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Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther

Probably the most popular biography of Martin Luther written in English is Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand: A Life Of Martin Luther.  Easily readable and digestible material, historically reliable. It’s been in print for over 50 years now. The book presents the basic “facts” about the 16th Century Reformation in non-technical terms.

“I cannot.. I will not… recant! Here I stand.” This authoritative and inspiring story paints a vivid portrait of the crusader who spearheaded the Reformation. Considered one of the most readable biographies of Martin Luther, this volume is an illustrated look at the German religious reformer and his influence on Western civilization.

Martin Luther entered a monastery as a youth and as a man shattered the structure of the medieval church. Luther spoke out against the corrupt religious practices that then existed. His demand that the authority for doctrine and practice be Scriptures, rather than Popes or Councils, echoed around the world and ignited the Great Reformation. Accused of heresy and threatened with excommunication and death, Luther maintained his bold stand and refused to recant. In his crusade to eliminate religious abuses, he did more than any other man to establish the Protestant faith. With sound historical scholarship and penetrating insight, Roland Bainton examines Luther’s widespread influence. He re-creates the spiritual setting of the sixteenth century, showing Luther’s place within it and influence upon it. Richly illustrated with more than 100 woodcuts and engravings from Luther’s own time, Here I Stand dramatically brings to life Martin Luther, the great reformer.

Reviews:

”Easily the most readable Luther biography in English.” –Time

”Of the many superlative treatments, a half-century-old study by Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, has justly won a reputation as a classic work on a classic subject.” –Mark Noll, author and historian.

A review from 1950 states, “Dr. Bainton, who holds the Titus Street Professorship of Ecclesiastical History in the Yale Divinity School, is one of the foremost Reformation scholars in this country—a fact which in itself lends considerable worth to this work”[Westminster Theological Journal Volume 13 (Vol. 13, Page 164)].

About the Author:

A specialist in Reformation history, Roland H. Bainton was for forty-two years Titus Street Professor of ecclesiastical history at Yale, and he continued his writing well into his twenty years of retirement. Bainton wore his scholarship lightly and had a lively, readable style. His most popular book was Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (1950)–which sold more than a million copies. Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German monk, priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer, whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions.