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Luther's Works

Publications by Luther in 1520 ~
Open Letter to Pope Leo X

Gruber 100

Gruber 100.

Gruber 100 Ein sendbrieff an den Bapst Leo den tzehenden D. Martinus Luther ausz dem latein insz deutsch vorwandelt. Wittembergk, 1520. Wittenberg: Johann Rhau-Grunenberg, 1520. (To Leo X, Pope at Rome, Martin Luther wishes salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.) Aland 412; Benzing 731; WA 7.1-11; Luther's Works, 31:334-343; Lull, 386-411. Click to enlarge thumbnail.

This open letter was a preface to Luther's tract on the freedom of a Christian. The letter was written at the urging of Karl von Miltitz, who had been sent by the Pope to deal with Luther. Luther assured the Pope that he had never attacked him personally, but had always wished him well. He enclosed his pamphlet On the Freedom of the Christian to show the kind of devotional writing he could do if only his enemies would grant him time. Luther described his treatise as follows: Unless I am mistaken, however, [this small book] contains the whole of Christian life in a brief form, provided you grasp its meaning. For the complete document see Luther's Works 31:333-377.

Gruber 129

Gruber 129.

Gruber 129 Confitendi Ratio Doctoris Martini Lutheri Augustiniani Wittenbergensis. Wittenberg: Johann Rhau-Grunenberg, 1520. Aland 142; Benzing 614a; WA 6.154-169. Luther's Works 39.23-47. A Discussion on How Confession Should be Made. Click to enlarge thumbnail.

This essay responds to questions on the proper use of the confessional. Luther believed that this sacrament does not depend on the priest, nor on a person's actions, but entirely on faith. Not fear of God, but loving trust should be the stance of the penitent who, through baptism, has become a child of God.



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

Annotation prepared by Ralph W Klein