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Perhaps too many references[edit]

In the conversion section, there are references every two words, sometimes a reference for just one word. Dared111 (talk) 20:44, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

...a major branch of EASTERN Christianity ?????[edit]

is it not western????? Eugene-elgato (talk) 23:56, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Of course it is western! Some kind of typo? ... said: Rursus (bork²) 21:45, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Technically, all Christianity is middle eastern in origin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:03, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

In Christianity, "Eastern Christianity" refers specifically to those churches who's traditions and liturgies spring from the Eastern Christian culture, the major influence of which was the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire). This includes the Eastern Orthodox (Orthodox Catholic), Oriental Orthodox (Miaphysite), and Assyrian churches. It also includes the "Eastern Rite Catholics" or "Eastern Catholic" churches that are in full Communion with The Pope. There are 21 particular Eastern Rite Catholic churches.

Lutheranism is most definitely NOT of the Eastern Christian tradition. It is VERY western. Allthenamesarealreadytaken (talk) 01:02, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Nice intro[edit]

I think the intro is good. Thanks! ... said: Rursus (bork²) 21:46, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Luther and the Christmas Tree?[edit]

I noted a section about Luther and the Christmas tree. The problem with that (especially on Wikipedia) is that the story of "Luther having the first Christmas tree" is very likely untrue. The story was most prominent in areas where the seemingly "secular" nature of erecting a Christmas tree needed to be associated with religious customs as the practice became more prominent amongst the growing middle classes of the 18th Century. (Source: K. Stokker, "Keeping Christmas")

I'm going to boldly delete the reference; it probably should not be re-added unless there is a valid reference to the claim. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cothomps (talkcontribs) 17:42, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

"See Also"[edit]

... with the navigation box on the left hand side being better (and more complete), the "See Also" section seems both redundant and not as complete. I'm going to boldly delete the section - feel free to restore it if the section absolutely has to be there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cothomps (talkcontribs) 17:49, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

christianity vs. lutheranism[edit]

what's the difference? Im a christian my friend is lutheran and i don't see a difference other than how much they pay attention to ecumenism, and the trinity. its the same thing in my church. we believe in the trinity its not our main focus but its known about. there have been many sermons about christians and the non-christians. I just think it would be helpful to have a paragraph or list to show the difference. Shadow741 (talk) 05:21, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Read the article. Lutherans are Christians. There are many "flavors" of Christianity. Lutheranism is just one of many. KitHutch (talk) 12:52, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Lutherans are Christians. However, not all Christians are Lutherans. Clear? Allthenamesarealreadytaken (talk) 01:03, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

request for History section[edit]

Please add a real History section that mentions when and how Lutheranism came into being. Right now the History section is just a series of links, like a See Also section. — Reinyday, 02:36, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Weasel wording[edit]

As a Lutheran, I feel offended by the following wording:

Lutherans are certain that the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but every word of it is, because of verbal inspiration, the direct, immediate word of God.[5]

I reserve for myself the right to decide about this according to the concept of universal priesthood, not accepting anyone weasely declaring that anyone not believing in this "is not a real Lutheran". I also declare this right according to the freedom of the Christian. The guy cited was from the 19th century. Some Lutherans obviously believe that "every word of the Bible contain the Word of God", and I don't deny them that right, but I think it has an inbuilt bad logic, confusing mass effects (the bible content, related to the Word/Logos) with the qualities of the individual words.

Besides: Lutheranism is defined by the five solas, the two sacraments, the consubstantiation interpretation of the eucharist, and the divine monergism. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 10:33, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

The solas weren't used as a definition among Lutherans until 19th century attempts to merge the Lutheran and Reformed churches upon a lowest common denominator of doctrine. Take a second look at the often confused sacramental union with consubstantiation. I was confused about these two for years. Lutheranism accepts only one of these. I considered that a Roman Catholic can reject the papacy, but the rejection of the papacy is not part of Roman Catholicism. Some reject stuff from the doctrinal standards of Lutheranism, but still overall identify as Lutherans. However, rejecting the doctrine of the Lutheran Confessions is not part of Lutheranism. Because of this, I changed the section from mentioning "Lutherans" to mentioning "Lutheranism", further defined by the Augsburg Confession and the Formula of Concord to hopefully satisfy your concerns.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 05:14, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Thomas Aquinas: 13th century: Quia sola canonica scriptura est regula fidei. ("The reason is that only canonical Scripture is a measure of faith"). This is representative of the European and Mainstrem American Lutheran's reading of the Bible. St.Trond (talk) 11:32, 29 September 2009 (UTC)


