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Debating the SacramentsPrint and Authority in the Early Reformation$
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Amy Nelson Burnett

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190921187

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190921187.001.0001

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Martin Bucer and Bugenhagen’s Psalms Commentary

Martin Bucer and Bugenhagen’s Psalms Commentary

Chapter:
(p.121) 6 Martin Bucer and Bugenhagen’s Psalms Commentary
Source:
Debating the Sacraments
Author(s):

Amy Nelson Burnett

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190921187.003.0006

In early 1524, Johannes Bugenhagen published a Latin commentary on the Psalms. Its printer commissioned Martin Bucer to translate the work. Bucer’s translation adapted the commentary’s contents to the interests of a literate urban audience. His changes included greater attention to practical piety, a more polemical tone, and an emphasis on spiritual communion and rejection of host adoration with regard to the Lord’s Supper. Bugenhagen became aware of these changes after an excerpt from the commentary discussing the Lord’s Supper was published under his name, and he denounced Bucer for attributing to him a position he did not hold. The episode highlights the difficulty of translating concepts from Latin into German and the role of printers in fanning controversy; illustrates differences in the spiritual priorities of Wittenberg and the radicalized Erasmian reformers and shows how positions unquestioned before 1525 became controversial after the outbreak of the Eucharistic controversy.

Keywords:   Johannes Bugenhagen, Martin Bucer, Psalms, translation, print

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