Friday, November 16, 2018

The Vision (11.16.18): Martin Luther on the Psalms as "a little Bible"

At the end of October, we marked the five hundred and first anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door at Wittenberg (October 31, 1517), thus igniting the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s rediscovery of the Biblical doctrine of salvation came not only from his study of New Testament books like Romans and Galatians, but also from his study of the Psalms. Luther described the book of Psalms (the Psalter) as “a little Bible.” He saw what previous generations of Christians stretching back to the apostles has also discovered: The Psalms speak of Christ. Luther wrote:
The Psalter ought to be a precious and beloved book, if for no other reason than this: it promises Christ’s death and resurrection so clearly—and pictures his kingdom and the condition and nature of all Christendom—that it might well be called a little Bible. In it is comprehended most beautifully and briefly everything that is in the entire Bible. It is really a fine enchiridion or handbook. I fact, I have a notion that the Holy Spirit wanted to take the trouble himself to compile a short Bible and book of examples of all Christendom or all saints, so that anyone who could not read the whole Bible [could] have here anyway almost an entire summary of it, comprised in one little book (as cited in Timothy George, Reading Scripture with the Reformers, p. 186).
May we continue to read, pray, preach, and sing this “little Bible” of the Psalter so that we might learn more of Christ.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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