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Luther’s Enormous Undertaking - 1522

Luther translating the Bible.


In 1522, Frederic the Wise, the Elector (ruler) of Saxony, held reformer Martin Luther in Wartburg Castle for his own protection. While there, Luther made a translation of the New Testament into colloquial German. He wanted to undertake the Old Testament, too (it would eventually be published in 1534) but realized the task was too big for him alone. On January 13, 1522, he said as much to his loyal supporter, the theologian Nicholas Amsdorf.


“Meanwhile I am translating the Bible, though I have undertaken a task beyond my strength. The Old Testament I cannot touch unless you lend your aid.”


Schaff, Philip. The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1952.

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