Archive for the ‘Bellarmine’ Category

Imputation Attested in the Early, Medieval, and even Counter-Reformation Era

November 20, 2012

Pastor David King was of great help in providing the following example of an early church Father, a medieval Father, a Doctor of the Church (according to Rome), and a cardinal of the Roman church, all affirming imputation in some form or other.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153): The fragrance of your wisdom comes to us in what we hear, for if anyone needs wisdom let him ask of you and you will give it to him. It is well known that you give to all freely and ungrudgingly. As for your justice, so great is the fragrance it diffuses that you are called not only just but even justice itself, the justice that makes men just. Your power to make men just is measured by your generosity in forgiving. Therefore the man who through sorrow for sin hungers and thirsts for justice, let him trust in the One who changes the sinner into a just man, and, judged righteous in terms of faith alone, he will have peace with God. See Kilian Walsh, O.C.S.O., Bernard of Clairvaux On the Song of Songs II (Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, Inc.,1983), Sermon 22.8, p. 20.
Latin text: Porro sapientiae tuae odorem ex eo percipimus quod audivimus quia si quis indiget sapientia, postulet eam a te, et dabis ei. Aiunt siquidem quod des omnibus affluenter, et non improperes. At vero justitiae tuae tanta ubique fragrantia spargitur, ut non solum justus, sed etiam ipsa dicaris justitia, et justitia justificans. Tam validus denique es ad justificandum, quam multus ad ignoscendum. Quamobrem quisquis pro peccatis compunctus esurit et sitit justitiam, credat in te qui justificas impium, et solam justificatus per fidem, pacem habebit ad Deum. Sermones in Cantica, Sermo XXII, §8, PL 183:881D.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153): Man therefore was lawfully delivered up, but mercifully set free. Yet mercy was shown in such a way that a kind of justice was not lacking even in his liberation, since, as was most fitting for man s recovery, it was part of the mercy of the liberator to employ justice rather than power against man s enemy. For what could man, the slave of sin, fast bound by the devil, do of him self to recover that righteousness which he had formerly lost? Therefore he who lacked righteousness had another’s imputed to him, and in this way: The prince of this world came and found nothing in the Saviour, and because he notwithstanding laid hands on the Innocent he lost most justly those whom he held captive; since He who owed nothing to death, lawfully freed him who was subject to it, both from the debt of death, and the dominion of the devil, by accepting the injustice of death; for with what justice could that be exacted from man a second time? It was man who owed the debt, it was man who paid it. For if one, says S. Paul, died for all, then were all dead (2 Cor. v. 14), so that, as One bore the sins of all, the satisfaction of One is imputed to all. It is not that one forfeited, another satisfied; the Head and body is one, viz., Christ. The Head, therefore, satisfied for the members, Christ for His children, since, according to the Gospel of Paul, by which Peter’s [i.e., Abelard] falsehood is refuted, He who died for us, quickened us together with Himself, forgiving us all our trespasses, blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross, having spoiled principalities and powers (Col. ii. 13, 14). Dom. John Mabillon, ed., Life and Works of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, trans. Samuel J. Eales, Vol. II, Letter CXC – Against Certain Heads of Abaelard’s Heresies, 6.15 (London: Burns and Oates Limited, 1889), pp. 580-581. Cf. Epistola CXC, ad Innocentum II, Pontificem, Tractatus de erroribus Petri Abaelardi, Caput VI, §15, PL 182:1065B-D.

Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621): And in this way, it were not absurd, if any one should say that the righteousness and merits of Christ are imputed unto us, when they are given and applied unto us, as if we ourselves had satisfied God. For translation, see The Works of John Owen, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith, General Considerations, ed. William H. Goold, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, Third printing, 1977), vol. V, p. 56.
Latin text: Et hoc modo non esset absurdum, si quis diceret nobis imputari Christi justitiam et merita; cum nobis donentur et applicentur; ac si nos ipsi Deo satisfecissemus. Roberti Bellarmini, Opera Omnia, De Controversiis, Tomus Quartus, Pars Prima, De Justificatione (Neapoli: Apud Josephum Giuliano, 1858), Liber II, Caput 10, p. 523.

