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This book is a collection of the Protestant Reformer’s informal, often colorful, and sometimes controversial conversations about topics ranging from Scripture to the sacraments, from the lives of the saints to the learning of scholastics, from civil magistrates to sacred music—and almost everything in between. It affords valuable and frequently eye-opening insights into Martin Luther’s life.

Nearly all the copies of the original work were destroyed by order of Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585), and possession of it was punishable by death. But a single copy, wrapped in linen and coated in beeswax, had been secretly buried and was accidentally unearthed nearly 70 years after its banning. It was smuggled to England by Captain Henry Bell, who was responsible for its translation and first English publication in 1652. This collection brings together Luther’s most familiar discourses, arranged topically. They are concise and straightforward, frequently marked by humorous anecdotes, sharp wit, and unrestrained zeal for the work of reformation.

Author Bio

Martin Luther (1483–1546), one of the most significant figures in Western history, was a key figure in the Protestant Reformation. Over the course of his life, Luther was a monk, a priest, a professor of biblical literature, a Reformer, a husband, and a father.

Luther is most noted for his Ninety-Five Theses (1517), in which he argued that indulgences were not acts of penance which could replace true repentance. His refusal to retract all his writings, demanded by Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521, resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the emperor.

Luther has been both praised and vilified for what he preached and wrote. Luther’s translation of the Christian Bible into the vernacular greatly influenced the church. His works continue to impact all Christians and animate the movement that bears his name. Luther’s Works (55 vols.) contains many of Luther’s writings, including commentaries, sermons, and lectures.