As a lifelong Lutheran, brought up in the LCMS, now active in the ELCA, and as an advocate of cooperation among and fellowship (broadly speaking) within the whole of the Body of Christ, I am especially sensitive to the decidedly biased and non-objective treatment (distillation) of this issue as the text is currently composed. The facts, no problem. But the liberal use of the labels liberal and conservative, even the use of the word orthodox, hardly conforms to the standards of NPOV. Moreover, a number of statements (assertions) are outright false -- particularly as regards the so-called conservative or liberal points of view being attributed to specific groups such as the LCMS or ELCA (when in reality, without question, there are diverse points of view across a wide spectrum on any number of issues within those church bodies, top to bottom); worse, the assertions of what a liberal point of view is, with respected to the Word, and with respect to the diety of Christ, are blatently false. Not only does this section not meet Wikipedia standards, on a lot of levels (NPOV, RS, OR to name a few), it does not meet ethical or religious standards, at least none that I was taught. This section desperately needs a transformation, and the author(s) need time for prayer and reflection. The section is, simply stated, neither accurate, nor truthful, and woefully slanted to serve (who's?) POV.VaChiliman (talk) 18:13, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you. That section is very biased and inaccurate. It needs to be rewritten immediately. If it wasn't so late, I would try to do it myself. KitHutch (talk) 04:24, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Despite the changes made today, the fellowship section is still biased and POV. Not all "liberal" Lutherans deny the divinity of Christ or that his miracles actually happened. It is also "American-centric." This is an article about Lutheranism in general so why does the difference between "liberal" and "conservative" Lutherans reach its zeinth with Seminex? I doubt that had much an effect on Lutheran churches in Africa and Asia. KitHutch (talk) 21:09, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree with your comments, and have more to say. The changes are worse than before, not better. I feel as though there are entire paragraphs that are so biased, so full of misinformation, so full of uniformed nonsense, as to have negative value; that is, a blank page is better than poorly written, unsourced op ed material. It is full of the kind of stuff that some people may choose to believe, but hardly stands any scrutiny. Since their is no dearth of Lutheran historians, I wonder how this somehow happens. What is needed here is an editor (or collaboration) who has a working knowledge of facts, knows how to source, and can be reasonably objective. None of that is evident from what has been published. I strongly object to characterizations of church bodies which are unsourced, unsubstantiated, and downright false. How anyone can assert that the LCMS is indifferent, about anything, is beyond me. None of these larger American bodies are a monolith, even though they may try to assert some conformity. "Liberal vs. Conservative" is most unhelpful. So is "orthodox". Even "traditional" begs the question. Nobody I know in the ELCA denies the divinity of Christ, though some may ask questions and discuss other POV. There is a spectrum of thinking how literal to take the Bible, how to employ critical thinking, how to appropriately use historical context, how to understand that the Bible is both absolute truth, yet neither a scientific treatise, nor a firsthand narative account -- and that spectrum covers a lot of ground. The assertion that so-and-so speaks for the ELCA on this matter, is absurd. The source to Amazon, is clumsy and inappropriate -- one can only use it to say that so-and-so wrote this book, and here is its synopsis -- otherwise, source the ELCA statement(s) on how Scripture is understood, and drop the editorializing. The reference to Seminex is appalling -- basically, Seminex was a turf battle gone awry and an example of how fallible we as humans (even Lutherans) are. All in all, this article would not merit a passing grade as a HS paper, let alone serve as an encyclopedic article. What next? There are plenty of blog sites that propogate such ridiculous assertions, but lets not give them street cred by regurgitating that stuff here. WP is better than that. VaChiliman (talk) 00:07, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Removed some of the POV statements. Are there more that need to be taken out? KitHutch (talk) 20:19, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Many of those commenting here reveal a lack of awareness of the difference between "the faith" and "the members of a religious assembly". I propose to establish a new page "Lutheran churches", or something similar, to confuse all the non-Lutheran exegetes, and hopefully they will comment on the new page instead. St.Trond (talk) 07:15, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Care to be more specific in one's criticisms? Probably not.
What is not clear at all is to whom the comment references. For example, I would make a case that the "non-Lutheran exegetes" might apply to whatever group or individual finds the section on Fellowship conforms to fact, as there is no conformity between much of what is written, and the faith statements of the Lutheran bodies referred to. There are no authentic RS referenced, it is entirely OR, and as such ought to be drastically edited. As a Wiki "exegete", I would counter that there is already confusion in the many so-called "Lutheran" references entwined in Wiki without adding more; how about cleaning up this particular mess first? Someone needs to bone up on their knowledge of Lutheran faith, and perhaps Scripture as well. VaChiliman (talk) 08:24, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I wish to say thank you to the editor(s) who vastly improved this article in terms of content over the past few days. The 'tone' has also improved. VaChiliman (talk) 00:45, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


There seems to be a discrepancy in the article. Whether it actually reflects Lutheran beliefs or not, I don't know, but it must be brought to question. Apparently people are predestined for salvation but not for damnation. How can this be possible, when there is no middle ground between the two? If you are saved, you aren't damned, and if you are damned, you aren't saved. How then can you be predestined to be saved, but not to be damned? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

The section is accurate as it is. One thing that separates Lutheran theology from Reformed theology is that when they think The Bible says something that doesn't work rationally (for example, that people are predestined to belief but not disbelief), Lutherans trust the word of The Bible instead of trying to rationalize what's going on. The LCMS FAQ[1] database has more explanation.-- (talk) 01:35, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
It may work rationally: Gnostics were an important religious sect at the time Christianity appeared. Gnosticism taught that we were not created by God, but by demiurges. Then "we" had to justify "our" change from the "demiurges' influence" to "God's influence". This change is a foreign idea to Lutherans, but is still part of the tradition in many religions which else seems to be similar. St.Trond (talk) 05:11, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Interesting idea, but as you say- foreign to Lutherans. They would see that as the same kind of rationalization that some Reformed churches teach with double predestination; that is, teaching that people are predestined to both Heaven and Hell. They see it as adding something to what The Bible teaches so that it makes sense to us.-- (talk) 06:07, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Interestingly the Catholics share the same problem, and since they do not dislike rationalization as much, they have debated it. See the article on Molinism for example which, I think, also contains information about the contrary side. (The Catholics themselves have said that a final point of this question remains undecided; both positions do away with the contradiction. I favor Molinism.) -- (talk) 12:54, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Huh. I was under the impression that there was no predestination whatsoever, but people were free to accept Christ and then, if they do as shown by their actions, given salvation by grace of God and won through the sacrifice of Christ. I guess they lied to me in school or something. (talk) 22:50, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Well they did not probably lie to you in school, but simplify... and there must be some predestination or the Book of Life as referenced to in Scripture becomes meaningless. The thing is that the very accepting of Christ as Redeemer is impossible without grace. Now that's a Catholic statement from a Catholic but I should think that it is not un-Lutheran (see also the 1998 Declaration). Is it Lutheran to say "acceptation as shown by their actions", given that they are all against justification by works? I would say "acceptation, period. Works are fine, though. There may be sins afterwards, even in not doing certain clearly ordered works, which may diminish or take away the acceptation. But still, whoever accepts Christ without mental reservations has at least as much as accepted Him, whether or not he arrives at fulfilling his duties." But that's again a trial of a Catholic statement (and we're supposed to be pro-"justification by works"?). -- (talk) 12:50, 23 April 2011 (UTC)


I noticed that there is an error in the section on conversion. It currently reads "... and, especially, led to accept the benefits of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." As The Lutheran Cyclopedia (ref 105) states, "[Conversion] is active, inasmuch as God works conversion, and passive, inasmuch as man experiences conversion without concurrence on his part." Lutherans believe that conversion is not something that people can take part in, either alone or by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Instead, conversion is entirely an act of God. The Lutheran Cyclopedia reads "... and, especially, made actually to accept the benefits of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." I suspect that someone tried to make the article more readable but didn't realize the significance of the difference between "made to" and "led to". To correct the article and maintain the readability, I am changing the section to read "... and, especially, made to trust in the benefits..." This accurately reflects Lutheran theology.-- (talk) 08:49, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Bible section[edit]