Bellarmine cannot deny this when he says that Christ can rightly be said to be made righteousness meritoriously “because he satisfied the Father for us, and gives and communicates that satisfaction to us, when he justifies us, so that he can be called our sanctification and righteousness, as if we ourselves had satisfied God” (“De Justificatione,” 2.10 Opera [1858], 4:523). This he confirms on 2 Cor. 5:21: “The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us as to the satisfaction, which he made for us” (ibid., p. 524). Nor can that which our opponent adds in the same place help his cause when he says: “But not on this account can we be reckoned righteous, if the stains and corruption of sins truly inhere in us” (ibid.). For if the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us (as he had already confessed), then certainly we are considered righteous in him; for no one imputes righteousness to him whom he does not count righteous. And if the satisfaction of Christ is imputed to us, then our debts for which he satisfied are not imputed [to us], but are remitted. Falsely also he holds “that the righteousness inhering in us is here called the righteousness of God because it is given to us of God; or also because it is the image and effect of the righteousness of God” (ibid.). For the little clause “in him” stands in the way; for how could it be said to be in Christ, if it was in us? [Cardinal] Contarini acknowledges this: “The righteousness of God in him, since his righteousness is made ours, is given and imputed to us” (cf. “De Justificatione,” Casparis Contareni Cardinalis Opera [1571], p. 592). 

Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 2, pp. 652-53, Sixteenth Topic, Third Question, Section XVII, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1994)

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Psalm 22:1: Let it [i.e., the LXX] therefore heed John’s loud cry, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” and the divinely inspired Paul’s words, “For us he made him to be sin who did not know sin so that we might become righteousness through him,” and again, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us.” So just as the one who was a fount of righteousness assumed our sin, and the one who was an ocean of blessing accepted a curse lying upon us, and scorning shame endured a cross, so too he uttered the words on our behalf. After all, if he willingly submitted to chastisement prescribed for us—“Chastisement of our peace is upon him,” the inspired author says—much more is it the case that it was on our behalf that he employed these words in our person, crying out, The words of my failings are far from saving me: do not have regard to the faults of nature, he is saying, but grant salvation in view of my sufferings. Robert C. Hill, The Fathers of the Church, Vol. 101, Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Psalms, 1-72 (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2000), pp. 146-147.

Greek text: Ἀκουσάτωσαν τοίνυν Ἰωάννου τοῦ πάνυ βοῶντος· «Ἴδε ὁ Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου.» Τοῦ δὲ θεσπεσίου Παύλου λέγοντος·«Τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτίαν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς γενώμεθα δικαιοσύνη ἐν αὐτῷ.» Καὶ πάλιν· «Χριστὸς ἡμᾶς ἐξηγόρασεν ἐκ τῆς κατά ρας τοῦνόμου, γενόμενος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν κατάρα.» Τοιγαροῦν ὥσπερ δικαιοσύνης ὑπάρχων πηγὴ, τὴν ἡμετέραν ἁμαρτίαν ἀνέλαβε, καὶ εὐλογίας ὢν πέλα γος, τὴν ἐπικειμένηνἡμῖν ἐδέξατο κατάραν, καὶ σταυρὸν ὑπέμεινεν αἰσχύνης καταφρονήσας· οὕτω καὶ τοὺς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐποιήσατο λόγους. Εἰ γὰρ τὴν ὡρισμένην ὑμῖν παιδείαν ὑπῆλθενἑκών· «Παιδεία γὰρ εἰρήνης ἡμῶν ἐπʼ αὐτὸν,» ᾗ φησιν ὁ προφήτης· πολλῷ μᾶλλον τοῖς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἀνθʼ ἡμῶν ἐχρήσατο λόγοις, καὶ βοᾷ «Μακρὰν ἀπὸ τῆςσωτηρίας μου οἱ λόγοι τῶν παραπτωμάτων μου.» Μὴ ἀποβλέψῃς, φησὶν, εἰς τὰ τῆς φύσεως πλημμελήματα· ἀλλὰ δὸς τὴν σωτηρίαν διὰ τὰ ἐμὰ παθήματα. Interpretatio in Psalmos, Psalmi XXI, v. 1, PG 80:1012.

