I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! — “Luther and Katharina” by Jody Hedlund
Jody Hedlund, an award-winning and bestselling author!
I chose to read this book to review because it is historical fiction, based on the life of Martin Luther, the Father of Protestant Christianity, and his wife Katharina (a former nun). It is such an interesting story!
I knew very little about Martin Luther. This book taught me about the history of the beginning of the Lutheran Church. Martin Luther (born into the German working class) was a highly educated Professor and theologian, who translated the New Testament Bible from Latin into German in the early 1500s, so the common people could read the Bible. He also preached and wrote letters that expressed his interpretations of the Bible, such as encouraging monks and nuns to leave the monasteries and convents, giving up their vow of celibacy and getting married, as God intended for man and woman to do. Some of the other things that Martin Luther promoted were personal prayers, not just church given prayers, and singing hymns of praise to God, not just chants in Latin.
This caused death threats against Martin Luther, and riots by the peasants! Some followers of Martin Luther were beheaded, tortured, beaten, and even burned at the stake. I never realized how dangerous the work of Martin Luther was. This book engagingly tells the history.
In the middle of all the chaos, the author focuses on the two people in the title, Luther and Katharina, a love story, torn apart by the war over what the truth of the Bible is, and who should have control over it.
I have a greater appreciation of having a Bible available in English, and even in several different translations, so I can read the Bible myself. It would be devastating to me, not to have a Bible in a language I can read and understand!
When I was baptized and became a Christian, I did so because I read the Bible myself, and could tell that I needed to be baptized to obey God. As a new Christian, I spent a lot of time reading the entire Bible, and then re-reading the New Testament. I have over the years, completed about 20 Bible studies (many by Beth Moore, but also ones by Kaye Arthur, Tammie Head, Priscilla Shirer, and others.) I have become closer to God, and have developed a rich prayer life, in large part to being able to do so much study of the Bible in English.)
(A side note — John Wycliffe wrote the first English version of the Bible in 1380. Many of his translations were burned. Martin Luther was more successful in getting his translations out to the people. He had the support of many important people of the time. It wasn’t until 1526, when William Tyndale had the first English version of the Bible printed.)
I highly recommend you read this book!
I read a copy of this book from my local library. You can purchase it at Amazon.com and can read part of the book there as well.