Sunday, April 29, 2018


Divine Arithmetic

Excerpt from a sermon by Martin Luther, tr. Roland H. Bainton in The Cambridge History of the Bible: The West, from the Reformation to the Present Day, ed. S.L. Greenslade (Cambridge: At the University Press, 1963), p. 32:
'When I hear the Word of God speak from above, I believe, though I cannot understand, and do not see how I can get it through my head. I can understand that two and five make seven and no one can prove the contrary. But if God from above says that they make eight, then I must believe against my reason and feeling.'1

1 W, 37, 402.
The reference is to the Weimarer Ausgabe of Luther's Werke, but Bainton has the wrong page number. It should be 40, not 402. Here is the quotation in German:
Wenn ich das wort höre lauten als von oben herab, so gleube ichs, ob ichs wol nicht kan fassen und nicht verstehen noch inn meinen kopff wil, wie ich das kan fassen, das zwey und funffe sind sieben, mit der vernunfft, und las mich niemand anders weisen. Noch wenn Er oben erab sagte: Nein, sondern es sind achte, so solte ichs gleuben widder meine vernunfft und fülen.
Thanks very much to Joel Eidsath for tracking down the German.

Related post: Two and Two.


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