The Bible section is not neutral. It lists all its beliefs by starting "Orthodox Lutheraism believes ..." This is not an article about Orthodox Lutheranism. This is an article about Lutheranism in general. Mainline and progressive Lutheran beliefs should be highlighted too. KitHutch (talk) 22:32, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Since no one else has commented on this for over a month, I'm going to remove the POV banner and attempt to highlight the differences using a Pew Survey from June 2008.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 22:14, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I share the concern with the POV and the accuracy of this section. It relies heavily on sources representing a minority POV within Lutheranism. The overview section on the Bible correctly reports the 2008 Pew study that 30% of self-identified Lutherans "believed that the Bible was the Word of God and was to be taken literally word for word." Immediately following the results of that study, the Inspiration section goes on to depict all historic Lutherans as biblical literalists with the following: "Historically, Lutheranism affirms that the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but every word of it is, because of verbal inspiration, the direct, immediate word of God."? I challenge the contributor to find any historical reference prior to the late 19th century of a formal Lutheran tradition of "verbal inspiration" or "the direct, immediate word of God." These are distinctly modern phrases developed in reaction to modern historical-critical methods of biblical study that emerged in the late 19th century. These phrases describe, according to the Pew study, a 30% minority view--certainly not the only view held by Lutherans. I propose striking the first sentence of the section on Inspiration.
The Inspiration article also states, "The apocryphal books were not written by the prophets, by inspiration; they contain errors were never included in the Judean Canon that Jesus used, and therefore are not a part of Holy Scripture." Applying that definition of "Holy Scripture" the entire New Testament and many other Old Testament books would also be excluded since the canon of Hebrew Scripture was still in formation in Jesus' time , and which happened to include books not in the Christian canon that emerged in the 4th century.
And another example of error in this article is: "A correct translation of their writings is God's Word because it has the same meaning as the original Hebrew and Greek. A mistranslation is not God's word, and no human authority can invest it with divine authority." If no human authority can invest a translation with divine authority, and no human authority is designated in Lutheran tradition to rule on the correctness of a translation, it logically follows that no translation can be said to be "God's word." Therefore the entire argument for verbal inspiration is specious in regards to Lutheranism because, contrary to the assertions of throughout the article on the Bible, "Lutheranism" as such has never had a unified stance on this subject. Accordingly, I propose striking the last four sentences from the Inspiration article. Mystichiker (talk) 02:37, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Let's do it. KitHutch (talk) 02:50, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
The preferred response to issues of undue weight in Wikipedia is not to remove the sections that don't reflect your view, but to add in the views that are still under-represented in the article. If you have good secondary or tertiary references, why not add in other diverse views? I specifically don't agree with the idea of removing the last four sentences. The position on the apocrypha is not something novel to Lutheranism but is represented by the old orthodox theologians quoted here. Why can't a translation be God's Word? No translation is perfect, but what the reference that the article cites is saying is that the message of God's Word in the translation is still God's Word. Your logical deductions appear to me to be original research.
As for your comment "I challenge the contributor to find any historical reference prior to the late 19th century of a formal Lutheran tradition of "verbal inspiration" or "the direct, immediate word of God." I suggest you look at this link from Schmid's, which in turn has extensive lengthy quotations from various dogmaticians from the Age of Orthodoxy. It is quite similar to the existing "characteristics of Scripture" section. The section dealing with inspiration starts on page 64 and continues several more pages after that, using quotations translated from Latin dogamtic works. Also see Plass, "What Luther Says" under the sections dicussing Scripture. Also see "The Inspiration of Scripture: A Study of the Theology of the 17th Century Lutheran Dogmaticians." a doctoral dissertation by Robert Preus, publised by Oliver and Boyd in London in 1957. I've read some of it, and it agrees with Schmid's doctrine book about what Lutheranism has historically believed. The section marked "traditionaly" reflects the position within Lutheranism from the time of Luther up until the end of the Age of Orthodoxy.
In otherwords, from roughly 1500-1700 we have one position which was unified (though there were slight disagreements dealing with the canon in Early Lutheranism up until the time of High Orthodoxy), and after that, the Rationalists disagreed to varying degrees. Wolff, for example, allowed for Scripture to be true inasmuch as it didn't contradict with reason, while Neology was a lot more antagonistic.
From what I've read about the various revival movements, there was a diversity of viewpoints, and that certainly is still the case today. This is already discussed in the two paragraphs directly above the "Characteristics of Scripture" section.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 07:09, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to Schmid's work. I am familiar with my print edition, but it's nice to find it online. Schmid's is work of the late 19th century neo-orthodox Lutheranism, which I was referring to above. Of course Schmid, Plass and Preus relied heavily on prior orthodox dogmaticians, but their use of the phrase "verbal inspiration" is, as I stated, distinctly modern. Prior to the late 19th century, theologians did not yet face the advancement of historical-critical biblical study, against which the concept of verbal inspiration emerged. Certainly orthodox and even liberal Lutheran churches teach that the canonical Bible contains the inspired, written Word of God, but that is different from the claim that the Bible is the words of God's own dictation (i.e., verbal inspiration). Now I am simply asking for the addition of the word "Some" at the beginning of the Inspiration article, recognizing that not all Lutherans hold this modern view. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mystichiker (talkcontribs) 20:39, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad you appreciate it, too. It is also online here. Schmid's has many quotes establishing plenary inspiration. Verbal inspiration is a portion of the larger concept of plenary inspiration. Again, see the link I gave you. There are on that page and the ones following, quotes from Quenstedt, Calov, Hollatz, and Gerhard.
You may not have access to the book by Preus that I cited. Preus's book is largely devoted to showing how the dogmaticians held to the verbal inspiration. Preus's book explains how many of the Jesuits and Socinians during the 1600s denied the verbal inspiration openly in their writings and in public disputations with Lutherans. The dogmaticians developed their statements on verbal inspiration in opposition to them. Your thought that the mental concept of a verbal inspiration would not have been enunciated until an opposing doctrine challenged it makes sense. However, this challenging occurred in the 1600s.
Here is a list of relevant quotations from the book:
  1. The proof of plenary inspiration is drawn 1. From 2 Tim. 3 : 16.--Quenstedt
  2. If all Scripture be inspired, then there can be nothing in the Holy Scriptures that was not divinely suggested and by inspiration communicated to those who wrote. For, if even a single particle of Scripture were derived from human knowledge and memory, or from human revelation, then it could not be asserted that all Scripture is divinely inspired.--Calov
  3. In inspiration we recognize a divine assistance and direction, which includes the inspiration and dictation of the Holy Spirit...--Quenstedt
  4. For the prophets and apostles were not at liberty to clothe the divine meaning in those words which they might of their own accord select; but it was their duty to adhere to, and depend upon, the oral dictation of the Holy Spirit, so that they might commit the Sacred Scriptures to writing, in the order and connection so graciously and excellently given, and in which they would appear in perfect accordance with the mind of the Holy Spirit...--Quenstedt
  5. So that we need not wonder that the same Spirit employed diversities of style The cause of this diversity of style is the fact that the Holy Spirit gave to each one to speak as he [that is, the Holy Spirit] pleased--Calov
  6. all the particulars contained in the Sacred Scriptures are not, indeed, to be regarded as having been received by a peculiar and new revelation, but by the special dictation, inspiration, and suggestion of the Holy Spirit--Calov
  7. "No error, even in unimportant matters, no defect of memory, not to say untruth, can have any place in all the Sacred Scriptures."--Calov
As for the Catholics, see this from the Catholic Encyclopedia: "In the sixteenth century verbal inspiration was the current teaching. The Jesuits of Louvain were the first to react against this opinion. They held "that it is not necessary, in order that a text be Holy Scripture, for the Holy Ghost to have inspired the very material words used."
The article already explains that Lutherans don't agree about scripture. I assumed that was enough. Hypothetically, every doctrinal part of the article could be filled with caveats, given that most things have been contested by someone sometime within the history of Lutheranism. But this would ruin the flow of the article. I suppose someone who is not familiar with the subject might ignore the qualifier of "Historically." If it makes a difference to you, I'm just fine with replacing "verbal" with "plenary" and explaining that other Lutherans don't agree with this view.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 03:16, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your extensive comments. I get it that you wish to establish plenary or verbal inspiration as the standard Lutheran concept behind biblical authority. Given that the more prevalent modern approach differs from that view, I still have issues with the strenuous language in the paragraph on inspiration, but I see that we disagree on whether to preference a current vs. an historical depiction of Lutheranism. Peace. Mystichiker (talk) 22:26, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Article size[edit]

