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Martin Luther

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Chapter Summary

The Lutheran doctrine is clearly distinct from Roman Catholic as well as from Calvinistic views. At first, the German reformer Martin Luther developed his own view within the frame of late medieval theology and piety. The struggle with Zwingli and the theologians of Upper Germany brought Luther's evolution of a new understanding of the Lord's Supper to an end. He had developed images and concepts to formulate what in his eyes was important for the understanding of the Eucharist. Following the line of his very early transformation of eucharistic teaching, he said that the sacrament was bread and wine, shaped in God's Word. Even if this led to the question of why the preaching of the Word was necessary, which Luther answered with reference to God's commandment, this was the core of his teaching: the sacrament was not something besides the Word of God, but an adequate expression of it.

Keywords: eucharist; Lord's Supper; Martin Luther; Zwingli



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