Luther on Purgatory

“I find in Scripture that Christ, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Job, David, Hezekiah, and some others tasted hell in this life. This I think was purgatory, and it seems not beyond belief that some of the dead suffer in like manner” (“Defense and Explanation of All the Articles” (1521), LW 32, 95 [my emphasis]).

2 thoughts on “Luther on Purgatory

  1. Elijah

    What about this:

    1538 – Regarding the doctrine of purgatory, German Reformer Martin Luther reported in a “Table Talk”: ‘God has placed two ways before us in His Word: salvation by faith, damnation by unbelief (Mark 16:16). He does not mention purgatory at all. Nor is purgatory to be admitted, for it obscures the benefits and grace of Christ.’

  2. Bryce Wandrey

    I am sure one can object to Luther’s conclusion about dead people possibly suffering a type of ‘purgatory.’ What I think is more interesting is Luther’s use of the term to refer to suffering, etc., here on earth. I am no expert on purgatory to know if Luther is unique in this application and theology but what also is interesting is that in the 20th century Roman Catholic theologians like Ratzinger and Rahner made similar statements to Luther’s.

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