September, 1518 [?]

Luther begins his second series of lectures on the Psalms. The lectures will continue, with some interruptions, for almost three years (until 1521). Printing the commentary based on the lecture notes had to be done piecemeal, first as a booklet (with Psalm 1-5) [1], accompanied by Luther’s dedication to the elector, dated March 27, 1519., then…

Late August, 1518

The Explanations of the Ninety-five Theses are finally printed. Luther had probably begun working on these in late 1517 and continued through the spring of 1518. At this point, it is worth pausing for a moment to recall the opening words of the 95 Theses: Amore et studio elucidande veritatis: hec subscripta disputabuntur Wittenberge. ...…

August 28, 1518

Luther writes to Spalatin concerning information he has received regarding Cajatan's activities in Augsburg. Luther also suggests a way to respond to the Papal Summons he received on August 7. Quotation: To my friend George Spalatin, priest of Christ, chaplain to Duke Frederick of Saxony, a learned friend, presently at Augsburg [1]: Salvation! Greeting. The…

August 25, 1518

Philip Melanchthon [1] arrives in Wittenberg to become Professor of Greek. A week later Luther would report to George Spalatin on Melanchthon's inaugural lecture and related concerns. Quotation: To the learned and kind George Spalatin, my faithful friend in Christ, Salvation! … What you wrote of our Philip has all come to pass, and will…

August 23, 1518

Pope Leo X sends a legal brief ("breve") to Cardinal Cajetan [1] in Augsburg, transferring jurisdiction of Luther's case to Cajetan. A copy of it was secured by the Elector Frederick's agents at Augsburg and forwarded to Luther, whom it reached at Nuremberg in late October. Luther incorporated it in his Acta Augustana (known in English…

About August 10, 1518

Luther responds briefly to the Dialog of Sylvester Prierias. At this time, Luther is confident that his Explanations of the 95 Theses will clarify his position and, as necessary, refute all the objections against the Theses. Here we quote from Luther's covering letter. Quotation: That supercilious Dialogue of yours, very reverend Father, written in the…

August 7, 1518

In Wittenberg, Luther receives a summons from Pope Leo X for Luther to appear in Rome within sixty days to answer charges against him.[1] It is accompanied by Prierias’s Dialogue. The next day Luther writes to George Spalatin, explaining his perilous situation and asking for the intervention of Elector Frederick and the Emperor at the…

August, 1518

Luther’s publishes the Sermon on the Power [or Virtue] of Excommunication, based on a sermon he preached in the Wittenberg town church in May. It was necessary that Luther publish this sermon, because an unauthorized version of his remarks had been circulating for several months and was being used by his opponents to prove that he…

July 10, 1518

Luther writes to Wenzel Link in Nuremberg. Quotation: Greeting. I would have sent my Resolutions,[1] reverend Father, but for the slowness of our printer. I myself am much put out at this delay. Only eighteen of the Resolutions are as yet printed, which I now try to send. That trifle which I lately published against…

June, 1518

Luther publishes The Defense of the Sermon on Papal Indulgences and Grace by Doctor Martin Luther against the Rebuttal, written (to its shame) against the aforementioned Sermon. [1]. This brief work will be reprinted 11 times in 1518-20. It is a response to Johan Tetzel’s “Refutation …”, which was itself a rebuttal of Luther’s Sermon on Indulgences and Grace.…