“Dear is the treasure who lies in them” by Martin Luther

“What is the New Testament but a public preaching and proclamation of Christ, set forth through the sayings of the Old Testament and fulfilled through Christ? In order that those who are not more familiar with it may have instruction and guidance for reading the Old Testament with profit, I have prepared this preface to the best of the ability God has given me.

I beg and really caution every pious Christian not to be offended by the simplicity of the language and stories encountered there, but fully realize that, however simple they may seem, these are the very words, works, judgments, and deeds of the majesty, power, and wisdom of the most high God.

For these are the Scriptures which make fools of all the wise and understanding, and are open only to the small and simple, as Christ says in Matthew 11:25.

Therefore, dismiss your own opinions and feelings, and think of the Scriptures as the loftiest and noblest of holy things, as the richest of mines which can never be sufficiently explored, in order that you may find that divine wisdom which God lays here before you in such simple guise as to quench all pride.

Here you find the swaddling cloths and the manger in which Christ lies, and to which the angel points the shepherds (Luke 2:12). Simply and lowly are these swaddling cloths, but dear is the treasure, Christ, who lies in them.”

–Martin Luther, “Preface to the Old Testament (1523/1545),” in Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings, 2nd Ed, Ed. Timothy F. Lull (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2005), 114.

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  1. Pingback: “Dear is the treasure (Christ) who lies in them (the Scriptures)” by Martin Luther « The Three R's Blog

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