and grace, at points where a comparison with the Lectures on Galatians [WA, LVII, ii] give no precedent? This must remain a question until further evidence is gathered.29
We must still consider Melanchthon's statements on faith and righteousness, as well as on the three theological virtues. The earliest documentation we have for Melanchthon's view on righteousness dates from September 9, 1519: "Therefore righteousness is the benefaction of Christ. All our righteousness is the free imputation of God" [SA, I, 24]. These statements are Theses 9 and 10, respectively, from the disputation required for the Bachelor of Bible degree. In spite of the determined attacks upon their authenticity, their genuineness is almost beyond dispute; as to content, they tend to speak for themselves, presenting the first clear statement of the Melanchthonian doctrine of justification through the imputation of the merits of Christ.30 In the Baccalaureate Theses, he also questioned the scholastic doctrine of faith when he termed fides acquisita a mere supposition, opinio [WA, I, 25]. In another series of theses published the following August, he struck at the heart of the system. The distinction between a formed and an unformed faith was a bit of fiction (Thesis 3), while unformed faith was no faith at all, but merely a false supposition Thesis 4). He held that charity was the work of faith Thesis 2) and that it followed faith Thesis 4), thus overthrowing the idea of a fides caritate formata. Since justification was through faith (Thesis 1), one could not speak of any merit whatsoever from works Thesis 14), and human works were consequently sins Thesis 14) [SA, I, 54f.]. In his defense of Luther against Thomas Rhadino, Melanchthon, following Luther's example, attacked the "abuse" of the virtues of faith, charity, and hope [SA, I, 83-85]. The defense was composed toward the end of 1520; a few months later followed his positive development of the theological virtues in the Loci cornmunes. Here, he held that charity and hope were both born of faith. "And so faith is trust in the free mercy of God, without respect to any works of ours; in the same way, hope is the expectation of salvation, without respect to any merits of ours" [SA, II/1,1 14f.].
In general, it can be said that Luther came from the cloister, while Melanchthon came from the world. While one who knows the early Melanchthon from the sources will not likely agree that the young humanist lacked genuine religious problems or theological concern, nevertheless there was no "Tower Experience" to compare with Luther's. It appears likely that the scholastic syndrome of faith, charity, and hope held no interest at all for the Young Melanchthon. Instead, their place was taken by a program of improving the minds and renovating the morals of the young through proper education, while not neglecting piety and theology [SA, Ill, 30ff.]. Moral improvement came through the renewal of human affections by divine grace; in this system, faith, charity, and hope, as a triad, were not prominent (CR, XXI, 53-54]. While Melanchthon may have helped Friar Martin solve the problem of the theological virtues, he himself had travelled a different route.
IV. A Retrospect
A half century ago, the Roman Catholic historian, Hartmann Grisar, developed his view of the "Tower Experience" of Luther, and started a debate which has never stilled. One can survey the literature before Grisar and find hardly a word on this subject. The great bibliographical works of Gustav Wolf and Karl Schottenloher do not contain listings on the topic. Actually, it appears to be much ado about nothing, for there are no primary sources at all on which a case could be built; what little evidence exists is found in poorly-attested and contradictory accounts of Luther's Table-Talk, which have only corroborative value. Therefore, the "Tower Experience" is not historical.31 It is hence surprising that the episode was taken so seriously by so many scholars, and that it was able to produce the monumental confusion that resulted. If the portrait of Luther that emerged from these discussions was colorful, nevertheless it hindered the sober processes of historical research. Hence, we cannot leave our subject without at least a cursory attempt to summarize what we have learned about faith, righteousness, and justification on the basis of the testimonies of Luther and Melanchthon from 1545 and 1546, respectively.