The article is too long for easy navigation. Either split the article or remove any unnecessary details that are already linked to their own article. See Wikipedia:Article size. Samar (Talk . Contributions) 12:31, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

The main body of text is only 7,300-400 words, which is similar in size to the Calvinism article and reasonable compared to the main body of Orthodox Church, which has 18,600 words, Catholic Church, which has about 15,400 words, or of Anglicanism, which has about 13,000. What is the main problem, download time or scrolling down a long page?
Although the article is large in kilobytes, that is because of the large amount of text used in citations. The size of the article when printed out on 1 inch margins and size 10 font is 11 pages, without pictures or citations. If you increase it to 14 point fount it is 14 pages. The pictures and templates also to kilobyte size. The disproportionate number of subject headings make the article appear large.
It would be difficult to split this article because both the History and Throughout the world sections already have seperate articles. Splitting them off would mainly mean removing them. Although I've suggested to another user about a year ago that the history section could be reduced to a paragraph summary, I don't know how much support it has. There are also already articles on sola scriptura, sola fide, the Trinity, Christ, Lutheran sacraments, and Eucharist in the Lutheran Church. Most of these sections just sum up the larger article. The Practices section could be dismemembered in a variety of different ways, though.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 08:47, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Well sir I believe you are right about the amount of references and other media adding to the total length. And since I am not expert on the topic I suggested a) either split it (if possible, which you explained is not) b) or remove some/certain details (which you also have suggested). Read this:
Lutheranism has its roots in the efforts of Martin Luther(1483–1546), a German Augustinian priest, who sought to reform the Western Church to return it to what he thought was a biblical foundation. He objected to practices such as indulgences. Luther intended to reform the Church, not to create a different Christian denomination. Nonetheless, he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X.
Now again I will say I am not an expert but don't you think apart from the first line, the rest belongs to the Martin Luther article. Again you are right that history section is better off in paragraph form (or if needed a couple of headers). Both the summary of doctrine and practices can have their own article since, as I see it, they have a lot of detail. Samar (Talk . Contributions) 14:35, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
If the history, summary of doctrine, and practices sections are all replaced with summarizing paragraphs, the Lutheranism article will go from 11 pages of text to much smaller, well under the 10-14 pages recommended by Wikipedia.
I've tried removing the Martin Luther info you mentioned maybe half a year ago, but the user that added it was quite displeased and wouldn't let me.
I don't think the summary of doctrine section has anywhere near the breadth needed for a "Lutheran theology" article. While it would me nice to have a "Lutheran theology" article, it would also be a lot of work to flesh such an article out. Although the summary section has 11 parts, the Augsburg Confession has 21 chief articles of faith, and more have been distinguished since then. I have watched the related article, Theology of Martin Luther, for years and it has grown at a snail's pace. There aren't many editors actively involved in the Lutheranism articles, and I would rather see the Theology of Martin Luther article finished before biting off something this large. I also don't see the existing summary section as going into that great of detail, as each topic is relatively short. I'm not sure if they all deserve wikified subject headings.
As for the practices section, the Liturgy part could be merged with Divine Service, the Education section could be merged with the Lutheran school article into something perhaps called "Education in the Lutheran Church", and the Church Fellowship section could go a variety of ways. One user proposed an article comparing the ELCA (which is LWF) & LCMS (which is ILC). If such an article is made, most of the article could fit in there, and the rest could be placed in "History of Lutheranism". I would not favor an article titled, "Ecumenism in the Lutheran Church", because the conservative factions repudiate ecumenism. Likewise, I have a concern that a "Fellowship in the Lutheran Church" article would attract non-neutral POV edits the same way the Church Fellowship section recently has.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 08:50, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Alright, give me some time and I'll try to copyedit the article. You can watch my progress and if I change anything that I shouldn't, let me know. As for the merging/expanding/recreating/splitting part, you need some subject expert on that and I won't be of great assistance there. I hope copyediting will at least give a better cleaned-up view. Regards Samar (Talk . Contributions) 12:00, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
And yes, I will also suggest clean up the references. Some statements don't need much proof (we know all humans have 5 fingers).
Lutheranism has its roots in the efforts of Martin Luther who sought to reform the Western Church to what he thought was the biblical foundation.
This statement has 4 references where his role in the foundation of Lutheranism is universally accepted (we know Muhammad founded Islam and Jesus Christianity). Only leave behind the 1 or 2 most reliable references and remove the rest. (I guess one good one in this case will be enough). Samar (Talk . Contributions) 12:55, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Wow! Thanks for volunteering to do some of the work! I guess that makes you a real Administrator. As for the references, my biggest concern are the ones in the history section, many of which link to foreign langauge books and are not formatted at all. Please, as a general practice, do not remove the bible citations. All parties had a big discussion on the bible citations a few years ago. It went to something called RFA and both the outside and inside consensus was that the Bible verses are to stay as long as they are supported by also having a citation from a doctrine book also.
This reflects a Lutheran tradition to use both the Bible and to consider other traditional sources...not to force Lutheranism on Wikipedia, but it was done in part to demonstrate what is behind the Lutheran thinking on various issues.
Of course, I must admit that I have a bit of a personal interest in preserving that consensus because I was the one that normalized most of the disputed citations by looking up all the doctrine passages. It took me over a year. If it really would be bad for the article to use Bible citations, fine, they could go, but it would be nice if the larger body of contributors could weigh in on the decision the way they did when it was decided to include the joint Bible verse & doctrine book citations. Right now, as best as i can tell, this article is at a standstill. Activity in the entire Wikiproject:Lutheranism is almost down to zero.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 22:42, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Largest religious group[edit]

