His crowning qualification was his intuitive insight and spiritual sympathy with the contents of the Bible.
A good translation, he says, requires "a truly devout, faithful, diligent, Christian, learned, experienced, and practiced heart." Luther was gradually prepared for this work.
The Gothic Bishop Wulfila or Wölflein (i.e., Little Wolf) in the fourth century translated nearly the whole Bible from the Greek into the Gothic dialect.
Most of them are in large folio, in two volumes, and illustrated by wood-cuts.The richest fruit of Luther's leisure in the Wartburg, and the most important and useful work of his whole life, is the translation of the New Testament, by which he brought the teaching and example of Christ and the Apostles to the mind and heart of the Germans in life-like reproduction. He made the Bible the people's book in church, school, and house. gay anzeigen Wuppertal If he had done nothing else, he would be one of the greatest benefactors of the German-speaking race.A good translation must be both true and free, faithful and idiomatic, so as to read like an original work. Besides, he had already acquired such fame and authority that his version at once commanded universal attention.His knowledge of Greek and Hebrew was only moderate, but sufficient to enable him to form an independent judgment.
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Without such aid he could hardly have finished his New Testament in the short space of three months.But this fact does not diminish his merit in the least; for his version was made from the original Hebrew and Greek, and was so far superior in every respect that the older version entirely disappeared. Luther had a rare combination of gifts for a Bible translator: familiarity with the original languages, perfect mastery over the vernacular, faith in the revealed word of God, enthusiasm for the gospel, unction of the Holy Spirit.Both are from the fourteenth century, and agree almost word for word with the first printed German Bible, but contain, besides the New Testament, the apocryphal letter of St.Paul to the Laodiceans, which is a worthless compilation of a few sentences from the genuine writings of the apostle.Hereafter the Reformation depended no longer on the works of the Reformers, but on the book of God, which everybody could read for himself as his daily guide in spiritual life.