Archive for the ‘Leibniz’ Category

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)


A Quick Footnote to the Luther Citation Dialogue

January 13, 2008

UPDATE: I note that as of this update, Armstrong has micharacterized this post as: ” that [] Robert Bellarmine is the original Latin source (at least for the quote in isolation, if not its translation) .” That’s not what this post says or means. I invite readers to read the post for themselves. I’m not suggesting Bellarmine translated Luther from German to Latin. I’m not even suggesting that Bellarmine ever once saw the German original.

You may recall that Dave Armstrong had previously sought to present some sort of nuanced reductio ad absurdum one of the premises of which appeared to be that Leibniz is a genius and he cited Luther basically the same way as Steve Ray did.

Leaving many of the important issues aside, we should point out that Leibniz’s usage is quite likely simply taken from Bellarmine. Leibniz cites:

– Luthurus, praef. in psalmos

– Luthurus, lib 1. contra Zwinglium et Oecolampadium

– Brentius, prolegomenis contra Petrum a Soto

These citations are basically a shortening and reordering of citations that Bellarmine uses in

De Verbi Dei, Interpretatione, Book 3 (Liber Tertius), Chapter 1 (Caput I), towards the end of the chapter (p. 98 in this edition of Bellarmine’s works). Bellarmine places the contra Zwinglium et Oecolampadium citation first, lists several other citations from praef. in psalmos and provides several additional citations. In short, it looks like Leibniz copied down his citations from Bellarmine. Thus, we have no reason to think Leibniz ever considered the context (in the original – though he probably considered the context of Bellarmine’s own discussion) of the quotation that he provides.

Armstrong had noted some textual variations between a quotation from Bellarmine (which is not the quotation observed above) and the quotation from Leibniz. Actually, Leibniz uses essentially the version found at page 98, except that for “atque” he has “et” and he has removed some of the irregular capitalization. The change in sense between “atque” and “et” is rather nuanced in this case, and we could reasonably consider that Leibniz considered “atque” to be a typographic error. After all, “et” makes slightly better sense the way the rest of the sentence is presented at page 98. Furthermore, “sacrae” has been inserted, which could have simply been instinctive, as Scripture is frequently called “Holy Scripture.”

Since all of the other times we have found the quotation in Latin, we have seen “atque“, we may reasonably blame Leibniz for the change, rather than speculate that he had the “original” Latin (obviously, the original was ultimately the German of 1527, not the Latin of 1556). My opinion here would change if I discovered that the “original Latin” used “et” (or included “sacrae”), but I do not expect that to be the case.

The ease with which minor textual variations can occur can be seen from the differences between the quotations at pages 76 (identified by Armstrong) and 95.

The differences are:


p. 76 capitalizes “Si” and “Scripturae”
p. 98 capitalizes “Si”, “Mundus”, “Fidei”, and “Conciliorum”

p. 76 breaks up the quotation with “inquit”. This is not an important difference. “Inquit” is simply a word that translates to “he says” (link). Likewise, that it is not part of the quotation be seen from the fact that it is printed in plain face, not italics, like the remainder of the quotation. Armstrong seems to have missed this fact, although he noted the word as different from the presentation in the other instances he located.

p. 76 uses “erit” instead of “fore”. This is a slight semantic difference. Fore is the future infinitive of “to be” whereas “erit” is future active indicative.

p. 76 uses “ut” before “propter” rather than before “ad conservandum”. This seems simply to be matter of syntactic preference. (interestingly, Armstrong’s transcription misplaces the “propter diversas” in the reading from p. 76)

Mellini quotes from Bellarmine, p. 98, and gives Bellarmine credit (link).
Audisio generally follows Bellarmine’s p. 76 version (link).
Brunati generally follows Bellarmine’s p. 76 version (link).
Hallinen may have followed Bellarmine’s p. 76 version (link).
It’s a little hard to be sure, but Balmes may have obtained his version from page 76 of Bellarmine (link), via Audisio (note the same quotation from Beza is used by Balmes as was used by Audisio).

de Sales was a contemporary of Bellarmine, thus it is hard to make a definitive statement regarding derivation. de Sales quotation is more similar to Bellarmine p. 76 than to Bellarmine p. 98 (link). On the other hand de Sales’ editor seems to have located an “original” and added a footnote to it. Thus, de Sales’ editor may have corrected de Sales’ quotation to match the editor’s original.

At the end of the day, not a single Catholic apologist provided the context of the quotation, and it is entirely possible that only Bellarmine ever actually read the original (with the others copying more or less faithfully from the original) (also de Sales’ editor may have read the original, or may simply have located a copy of the original).

Is that exactly what Steve Ray did? I think we can say with assurance that Steve had not read either the original or any translation of the work from which his quotation. If he obtained it from Balmes, he may have obtained it third hand (not counting translations) from Balmes, via Audisio, via Bellarmine.

Hopefully eventually the Latin/German originals will be available.

Dave has posted this “German original” of the quotation in question, but it contains at least some errors:

“Und wo die wellt solt lenger stehen, wird man widderumb, wie die alten gethan haben, umb solche zwitracht willen auch menschliche anschlege suchen und abermal gesetze und gebot stellen, die leute ynn eintracht des glaubens zuerhalten, das wird denn auch gelingen, wie es zubor geungen ift.”

For example, it seems likely that the last word is “ist” not “ift.”

Interestingly, I found a secondary source in German that states:

Luther erflärte schon in einem seiner bessern Momente, das menn es mit der Zmentracht und der Anarchie aller Doctrinen so sortgebe, man am Ende zur Erhåltung der Einbeit der Glaubens zu den Beschlüssen der Concilien merde zurüeffehren můssen:

(link) (this work, as it turns out, is by a Catholic … I’m guessing he translated Bellarmine back into German for the purposes of providing this “quotation” rather than actually having read Luther’s original comments. The reverse translation is useful in demonstrating how far “off” the Latin translation is, whether that was an official or unofficial translation.)