Addendum, thanks to Bruce McCormack’s Justification in Perspective:

Ambrosiaster (fl. 4th century): This he says, that without the works of the law, to an impious person (that is, a Gentile) believing in Christ, his faith is imputed for righteousness, as it was to Abraham. How then can the Jews imagine that through the works of the law they are justified with Abraham’s justification, when they see that Abraham was justified not from the works of the law, but by faith alone? Therefore there is no need of the law, since an impious person is justified with God through faith alone. Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul’s Epistles, on Romans 4:5 (PL 17:86).

Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225): In short, faith in one of two gods cannot possibly admit us to the dispensation of the other, so that it should impute righteousness to those who believe in him, and make the just live through him, and declare the Gentiles to be his children through faith. Such a dispensation as this belongs wholly to Him through whose appointment it was already made known by the call of this self-same Abraham, as is conclusively shown by the natural meaning. Tertullian, Against Marcion, Book 5, Chapter 3 (see here).

Bellarmine on 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

November 19, 2009

The following are some thoughts of Robert Francis Romulus Bellarmine (Robert Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930, and declared a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1931.) on 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. I don’t present this as though it is the only thing that Roman Catholics have ever said about this, nor as something I would endorse (I don’t endorse it). Instead, this is presented as an example of Roman Catholic scholarship that rejects the typical “pop apologetics” arguments for Purgatory.

The translation below is by Charles Hastings Collette and is taken from Bellarmine, On Purgatory (volume 2 – of his works, I believe), Book 1, Chapter 4 (and following?).

The difficulties of this passage are five in number.

1. What is understood by the builders?
2. What is understood by gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble?
3. What is understood by the day of the Lord?
4. What is understood by the fire, of which it is said that in the day of the Lord it shall prove every one’s work?
5. What is understood by the fire, of which it is said, he shall be saved, yet so as by fire?

When these things are explained the passage will be clear.

The first difficulty, therefore, is, who are the architects who build upon the foundation? Augustine, in his book on faith and works, chapter 16th and elsewhere, thinks that all Christians are here called by the apostle architects, and that all build upon the foundation of the faith either good or bad works. Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, and Œcumenius, appear to me to teach the same upon this passage. Many others teach that only the doctors and preachers of the Gospel are here called architects by the apostle. Jerome insinuates this in his second book against Jovinianus. The blessed Anselm and the blessed Thomas hold the same opinion on this passage, although they do not reject the former opinion. Many more modern think the same, as Dionysius the Carthusian, Lyra, Cajetan, and others.

The other difficulty is rather more serious. For there are six opinions. Some by the name of foundation understand, a true but an ill-digested faith; by the names of gold, silver, and precious stones, good works. By the names of wood, hay, and stubble, mortal sins. Thus Chrysostom upon this place, who is followed by Theophylact. The second opinion is, that Christ or the preaching of the faith is understood by the name of foundation; that by the names of gold, silver, and precious stones, are understood Catholic expositions; by the name of wood, hay, and stubble, are understood heretical doctrines, as the commentary of Ambrose and even Jerome seem to teach. The third opinion by the name of foundation understands living faith, and by the name of gold, silver, and precious stones, understands works of supererogation, &c. Thus the blessed Augustine in his book on faith and works. The fourth opinion is that which is held by those who explain by gold, silver, &c., to be meant good works, by hay and stubble, &c., venial sins. Thus the blessed Gregory in the fourth book of his dialogues, chapter 39th, and others. The fifth is of those who understand by gold, silver, &c., good hearers, and by stubble bad hearers, &c. Thus Theodoret and Œcumenius. The sixth opinion, which we prefer to all, is, that by the name of foundation is to be understood Christ, as preached by the first preachers. By the name of gold, silver, &c., is to be understood the useful doctrine of the other preachers, who teach those who have now received the faith. But by the name of wood, hay, &c., is to be understood the doctrine, not heretical or bad, but the singular doctrine of those preachers who preach catholically to the catholic people, but without that fruit and profit which God requires.