Philip Melanchthon has been called the father of modern historical research; whether we assign this honor to him or not, he was unquestionably an outstanding historian. During the recent debates whether Luther actually posted his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517, scholars have been amazed to discover that Melanchthon's biography has been almost the only source for this important event.32 However, the contemporaries of Grisar were upset because, as they believed, Melanchthon set the "Tower Experience" before 1510. Actually, Melanchthon either had never heard of such an experience, or else did not think it relevant to a biography on Luther, for he did not refer to it; it was only the false assumptions of Romantic historians, wrongly identifying Luther's evangelical progress with such a once-for-all experience, which led them to read this into Melanchthon's remark about the help that an older monk gave him in the cloister at Erfurt [CR, VI, 159]. Melanchthon relates having himself seen Luther in great spiritual struggles, which suggests that Luther had Anfechtungen after 1518 and all his life. He mentions the death of Luther's friend in 1505 as such a crisis [CR, VI, 158]. Thus, that associate who was closest to Luther supports our suggestion that there was no single "conversion" upon which all else depended, but a succession of crises and break-throughs.
In the Preface to his published Latin works in 1545, Luther singled out one important experience from the year 1519 in which he said he came to understand the "righteousness of God" properly for the first time [WA, LIV, 185-187]. Naturally, this assertion was repugnant to that generation which had rediscovered Luther's marvellous Lectures on Romans. Some of the most talented historians and theologians of the twentieth century struggled to salvage as much of Luther's autobiography as possible, while nevertheless vitiating its testimony with the alleged discovery of the iustitia Dei passiva in the Romans Lectures, which, they felt, called for a dating of the "Tower Experience" before 1515.33 Seeming contradictions in Luther were noted, including the remark that after discovering the new meaning of iuistitia, he had discovered to his surprise that this view was also partially present in Augustine's De Spiritu et litera [WA, LIV, 186]. A common way out of the difficulty was to refer to Luther's "notorious inaccuracy with dates," and simply to assign the date 1519 to a mind's trick of the aging reformer. It is true that there are several seeming conflicts in the Preface of 1545 that offer difficulties, but, in the main, his own account is a primary source from the view-point of a historian, and is to be preferred to the artificial constructions of recent writers. One problem is Luther's claim to have taught passive righteousness in 1519, while the term actually cannot be traced back before 1525.34 Actually, the date was right, and the content described as correct. The real difficulty is explained by the circumstance that Luther, writing twenty-six years later, utilized terminology which had become established only meanwhile at Wittenberg. Another problem is that the view that Luther ascribes as first appearing in 1519 seems to be present in the Lectures on Romans. In this case, various steps in Luther's developments are being confused. At least three phases must be distinguished.
(1) In an earlier wrestling with the problem of the iustitia Dei, he came to the insight, known to many medieval theologians, that God's righteousness is not merely punitive, but also soteriological.
(2) In the Lectures on Romans, he reached another break-through: he found that the opera fidei on which an analytic justification is based are produced by God himself, not by the individual. This was the recovery of Augustine's position.
(3) The discovery of 1518-1519 was that justification does not rest at all upon the works of men, not even works of faith worked by God, but that it rests solely upon the work of Christ; in terms of a later terminology, it was the discovery that the passive righteousness of Christ is imputed to the believer by grace through faith.35
If one is determined to identify the "Tower Experience" with one of the three steps outlined above, it doesn't matter with which of these it is associated, so long as the genetic issues are kept clear.
This essay has raised more questions than it has answered. At least, it is my hope that it will show the tentative character of many past conclusions that some scholars regard as unassailable. I hope to have shown that the development of the evangelical doctrine of faith, righteousness, and justification has not been treated previously in a fully satisfactory way, that this evolution was crucially important, and that Luther's teaching after 1518 was far different in important respects from what it had been previously. The Indulgence Controversy was the turning-point.
