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Three Treatises Paperback – November, 1990

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Luther (1483, 1546) was a German monk, a theologian and church reformer, he is considered to be the founder of Protestantism. Luther was a professor of Bible at the University of Wittenberg when he posted his famous 95 Theses (1517). In addition to writing many books, Luther translated the Bible into German. Luther believed that salvation was only by faith in Jesus, unmediated by the church. He challenged papal authority by emphasing the Bible as the only source of religious authority and believed the church to be a priesthood of all believers.These ideas helped to inspire the Protestant Reformation and changed the course of Western civilization. He married Katharina von Bora thus initiating the practice of clerical marriage within Protestantism.- Publisher.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; 2nd edition (November 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800616391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800616397
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Adams on June 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Since no one has mention them, here are the three essential Lutheran texts:

1. An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility

2. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church . . . Luther's reorganization of the sacramental system

3. The Freedom of a Christian

Luther takes on the Roman Catholic Church and none too kindly. Important to both the history of Christianity and the history of Germany -- and of course to all practicing Lutherans. It might even be eye-opening to many Lutherans today who only know of Luther from his catechism.
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Format: Paperback
This little volume contains three of Luther's most (in)famous treatises. Whether or not you agree with his theology, it is interesting to read his work directly rather than to depend on secondary sources. This inexpensive volume will give readers a glimpse into Luther's thought and a taste for his polemical style. He's not always polite, but never fails to be entertaining!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a fine exposition of the central issues of Lutheran doctrine, and reveals three of the major pivot points of the Protestant Reformation: freedom from enforced piety, rejection of hierarchical polity, and rejection of non-Biblical sacraments. In addition, the translation is clear and straightforward while retaining the delightful spirit of Luther's German, shifting effortlessly between the polemical and the comic.
This is a must-read for anyone who calls herself a Lutheran.
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Just when you think you know Dr Martin Luther, you pick up this book and his Treaties on Good Works and find he is not the Luther you heard about Luther is perhaps the most succinct, and blunt writer since Paul. Modern writers should take a page from Luther, and learn to cut to the chase! I was said of one "Theologian" and his writing " he has the habit of squeezing 200 pages of material into 500 pages". Enough to say you will not find Luther shoveling the coal in this book, an excellent read, and proper application
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This was required reading for one of my master's classes in history. The book design is simple but sufficient. It provides background on each of the three Luther treatises before presenting them in Luther's original words. It is great for those researching Luther or anyone who just likes to read his works.
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These treatises are LIFE CHANGING, but my complaint is about the physical condition of this particular paperback edition. It seemed like the book had some kind of terrible stale crusty binding. Opening the book all the way causes it to crack. Some sections are now loose and fall out if I am not careful. Cheap and disappointing.
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Format: Paperback
Yes, Luther had his faults; in all honesty they are well documented and cannot be denied. But if we proceed in this honest assessment, we must admit that if only a small fraction of his case against the Roman papacy were true, it would be a very damning case indeed, enough to forever impeach Rome's claim as the one "true" church and the pope's claim to be Christ's 'stand-in', the 'Vicar of Christ'. After those aspects of Luther's case that can be assailed as being inaccurate are whittled off, what remains is the lion's share of his expositions, a well-argued prosecution of the papal office and its corruption of the western church. The most important of Luther's essays stand with the greatest of Christian commentaries and expositions.

Yes, there are many other voices of Christian (Eastern, Protestant, and Roman) consequence, down to our present day, but in terms of historical impact, few stand with Luther. This volume from Fortress Press, includes English translations of three seminal essays produced in 1520: To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and, The Freedom of a Christian. They represent the heart of Luther's case against the Roman papacy, and the heart of the Reformation. His case cites many specific points, is filled with both reverence for God and scripture, and contempt for the self-aggrandizement, politicking, callous money-grubbing, and arrogance of the papal office holders and papist "flatterers":

"If the pope in Rome can grant dispensations and scandalously sell them for money, then every priest may give the same dispensations without price and for the salvation of souls.
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This includes the three great treatises of 1520. All Christians should at least be aware of these works. They encompass the very heart of Luther. The first two are rather polemic and must e read with an understanding of the 16th century political realities. The third essay is on Christian Freedom and is a jewel of Christian thought..
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