Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal Roper – review

This post is by Ian Thomson from Books | The Guardian

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An absorbing new life of Luther portrays the theologian as an authoritarian fuelled by hatred – of Jews as well as the papacyJesus Christ, a Jewish rabboni, or “teacher”, alarmed the Temple authorities by daring to come back to life. “OK, so we killed him, but only for three days”, runs the Jewish joke. Christianity began with a crucified body that went missing – but was it really a Jewish body? Martin Luther’s austere, reforming personality would not allow for Christ’s Jewish blood because Jews fed off satanic excrement. “The devil stuffs and squirts them so full that it overflows and swims out of every place,” Luther preached. The German theologian was aware of the Hebraic roots of the Bible. (Matthew’s gospel, the most demonstrably “Jewish” of the four, seeks to show how every recorded act of Jesus is rooted in Jewish scripture.) Yet Luther called for German Jewry’s complete ...