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The Bondage of the Will

By Martin Luther

The Bondage of the Will

The Bondage of the Will

By Martin Luther

Luther's central work is one of the basic texts of the Reformation, expressing his belief in the all-encompassing nature of God's power.

Trade Information: JGEN
Available as: Hardback

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Print Hardback

ISBN: 9780227674178

Specifications: 216x140mm (8.5x5.5in), 324pp

Published: July 1957


A new translation of De Servo Arbitrio: Martin Luther's reply to Erasmus of Rotterdam (1525), by J.I. Packer and O.R. Johnston.

The Bondage of the Will is one of the basic documents of the Reformation, and is perhaps Luther's best known work. Luther himself regarded it as his most important piece of theological writing, one that lay at the heart of the Gospel as he understood it. It was written as a reply to the Diatribe of Erasmus, and addresses a subject that is fundamental to an understanding of all Luther's teaching – the problem of the Freedom of the Will. Luther affirms man's total inability to save himself, and the sovereignty of Divine Grace in his salvation. In making this affirmation, he explains and upholds the doctrine of justification by faith, and defends predestination as determined by the foreknowledge of God.

This translation features a new division of Luther's treatise into eight main parts, and then into further sections according to subject matter. Included is a fifty-page Historical Introduction and an index of biblical references. The translators have provided a text that not only accurately conveys the thought of the original Latin, but also something of the vigour and dialectical skill characteristic of Luther's style.

Translators' Note

Historical and Theological Introduction
I. Erasmus to 1517
II. Luther to 1517
III. Luther and Erasmus from 1517
IV. Theological Issues
V. Conclusion

The Bondage of the Will
I. Introduction
II. Review of Erasmus' Preface
III. Review of Erasmus' Introduction
IV. Review of Erasmus' Arguments for 'Free-Will'
V. Review of Erasmus' Treatment of Texts that Deny 'Free-Will' (I)
VI. Review of Erasmus' Treatment of Texts that Deny 'Free-Will' (II)
VII. The Bible Doctrine of the Bondage of the Will
VIII. Conclusion

Index of Scripture References

Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a German priest and theologian whose intellectual revolt against certain practices of the Church led to the Reformation. He is regarded as the primary founder of Protestant Christianity, and as one of the pivotal figures of Western civilisation.

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