Martin Luther's Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle To the Galatians (1535)
Martin Luther’s most comprehensive work on justification by faith, his Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians is translated and edited from the Latin into a lively style, paralleling his spoken lectures. Combined with the passion and faith expressed in these lectures, the Biblical foundation for this crucial doctrine of justification is underscored and expressed to a new audience.
The commentary is also an historical document, a recording of a professor in a classroom in 1531 from July to December of that year, which sets out the Reformer's commitment, challenging the reader/hearer to compare St. Paul's theology with what he/she hears in the church today.
The translator’s experience as a court reporter and his training as a theologian combine to enable him to give readers a sense of the liveliness of Martin Luther’s lecture style by turning to student notes from the lecture hall. This translation therefore enhances all other English translations, which have delivered these lectures in English up to this point since these other translations have rendered the similar but not identical text of the edited version of the reformer’s great lectures of 1531 that appeared in print four years later. Here we encounter what Luther said, not what he and his editors wished he had said or thought that he had meant to say. Camacho takes us into the lecture hall to catch the personal inflection that the reformer brought to the exposition of Paul’s letter in the midst of increased papal and imperial pressure on the Wittenberg theologians and their worldview in the wake of the diet of Augsburg in 1530. The urgency of the reformers exposition of the gospel of the restoration of human righteousness through Christ’s death and resurrection rings from the pages of this fresh, lively re-hearing of the lectures as presented in the notes of the Wittenberg professor’s students.
Robert Kolb, professor of systematic theology emeritus, Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis USA