Luther on the Uselessness of the Church Fathers

While I won’t say that the Church Fathers’ were useless, they were not authoritative like the Apostles of the Lord when said Apostles wrote scripture or gave instructions to churches. Divine inspiration stops at the close of the canon. The Christians who came after the Apostles were teachers of uneven value, and only good to the degree they were faithful to the bible. The Fathers were like scholars, today, some good, others less so.

Zwinglius Redivivus

One should draw from the source and diligently read the Bible. For a man who knows the text is also an extraordinary theologian. One passage or one text from the Bible is worth more than the glosses of four writers who aren’t reliable and thorough.

Suppose I take the text, ‘Everything created by God is good’ [I Tim. 4:4]; food, marriage, etc., are created by God; therefore [they are good], etc. The glosses contradict this; Bernard, Dominic, and Basil wrote and acted otherwise. But the text itself overcomes the glosses.

The dear fathers were held in high esteem; meanwhile what they did to the Bible was wrong. Ambrose and Basil were quite dull, and Gregory Nazianzen was accused of writing nothing honestly about God in his poetry and songs. — Martin Luther

Totally right.

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