1 Deserving of careful study is the monograph of Uuras Saarnivaara, Luther Discovers the Gospel. New Light upon Luther's Way from Medieval Catholicism to Evangelical Faith (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951); it has the merit of having first made accessible in English the results of German, Finnish, and Scandinavian scholars, and offering a plausible solution. Perhaps a weakness of this book is the attempt to identify Luther's evangelical discovery, correctly dated 1518-19, with the problematical "Tower Experience" (see Part IV of this essay). One of the most effective challenges of the established view came from Ernst Bizer, Fides ex audftu, Eine Untersuchung uber die Entdeckung der Gerechtigkeit Gottes durch Martin Luther (Neukirchen: Verlag der Buchhandlung des Erziehungsvereins, 1958), who found the Acta Augustana of 1518 the dividing point between Luther's pre-reformational and reformational theology. A completely different approach, coming out of a joint seminar between Kurt Aland and Ernst Kinder at the University of Munster, produced the monograph by Kurt Aland, Der Weg zur Reformation. Zeitpunlrt und Charakter des reformatorischen Erlebnisses Martin Luthers, in the series Theologische Existenz heute, N. F., 123 (Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1965). Aland wisely avoids refuting the position of eminent scholars, but makes his case on the basis of much material previously neglected; especially the letters of Luther 1516-1518 come in for discussion (pp.10-39), and yield convincing evidence for a later dating of Luther's transition. An American writer is F. Edward Cranz, An Essay on the Development of Luther's Thought on Justice, Law, and Society, published in the series Harvard Theological Studies, XIX (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959): Cranz's approach is noteworthy because he proceeds from an entirely different basis, seeking to clarify Luther's view on legal and social issues, but thereby making an especially welcome contribution.
2 For a recent summary by an eminent Catholic writer, see Edward Schillebeeckx, "The Spiritual Intent of Indulgences," in Lutheran World, XIV, 3(1967), pp.11-32.
3 We cannot go into the recent debate over whether Luther actually posted the 95 Theses (See also Part IV). For a convenient collection of sources on the indulgence controversy, see Kurt Aland, ed., Martin Luther's 95 Theses with the Pertinent Documents from the History of the Reformation (St. Louis and London: Concordia Publishing House, 1967).
4 1n saying that Luther represented Roman Catholic teaching on the indulgence in 1517, it must be remembered, of course, that many crucial points had not been officially decided, and hence were open questions. These included the problems of how the indulgence might benefit the dead in purgatory. Later Pronouncements of the Roman church, of course, rendered Luther's stance "heretical." There is general agreement among Catholic and Protestant scholars that Tetzel's doctrine was uncatholic.
5 The 95 Theses should be studied in conjunction with Luther's interpretations of them during the next year, especially the Resolutiones disputationum de indulgentiarum virtute (1518), found in D. Martin Luthers Warke: Kritische Gesammtausgabe (Weimar: Hermann Behlau, 1883ff.), I, 525ff., hereafter cited as WA; and in Luther's Works (American Edition; Philadelphia and St. Louis, 1955ff.), XXXI, 81ff., hereafter cited as LW. The 95 Theses (Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum of 1517) are in WA, I, 233ff., and LW, XXXI, 25ff. Contrary to what one should expect, the Indulgence Theses have not been studied carefully enough; a glance at the bibliographies exposes the tendency merely to repeat what has been said before.
6 Erich Vogelsang pointed out the influence of Erasmus on the 95 Theses in Die Bedeutung der neuveroftenflichten Hebraerbrief-Vorlesung Luthers von 1517-18 (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1930), pp. 11ff.
7 1n his later statements, Luther invariably recounts that, at this time, he had no intention of rejecting the indulgence. See WA, XXXIX, i, 6 and WA, LIV, 180. Melanchthon gives the same report in his biography of Luther in Corpus Retormaforum (Halle: C. A. Schwetschke, 1834ff.), vi, 162; hereafter cited as CR. These accounts are conveniently given in English translation in Aland, 95 Theses, pp.86, 25, and 47.
8 Luther's gloss on Rom. 1:17 is in WA, LVI, l0f.; the scholion in his own manuscript is in WA, LVI, 171-73. The same, but from the student's copybook, is in WA, LVII, i. 14 and 133f., respectively.
