Luther’s Reformation Breakthrough (by Church History, Historical Theology Professor Ryan Reeves, Gordon-Conwell Seminary)
Dr. Reeves summarizes Luther’s Breakthrough on Justification by Faith Alone:
The Importance of the Reformation:
Dr. Reeves then goes back to explain the 95 Theses:
I wanted to have a link of some of the best that I consider that James Swan has put together in the apologetic issues of Roman Catholic claims against Luther.
Summary of some links that I have found the most helpful articles of James Swan on Luther and the Reformation and apologetics of answering some of the main Roman Catholic common claims against Luther.
Luther’s comment on James as “an Epistle of Straw” (Part 2) (links back to Part 1, see below)
An Excerpt from James Swan’s excellent research on Martin Luther’s “Epistle of Straw” comment:
4: Martin Luther Called The Book Of James “An Epistle Of Straw”
The most frequent charge against Luther’s view on the canon is his opinion on the book of James. Luther wrote this statement in his original Preface To The New Testament in 1522:
“In a word St. John’s Gospel and his first epistle, St. Paul’s epistles, especially Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first epistle are the books that show you Christ and teach you all that is necessary and salvatory for you to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book or doctrine. Therefore St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others, for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it. But more of this in the other prefaces.”
Rarely is Luther accurately quoted on this topic. Luther says James “is really an epistle of straw” compared to “St. John’s Gospel and his first epistle, St. Paul’s epistles, especially Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first epistle.” Luther wants his readers to see a comparison.
An interesting fact about this quote (hardly ever mentioned by Luther-detractors!) is that it only appears in the original 1522 Preface To The New Testament. John Warwick Montgomery points out: “Few people realize — and liberal Luther interpreters do not particularly advertise the fact — that in all the editions of Luther’s Bible translation after 1522 the—Reformer dropped the paragraphs at the end, of his general Preface to the New Testament which made value judgments among the various biblical books and which included the famous reference to James as an “Epistle of straw.” Montgomery finds that Luther showed a “considerable reduction in negative tone in the revised Prefaces to the biblical books later in the Reformer’s career.” For anyone to continue to cite Luther’s “epistle of straw” comment against him is to do Luther an injustice. He saw fit to retract the comment. Subsequent citations of this quote should bear this in mind.