The third difficulty regards the day of the Lord. Some understand by the name of day the present life, or the time of tribulation. Thus Augustine in his book on faith and works, c. 16, and Gregory in his 4th book of dialogues, c. 39. . . . But all the ancients seem to have understood by that day, the day of the last judgment, as Theodoret, Theophylact, Anselm, and others.

The fourth difficulty is, what is the fire which, in the day of the Lord, shall prove every one’s work? Some understand the tribulations of this life, as Augustine and Gregory in the places noted, but these we have already rejected. Some understand eternal fire, but that cannot be, for that fire shall not try the building of gold and silver. . . . Some understand it to be the pains of Purgatory, but that cannot be truly said.

– First, because the fire of Purgatory does not prove the works of those who build gold and silver. But that fire of which we speak shall prove every one’s work what it is.

– Secondly, the apostle clearly makes a distinction between the works and the workmen, and says concerning that fire, that it shall burn the works but not the workers: for he says, if any one’s work shall remain, and if any work shall burn: but the fire of Purgatory, which is a true and real fire, cannot burn works, which are transitory actions, and have already passed.

– Lastly, it would follow, that all men, even the most holy, would pass through the fire of Purgatory, and be saved by fire, for all are to pass through the fire of which we are speaking. But that all are to pass through the fire of Purgatory and to be saved by fire is clearly false: for the apostle here openly says, that only those who build wood and hay are to be saved as by fire: the Church, also, has always been persuaded that holy martyrs and infants dying after baptism are presently received into heaven, without any passage through fire, as the Council of Florence teaches in its last Session. It remains, therefore, that we should say that the apostle here speaks of the fire of the severe and just judgment of God, which is not a purging or punishing fire, but one that probes and examines. Thus Ambrose explains it on Psalm 118, and also Sedulius.

The fifth and last difficulty is, what is understood by the fire, when he says, but he shall be saved, yet so as by fire? Some understand the tribulations of this life, but this cannot properly be said, because then even he who built gold and silver would be saved by fire. Wherefore Augustine and Gregory, who are the authors of this opinion, when they were not satisfied with it, proposed another, of which we shall speak by-and-by. Some understand it to be eternal fire, as Chrysostom and Theophylact. But this we have already refuted. Others understand the fire of the conflagration of the world. It is, therefore, the common opinion of theologians, that by the name of this fire is understood some purgatorial and temporal fire, to which after death they are adjudged, who are found in their trial to have built wood, hay, or stubble.

Various Readings of the Great Luther Citation

January 23, 2008

The following are the fourteen readily obtainable uses by authors of the spurious Latin gloss on Luther’s statement, as instigated by Cochlaeus and perpetuated by Bellarmine, and as brought to the public’s attention as spurious by both Whitaker and Swan. The words: “Si diutius steterit mud, iteru erit necessariu, ut, ppter diversas Scripture interptationes, q nunc sunt, ad coservandam fidei unitatem, Concilioru …” are Cochlaeus’ words, not Luther’s words. This has been shown. Armstrong mentioned that the entire passage by Cochlaeus may be forthcoming. That would be wonderful, as it would permit us to fill out the first item in the list, and particularly to see whether Cochlaeus handled the matter like Grisar.

These are only the readings in which the Latin language is used. It is also known that there are additional related readings in German and English.

1. Si diutius steterit mud, iteru erit necessariu, ut, ppter diversas Scripture interptationes, q nunc sunt, ad coservandam fidei unitatem, Concilioru … [which, being expanded is: Si diutius steterit mundus, iterum erit necessarium, ut propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, Conciliorum …] Cochlaeus, [work from Opuscula] (link to snippet) (link to book) (info about book) Opuscula includes, “De canonicae scripturae et catholicae ecclesiae auctoritate,” the speculative original source of the fictious gloss.

