The New Perspective on Paul

19-2Eastertide 2010, Volume XIX, Number 2Table of Contents

(A feature article from the journal: So You Think Luther Was a Monk? Stop It! by Kenneth Hagen)

How many times have you read in English the stereotypical line, “Martin Luther became an Augustinian monk in 1505 and was ordained a priest two years later”? However, in the same issue of Calliope Mary Morton Cowan correctly wrote, “Actually he became a friar.” 2 Here is a sample of the cliché “Luther was a monk” from the Internet and even from a published book:

 Although he would forever change Christianity, Martin Luther was a German monk who rose in his own rank to become a theologian, a reformer, and most importantly, a prominent figure who began asking deeper questions about the Bible and society.

Martin Luther (10 November 1483–18 February 1546) was a German monk, priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer.

“How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World.”

Even such a respected and established scholar as Scott Hendrix has Luther as “monk” plastered all over his book: “He was a sixteenth-century monk, priest, and professor in Wittenberg.” Confusion? Yes. Consider this: “Luther addressed his Latin treatise to his brother monks of the Augustinian order in Wittenberg” (AE 36: 130). “Brother monks”? Talk about an oxymoron. or download the rest of this article here (free, PDF)

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