We must also lessen the number of theological books, and choose the best; for it is not the number of books that make the learned man; nor much reading, but good books often read, however few, make a man learned in the Scriptures and pious. – Martin Luther

Martin Luther: The Hero of the Reformation by Henry Eyster Jacobs

Martin Luther: The Hero of the Reformation by Henry Eyster Jacobs

Henry Eyster Jacobs’ biography of Luther was originally published in 1898 as part of Putnam’s Heroes of the Reformation. The publisher commissioned these volumes to appeal to self-learners. The editor of the series, Professor Samuel Macauley Jackson, says this about it an early Putnam catalog:

A series of biographies of the leaders in the Protestant Reformation.

The Literary skill and the standing as scholars of the writers who have agreed to prepare these biographies will, it is believed, ensure for them a wide acceptance on the part not only of special students of the period but of the general reader. Full use will be made in them of the correspondence of their several subjects and of any other autobiographical material that may be available. The general reader will be pleased to find all these citations translated into English. – Backmatter. Samuel Jackson. “Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland 1484-1531” (Future release by the Lutheran Library)

Jacobs’ prose is a pleasure to read. The illustrations add to the enjoyment of this Lutheran Library title.

BOOK I THE MONK (1483-1517)

1 – Birth And Childhood

2 – Student Life

3 – In The Cloister

4 – The Professor


1 – The Sale Of Indulgences; And The 95 Theses

2 – The Reception Of The Theses And The Heidelberg Conference

3 – Eck, Prierias, and the Pope

4 – Before Cajetan at Augsburg

5 – Miltitz and the Leipzig Disputation

6 – Political Complications; New Allies; The Three Great Treatises Of 1520

7 – The Bull

8 – The Diet Of Worms

9 – At The Wartburg


1 – Carlstadt And The Zwickau Prophets

2 – Rebuilding

3 – The Lines Drawn

4 – The Peasants’ War

5 – Marriage

6 – Visitation Of Churches And The Catechisms

7 – Zwingli And The Marburg Colloquy

8 – Coburg And Augsburg

9 – The Schmalkald League And The Struggles With Rome And Fanaticism

10 – Vergerius; The Wittenberg Concord; And The Schmalkald Articles

11 – New Triumphs And Trials

12 – The Landgrave Of Hesse

13 – Diet Of Ratisbon; Controversies With The Jurists, Emperor, And Pope

14 – Luther’s Theology

15 – Home Life And Last Days


Appendix I – Bull Of Leo X. Against The Errors Of Martin Luther And His Followers

Appendix II – Luther’s Confession

A Selection from the Catalogue of G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

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