"Lutheranism is the largest religious group in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Namibia, and the Dakotas. " in Germany catholizism is the largest religious group, larger then all protestant groups total. -- (talk) 14:36, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't think that is the case with regard to the official statistics. Perhaps more Catholics actually show up at church on Sunday?--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 01:32, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
My mistake. You are right, and I have corrected the article.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 17:14, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Citation for Apocryphal Errors[edit]

I couldn't identify what the article was citing as erroneous Apocraphal text:

"The apocryphal books were not written by the prophets, by inspiration; they contain errors[35] were never included in the Judean Canon that Jesus used,[36] and therefore are not a part of Holy Scripture.[37]"

Fn 35 says: (Tobit 6, 71; 2 Macc. 12, 43 f.; 14, 411)

Tobit 6 seems to only have 17 verses, so Tobit 6:71 makes no sense. Likewise, 2 Maccabees 14 has 46 verses, not 411. I can find 2 Macc. 12:43, but I'm not sure what the that the text is citing to (I assume the correct citation is for 12:42, which records prayers for the dead, but I'm just guessing).

Can anyone help clarify these issues?Fralupo (talk) 06:53, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out this problem with the text. I believe these citations originally came from the now-public domain internet scanned copy of Engelder's Popular Symbolics, which has citations in the article near the problem citation. I think you are onto something with 2 Maccabees 12:42. It probably is some sort of misprint. Perhaps Tobit 6:17 is the problem because of the practices of divination and sacrificing something to that other than God, which the Torah condemns. 2 Macc. 14:41ff. is a suicide. I'm going to fix the citation to refer to Tobit 6:17, 2 Macc. 12:42, and 2 Macc. 14:41-46. These of course refer to what Lutherans see as errors, not to promote a non-neutral point of view, but simply to record the Lutheran viewpoint as is given in a secondary source such as Engelder's dogmatics.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 01:47, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Merger of the EKD & Reich Church pages[edit]

We are currently discussing the possibility of merging the Reich Church article into the history section of the EKD article. I solicit your comments on the talk pages of the respective articles: Talk:Evangelical Church in Germany#Merge and Talk:Protestant Reich Church#Merge. Thank you.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 21:22, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

The consensus was against the merger.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 23:05, 11 March 2010 (UTC)


What is intended by the statement, "However, Lutheranism was extinguished during the course of the 18th century."? This is clearly inaccurate. Mystichiker (talk) 17:11, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

The article has, as a source for this statement, an encyclopedia article by Henry Eyster Jacobs, who is highly revered, especially in the ELCA. The Lutheran religion was systematically dismantled by rationalism. Because of government influence and control, the seminaries were changed to be rationalist so new candidates for ministry would be rationalist. Likewise, pastors who resisted rationalism were not not given positions or removed from ones they were in. The liturgy and the hymns were radically altered to reflect the new beliefs. Lutheranism (as had previously been defined by the various confessions and expounded during the Orthodox Period) was extinguished by Rationalism during the latter part of the 1700s up until the time of the Neo-Lutheran revival movement, which had its origins at the beginning of the 1800s.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 17:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
With respect, I take issue with your assertion (whatever the "highly revered" (POV?) Henry Eyster Jacobs may have written for an encyclopedia) that Lutheranism was extinguished. A case may well be made that Orthodox Lutheranism was extinguished, but that is a very different matter than a statement to the effect that Lutheranism, as a whole, ceased to exist. Given the ongoing profession of millions of Lutherans since the 18th century, that assertion is patently false, unless one defines "real" Lutheranism as a dead tradition. Mystichiker (talk) 02:47, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Think of it like a "death-and-rebirth" type of event. The article already mentions various laity rebelling against Rationalism. This of course precludes the article stipulating an absolute end of Lutheranism. But the system that had previously been constructed with seminaries and churches was been shifted to something decidedly not Lutheran with very different beliefs. The article mentions the ongoing profession of Neo-Lutherans beginning in the 19th century to the present.
But from the mid 1700s before the beginning of the 1800s, you will be hard pressed to find Lutheran history to write about in the article, except of course the continuing considation of Rationalism. Two individuals who were recognizably Lutheran died before 1800. Löscher died in 1749, Hamann, who wasn't as significant, died in 1788. The article already credits him with being an advancer of the Awakening, though the Counter-Enlightenment sees him as a member of that movement. Schleiermacher fits under Liberal Christianity, an article that already claims him as the movement's father. Certainly a dicussion of German Idealist philosophy would not be within the scope of the article. I suppose that, if you want to consider the Pietist movement as Lutheran (though I'm not sure that the history books consider Pietism to be part of Lutheranism by the later 1700s), then that would count. Still, Pietism fizzed out by the middle of the 1700s, though not completely. The article on the Moravian Church might also fit in here, though I'm not sure they consider(ed) themselves Lutheran.
Gritsch's A History of Lutheranism solves this dicontinuity issue by ignoring Rationalism and discussing Pietists during this period. I'm okay with doing the same thing in this article, but we can't make it seem like Pietism replaced Lutheranism, since it was mainly Rationalism that replaced Lutheranism, with Pietism being a significant divergance.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 07:40, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I just noticed that the Counter-Enlightenment article draws a connection between Hamann & the Awakening. I've never even heard of a "Counter-Englightenment" before, so this is new to me. Since this is the case (and not merely laying a foundation for a future Awakening), I'm removing the sentence you contest. I hope you will understand why I was mistaken. The German Wikipedia article on Christian Revival says the German Awakening began at the start of the 1800s and has a citation for it that appears to be a textbook. One the sources in this article, Suelflow, says the Awakening started in 1806 with Napolean. This Counter-Englightenment article says it was started by Hamann, but it really got going after Napolean. But if Hamann started the Awakening, then one can consider the latter half of the 1700s (when Jacobs says Lutheranism was extinguished) to have a very low level of the Awakening. Along with Valentin Ernst Löscher, from the Late Orthodox period, living until 1749, this presents a continuity of Lutheranism, though led by a layman rather than seminary professors and clergy as had been the case throughout the Period of Orthodoxy.
Anyway, I've removed the controverted sentence.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 08:29, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you.Mystichiker (talk) 17:02, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Mary section[edit]

I propose replacing the recently added Marian section with this:[2]

On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed Virgin, bore not a mere man, but, as the angel [Gabriel] testifies, such a man as is truly the Son of the most high God, who showed His divine majesty even in His mother's womb, inasmuch as He was born of a virgin, with her virginity inviolate. Therefore she is truly the mother of God, and nevertheless remained a virgin.

