Preferred Citation: Edwards, Mark U., Jr. Printing, Propaganda, and Martin Luther. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994.


Chapter Five— Scripture as Printed Text

1. Except perhaps a few fringe spiritualists such as the Zwickau prophets.

2. UF das Fürhalte * so durch Keyserliche Maiestat Vnd des heiligen Reichs versamleten Churfürsten, vnd stande * , Dem Hochgelerte * Doctori Martino Luther. etc. durch des Reich Redner zu * Wormbs erzelt. Ist di b sein personlich (Zum * kürtzistenn) begriffen antwort . . . (Strasbourg: Knobloch, 1521), iiij(v)-iiiij.

3. See, for example, Walter Mostert, "Scriptura sacra sui ipsius interpres: Bemerkungen zum Verständnis der Heiligen Schrift durch Luther," Lutherjahrbuch 46 (1979):60-96, and the wealth of literature cited there.

4. The literature on the German Luther Bible is immense. For the best scholarly treatment and an extensive bibliography, see Hans Volz, Martin Luthers deutsche Bibel: Entstehung und Geschichte der Lutherbibel (Henning Wendland, ed.; Hamburg, 1978; Berlin, 1981). For subsequent bibliography, see editions of Vestigia Biblia: Jahrbuch des Deutschen Bibel-Archivs Hamburg . For a stimulating yet different (and occasionally flawed) treatment of the topic of this chapter, see Jane O. Newman, "The Word Made Print: Luther's 1522 New Testament in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction," Representations 1 (1985):95-133.

5. WADB 6:2; LW 35:357.

6. WADB 6:4; LW 35:358.

7. WADB 6:8.

8. WADB 6:8; LW 35:360-361.

9. WADB 6:8; LW 35:361.

10. WADB 6:9.

11. WADB 6:9; LW 35:362.

12. WADB 6:10; LW 35:362.

13. WADB 7:384; LW 35:396-397.

14. WADB 7:404; LW 35:399.

15. WADB 7:2; LW 35:365.

16. WADB 7:2; LW 35:365-366.

17. WADB 7:2, 4; LW 35:366.

18. WADB 7:6; LW 35:366.

19. WADB 7:6; LW 35:368-369.

20. WADB 7:172.

21. WADB 7:172; LW 35:384.

22. WADB 7:258; LW 35:388.

23. WADB 7:284; LW 35:389.

24. WADB 7:272, 314; LW 35:389, 392.

25. I have not counted as glosses the many cross-references to other parts of Scripture found in the pages of the German New Testament . These cross-references also perform a certain function in directing the reader's understanding of the text, but Luther's cross-references do not appear to differ significantly from cross-references in previous vulgate editions.

26. Only five glosses explicitly criticized the papacy or monasticism. Three are found in 1 Corinthians and one in 2 Corinthians and one in Matthew. The rest of the glosses tabulated as "on Theme" deal with issues of faith, promise, law, works, and Christian freedom.

27. For a brief overview of Emser's efforts and their background, see Kenneth A. Strand, Reformation Bibles in the Crossfire (Ann Arbor, 1960).

28. Hieronymus Emser, Auß was grund * vnd ursach Luthers dolmatschung vber das nawe testament dem gemeine * man billich vorbotten worden sey. Mit scheynbarlicher anzeygung, wie, wo, vnd an wolchen * stellen, Luther den text vorkert, vnd ungetrewlich gehandelt, oder mit falschen glosen vnd vorreden auß der alten Christlichen ban, auff seyn vorteyl vnd whan gefurt hab . (Leipzig: Stöckel, 1523); Tü 318-321/905.

29. This gloss refers to verse 7 (in today's versification; Luther's German New Testament did not have verse numbers). In Luther's translation this verse reads, "For if in such fashion the truth of God becomes through my lies more wonderful to His glory, why should I still be condemned as a sinner?" [Den * so die warheyt gotis durch meyne lugen herlicher wirt zu seyne * preysz, warumb solt ich den * noch als eyn synder gerichtet werde * ? (WADB 7:36)].

30. WADB 7:36.

31. Emser, Auß was grund * , xij.

32. The New Jerusalem Bible translates these verses: "No distinction is made: all have sinned and lack God's glory, and all are justified by the free gift of his grace through being set free in Christ Jesus. God appointed him as a sacrifice for reconciliation, through faith, by the shedding of his blood."

33. WADB 7:38.

34. WADB 7:38.

35. Emser, Auß was grund * , xij(v).

36. Emser, Auß was grund * , xij(v).

37. Emser, Auß was grund * , xij(v).

38. WADB 7:40.

39. WADB 7:40.

40. Emser, Auß was grund * , xiij.

41. WADB 7:38. Note that Luther emphasized this verse by having it begin a paragraph. The same is true with the verse singled out by the second gloss.

