This volume contains a selection of forty- three sermons arranged in chronological order. Beginning with what may be Luther's earliest extant sermon and ending with the last he delivered before his death, this collection of sermons can give the reader a glimpse into the Reformer's development as a preacher. The forty-three sermons in this volume represent but a fragment of Luther's total output. Even the two thousand sermons or more contained in the Weimar Edition of Luther's writings do not include all of Luther's sermons.
The late Dr. John W. Doberstein, editor and translator of this volume, was professor in practical theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. Martin Luther stands as one of the most significant figures in Western history. His distinction as the father of the Protestant Reformation is augmented by his innovative use of new technology (the printing press), his translation of the Christian Bible into the vernacular, and his impact upon European society. Born in 1483 to middle-class parents in Saxony, eastern Germany, he became an Augustinian monk, a priest, a professor of biblical literature, a reformer, a husband and father. He died in 1546 after having witnessed the birth of a renewal movement that would result in a profound shift in faith, politics, and society. He has been both praised and vilified for what he preached and wrote. His thought continues to influence all Christians and to animate the movement that bears his name.