Ironically, although Luther is very critical of rabbinical interpretation of the OT, he frequently accepts certain aspects of it. For example, like the rabbis, Luther hold that Melchizedek is the patriarch Shem. Conversely, although Luther knew the Church Fathers, he very infrequently considered their readings of much value. Again, this is ironic in light of the fact that Luther said in The Last Words of David, that although the Jews had grammar, the Church Fathers (particularly Augustine) had a better interpretation of the OT because they had Christ. In practice though, Luther does not seem to follow them much.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Luther and Rabbinic Interpretation.
In dealing with the Old Testament in general and Genesis in particular, Luther frequently makes reference to Nicholas of Lyra. Lyra was a Jew who had been converted to Christianity and became a Franciscan. He was knowledgeable about rabbinical interpretation and also the Hebrew language.