My reasons:

  1. It stays out of the controversial inter-Lutheran debates between the High Church Lutheranism adherents who affirm the perpetual virginity and those who would not say that Mary is definitely ever-virgin. (The current Lutheran Marian theology article usually reflects the High Church position.)
  2. It could be possibly be combined with the Christ section above it.
  3. There is an inherent inadequacy in stating the belief of Lutherans by describing Luther instead of the confessional writings.
  4. With the one-sentence long Christ section right above it, it seems like Lutherans care more about Mary than Christ. Of course, the Christ section could certainly use expanding, though I don't know how much is appropriate, given that there already is a separate article.

So, what do you all think?--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 06:25, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, I just put the "Martin Luther" section from "Protestant views on Mary" there. I will shorten it, as it has its own article. says the following:
Luther also held to the semper virgo (the perpetual virginity) of Mary. This, again, is a personal view to which Lutherans today are not bound. Scripture is not clear on this matter, and Lutherans do not regard it as a theological issue.
I think the article "Lutheran Marian theology" (as well as the section in this and other articles) should be re-worded to fit in the quote above myself...
As I was a Catholic and am now a member of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, the article speaks fine for my beliefs: Immaculate Conception, Theotokos, Perpetual Virginity, etc. But I know we should put how all Lutheran denominations feel about a certain issue. I think that should be done... Shark96z (talk · contribs) 07:48, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Again, let me repeat my third point: "There is an inherent inadequacy in stating the belief of Lutherans by describing Luther instead of the confessional writings."
Although a section describing the beliefs of Lutherans over time would do well to include Luther's statements on issues of controversy, they lend the impression that Lutherans believe whatever Luther said when used as the sole source of doctrine.
I'm of the view that the summary of doctrine section should defer to the Augsburg Confession & Small Catechism, Book of Concord, and other (non Wikipedia) encyclopedia articles when describing issues of controversy. If they don't address something or different Lutheran denominations disagree about it, the details would better fit under the "Main Article" for the section.
Another option one could consider is to, under the "practices" section, give a historical description of Lutheran practices about saints, including Mary. A subject heading like "With regard to saints" or "Saints" or "Church year and liturgical calendar" or something like that might work. Explanations of what Luther taught would fit in a section like that very nicely.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 21:46, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Given that the problems with this section have not been fixed by now, I have taken the liberty to delete it. In any event, the same information is created in the larger article dealing with Luther's views of Mary.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 00:57, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Reversion of edit to references[edit]

I reverted the recent edit on 19:40, 20 April 2010 by Shark96z which removed the references to the Bible citations. The use of Bible citations went to RfC during an extended discussion on this talk page some time back. This discussion may be found on the archives. The consensus was that Bible citations should occur 1. jointly with doctrine book citations and 2. as references rather than in-text citations. It was noted that they do not reflect a non-neutral point of view, since their purpose is to give what the denomination considers to be a source for their beliefs. The consensus only accepted the removal of bible citations not accompanied by one or more doctrine books in the same reference.

In Wikipedia, a consensus reached through the RfC process may only be altered by another RfC process.

Particularly with the Graebner book, one should note that the originally composed sections are usually just a few paragraphs. The book is mostly made up of lists of prooftexts. By using the Bible citations, the article refers to the particular citation by Graebner that is used to describe what Lutherans believe.

I overlooked the recent, similar removal of citations in the Conversion section because another user complained that they were so close together that the text was not readable. However, that is not the case here.

It is my request that the Bible citations remain as is.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 04:51, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

I continue to oppose most of them. When a paragraph, for example, describes the Lutheran view of Divine Judgment, it needs sources that explain what the Lutheran view is. Without those secondary sources, there's no evidence to show whether the doctrines described are the typical Lutheran ones, or just the beliefs of a few authors. Furthermore, those verses are interpreted differently by different branches of Christianity. Referencing the Bible directly implies that the Lutheran interpretation is the only one possible, which is not the case. Fishal (talk) 15:51, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
The consensus previously reached was that any secondary source would work, and it only needed to be one of them from one group of Lutherans...although many of them have references from the Confessions which were formally accepted by the Scandinavians as well, though not on the level of the Augsburg Confession.
When the question about Bible verses was taken some years back with a request for assistance, those involved decided that the Biblical references should stand as is the case with many other articles on Wikipedia. The thought was that they indicate more fully what Lutherans are referring to rather than to insist that the Bible somehow must be interpreted one way or the other. Nobody reads a Wikipedia article on a denomination as if it is doctrinally authoritative commentary.
If you are working on the article, I found the Oxford Encyclopedia of Christianity helpful as a tertiary source. If you have access to it it is a good place to start.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 07:46, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I think I understand, then - the Bible refs are used more as a "see also" than as a source. That has merit in the article, definitely. I am concerned that it does open the door for individual opinions to be presented as ideas held in common by all Lutherans; but if the refs represent "standard" Lutheran theology (insofar as that can ever be determined), then they are appropriate. The thing to do would be to add secondary sources confirming the the interpretations made in the article.
I do want to make some big changes to the article, but mainly in the history section - if that were as complete as the sections on doctrine and practice, I think this could at least rise to being A-class, if not a GA. I'm still gathering sources, so any changes from me will not exactly be immediate. But it is on my to-do list. Fishal (talk) 02:48, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Inaccuracies in first sentences[edit]

Somehow, the first sentences of the lead have become muddled. Some phrases are inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading.

