The theology of Martin Luther has had a profound influence over modern day Protestant Christianity, in particular Luther's interpretation of 'Salvation by faith' which remains the driving ideological justification for the type of Christian evangelism we are so familiar with today. Luther's 'faith' however has a dark side, intolerance and the damnation of dissent and difference and this aspect of both his character and his theology are clearly revealed in one of Luther's less celebrated works 'On the Jews and their lies', justifiably believed to have contributed much to the Nazi Holocaust during the Second World War. Luther's 'salvation by faith' included a doctrine of 'damnation for not believing' and in his case this even included damnation for 'having faith' in doctrines which differed from those doctrines in which Luther had faith. While much emphasis is placed on Luther's doctrine of 'no salvation by works' in truth, an examination reveals that Luther's doctrine of 'faith' was in greater part 'salvation by faith in doctrines' and this leads directly to the modern saying by certain Christian sects that 'I am not without sin, just forgiven' (in otherwords 'works' and 'deeds' are not the criteria used to determination 'salvation' in this expression of the Protestant faith, but rather a person is 'saved' by 'believing doctrine' and it is this belief in correct doctrine that is emphasized by Luther and thus defines what is meant by 'faith'. For example you will hear evangelists teaching that you will be saved 'based on how you answer this question - Who was Jesus' and in the end one is saved by believing certain doctrines (thus having 'faith') and one can also 'claim to be a Christian' but nevertheless 'go to hell' for believing 'incorrect doctrines'). The totalitarian nature of Luther's doctrine of 'faith' and its stubborn insistence on correct 'doctrine' ('faith') is clearly illustrated in Luther's anti-semetic attack on the Jews. The better part of the first half of his essay concentrates on the correct doctrinal interpretation of scriptural passages, interpersed with attacks on the Jewish people for deviating from these orthodox interpretations. In the mid section of his essay Luther gives his advice on how to treat Jews, all of which was put into literal practice by the Nazis during the Holocaust, and in the final section of his essay Luther concentrates on railing at the Jews for not being Christians and for deviating from 'faith' in Christian doctrine (the true means to salvation 'by faith' in the Protestant system Luther developed - salvation by faith in correct beliefs, which explains the Protestant intolerance for deviation in doctrine and the emphasis on 'believing doctrines' which is the defining characteristic of so much protestant religion to this very day).
Selected Quotes from 'On Jews and their lies'
Luther's Attacks on the Jews
for incorrect interpretation of scripture
Luther's Advice for dealing with the Jews
Luther's Christianity and his judgment
and condemnation of the Jews
One the Jews and their Lies
The Complete Text
2. Jewish ancestors
Luther attempts to keep the authority of the Bible, while at the same time denying the Jews any connection to the stories of their ancestors, such as Abraham. In general, Luther will rely on Paul's argument from Romans that 'not all Jews are really the children of Abraham'.
Luther attacks the Jews for boasting about circumcision as 'the sign of their covenant with God.' Once again Luther will be recycling Paul's argument from Romans as well as other similar letters...
Luther attacks Jews based on certain passages where Moses also criticizes Jews in an attempt to carry on the argument that 'today's Jews are not real Jews but rather devils.'
Luther attempts to nullify claims Jews were making to the promises of God as illustrated in the Canaan stories.
Luther quarrels with Jews over traditional Christian interpretations of prophecy.
7. Jacob and David
Once again Luther attempts to make the case that promises made to Jacob or David have nothing to with the Jews of his time.
Jeremiah was a Christian, and not Jewish, according to Luther.
Once again Luther is recycling the argument from Romans, in this case insisting that Jews have no right to insist that the passages regarding an 'eternal covenant' have anything to do with the Jews of his time.
Luther accuses the Jews of being bigots.
11. Haggai and the temple
Luther once again quarrels with the Jews over the traditional Christian interpretation of prophecy.
Luther quarrels with the Jews over the interpretation of the book of Daniel, using arguments that remain standard fare to this day.
13. Poor Jesus
Luther accuses the Jews of persecuting Jesus and his 'poor Mother' for no reason.
14. Jews persecuting Christians
Luther insists that Christians must endure wide spread persecution, bigotry and oppression at the hands of the Jews. These sorts of arguments will be recycled centuries later by Hitler.
15. Luthers final solution ot the Jewish problem
Point by point Luther gives advice to the political leaders and the pulpit on how to go about persecuting Jews. His advice will be taken literally by Hitler and the Nazi party resulting in the Holocaust.
16. New Testament
Luther reveals the true nature of his doctrine of 'justification by faith.' Faith means belief in orthodox doctrines, as Luther reveals when he attacks the Jews for not believing in the Church Testament, which is continuation of his earlier attacks on the Jews for not interpreting the Jewish Testament according to Orthodox Christian belief.
17. The final solution reprised.
Luther repeats his demands for persecution of the Jews by the political powers and from the pulpit, on the pains of eternal damnation for sharing in their unbelief by tolerating their differences in faith (the flip side, the dark side, of Luthers doctrine of 'justification by faith' which in practice means justification by belief in certain doctrines).
18. Jewish Messiah is a sow
Using a deliberately insulting analogy to 'pork' (an 'unclean food') Luther insists that belief in the Jewish Messiah makes one a sow, in otherwords an 'unclean pig'.
19. Miracles and conclusion
Luther goes on about the miracles constantly being done by the church, and then concludes his diatribe.
A Unified Field Theory
The Unified Field Theory
is also available as a zip file -> unified.zip
Introduction :The Pioneer Effect and the New Physics. A brief description of the new physics required to explain the 'Pioneer Effect', which is the constant deceleration of space craft as they fly through space.