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Martin Luther's Large Catechism, translated by Bente and Dau   By: (1483-1546)

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Martin Luther's Large Catechism, translated by Bente and Dau, is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Lutheranism and its theological teachings. This translation of Luther's work is comprehensive, accurate, and skillfully captures the essence of his writing.

The book begins with a concise yet informative introduction, providing historical context and setting the stage for Luther's exposition of the Ten Commandments, the Apostle's Creed, the Lord's Prayer, Baptism, and the Sacrament of the Altar. Luther's writing style is straightforward, clear, and compelling, making his teachings accessible to both scholars and laypeople alike.

One of the standout features of this translation is the meticulous footnotes and annotations provided by the translators. These additions enhance the reader's understanding of Luther's writings by offering relevant explanations, historical references, and cross-references to other works. It is evident that Bente and Dau took great care in ensuring accuracy and keeping the text true to its original intent.

Luther's Large Catechism tackles essential aspects of Christian faith, providing guidance on how to live a faithful life and fostering a strong foundation for spiritual growth. Luther's passionate viewpoints are evident throughout the text, as he addresses various issues such as idolatry, prayer, and the importance of partaking in the sacraments.

Additionally, Luther's Large Catechism serves as a valuable historical document, presenting a vivid snapshot of religious life and the beliefs prevalent during the time of the Reformation. This book is a window into the groundbreaking ideas and radical reforms that shaped Christianity's history. It offers readers a chance to immerse themselves in the thoughts and teachings of one of the most influential figures in religious history.

While this translation of Luther's Large Catechism is undoubtedly an excellent resource, it may not be the most approachable introduction for those unfamiliar with Lutheranism or the historical context surrounding the Reformation. Some readers may find the text dense and challenging to digest without prior knowledge or a supplementary guide.

Overall, Martin Luther's Large Catechism, translated by Bente and Dau, is a remarkable work capturing the essence of Luther's teachings. It offers readers a chance to delve into the depth and richness of Lutheranism while providing historical insights into a crucial period of religious transformation. This translation is an essential addition to any theological library and a valuable tool for those seeking to deepen their understanding of Martin Luther's legacy.

First Page:

The Large Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther

Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau

Published in: Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921), pp. 565 773


A Christian, Profitable, and Necessary Preface and Faithful, Earnest Exhortation of Dr. Martin Luther to All Christians, but Especially to All Pastors and Preachers, that They Should Daily Exercise Themselves in the Catechism, which is a Short Summary and Epitome of the Entire Holy Scriptures, and that they May Always Teach the Same.

We have no slight reasons for treating the Catechism so constantly [in Sermons] and for both desiring and beseeching others to teach it, since we see to our sorrow that many pastors and preachers are very negligent in this, and slight both their office and this teaching; some from great and high art [giving their mind, as they imagine, to much higher matters], but others from sheer laziness and care for their paunches, assuming no other relation to this business than if they were pastors and preachers for their bellies' sake, and had nothing to do but to [spend and] consume their emoluments as long as they live, as they have been accustomed to do under the Papacy.

And although they have now everything that they are to preach and teach placed before them so abundantly, clearly, and easily, in so many [excellent and] helpful books, and the true Sermones per se loquentes, Dormi secure, Paratos et Thesauros, as they were called in former times; yet they are not so godly and honest as to buy these books, or even when they have them, to look at them or read them... Continue reading book >>

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