  • Lutheranism is a theological movement: incomplete: like all branches of Christianity, Lutheranism has theological, cultic, cultural, and institutional aspects, which taken together make up the denomination.
  • Movement to reform Christianity: misleading: technically and historically true, but this phrase greatly obscures the fact that Lutheranism is a separate, identifiable branch of the faith with its own traditions, churches, clergy, and institutions. If this were 1530 the phrase would be apt, but after centuries of separation Lutheranism as a whole does not behave like a reform movement. It does not, for example, actively seek to change Catholic practices. Moreover, it seems to imply that all Lutherans are theologians or activists, something clearly not true. Most Lutherans are believers and worshipers, like in any other Christian group.
  • Lutheranism identifies with the theology confessed in the Augsburg Confession and the other writings compiled in the Book of Concord: misleading: the Book of Concord has never won the unanimous support of all Lutheran churches, as Wikipedia's own Book of Concord article makes clear.

After these first sentences, the lead becomes more straightforward, identifying Lutheranism as a "major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Marting Luther," a much less misleading definition. I feel the first sentences should simply be removed. Fishal (talk) 13:24, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Image creep[edit]

The article has become filled with images: I counted 39. The number seems like overkill and is rather distracting; plus, on my monitor at least, they are so dense that they "stack up" and prevent the text from displaying normally. Some of them are clearly unnecessary, such as the picture of the Chi Rho and the multiple images of the University of Jena. I'll trim them down if no one objects. Fishal (talk) 19:29, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree. The history section is difficult for me to read due to the unnecessary images. I agree think the Chi Rho and the Trinity symbol could go also. Shark96z (talk · contribs) 23:22, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
I've removed images that did not seem necessary to illustrate the text. I know that removes a lot of people's work finding, inserting, formatting, captioning, and in some cases adding ref tags to all those images - so I'm completely open to changing my decisions of what to cut. But I will defend my opinion that there were just too many before, and many that did not help readers understand the text. Fishal (talk) 15:43, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Fishal, Although you re-arranged them to fit on your screen and font size, I might mention that one of your repositioned images displaces a heading in mine.
This is not to complain, but to note that it is hard to make a webpage that displays perfectly on everyone's computer. That is why when placing images on Wikipedia articles I compare the views with different monitors and screen sizes to hopefully find a solution that fits most viewers. Perhaps you are using a Netbook, a low resolution screen setting, an older monitor, or a larger font size than most computers. However, use of the stacking templates is recommended by Wikipedia for reducing the amount of display complications with multiple images.
In the future I may re-add some of the ones you removed (though don't worry, I don't intend to start any edit wars or add all of them back). And I will remember what you noted about image placement--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 08:03, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
My comment to the image edit is that the 'ancient' images which have nothing to do with Lutheranism now remained in the article - this concern the whole orientation of the article as well as image selection; unless Lutheranism really is mainly/only historical phenomenon (not to me personally, I would say). I would encourage people to undertake that task producing contemporary images and photos and put them to wikimedia commons and maybe check the availability of material already there and then maybe refresh the article with new images? --Isidorus Finn (talk) 15:48, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, my monitor is an old one. So you're right, I can't go changing every page that doesn't show up perfectly for me, personally. But the main problem, to me, was that the sheer number of images was distracting and made for a cluttered look, and that many of them were only tangentially related to the text of the article. Parts of the page felt almost like a PowerPoint slide show, where an image had to be found for every main point, instead of an article, where images were used only when they actually were needed to illustrate something. Fishal (talk) 02:52, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Pro-Catholic POV[edit]

Anonymous user has placed pro-RC POV material into this article. Similar edits have been made in the past. The RC POV is that the Lutherans split off the Catholic Church, whereas a neutral position would be that the Western Church split between the Lutherans and the Catholics. My request is that refrain from further, similar edits and for everyone else to be ready to counteract such alterations by this or other users. Thank you.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 14:06, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

This is not pro-Catholic POV but pro-German POV. There may be some feeling that Germany is most important for the beginning of Lutheranism and myself, not neutral as a German, but neither wishing to claim some honor being a Catholic, can't really help to feel the same... If we talk about Sweden or even East Prussia (then a territory just as outside Germany as it is now) where, apparently, dioceses as such became Lutheran, all right, go ahead, and count the Catholic stuff about validity, jurisdiction, the essential unity of the One Church and the like as POV. If we talk about Germany, which is after all where Lutheranism arised, it is a historical fact that the Lutherans split from the Roman Catholic Church, and that secular princes, on some doctrinal grounds apparently (I have not studied the matter, but there is the suggestion that Dr. Luther was only a prerunner of the Reformers who were the princes) prepared by Dr. Martin Luther OSA, took by a public law the ecclesiastical responsibilities for their own, and it is not a POV to answer the question from whom did they take them. They took them from the Catholic hierarchy. Btw I don't know which IP number I will get but I'm someone else.-- (talk) 14:21, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I reservedly agree with Bunchofnumbers. The fact is that there was a Catholic Church before the Reformation, and a Catholic and various Protestant churches after it. It's a pretty common-sense conclusion that the Lutherans, together with the other Reformation churches, split off from the Catholics. Common sense alone is of course no reason to change an article. But I think it does mean that this perspective should not be rejected out of hand because one person perceives it to be biased. Fishal (talk) 11:54, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Weird stmt[edit]

First in section History

Lutheranism has its roots in the efforts of Martin Luther who sought to reform the Western Church to a more biblical foundation.

Could this possibly be reworded to something more precise, and less provocative for other branches of Xtianity? In the name of NPOV, maybe don't intend to allege that Lutherans are the only ones using a Bible foundation? Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 20:01, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

What the hell does "stmt" mean? Use English please, not gibberish. Here, I'll let Samuel L. Jackson express my feelings about your abuse of English: Are we clear? Allthenamesarealreadytaken (talk) 01:11, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

I believe it's an abbreviation for "statement"... Shark96z (talk · contribs) 21:24, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I had misgivings about that statement when somebody added it a few years ago, but upon thinking about it, I realized that it only refers to Martin Luther's intentions, i.e. that he thought the church was to some extent unbiblical and he tried to fix what he saw. I say leave it.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 15:23, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
"Stmt"? (The ones with brains guessed correctly). Pardon for being jargony, it's kind of part of the WP culture. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 14:14, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

expand history section?[edit]

Why does the history section basically start with Scandinavia? It seems like a condensed version of the original Germany history, included on the Lutheran history page, should be included at the start of this section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I Think I Found a Joke[edit]

