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Martin Luther and the Enduring Word of God (Kolb)

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Baker Academic

The Reformation revolutionized church life through its new appreciation for God's presence working through the Bible. Coinciding with the five hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, this volume explains how Luther's approach to the Bible drew his colleagues and contemporary followers into a Scripture-centered practice of theology and pastoral leadership. World-class scholar Robert Kolb examines the entire school of interpretation launched by Luther, showing how Luther's students continued the study and spread of God's Word in subsequent generations. Filled with fresh insights and cutting-edge research, this major statement provides historical grounding for contemporary debates about the Bible.


"While Luther rightly dominates Lutheranism as the single most important theological leader of the movement, he neither emerged from a vacuum nor operated as a Reformer in isolation. Instead, he was part of the vibrant intellectual ferment of his time, particularly as that was instantiated in the University of Wittenberg. Drawing on a lifetime of study not only of Luther himself but also of the Wittenberg School of which Luther was a part, Robert Kolb here offers a superb contextual analysis of Luther's biblical exegesis and theology both in his own day and as they were subsequently developed by his students. For those interested in the history of exegesis, the thought of Martin Luther, and the formation of post-Luther Lutheranism, this book is a treat."
--Carl R. Trueman, Westminster Theological Seminary

"This is perhaps Robert Kolb's best work on Martin Luther. Martin Luther and the Enduring Word of God presents the Wittenberg Reformer at the center of a circle of colleagues and students engaged in a fresh approach to the Bible that would reshape Christian piety. The scope of Kolb's book is remarkable, spanning Luther's early exposure to the Scriptures in the milieu of late-medieval spirituality, his reform of biblical interpretation and preaching in the university, his collaboration with others to use the Bible as a renewed source for Christian faith and life, and the often-unexamined next generation of Lutherans who helped change the religious map of Europe. Kolb invites the reader into a world of theologians, pastors, and Reformers who are captivated by the Bible and aspire to give the Word of God a hearing in a tumultuous age. His book stands as an invitation to do further research in the history of biblical interpretation: to trace the connections between the world of the Reformation and later developments in the handling of the Bible in the early modern period. Students of the Reformation at every level will benefit from Martin Luther and the Enduring Word of God and be grateful for Robert Kolb as a teacher and guide."
--Erik Herrmann, Center for Reformation Research, Concordia Seminary

"I began reading Kolb's work about forty years ago as a doctoral student. Today what amazes me most is how he keeps getting better: more meticulous in his research, more lucid in his writing, and more penetrating in his analysis. This new book is quite simply his best! Indispensable for understanding Luther's lifelong and greatest obsession."
--Denis R. Janz, Loyola University New Orleans