I have been told the following Luther quote is unverifiable.

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however, boldly I may be professing Him.  Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the solider is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

I was told that although this has been attributed to Luther for many years no one has been able to cite where.  In cleaning out files, I find the above and it is cited “(Luther’s Works, Weimar Edition, Briefwechsel [Correspondence], vol. 3, pp. 81f.)”

I don’t have the Weimar edition; come to think of it couldn’t read it if I did.  If someone does and can, if they would prove or disprove the citation, I would be grateful.

A reader has lately provided the following:


That’s a page from Sämtliche Werke (Collected Works), v. 53, with this exact paragraph in it.  I don’t know if that’s *proof* that he wrote it, but it’s something anyway.  It’s on p.171 of Vermischte Deutsche Schriften, 1. Band.



About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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3 Responses to Unverifiable

  1. Weslie Odom says:

    This may be helpful for you, including the comment section. It seems as if it’s very close to an authentic Luther quote, but not completely accurate:


  2. Scott says:

    The following is an electronic version of Luther’s Works (Weimarer Ausgabe)


  3. Bart Goddard says:

    I’d like to know what the difference between “confess” and “profess” is, in this context. Webster is of no help, but considers the two words synonyms.


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