I have never tried to do anything on Wikipedia before, so I apologize for violating the etiquette. I am too impatient to read all of the rules. HOWEVER, in reading about the spread of Lutheranism, I came across a list of countries ending with "the Dakotas." This made me laugh, but I don't think that is the purpose. I honestly have no idea how to correct it or who to report it to. Sorry. Good bye!"Catherine Oliphant" (talk) 00:42, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Hello Catherine, I do not see the joke in the statement, the Dakotas collectively refer to North and South Dakota States of US. The list mentions names of regions where Lutheranism is the largest religious group. Anyways, if there is any issue with the statement I am sure a subject expert will correct it. :) Samar (Talk . Contributions) 21:17, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm the one who put "the Dakotas." North and South Dakota are the only states that have a plurality of Lutherans. The reason there are so many Lutherans in these states is because virtually all Scandinavian Lutherans and some German Lutherans were uncomfortable with settling in Southern states before the Civil War. They did not believe it was okay live in a society that supported slavery, even if they themselves didn't own slaves. The northern (pre-)states that were being settled at the time were Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. So they went there. Wisconsin and Minnesota are heavily populated compared to the Dakotas, which largely are home to Native Americans and the descendants of those who originally settled there.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 02:06, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Balderdash in the text[edit]

The section The Bible in the section Doctrine claims:

He held that every passage of Scripture has one straightforward meaning, the literal sense as interpreted by other Scripture.<ref>Braaten, Carl E. (1983). Principles of Lutheran Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, p. 9</ref>

Either the source errs or the interpreting editor:

1. The literal sense as interpreted by

is a contradiction, since if it is interpreted, it is not literal and vice versa, and

2. as interpreted by other Scripture

is both a grammatical error, either to be replaced by the unlikely "another Scripture" or "other Scriptures", and a semantic error, since scriptures arent capable of interpreting anything.

I believe that Luther held the Bible to be perfect/infallible in its full and in every detail, which is hard to reinterpret to mean "literal". A plausible interpretation of Luther's stance might be the pragmatic one that there is one sole unambiguous interpretation of the Bible that can only be found by adhering to the word in its fullness and in every detail, as far as it is put on the correct interpretation level. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:35, 2 December 2011 (UTC) has a 2006 edition of this book with a preview available. I did a search for the word "literal", and page 29 does seem to suggest that Luther took the Bible completely literally (and notes that this flies in the face of what basically everybody believes today). Also take a look at page 17 for a further explanation of his view. While I do agree that basically nobody takes every single word of the Bible literally (i.e. some passages clearly are poetic in genre), we cannot conclude, from the source, that Luther did not. However, I do hope that if possible, you take a look at the same passage to ensure that I'm interpreting the source properly. Kansan (talk) 16:44, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes I found it here, for anyone to examine. I've however never read about "literal" in my literature, but instead "immediate interpretation", so maybe "literal" just doesn't signify exactly literal. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 18:28, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I might add that the textbook where this citation comes from is considered to be on the "liberal" spectrum, as it comes from modern, mainline Protestant theological tradition and does not simply repeat the theology of past years. Braaten most certainly did not hold to a literal, word for word interpretation of Scripture himself. He just noted that Luther did. For Luther, "sensus literalis unus est" was a guard against allegorical interpretations popular among Augustinians of is day. Luther makes no secret for his contempt of this allegorical in his Table Talk conversations.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 02:10, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Braaten is echoing Luther echoing Augustine, in that no obscure passage of Scripture could not be elucidated by means of a passage where the meaning was clear (Epis. 48), and when all other hermeneutical tricks fail, then the overarching hermeneutic is that of "love." Lutherans start with certain assumptions about the "Gospel", that is, the saving act of God in Christ Jesus given to all which Scripture proclaims, and then read Scripture accordingly. Some passages will embody this "Good News" more than others, or "core testimony" as Brueggemann termed it — Romans 8 versus the Epistle of James, which Luther called "an epistle of straw." If all Scripture had equal weight, then nothing would stop Lutherans from trotting out the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 at stewardship time. --Janko (talk) 12:05, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Lutheran view on God the Father[edit]

There is no section on Lutheran views on God the Father. Could one or two of you guys please write something roughly the same size as the Catholic/Orthodox/Mormonism/etc. sections there. I could try to do it, but you guys will probably get it right. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 19:25, 29 April 2012 (UTC)


"Lutheranism is a main Protestant denomination in Germany (where it forms about 40% of the country's Protestant population)...". Definitely 40% of the OVERALL population, not of the protestant population!--Severino (talk) 15:15, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Looking at a subpage to the article it says "Approximately 40% of German Protestants are members of churches belonging to the "Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands" (VELK). The majority of Protestants belonging to Union Churches of Germany are also members of parishes which are traditionally Lutheran. In Germany there also exists the Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church (SELK), which formed from those opposed to the forced Union with Reformed churches in Prussia. The SELK is a member of the International Lutheran Council (ILC). The SELK is separate from the state churches and has 35,642 baptized members as of 2008." So I believe the 40 % is referring to the 40 % of Protestants who belong to VELK. But there are other Lutherans too, so it´s a somewhat misleading number. Protestants currently make up about 30 % of the total population in Germany. w/r Iselilja (talk) 17:02, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Lutherans make up the overwhelming majority of Protestants in Germany. These numbers seem to be correct: Evangelical Church in Germany (abbreviated EKD in German) 23.9 mio members out of 25 mio Protestants in Germany (which make about 30% of Germans as you wrote correctly, about the same amount as Catholics). The 40% are definitely a misleading number. I don't know if SELK & VELK are sub-organizations of the EKD.--Severino (talk) 18:31, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
As I understand from the article about EKD it isn´t per definition Lutheran. Here is what is said about the name: "The German term evangelisch here more accurately corresponds to the broad English term Protestant rather than to the narrower evangelical." I have always believed that a vast majority of Protestants in Germany were Lutherans, but I haven´t found a source for it while searching now. If you have something, you may of course add it to the article if you like. I removed the 40% claim and instead inserted 30% Protestants in Germany which would be the upper limit of Lutherans. w/r Iselilja (talk) 18:54, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
The EKD comprises lutheran and calvinist churches. The confusion comes from the fact that "evangelisch" in german is equivalent to "lutheran". But, "evangelisch" is usually translated as "evangelical" in English although Lutherans are only in exceptional cases "Evangelicals" (which is "evangelikal" in german).--Severino (talk) 19:08, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

talk page Luther got saved from Catholicism[edit]

It is unlikely that Luther considered himself a Catholic after he nailed his thesis to the door! The edict of worms 1521 or 'the excommunication' was just Catholicism by Catholic priests because in Luther's eyes he was already an ex-Catholic. Marking the statement as dubious.

Since there is a citation, you should check the source. I'm pretty sure Luther considered himself a Catholic long after the 95 Theses, which he intended to be the beginning of a debate on how to reform the Church from within. --JFHutson (talk) 17:39, 17 December 2012 (UTC)