Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Luther on the Original Languages

Martin Luther wrote this in 1524 about the importance of the original languages:

"And let us be sure of this we will not long preserve the gospel without the languages. The languages are the sheath in which the sword of the Spirit is contained; they are the casket in which this jewel is enshrined; they are the vessel in which this wine is held; they are the larder in which this food is stored; and, as the gospel itself points out, they are the baskets in which are kept these loaves and fishes and fragments. If through our neglect we let the languages go (which God forbid!), we shall...lose the gospel..."

Thank you, Martin Luther, for this reminder. May we all (not just pastors) labor to learn the languages for the sake of the gospel.


Alan Knox said...


You know that I love Greek. But, I'm not sure that I would agree with Luther here. Perhaps he's just using hyperbole to express the importance of "the languages".


Eric said...


Clearly the gospel is true whether or not we know the Greek and Hebrew.

However, it is interesting that few people in Europe seemed to be aware of the gospel until the original languages came back into study in the early days of the Reformation.