In a book called “Reformation Thought” Alistair McGrath writes,
“Martin Luther arrived at his earthshaking conclusions imbued with biblical exposition. As a professor, he taught the book of Psalms verse by verse from 1513 to 1515, Romans from 1515 to 1516, Galatians from 1516 until 1517, the book of Hebrews from 1517 to 1518 and then the Psalms again from 1519 until 1521.”
There is something to be said about being home in the Word of God. Today is Reformation Day and we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the posting of the 95 Thesis. Luther was convinced of what he was doing because he was convinced by the Word of God. He was familiar with the Psalms to an uncanny degree and his commentary of Genesis is considered a masterpiece as is the commentary of Galatians. He said of his own method that “I study my Bible like I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest may fall. Then I shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig. Then I look under every leaf. I search the Bible as a whole like shaking the whole tree. Then I shake every limb – study book after book. Then I shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters. Then I shake every twig, or a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences and words and their meanings.”
One of the questions that kept coming up to Luther that troubled him at first, was who he thought he was that he knew more than Popes and Councils and a thousand years of church history? The answer was he knew his Bible better. He trusted God’s Word more than anything else and on that the hinge of history moved.