Written While in Hiding at the Wartburg

Luther, Martin (1483-1546)

De├╝tsche au├člegung des siebenundsechtzigsten Psalmen: von dem Ostertag: Himelfart und Pfingsten.

Augsburg: Sylvan Otmar, 1521


Quarto: 19.8 x 15.6 cm. [36] pp. A-C4, D6

THIRD PRINTING (1st ed. also 1521).

Modern boards. A good copy with a mild dampstain. Title and some letters accented in red ink. The printed marginal notes include two in Hebrew.

“The first task Luther undertook at the Wartburg (his “Patmos”), after only a few days, was to write ‘Psalm 67 (68): About Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost.” This psalm had its special place in the Augustinians’ mass liturgy and at Matins between Ascension and Pentecost, again an indication of how Luther was still living in the accustomed liturgy. The exposition gave a contemporary interpretation of the struggle between God and his enemies. Here, as later in the hymn “A Mighty Fortress,” God was directly identified with Christ. The theme of the psalm was seen as “Christ and his Gospel.” Christ is Lord over the evil powers. Luther applied this critically to the existing worship service, the saints, and the bishops. The Gospel is free and God chooses for himself servants through whom he works with his Word. ‘It all inheres in faith and in his Word and has no other source.’”(Brecht, Martin Luther, Shaping and Defining the Reformation, p. 4)

The psalm also inspired Luther’s hymn, “May God Bestow on Us His Grace".

Benzing 940