2. Lutherus ipse in lib. 1. cont. Zwingl. et Oecolampad., nonne scriptum reliquit; Si diutius steterit Mundus, iterum fore necessarium, propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam Fidei unitatem, Conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus.
Bellarmine, Opera Omnia, p. 98 (link)

3. Quare Martinus Lutherus in lib. cont. Zuvinglium de verit. corp. Euchar. Si diutius, inquit, steterit mundus, iterm erit necessarium, ut propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, conciliorum decreta recipiamus , atque ad ea confugiamus.
Bellarmine, Opera Omnia, p. 76 (link)

4. Lutherus ipse scribens contra Zwinglium et Oecolampadium I. 1. ait: Si diutius steterit mundus, iterum fore necessarium, propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam fidei unitatem, Conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus.
Mellini, p. 138, Institutiones Biblicae (link)

5. Luther lib. 1. contra Zwinglium et Oecolampadium ait: si diutius steterit mundus iterum fore necessarium propter diversas sacrae scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam fidei unitatem, Conciliorum decreta recipiamus, et ad ea confugiamus.
Leibniz, Philosophische Schriften 4, p. 2288 (link)

6. Luther, writing to Zwinglius, said, “If the world lasts for a long time, it will be again necessary, on account of the different interpretations which are now given to the Scriptures, to receive the decrees of Councils, and take refuge in them, in order to preserve the unity of the faith.—Si diutius steterit mundus, iterum erit necessarium, propter diversas Scripturœ interpretationes quœ nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, ut conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus.”
Balmes, Protestantism and Catholicity Compared in Their Effects on the Civilization …, p423 (link) (p. 360 in this version)

7. (1) Luther lui-même écrivait : « Si diutius steterit muridus, iterum necessarium erit, ut propter diversas Scripturœ interpretationes quae mine sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, Conciliorum decreta recipiamus atque ad ea confugiamus. » De veritate corporis Christi cont. Zuinglium.
Bacuez (and Vigouroux), Manuel Biblique, p. 215 (link)

8. Such was the confusion in the camp of Protestantism, that Luther himself had to exclaim “si diutius steterit mundus, iterum esset necessarium, ut propter diversas scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem concilii decreta recipiamus atque ad ea confugiamus”—(De Veritate Corporis Christi contra Zwinglium.)
Hallinan, Modern Erroneous Systems of Biblical Interpretation (pub. In Irish ecclesiastical record), p. 236 (link)

9. Imo iam olim Luther, de veritate corporis Christi contra Zvingl. scripsit : „Si diutius steterit mundus, iterum erit necessarium, ut propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem Concilii decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus.”
Ranolder, Hermeneuticae Biblicae Generalis Principis Rationalia Christiana et Catholica, p. 272 (link)

10. Luther écrivait dans une lettre à Zwingle, qu’à cause des interprétations différentes de l’Ecriture sainte, il faudrait, pour conserver l’unité de la religion, admettre de nouveau les décrets des conciles et y avoir recours. « Si mundus diutius steterit, ad conservandam fidei unitatem iterum erit necessarium propter diversas Scriptura interpretationes ut conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus. »
Buszczynski, La Decadence de l’Europe, p. 429 (link)

11. Et c’est icy ou je crois d’avoir fermement prouvé que nous avons besoin d’une autre Regle pour nostre foy outre la Regle de l’Escritture Sainte : Si diutius steterit mundus (dict une bonne fois Luther *), iterum fore necessarium, propter diversas Scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ut ad conservandam fidei unitatem Conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atque ad ea confugiamus; il confesse qu’auparavant on la recevoit, et confesse que ci apres il le faudra faire. J’ay esté long, mays cecy une fois bien entendu, n’est pas un petit moyen de se resouvre a une tressainte deliberation. [marginal note] * Contra Zuing. et Œcol.(1) [footnote] (1) In libro, Qod haec verba, « Hoc est corpus meum, » etc. Vide in Parte Prima, cap. III, art. IV, p. 97.
Francis, Oeuvres de Saint Francois de Sales, p. 207 (link)