In any event, the German original is rather hard to find, so we’ll have to wait and see if either the Latin or German contexts are provided by those who have promoted Luther’s comment as being an admission of the failure of sola scriptura.

We’re still waiting. Let’s what comes of the matter.


UPDATE: Paul Hoffer has kindly identified another usage that I had not addressed in the article above, namely the reference in the preface to the 1582 edition of the Rheims New Testament. Paul suggested that this year pre-dates Bellarmine, which Paul seems to think is a problem for my discussion above.

In answer: (a) Bellarmine’s printing actually appears to have begun 1581, with the first complete work being finished in 1586, but more importantly (b) his works were based on previous lectures, and (c) those lecture notes were widely disseminated according to the contemporary witness, Whittaker (see comments below). So, although Gregory Martin (the lead translator of the Rheims Bible) may not have gotten his quotation directly from Bellarmine’s printed works as such, a Bellarminic derivation may still be maintained.

Finally, of course, whether or not Bellarmine is the main or only source of the quotation for Catholic apologists is not the important issue. It is nifty to see that Leibniz apparently poached from Bellarmine, but the important thing to note is that not a single person who has quoted Luther has provided any more context than a reference to the treatise in which the quotation is alleged to be found.

Did any of them know the context? Is it a fair quotation or not? We are waiting to see.

FURTHER UPDATE: I notice that Armstrong has identified a further document that confirms Whitaker’s report that Cocholaeus first used the Luther quotation in question, and provides support for the theory that Bellarmine himself may have got his quotation from Cocholaeus rather than from an original document by Luther (which would explain the lack of context). Unfortunately, all we have so far on that investigation is Chrismann citing Cocholaeus (link), and not Cocholaeus’ original work. Armstrong has some textual musings, but his explanations regarding derivation fall short. If anyone needs a more detailed explanation, I could provide. Otherwise, I’ll just let my judgment stand as a bare assertion.

Apparently now with the help of Whitaker and Chrismann we have pushed a possible decontextualization back to Cocholaeus – with Bellarmine deriving his quotations from Cocholaeus. In order to verify or discredit that theory, we need to see Cocholaeus’ original (apparently the book cited at footnote 31, here), to determine whether Chrismann cited verbatim or whether Chrismann paraphrased Cocholaeus.

There’s more to be said on the Coch/Bell connection, but time does not permit at present.

FURTHER UPDATE: Ok, so there is evidence from Bellarmine’s own works that he used Cochlaeus’ work from which Chrismann quotes, see page 32 of the same “Works of Bellarmine” to which the p. 76 and p. 98 quotations refer. This seems to confirm that Bellarmine himself may have piggybacked on Cochlaeus’ work, rather than reading Luther’s original statement in context.

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: Here’s a Cochlaeus original, in “snippet.” (link) This suggests that Chrismann may have copied badly from Cochlaeus.

Cochlaeus writes: “Si diutius steterit mud, iteru erit necessariu, ut, ppter diversas Scripture interpretationes, q nunc sunt, ad coservandum fidei unitatem, Concilioru …” (the snippet view fails at this point … some more clever person can find a way to get the rest of Cochlaeus’ quotation) There’s also a bit before the quotation, which would seem to demonstrate that Cochlaeus provided a citation of some sort, which would explain why others might cite piggybacking on Cochlaeus’ citation. (By the way, note that I write: “a” Cochlaeus original, as Cochlaeus may have recycled this quotation in multiple works.)

YET A NEW UPDATE: Should one wish to obtain a copy (link).

David Armstrong Assists James Swan while insulting him

January 4, 2008

In a recent post (link), Dave Armstrong attempts to take on James Swan, who has been establishing that Luther was taken out of context, and that it was made to appear that Luther said something he did not. Dave has (for some odd reason) misinterpreted Swan’s task as an, and I quote, “Effort to Liquidate the Honourable Endeavour of Catholic Apologetics” (British spellings in original).

After a lengthy attempted demonstration to poison the well by establishing that James Swan is a inane mudslinger (“his almost daily inanities and mudslinging”), Dave finally gets around to making some attempt at argument. The result is comical.

First Dave pulls the reverse ad hominem, by establishing that “Leibniz has been estimated to have possessed an IQ of 176” (link in original), that Leibniz was a Lutheran, and that Leibniz cited the same source that someone else (Dave is not real specific here, possibly he means Balmes) did. The “he’s a genius so he must have been right in this instance” argument is a classic example of the fallacy of “argument from authority.”

Next, Dave collates several Latin citations, and compares them to an alleged German original. Finally Dave establishes that real differences exist between the alleged German original and the collated Latin translations.

Finally, Dave concludes by (apparently) blaming Protestants for the difference between the Latin and the German.

I think what Dave has demonstrated is that, in fact, the Latin translation is inaccurate at the critical point for which the Latin translation (or a variant thereof) is being used. In short, Steve Ray following in the footsteps of other Catholic apologists misquoted Luther. I’d welcome different opinions of Dave’s post, but that’s mine for now.


UPDATE: More of Dave’s obsession with James Swan in this more recent post (4 January 2008).

UPDATE: Dave has updated the article linked to above, which this post addresses. Accordingly, the summary above is incomplete, as he has added more material. He has also added a new post (link) that is really pointless from where I’m standing, at least as far as the citation debate goes. For some reason Dave confuses Leibniz’s mistaken claim that Luther was a glutton (a claim that is objectively false) with Calvin’s harshly critical, yet opinionated words about Luther’s character.

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