Martin Luther’s Bible: Perspectives on a Rich Legacy

By W. Gordon Campbell (editor)

An exploration of Martin Luther’s multifaceted impact on the translation, interpretation and use of scripture, on the 500th anniversary of the September Testament

ISBN: 9780227179154


Martin Luther’s 1522 September Testament marked a watershed in Bible translation, making Scripture available to ordinary German people in their own tongue and sparking similar efforts across Europe. Building on the nascent trend of vernacular Bible translations in the early sixteenth century, Luther’s translation quickly became definitive linguistically, theologically and culturally, especially once the complete Bible was published in 1534, with production of New Testaments and Bibles in French, English and other languages keeping pace. Luther and his associates constantly revised and improved their methodology for translation and interpretation over a quarter-century of Bible publishing – efforts that helped shape Bible translation, reading and exegesis, for scholars and ordinary Christians alike, well beyond his lifetime.

Martin Luther’s Bible commemorates the September Testament, exploring the Wittenberg Bible project in its context and tracing aspects of its legacy in Europe and the wider world, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Essays from a range of leading experts draw upon the 2022 Martin Luther: Bible Translator, Illustrator and Publisher International Conference held at Union Theological College, Belfast. Together, they provide critical new insights into the linguistic, hermeneutical and theological history and influence of this landmark text.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 152 mm
Pages 198
Illustrations 19 b&w

 |   |   | 

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Since 2007, Revd Dr. W. Gordon Campbell has been Professor of New Testament Studies in Union Theological College, Belfast, and has also served as College Principal. Previously he was a parish minister in France (1989-1997), then taught New Testament full-time at Faculté Jean Calvin, in Aix-en-Provence 1998-2005) and has continued to do so in a visiting capacity ever since. The Book of Revelation is his special research interest.


Introduction – W. Gordon Campbell

1. Erasmus as the Initiator of East-Central German Vernacular Bible Translations of the Sixteenth Century – Christine Ganslmayer
2. Martin Luther’s 1522 September Testament as the Epoch-Making Foundation for a Quarter-Century of Wittenberg Bible Publication – W. Gordon Campbell
3. The Influence of Luther’s September Testament on Tyndale’s New Testament and on the Irish New Testament of 1602 – Fearghus Ó Fearghail
4. The Road to the Landmark 1588 Geneva Bible in French and its Reception in Jean Daillé’s Sermons on Calvin’s Catechism – Éric Kayayan
5. The Geneva Bible’s Expansion of Luther’s Innovative Approach to Reading and Interpreting the Book of Revelation in the Vernacular – W. Gordon Campbell
6. Martin Luther’s New Testament and the Anointing of the Holy Spirit in English-Speaking Theologies – Shawn M. Langley

Topical Index


Endorsements and Reviews

Luther’s 1522 New Testament has a fair claim to be the most consequential book ever printed; it stands at the head of the whole modern tradition of Biblical translation. It deserves a tribute like this, examining not only Luther’s achievement itself but its impact across Europe in the Reformation era. Professor Alec Ryrie, dept. of Theology and Religion, Durham University

Martin Luther’s Bible: Perspectives on a Rich Legacy is an essential read for anyone interested in the history of the Bible, Reformation studies, and the legacy and influence of Martin Luther. Campbell’s expertise and the contributions from other scholars make this book a definitive resource on the subject. Marc Daniel Rivera In KristiyaKnow, April 2024