Some Notes from Luther's Bondage of the Will

Posted by Jeremy Kerr on Jul 30th 2021

One of the religious books I first read as a young Christian is also one of the books I most recommend to my fellow believers.  That book is Martin Luther's Bondage of the Will, first published in 1525.  In the early days of the internet, a zeal for the Gospel, and a faithful presentation of the doctrine of Predestination motivated the effort to get the entire text of Luther's Bondage of the Will online for other readers, and for years it has been one of the most popular pages on truecovenanter.com

Below you will find a list of some of my notes from reading the Packer / Johnston translation of the work, along with page numbers for your reference.  To help those doing research, or desiring a quick glance at the contents before diving into the lengthy text, more notes have been uploaded to truecovenanter.com

Maybe these notes will be existing points of interest to you; or maybe they will provoke a question about how the great Reformer of the Protestant Church could have gone to such an extreme.  Whatever your reaction, don't judge Luther based on mere notes from when this writer was a teenager.  Take time to give Luther a fair hearing, as the man who brought the Holy Scriptures back into the hands of the common Christian, and asserted the doctrine of Justification by Faith alone.  His own conviction was that this book was his most important writing.

Note / Info on Packer / Johnston Translation Published by Baker
188 Freewill is ruled by Satan & rejects Grace
201 Only Human Reason is offended by the "absurdity" of Scripture
203 Hell is a good work of God
170 Antichrist
182, 224, 317   Predestination / Election
306 Those who assert free-will are plainly crazed
307 In setting up Free-will, you set aside Christ
270 Luther will not accept Middle Way
223 Luther condemns [Saint] Jerome
226 God's love & hate to men is Immutable & Eternal
226 Esau's Affliction by reason of God's hatred alone
317 God governs all