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Luther versus Melanchthon? Zur Frage der Einheit der Wittenberger Reformation in der Rechtfertigungslehre
Luther versus Melanchthon? About the question of the unity of the Reformation of Wittenberg in the docrine of justification
Luther versus Melanchthon? Sur la question de l'unité la Réforme de Wittenberg dans la doctrine de la justification
FLOGAUS Reinhard
During the last decade the new Finnish Luther research established by T. Mannermaa has revived the old thesis by K.Holl and his school that Melanchthon spoiled Luther's doctrine of justification by faith by an imputative understanding of justification. According to this view, Luther's teaching on justification through the presence of Christ was superseded by Melanchthon's one-sided forensic doctrine of justification, which also appeared in the Formula of Concord. In this paper important texts by Melanchthon on the doctrine of justification are compared with statements by Luther made at about the same time in order to find out whether the two Wittenberg reformers really held different opinions on this central point of Reformation theology. The analysis makes clear that both, Luther and Melanchthon, saw forensic and effective justification not as alternatives but as a unity. It is true that up until the Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians Luther mostly understands the presence of God in man as the presence of Christ and that on the whole Luther emphasizes this point more than Melanchthon, who in this context usually speaks of the Holy Ghost. This does not, however, constitute a substantial difference. While in the octavo edition of the Latin Apology and in the German Editio princeps of the Confessio Augustana, which appeared in the fall of 1531, Melanchthon stresses the forensic aspect of the doctrine of justification, this is much less pronounced in the German Confessio
Gütersloher Verlagshaus Gerd Mohn
ISSN : 0003-9381
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