9 Deserving of careful attention is the book by Reinhold Schwarz, Fides, apes und caritas beim lungan Luther unfer basonderer Berucksichtigung der mittelalterlichen Tradition (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1962). Schwarz analyzes the three theological virtues in medieval thought, and then traces the influence of Luther's scholastic teachers in his earlier works, while attempting also to show Luther's transition to a Protestant position; the excursus at the end, pp.414-27, generously provides hard-to-find references from the fathers and the school-men. More general in scope, but also helpful, is Heiko Augustinus Oberman, The Harvest of Medieval Theology, Gabriel Biel and Late Medieval Nominalism (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1967). See also Reinhold Seeberg, Die Dogmengeschichte des Mittelalters, Vol.111 of Lahrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, reprint of 4th ed. (Darmstadt: Wissenachattliche Buch-Gemeinachaft, 1953), especially ¤60.8, ¤64.11, ¤65.3, ¤70.7, and ¤71.18 and 21. Seeberg treats Luther in Die Entatehung des protestantiachen Lehrbegriffs (Vol. IVIl of Lehrbuch), ¤75.14.
10 0ne detects an all-around reluctance to investigate the usage of credulitas, also in medieval theology; however, this block must be overcome. Seeberg discusses the concept in Alexander of Hales, III, ¤60.8, and in Luther, lV/1,¤75.11. On Luther's usage of credulitas, see also my doctoral dissertation, "Die Entwicklung der evangelischen Rechtfertigungslehre bei Melanchthon bis 1521 im Vergleich mit der Luthers" (Erlangen, 1955), Chap. 8, and my pending publication, Luther and Melanchthon on Justification, Chap. 5.
Luther employs the term, credulitas, or discusses its implications, among many passages, in WA, LVI, 224/20, 10/9, 41/12, 227/18; WA, LVII, iii, 227/4, 234/9. Credulitas is correlative to credere in passages such as WA, LVII, ii, 70/5.
The usage of credulitas is closely related to his concept of faith as obedience to the teaching authority of Mother Church, and of faith as one of the three cardinal virtues; in the latter case, faith is assent to certain propositions, as developed elsewhere in this article.
11 For a fuller treatment of these virtues, see Seeberg, III, 492-97, Oberman, pp.68-84, and Schwarz, passim.
12 Held by Alexander of Hales, according to Seeberg, III, 348.
13 Cf.: Maledicti sunt omnes, qui operantur opera legis. Benedicti sunt omnes, qui operan fur opera gratiae del. Theses against scholasticism, 1517. WA, I, 228.
14 See Holl's essay from 1910: "Die Rechtfertigungslehre in Luther's Vorlesung uber den Romerbrief mit besonderer Rucksicht auf die Frage der Heilsgewissheit," in Gesammelte Aufsatze zur Kirchengaschichte (7th ed.; Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1948), 1,111-54. Less known but equally important is his essay of 1922: "Die Rechtfertigungslehre im Licht der Geschichte des Protestantismus," in Gesammelte Aufsatze (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1928), III, 525-27. Here Holl attacks Melanchthon's position. not always with discernment, as that view which dominated later Lutheranism and was often uncritically attributed to Luther himself. Our later dating of Luther's evangelical discovery makes it possible to accept Holl's more valid conclusions, while still accounting for seeming contradictions in Luther's later statements, as well as Melanchthon's doctrine of justification.
15 Cranz, p. 57. It is striking that an essay on "justice, law, and society" should give such strong confirmation to the investigations of Sasmivasra, Bizer, Aland, and myself.
16 Bizer, pp.97-105.
17 This shift in meaning of the word fides was an important event in the history of theology, but was not as radical a change as one might think at first. It was basically a regrouping of aspects of the three theological virtues under a new concept of faith. Nevertheless, it enabled Luther to throw important new light upon the difficult doctrine of justification. Negatively, its signiticance is dramatically portrayed in the inability of his Catholic opponents, through the Council of Trent and until modern times, to understand his intention. They assumed Luther was speaking of a fides historica, isolated from charity and hope, whereas he meant faith active in love and embracing hope; from their point of view, they were right in rejecting Luther's doctrine of justification. It can be valuable for the Catholic-Protestant dialogues today to avoid needless misunderstanding and reestablish communication at this point. A study of the controversy over this point in the sixteenth century is given by Hans Emil Weber, Reformation, Orthodoxie und Rationalismus, I/1, Von der Reformation zur Orthodoxie (reprint of 1st ed.: Gutersloh: Verlagahaus Gerd Mohn, 1966), pp.10-12,124-32.
