Luther's German Bible

Helen Kraus

in Gender Issues in Ancient and Reformation Translations of Genesis 1-4

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199600786
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731563 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

Luther's German Bible

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An Augustinian monk, Luther was, like Jerome, determined to control his youthful libido by taking a vow of celibacy, but eventually broke this in order to marry Katharine, a former nun. His writings are contradictory; his Genesisvorlesung (in Latin) seems intensely pre‐occupied with the sinful nature of sexual intercourse, whereas his German sermons strongly favour marriage as divinely ordained and approve intercourse within its sacramental union. Luther's biblical exegesis and translation owes much to the work by Nicholas of Lyra and Rashi. Luther's translation is mainly faithful and aimed at ordinary German people. He tends to ‘iron out the creases’ of Hebraism but occasionally gives a rendering that betrays his views, the most significant being 3:16, where the husband shall be the woman's lord and ruler of his household, much as God is ruler of his universe.

Keywords: Augustine; libido; celibacy; Genesisvorlesung; marriage; sacramental union; Lyra; Rashi; household

Chapter.  10864 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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