12. Lutherus ipse sic scribebat 83): Si diutius steterit mundus , iterum necessarium erit, ut propter diversas scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam Fidei unitatem Conciliorum decreta (Tridentini videlicet) recipiamus atque ad ea confugiamus.”
Brunati, De nomine, auctore, emendatoribus et authentia Vulgatæ dissertatio, typis …, pages 45-46 (link)

13. And he is willing in his despair to take refuge from the anarchy he has made in the decrees of the Catholic Councils.FN12 … FN12 “Erit necessarium, ad conservandum fidei unitatem, ut Conciliorum decreta recipiamus atque ad ea confugiamus.” – Letter to Zwingli
Dominic Bevan Wyndham Lewis, Charles of Europe (link to snippet) (link to book) (link to second copy of book)

14. „Si diutius steterit mundus, iterm erit necessarium, propter diversas scripturae interpretationes quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem, ut conciliorum decreta recipiamus, atquae ea confugiamus.” List Lutra do Zwingli.
Aleksander Tyszyński, “Rozbiory i krytyki,” “Pczatki, Filozofii Krajowej,” Page 264, Footnote 1 (link)

15. Noverat hoc exitiosissimum periculum iam ipsemet LUTHERUS, qui teste Cochlaeo in l. de canon. Script. auctoritate c. II ingenue sassus est : „ Si diutius mundus steterit, iterum erit necessarium , ut ob divinas Scripturae interpretationes, quae nunc sunt, ad conservandam fidei unitatem concilii decreta recipiamus.”
Chrismann, Regula Fidei Catholicae et collection domatum …, p. 68 (link)

This may be updated at some point, for example, either as additional examples/details/etc. come to light, or as related readings in other languages are addressed. This was originally posted just after midnight London time on 23 January 2008. It will probably get backdated along with all the Luther citation materials, as it does not demand a great deal of further immediate attention. At the moment, the list exceeds the growing list at Armstrong’s corresponding page, in that it also includes the use by Ranolder, as well as the full text of the use by Wyndham (Armstrong was apparently unable to obtain the relevant text) and the use by Aleksander Tyszyński.

Adding the English usage will complicate the tree.

For example, we see Balmes’ English regurgitated in

Everett Pomeroy, “‘The Great Reformation’ a Great Mistake,” p. 13 (link) (1912)

But, on the other hand, we see Rheims’ English regurgitated in

Thomas Grave Law, “The Latin Vulgate as the Authentic Version of the Church,” p. 62 (link)


Will Converse Wood, “Five Problems of State and Religion,” p. 237 (link)

and quoted uncrtically:

Brooke Foss Westcott, “A General View of the History of the English Bible,” p. 257 (link)

Speculative Luther Citation Tree

January 15, 2008

German Original statements in “These words, ‘this is my body,’ etc.”
Cochlaeus’ inaccurate gloss on a single sentence from that work.
Bellarmine and Chrismann (independently of one another)
with Bellarmine serving as major node, with many Catholic apologists (possibly including Gregory Martin, de Sales, and so forth) and Leibniz obtaining it from Bellarmine or from someone who relied on Bellarmine.
For example,
Audioso obtaining from Bellarmine
Balmes obtaining from Audioso
Ray obtaining from Balmes

Caveat: This is just speculative (though certain connectors, like the Leibniz-Bellarmine connector, are strong). I can’t recall where Steve said he found the quotation.

UPDATE: I note that the current version of Dave’ page states: “The other remaining task is to give a solid contextual interpretation (because the accusation all along has been that the quotation was snatched from context and isolated, thus leading to a false impression of what Luther meant). I have already made an ambitious start in that endeavor in section VIII above. More is forthcoming, including the analysis of a Professor of German of our citation, based on the context of the original work in German (we have photocopies of the beginning of it, from the Weimar Werke collection, obtained at the University of Detroit). We also have photocopies of the relevant sections from the Erlangen and Walch editions (obtained at Concordia University library in Ann Arbor).”

Hopefully the original German text will be shared if only in image form. That would permit the main question (about whether the quote is being abused by being taken out of context), to be answered. The other questions (about whether the translation from German to Latin is fair (or not) or even whether it is the “official” translation or a Cochlaean paraphrase, are interesting but secondary.