18 "Primo, quando mulieri Cananese dixit: O mulier, magna est fides tus, fiat tibi sicut credidisti. Hic patet, quod non de fide illa generali agitur, sed de speciali, quse erat de effectu sanandae filise, quem mater pecut" WA, 11,14/14. "Tercio, centuno ille 'dic tantum verbo,' inquit, 'et sanabitur puer meus,' non utique generali fide, sed soeciali de praesenti effectu credidit et impetrav it," ibid., 14/24. "Et si totum Euangelium percurras, invenies exempla alia multa. quse omnia non de tide generali, sed particulari, et quae ad effectum aliquem praesentem pertineat, dicuntur. Quare necessaria eat tides cents absolvendo, cum sacraments novae legis, iuxta magistrum, sint in exercitium et actuationem fidei nostrae instituta," ibid., 15/1. "Septimo. Hinc discipulos et Petrum saepe reprehendit dominus, quod essent modicae fidei, non generalis ut dicitur, sed specialis de eff ectu praesente, ut patet," ibid., 15/8. "Et breviter, quicquid illustre factum legimus in veteri et nova lege, fide factum esse legimus, non operibus nec tide generali, sed tide ad praesentem effectum destinata: inde nihil aliud in scriptura quam tides commendatur . . . ," ibid., 15/21.
19 See note 21 for the Latin text.
20 See note 18 for the Latin text.
21 "Primo per illud Apostoli Heb:xi. Oportet accedentem credere, quia deus sit et inquirentibus se remunerator sit. Hic patet, quod non licet dubitare, sed firm iter oportet credere, quod deus sese inquirentes remuneret. Quod Si oportet credere remuneratorem, omnino opontet etiam credere iustificatorem et gratiae largitorem in praesenti, sine qua premium non largietur" WA, 11,13/26.
22 "Si autem dixeris 'quid, Si sim indignus et indispositus ad sacramentum?' respondeo ut supra: Per nullam dispositionem etticeris dignus, per nulla opera aptus ad sacramentum, sad per solam fidem. Quja sola tides verbi Christ ustificat, vivificat, dignifjcat, praeparat, sine qua omnia alia vel sunt praesumptioflis vel desperationis studia. lustus enim non ex dispositione sus, sad ax tide vivit. Quare de indignitata tua nihil opontet dubitare. Ideo enim accadis, quia indignus as, ut dignus fias et iustiticeris ab ao, qui paccatores at non iustos quaerit salvos facara. Dum autem credis verbo Christi, ism honoras verbum aius et eo opere iustus es &c." WA, 11,14/4.
These statements were all translated in LW, XXXI, 270-74. However, the translation failed to follow the Latin text in distinguishing between past, present, and future aspects of time—a crucial issue here.
In addition to the works already cited, reference should also be made to Waithar von Loawanich, Luthers Theologia crucis, (4th ed., Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1954). Von Loewenich noted the modification of Luther's understanding of faith from an eschatological to a soteriological emphasis, p.105, and also gave one of the few interpretations of the concept of fides specialis, p.130; however, he did not refer to the Acts Augustana, and, in general, reached different conclusions.
23 The"Scriptural theologico-scientific" nature of Luther's break-through, as brought out by Johannas von Walter, Ernst Wolf, and Anders Nygran, is summarized by Sasmivasra, pp.46-49, especially note 102.