42. WA 30/2:632-646.

43. WA 30/2:640-643.

44. The literature on this and other sixteenth-century biblical illustrations is extensive. See the bibliography in Volz, Martin Luthers deutsche Bibel . See also Philipp Schmidt, Die Illustration der Lutherbibel 1522-1700 (Basel, 1962), and Hermann Oertel, "Das Bild in Bibeldrucken vom 15. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert," Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Niedersächsische Kirchengeschichte 75 (1977):9-37. For the woodcuts in Revelation, see Peter Martin, Martin Luther und die Bilder zur Apokalypse: Die Ikonographie der Illustrationen zur Offenbarung des Johannes in der Lutherbibel 1522-1546 (Hamburg, 1983).

45. The following discussion is based on the bibliographic descriptions in WADB 2. Unfortunately, the description of each edition is not consistent, and for a few editions the description in the WADB seems incomplete. For example, the WADB does not explicitly indicate that Luther's name was omitted in two editions, yet the title as cited for each edition does not mention Luther's name. Is this an oversight by WADB or is Luther's name mentioned elsewhere in the edition, say, in a preface? I was unable to examine the specific editions myself. Although the WADB indicates that there were twenty printings issued in 1524, one of these editions, printed in Leipzig, was seized and destroyed at the insistence of the staunchly Catholic Duke Georg of Albertine Saxony. As a result, we do not know its format or whether it gave Luther's name or reproduced the offending woodcuts in Revelation.

46. M. Reu, Luther's German Bible (Columbus, Ohio, 1934), 164 and 355, n. 46. See also WABr 2:581, n.9.

47. This is the count I get from WADB 2. Hans Volz, in his introduction to Die gantze Heilige Schrifft Deudsch (Munich, 1972), 61*, identified three from Augsburg, seven from Basel, and one in Grimma and one in Leipzig. WADB identifies two Strasbourg editions. One [number 243] by "Hans" Schott was probably published in 1523. Chrisman dates this Schott edition to 1522, which WADB allows as possible but unlikely. The second Strasbourg edition, produced by Johann Schott in 1523, is number 248. Where Chrisman identifies only one edition, WADB has two.

48. Based on my count of editions in WADB 2. Chrisman lists only one Knobloch edition in 1524 (while WADB has three). The only Köpfel edition she lists is for 1538, while WADB lists this for 1524 [number 52]. I assume this is Chrisman's mistake, since the Köpfel edition is dated. This Köpfel edition is also interesting since in it Luther's glosses have been removed from the margins and published in a separate pamplet (WADB 2:326-327). See the discussion below.

49. The recorded price for the September Testament ranges from one-half to one and one-half guldens. The difference probably depends on whether the New Testament was bound or unbound and whether it had specially hand-decorated initials (Martin Brecht, Martin Luther: Shaping and Defining the

Reformation, 1521-1532 [Minneapolis, 1990], 53). The price equivalents come from Walter Krieg, Materialien zu einer Entwicklungsgeschichte der Bücher-Preise und des Autoren-Honorars 15. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (Vienna, Bad Bocklet, Zurich, 1953), 19-22. For those interested in further equivalents, Krieg's list of equivalents for one and one-half guldens goes on for two pages. It should be noted, however, that the price for Luther's German New Testament was but a sixteenth or less of the price paid for a printed German Bible (Old and New Testaments) just fifty years earlier. Printing costs had come down considerably, making material such as the German New Testament accessible to much larger numbers of people.

50. Over half of the editions of 1523 (seven of twelve, or 58 percent) were the handier and less expensive quarto and octavo format. In 1524 almost two-thirds of the editions (twelve of nineteen, or 63 percent) were quarto or octavo, and in 1525 three-quarters of the editions (six of eight, or 75 percent) were quarto or octavo. If we consider only the handiest (and likely least expensive) octavo editions, their percentage of the total rises from a sixth in 1523 (two of twelve, or about 17 percent) to slightly more than half of all editions in 1524 (ten of nineteen, or about 53 percent) to five-eights of all editions in 1525 (five of eight, or about 63 percent). Note that although there were twenty editions in 1524, we know the format for only nineteen, since the twentieth, printed in Leipzig, was seized and destroyed.

51. See the "genealogy" of these editions in WADB 2:201-727.

52. See Peter Martin, Martin Luther und die Bilder zur Apokalypse .

53. These figures are based on the bibliographic descriptions in WADB 2.

54. WADB 2:698-699, no. 243.

55. WADB 2:326-327, no. 52.

56. See chapter 4.

57. Bernd Moeller, "Was wurde in der Frühzeit der Reformation in den deutschen Städten gepredigt?" ARG 75 (1984):176-193.

58. Holm Zerener, Studien über das beginnende Eindringen der Lutherischen Bibelübersetzung in die deutsche Literatur nebst einem Verzeichnis über 681 Drucke—hauptsächlich Flugschriften—der Jahre 1522-1525 , Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte Texte und Untersuchungen, Ergänzungsband IV (Leipzig: M. Heinsius Nachfolger, 1911).


Preferred Citation: Edwards, Mark U., Jr. Printing, Propaganda, and Martin Luther. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994.