Oh well … I guess we will wait and see.

At this time I am most interested in (in order of interest):

1. The original German context. (I assume that this will be forthcoming, and will demonstrate that the Latin translation we have seen is something of a [more or less, I’m not sure] rough paraphrase. I assume it has not been posted yet because of size issues.)

2. The “official” Latin translation (to contrast with Cochlaeus’) [If it is close to Cochlaeus’ it will reduce the issues involved]

3. Even one writer (Catholic, nominal Lutheran, or anything) who quoted more of the context than Cochlaeus. (I doubt this will be found, but I’d be happy to be wrong.)

4. Any Catholic writer who ever answered Whitaker’s charge that the quotation was a spurius Cochlaean invention. (I also doubt that this will be found, prior to this particular exchange.)


I note that I have omitted the possibility that Cochlaeus may have obtained his gloss legitimately from the “official” translation, since Cochlaeus wrote prior to the issuance of that translation. This pretty much solves the derivation puzzle.

Mostly it goes:

Bellarmine and Chrismann
-and from Bellarmine-
Many Catholic writers (including Balmes) and to Leibniz (plagiarizing Bellarmine), either directly or indirectly

I’m conflicted about whether to assign Gregory Martin’s translation (in English) to derivation from either Cochlaeus or Bellarmine. I’m not sure it matters much.

(Incidentally, I think Grisar’s different quotation is not derived directly from this family. Grisar appears actually have read the original work. Grisar misstates Luther’s position, but he is far more fair and reasonable than any who followed Cochlaeus.)

Here is Grisar:

Grisar’s tag is clearly incorrect, as even Armstrong seems to have admitted. Luther was not “plead[ing] the cause of the Catholic principle of authority.” Luther attributed not “his own Scriptural system” to the devil, but the dissension of the fanatics and the quicksand of popery. Grisar was far more fair (his “obliged” seems to go to far) but was still incorrect. The context is available for anyone to read it. If you doubt my word read it (link).

As far as I am concerned, the derivation puzzle is solved. Cochlaeus is the ultimate source, and Luther never wrote the words attributed to him, although he wrote something from which Cochlaeus derived what he did. Furthermore, Bellarmine is the secondary major source.

All that remains is (a) the interesting question of whether Cochlaeus’ gloss was fair. If the English translation is accurate, then “necessarium” is Cochlaeus’ invention and is misleading. It is “necessarium” chiefly that is key to the Catholic use of the quotation. It’s a fairly subtle change, but one that creates a vast difference in meaning. The (b) for that (a) is that we should check the “official” Latin version to see if “necessarium” appears there too. If so, then that will weaken both the claim to Cochlaean derivation (since others could theoretically have extracted it from the official translation), as well as the claim that the translation is unfair.

There are several other aspects of the gloss. These are less significant, but when combined with the major error, make the misrepresentation worse.

a) Man-made rules etc. is replaced by councils. This changes the tone of the sentence. In context, one of the many man-made rules that Luther has in mind are councils, but also included are popes, etc.

b) “Confugiamus” suggests taking refuge, which again changes the tone of the sentence. In context, Luther was suggesting that men would turn to man-made rules as a way to quench controversy.

c) “Propter” without context, suggests that the reason for the turning of men to man-made rules is primarily the diverse interpreations of Scripture. In fact, in context, the reason is the influence of Satan.

d) “Fidei unitatem” is probably an accurate translation of the words, but out of context one loses the saracstic sense in which Luther intended them. Recall his earlier comments about the unity of the faith, for he called that: “a united obedience to the glosses of the fathers and to the holy see at Rome.”

In short, the sense Luther gives is condemnatory: first Satan stirs up trouble, then Satan imposes legalism. The way Luther is quoted, one cannot get that point. In fact, in most cases one is led to believe that Luther was suggesting that councils would be the “necessary” cure for the disease of individual interpretation.

Ah well, if anyone sees that Dave has made progress towards those ends, let me know.

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