24 For too long, our portrait of Melanchthon has been warped. It will no longer be possible to neglect this important figure, merely because of "unsound doctrines" regarding election or the Eucharist, or on account of his yielding position during the Leipzig Interim. Most studies written by theologians downgrade him as a humanist, evidently a "bad word." For a more positive appraisal of his contribution to the Reformation as a humanist, see Werner Elent, "Humanitat und Kirche. zum 450. Gebuntstag Melanchthons," in Zwischen Gnade und Ungnade. Abwandlungen des Themas Gesetz und Evangelium (Munich: Evangelischer Presseverband fur Bayern, 1948), pp. 92ff. The standard work on Melanchthon as educator is by Karl Hartfelder, Philipp Melanchihon ala Praeceptor Germaniae, Vol. VII in the series, Monumenta Germaniae Paedagogica (Berlin: A. Hofmann & Co., 1869: reprinted Nieuwkoop: B. De Graaf, 1964). For a study in English, see William Harrison Woodward, Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance, 1400-1600 (Cambridge: University Press, 1906), pp. 211-43. For a more recent appraisal, see my own essay, "The Reformation and Education in the Sixteenth Century," in Faculty Publications 1969-70, in the Bulletin of Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C., LXVII, 4, pp.34-49. An excellent, current bibliography on every aspect of Melanchthon is by Wilhelm Hammer, Die Melanchthon-forschung im Wandel der Jahrhunderte. Ein beschreibendes Verzeichnis. Vol. I, 1519-1799; Vol II, 1800-1965 (in the series, Quellen und Forachungen zur Re formations geschichte, Vols. XXXV and XXXVI, Gutersloh: Verlagahaus Gerd Mohn, 1967 and 1968).
25 For years, the need had been felt for studies in the early period of Melanchthon before his association with Luther. See my article on Melanchthon in The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965), II, 1517-27, and especially 1526f. This need has been supplied by the two-volume work of Wuheim-Maurer; Der junge Melanchthon zwischen Humanismus und Reformation. Vol. I: Der Humanist and Vol.11: Der Theologe (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1967 and 1969), of which Vol. I applies particularly to our theme.
26 As late as 1515-16 Luther still employed fiducia as a perjorative term connoting false security: in the Romans Lectures [WA, LVI, 280/10 and 503/4, for example] and in his marginal notations to Tauler's Sermon: "Quis confeasio saepe nocet, dum fiduciam praebet peccati dimissi, ubi tamen cautlo futuri non faciendi vera non fuit ex corde" WA, IX, 104/12. He also understood fiducia as the assurance that God would remain true to His promises: "Sciens cum fiducia, quoniam Deus mentiri non potest WA, LVI, 387/21. According to Reinhold Seeberg, Gabriel Biel, mentor of one of Luther's teachers, had held that fiducia applied to both confidence in the divine gratia as well as the merita of the be liever [Dogmengeschichte 111(1953), 783]. Reuchlm [WA, LVI, 280, note 10] and Erasmus [WA, LVII, iii, 61, note on vv. 17/18] had pointed out a positive usage of fiducia. In the Acta Augustana of October 1518, Luther seems first to have reached the fiducial concept of faith.
Since we have no theological works of Melanchthon prior to this, we cannot conduct a similar genetic study for him, except to note that he was the follower of Erasmus, who had made related observations in his Annotations in the New Testament (1516). However, due to the Aristotelian character of his thought-delineation with its emphasis upon terms, he places far greater emphasis upon the word fiducia than does Luther, beginning in 1520.
So far as the concept that gratia is not a medicinal substance miraculously effecting the regenerated life from within, but rather the divine benevolence toward the sinner (favor Del) is concerned, I am more inclined to assign the priority to Melanchthon, although, again. unassailable documentation is difficult. In his polemic against Emser, written late in 1520, Melanchthon clearly defines: "Nam ubi gratia, quod Christo favoris vocabulum est . . . ["Studienausgabe," Melanchthons Werke in Auswahl, ed. Robert Stupperich et al. (Gutersloh: C. Bertelsmann and Gerd Mohn, 1951 ft.), I, 84/33: hereafter cited as SAl. This view is found only implicitly in his Declamation on Paul of January 1520 [SA, 1,40] and his Baccalaureate Theses of September 1519["... lustitia nostra eat gratuita 1,24]. See my study, Luther and Melanchthon on Justification, chapters 5 and 6.
