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Luther's Works

Publications by Luther 1521

An Account of the Diet of Worms

Gruber 69

Gruber 69

Gruber 69 Eine Anzeigung, wie D. Martinus Luther zu Worms auf den Reichstag eingefahren, durch K. M. in eigner Person verhört und mit him darauf gehandelt. Augsburg: Melcher Ramminger, 1521. The Diet of Worms. Benzing 931; WA 7.883-4. A longer report on the Diet of Worms can be found in Luther’s Works 32:105-130, which is based on WA 7.814-857. Click to enlarge thumbnail.

Luther was summoned before the imperial diet in April, 1521, not for a defense but for an opportunity to recant. He firmly refused. Many accounts of the episode were quickly published, among them this very rare anonymous tract: An Account of How Dr. Martin Luther Was Brought by His Imperial Majesty to the Diet at Worms. How He was Heard in Person, and How He was Treated There. In conclusion he spoke the words, "God help me."

There are two woodcuts on the title page. On the left woodcut Luther stands with an open book in his left hand and his right hand on his chest. On the right woodcut is the Pope, with a cardinal, a bishop, and other spiritual leaders. The printer has combined two originally separate wood cuts. The original left side of the pope’s woodcut showed Lucifer handing over a letter to the Pope. This work is mentioned in WA 7, 883Q. Accounts of the Diet of Worms are also in Gruber 86 and Gruber 99.



The Passion of Christ and Antichrist

Gruber 77

Gruber 77.

Gruber 77 Passional Christi vnd Antichristi. Wittenberg: Johann Rhau-Grunenberg, 1521. (The Passion Book of Christ and Antichrist). Aland 555; Benzing 1014; WA 9.677-715. The pictures are published in an appendix to WA 9. This booklet came out in the spring of 1521, with woodcuts by Cranach. Click to enlarge thumbnail.








Comment by Edgar Krentz: "Martin Luther was directly involved in determining the content of a series of woodcuts that appeared in the Passional Christi et Antichristi in 1521, one of the most outspoken pamphlets of the Reformation. In the left hand picture Jesus as a servant washes the disciples’ feet. In the right hand picture subordinates are kissing the Pope’s toe.


In the left hand picture Jesus is driving the money changers from the temple. In the right hand picture people are presenting profits from the sale of indulgences to the Pope.

The Passional was published in Erfurt in 1521. Erfurt was where Luther entered the Augustinian monastery. It was also where he was ordained a priest in the Cathedral.

John W. Cook, "Picturing Theology: Martin Luther and Lucas Cranach," Art and Religion: Faith, Form and Reform, 1984 Paine Lectures in Religion, University of Missouri at Columbia. Edited by Osmund Overby. Columbia: University of Missouri, 1986: 22-39. Cook's article contains numerous illustrations of Cranach's art and relates it to Luther¹s words. Cook was Professor of Religion and Arts at Yale University. A translation of this document will appear in the new edition of Luther’s Works now being produced by Concordia Publishing House.

Luther’s Answer to Charles V

Gruber 86

Gruber 86.

Gruber 86 Antwort Doctoris Martini Luthers vor K.M. vnd Fürsten des Reichs auff ansuchung der bücher undter seinem namen auszgangen so er gefordert auf den Reichstag gen Wormbs. MDXXI. Erfurt: Matthes Maler, 1521. Benzing 913. WA 7. 858-859. Luther gave his reply at Worms first in Latin and then he repeated it in German. There are two translations of the Latin version of his reply published very quickly, one by Georg Spalatin (See Gruber 99) and the one contained in Gruber 86, whose author is unknown. This is known as the Erfurt translation and it is listed as Edition A by WA 7.858.



The Gruber Collection was assembled by L. Franklin Gruber, President of Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary, Maywood, Illinois.

Annotation prepared by Ralph W Klein