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Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
Last Updated: August 24, 2019
The Holy Bible
The Holy Bible is the authoritative Word of God revealed to mankind. The Holy Bible is the source of our understanding of God and our relationship with God. It is through God’s Word in the Holy Bible that the Holy Spirit brings us to Faith.
Martin Luther, a renowned Biblical scholar of the 16th Century, declared that the absolute authority of the Scripture found in the Holy Bible is the only legitimate basis for theology and traditions in the church. He furthermore declared that while teachings not found in the Bible might be helpful for our understanding, they are not necessary for our relationship with God. Any teaching contrary to the Scriptures are in opposition to the Will of God.
Luther urged all Christians to diligently read and study the Holy Bible. To this end, Luther completed the first full German translation of the Bible. The major part of his literary works consist of exegetical lectures and sermons on the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. He recognized the rich and diverse content of the Bible with laws, historical accounts, prayers, proclamations and prophesy; yet, in terms of its essential theme, Luther saw a great unity. “All the Holy Scriptures point Christ alone.”
The distinction between law and gospel run through both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament contains more law while the New Testament contains more Gospel. The Old Testament primarily addresses the question, “Who is God and who is mankind that God should be mindful of him?” The Old Testament primarily conveys God’s Law, denounces sin and demands good. The New Testament primarily addresses the question, “What is our relationship with God?” The New Testament primarily conveys God’s grace and peace through the forgiveness of sins in Christ..
All of Martin Luther’s theological thinking presupposes the authority of the Scripture. His theology is nothing more than an attempt to interpret the scripture. For the Gospel is not simply the communication of a truth which one might also learn by reading it; it is rather a summons to men.
[Note: Extensive content taken from The Theology of Martin Luther, Althaus & Schultz, Fortress Press Philadelphia, 1966.]