The grime on the edges and the crease in the middle of the page point to its first life: as an independent booklet, sold for not much more than a magazine today, folded by the buyer, carried in the pocket and, we imagine, passed surreptitiously between family and friends. In the print edition have included woodcut borders from one of the first pamphlets of the controversy, the German sermon on indulgences of , of which there are two different copies in the Taylorian collection, Ein Sermon oder Predig von dem Ablass vnd Gnade.
Luther, Martin, and Pamphilus Gengenbach. Luther, Martin, and Valentin Schumann. Leipzig: [Valentin Schumann], These pamphlets were printed on large sheets of rag paper, approximately A3-sized, with the help of a metal paper sieve.
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Each sheet would be printed with a frame into which four pages were locked so that they folded into an approximately A5-sized booklet you can print your own version of this. The watermark, also impressed by the sieve, ended up in the gutter between the second and third page of each folded sheet quire. It can be hard to make out, but on the last page it is a diamond shape with a cross in it, probably the top half of a more complex watermark, faintly visible as a lighter shade three quarters of the way down the right-hand edge.
To indicate to the seller or bookbinder how to fold the sheets, the sequence of pages within each of the quires sheets is marked. Pamphlets did not have a high survival rate: they were zerlesen read to pieces , recycled, or lost. It had to pay for its survival by being cropped to fit in with the rest of the collection — the missing upper part of the top line of the last page c ij recto bears witness to this. We do not know who did this but it was a popular practice among supporters of the Reformation to acquire a number of these booklets on similar topics and build up their own library of theological controversy.
This particular collection ended up in the University Library of Heidelberg as the stamp Bibl: Univ: Heidelb on the back of the first page a j verso shows. There it was separated again when in the nineteenth century spare copies of pamphlets were sold off; hence the blue stamp with Dvplvm duplicate marking it as being for sale.
The pamphlet did not enjoy its new found independence for long. In it changed hands again and moved to England. The empty padding pages prepared the pamphlet for teaching at the Taylorian: it became a scholarly item ready for annotations by students and scholars.
Although these modern pages have been respectfully left blank, the pamphlet has been intensively studied since that time. It forms an important link between studies in Theology, Historical Linguistics, Translation Theory, and History of the Book, and regularly features in handling sessions for undergraduate and graduate students. We hope that it will encourage other colleagues to follow suit with their own editions, continuing to fulfil the pedagogical aim of the collection when it was built up in the nineteenth century.
The following is a practical guide based on my experience of teaching the Sendbrief and of teaching German prose translation. Early modern German was written to be performed. You can listen to a recording of the Sendbrief online. We have not normalized the spelling, because the inconsistency is part of the reality of written German at the time. The main rule of thumb is to pronounce the words like their modern German equivalents regardless of differences in spelling.
Early modern prints use full stops, brackets, question marks, and virgules as punctuation marks.enrotmobehfai.tk
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Early prints took over from manuscripts some handy ways to save space. The Roman alphabet had only one symbol for u and v and one for i and j. Sometimes umlaut is not indicated but implied, especially when v is used instead of u , e. Note that tz always sounds like modern German z , i. While in medieval German each letter would have been sounded, e. In most instances a following e or h indicates a long preceding vowel, but this is not consistent, e.
The equivalent modern German text with normalized punctuation, capitalisation, no abbreviations, and umlaut:. It was not the first German version of the Bible, or even the first in print, but it was the first to reach a mass audience. A vernacular Bible in the hands of the laity was also a powerful weapon to challenge Church practices which had no scriptural basis. It was not just the fact that Luther translated the Bible that was important: it was also the way he did it.
Like others before him, Luther cultivated a sense-for-sense, as opposed to a word-for-word, approach. His great innovation was a translation style close in register to colloquial speech, but with a simple eloquence that brought the original text alive. In the Sendbrief Luther offers general advice on translation as well as a defence of some of the specific translation choices he made in his German New Testament.
The same questions preoccupy translators today, whether they are working with sacred texts or not. The Sendbrief affords us a glimpse into the translation technique of one its most successful exponents. His syntax and vocabulary are plain and direct, his tone sometimes academic but more often informal, and the text is interspersed with colourful turns of phrase. His arguments are, in keeping with academic discourse at the time, a combination of appeals to reason or authority, ridicule, and invective.
Luther wrote the Sendbrief in September at the fortress of Coburg in Saxony. At this time the Imperial Diet i. Luther did not attend, as he had been declared an outlaw at the Diet of Worms in , and was relatively safe only in Saxony under the protection first, of the supportive Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony d. As well as corresponding with Melanchthon and his other colleagues at Augsburg, Luther spent his confinement at Coburg working on his translation of the Old Testament and on polemical writings such as the Sendbrief.
Luther focuses mainly on the first of these topics, and uses the Sendbrief to set out his views on translation. On 12 September Luther sent the manuscript to his friend Wenceslaus Linck of Nuremberg with instructions for its publication. Linck had the text printed there with a foreword of his own dated 15 September The B print appears to be based closely on A, but there are differences which make it possible that B was in fact copied from a now lost predecessor of A.
By , 14 authorized and 66 unauthorized versions had appeared. At the same time as he was writing the Sendbrief , Luther was completing the translation of the Old Testament, parts of which had already been published in instalments.
Why was this controversial? During the Middle Ages there were few vernacular translations of the whole Bible. This suited the Catholic Church, which considered vernacular languages inferior to the sacred languages of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and which, by keeping the Bible in Latin, could maintain a monopoly on interpretation. Even after the appearance of printed German Bibles in the late fifteenth century, there is no evidence of widespread demand for Holy Scripture in this form, and the Bible continued to be accessible largely through verse adaptations, sermons, and selected readings.
We discuss in Section 4 below the particular translation choices which Luther defends in the Sendbrief. First we summarize the theological reasons why they were controversial.
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The terms relevant to this controversy are faith, grace, justification, and works. The official Church position was that a person is justified by a combination of faith in Christ and works, i. Luther, by contrast, held that a person is justified by faith alone. Moreover, while his opponents believed that, when people are justified, divine grace is infused into them, altering them intrinsically, Luther held that grace is a favour which is imputed to people but remains outside them. A further point of contention between Luther and his opponents which is relevant to the Sendbrief is the authority of Scripture.
For Luther, by contrast, Scripture meant the Bible in its original languages rather than the Vulgate, and Scripture was the sole authority. Away from the scholarly debates about ancient Biblical languages, Luther appealed to the authority of Scripture in a more obvious way, by condemning Church practices which had no scriptural basis at all.
This he did most famously by attacking indulgences in his Ninety-Five Theses of The latter part of the Sendbrief from b4v   Page references refer to the quire marks. In the Sendbrief Luther offers general advice on Bible translation, and comments on specific examples. His general advice can be summarized under the following headings:. The qualities of a good translation. Luther stresses the need for an accessible, idiomatic version which reflects spoken German rather than being a word-for-word rendering of the Latin text; see especially a4v.
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The qualities of a good translator. The best method of translating. Here Luther recommends: close observation of how ordinary Germans speak; patience and hard work; and collaboration with expert colleagues; see especially a4r-a4v. The German rendering which receives the most attention in the Sendbrief is a2r :. The other German rendering discussed in the Sendbrief which appears to have a theological motivation is p.