True Understanding


I did not learn my divinity at once, but was constrained by my temptations to search deeper and

deeper; for no man, without trials and temptations, can attain a true understanding of the Holy

Scriptures. St Paul had a devil that beat him with fists, and with temptations drove him diligently

to study the Holy Scripture. I had hanging on my neck the pope, the universities, all the deep-learned,

and the devil; these hunted me into the Bible, wherein I sedulously read, and thereby, God be

praised, at length attained a true understanding of it. Without such a devil, we are but only speculators

of divinity, and according to our vain reasoning, dream that so and so it must be, as the monks and

friars in monasteries do. The Holy Scripture of itself is certain and true; God grant me grace to

catch hold of its just use.


Table Talk


Martin Luther

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