27 See Maurer, Der junge Melanchthon, I, 30ff.
28 Maurer, Der lunge Melanchthon, 11,52-55 and 84-67.
29 Maurer might be right when he attributes Melanchthon's learning the concept of grace as favor Dei from Luther's Galatians Commentary. However, the phrase does not strike one as Lutheresque. Perhaps both reformers learned the concept from their common teacher, Erasmus. For Maurer's view see his essay, "Zur Komposition der Loci Melanchthons von 1521," in Luther-Jahrbuch, XXV (1958), 156.
30 The Baccalaureate Theses of 1519 had been virtually unknown before the turn of the present century. In spite of his rejection of their content, Otto Ritschl tried to ascribe their authorship to Luther rather than Melanchthon(l). Succeeding generations of scholars have repeated this bizarre approach—either to criticize imputative justification, or else to say that it was so good that it had to come from Luther rather than Melanchthon, in spite of the fact that Ritschl later published a retraction. Thus even Maurer, Deriunge Melanchthon, II, 102f., seems to follow RitachI's unsuccessful attempt. The treatment of the Baccalaureate Theses in my Erlangen dissertation (Chap. 12, pp. 101ff.) produced several criticisms, none of which, in my view, have analyzed the study carefully enough. Of these critics, only RoIf Schafer has grasped the depth of the doctrinal problem involved. See Schafer, Christologie und Sittlichkeit in Melanchthons fruhen Loci (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1961), pp. 6-7. Schafer correctly sees that I distinguished between what Luther and Melanchthon taught in order to clarify the permanent effect of Melanchthon upon Lutheranism. In a sense, I reject the doctrine of justification of the Young Luther in favor of Melanchthon's forensic view (which I also find in the Mature Luther in modified form), while Shafer rejects the Evangelical Lutheran position in favor of the earlier Luther. Hindered for a long time by duties of the parish ministry, I have at last prepared an answer: "Formgeschichtliche und inhaltliche Probleme in den Werken des jungen Melarlchthon: Em neuer Zugang zu semen Bibelarbeiten und Disputationsthesen," accepted for publication soon in the Zeftschrift fur Kfrchengeschichte.
31 The table-taIks are given in WA Tischreden, II,177 (No.1681) and WA Tischreden, III, 228 (No.3232). A useful collection of sources on our subject is found in Otto Scheel, ed., Dokumente zu Luthers Entwicklung (bis 1519) (2nd ed.; Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1929).
32 Melanchthon's biography of Luther, as well as Luther's autobiographical sketches from various periods and other material germane to our subject, are conveniently assembled in English translation in Aland, Martin Luther's 95 Theses. Melanchthon's sketch, the Preface to Vol.II of Luther's Latin Writings (1546), is given on pp.38-49, with collation of the pagination of the biography in the Corpus Reformatorum, VI.
33 The literature on Luther's progression from the older Catholic to the Protestant position is immense, and in this essay limitations of time and space forbid any but the briefest suggestions. Most of the epoch-making treatises which had become difficult to procure are now available in full or in excerpt in the anthology edited by Bernhard Lohse, Der Durchbruch der reformatorischen Erkenntnis bei Luther (Darmstadt: Wissenschaflliche Buchgesellschaft. 1968). A list of authors represented includes Heinrich Denifle, Hartmann Grisar, Emanuel Hirsch, Ernst Stracke, Ernst Bizer, Gerhard Pfeiffer, Regin Prenter, Albrecht Peters, Heinrich Bornkamm, Kurt Aland, Heiko Oberman, and Otto Pesch. Another basic title is Wilhelm Link, Das Ringen Luthers um die Freiheit der Theologie von der Philosophie (3rd ed.; Darmstadt: Wissenachartliche Buchgesellschaft, 1968). There is a more thorough analysis of the literature in my pending publication, Luther and Melanchthon on Justification, Chap. 1.
34 This was brought out years ago by Emanuel Hirsch, "Initium theologiae Lutheri," reprinted in Lohse, p.72.
35 See my monograph mentioned in note 33, Chap. 7.