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Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther Paperback – April 1, 1995

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Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther + The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day + The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (April 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452011469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452011465
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


''Easily the most readable Luther biography in English.'' --Time

''Of the many superlative treatments, a half-century-old study by Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, has justly won a reputation as a classic work on a classic subject.'' --Mark Noll, author and historian

''A sound and well-rounded picture of the man and of his role in history.'' --Chicago Tribune --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

LAND H. BAINTON (1894-1984), a specialist in Reformation history, was for forty-two years Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale, and he continued writing well into his twenty years of retirement. He wore his scholarship lightly and had a lively, readable style. His most popular book, Here I Stand, sold more than a million copies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A great book; highest recommendation for you to read.
Edmund P. Leigh
Moreover, the book pictures Luther as translator of the Bible into German language from original Hebrew and Greek.
J. Oh
Bainton's work on Martin Luther is very easy and enjoyable to read.
Daryl Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

235 of 239 people found the following review helpful By T. B. Vick on January 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
This biography is the most accurate and unprejudiced ever written on Luther (and I have read dozens of them). Bainton provides very lucid and vivid historical settings, events, people, and such surrounding the life of Luther. What is more, Bainton is quite fair-minded with regard to Luther's personal traits; I get tired of reading other biographers who try to psychoanalyze Luther and draw conclusions about his thinking based on pure speculations. Bainton renders a fair assessment of perhaps why, based on historical settings and events which were occurring during Luther's day, as to why he perhaps did and said some of the things he did.
Bainton really draws his reader into the life of Luther by carefully unfolding historical events which led up to the reformation and events that helped to shape Luther's thinking during and following the Reformation. The book is also nicely lavished with engravings and illustrations which helps the reader get a better understanding of what Bainton is trying to communicate. Moreover, the book contains a very exhaustive bibliography to help the reader branch out into further research and reading.
This book is written in a chronological format from Luther's birth to his death, and every major event which occurred between. This text is certainly a must for anyone who wants a better understanding of Martin Luther. Moreover, it is also a crucial text for anyone wanting a better understanding of the Reformation. I cannot begin to describe the depth and breadth of this work. I highly recommend this text!!!!
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103 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Erika Mitchell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a philosophical biography of Martin Luther. Although it provides some details about Luther's personal life, early upbringing and later family life, the focus of the book is on Luther's struggle to reform the Catholic church. The book is dense with summaries of Luther's writings, and it appears in a relatively small font, so it is not a quick or light read. It assumes a familiarity with Christian ideals and scripture; nevertheless, you don't need to be a Bible scholar to appreciate its discussion.
This book is filled with passages that made me stop, think and reflect, and then dog-ear the page for return visits. Bainton quotes Luther: "Faith is a living, restless thing. It cannot be inoperative. We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with faith." Later, "Music is to be praised as second only to the Word of God because by her all the emotions swayed...The Holy Spirit himself pays tribute to music when he records that the evil spirit of Saul was exorcised as David played upon his harp....This precious gift has been bestowed on men alone to remind them that they are created to praise and magnify the Lord." Through reading this book, I became much more aware of the tremendous influence that Luther had on shaping numerous aspects of modern Western society. Anyone with any interest in any form of Christianity should become acquainted with the ideas of Martin Luther, and reading this book would be a good start.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By STEPHEN MATTOX on June 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Martin Luther is a monumental figure who lived during complex, tumultuous times, but Bainton delivers a biography that portrays his subject in a clear and concise manner.
The first part of this book deals with Luther's days as a monk, his crisis of faith, and the development of his theology that ultimately led to his break from Rome, spearheading the Reformation. The central portion of the book deals with the conflict with Rome, appropriate emphasis being given to the Diet of Worms. The greatest strength of this book is that the events of Luther's life, his words, and his work are always presented within their greater context. Not only is the Lutheran movement followed, but also much attention is given to the state of the Catholic Church during Luther's lifetime. Also given their proper attention are competing Protestant movements, humanism (particularly as pertaining to Erasmus), Anabaptism, the Peasant Revolt, and German nationalism.
Much of the book is of course spent discussing the theological issues that were at stake. As I read these passages a mental picture of a triangle emerged, with the three points being God, Man, and Church. Bainton does a good job of explaining how Luther, Rome, and other parties differed in their views as to the nature of each of these three entities, and more importantly how they differed in their views as to how these points of the triangle properly related to one another - God to Man, Man to Church, and Church to God (the three sides of the triangle if you will). My one complaint is that occasionally when discussing the finer theological points, Bainton will inject his opinion in such a way that it is difficult to tell if that opinion is shared by Luther.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Anson Cassel Mills on August 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Roland Bainton (1894-1984), a distinguished professor of church history at Yale University was a fine literary stylist who wore his learning lightly. Here I Stand has been in print since its publication more than fifty years ago, and it has sold over a million copies.

Bainton was already a thorough student of the Protestant Reformation when he began writing this biography in the 1940s, and his maturity encouraged a sensitive, though not uncritical, interpretation of the great reformer. Especially impressive is Bainton's ability to explain Luther's doctrinal beliefs clearly and sympathetically even though Bainton himself was neither a Lutheran nor an evangelical.

In my opinion, Here I Stand is one of the finest biographies written in the early twentieth century. I read the book first in 1972, and on coming back to it thirty-four years later was even more impressed with its literary and historical worth. It is the epitome of the word "classic."

In passing, the original Abingdon hardback edition is significantly more pleasant to read than modern paperback versions, with their tiny type squeezed right to the margins.
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