You’re reading the wrong Book of Esther

The Book of Esther occupies a controversial place in the Bible.John Calvin did not include the book in his biblical commentaries and only referenced it once in the Institutes (see 4.12.17). Though he included it in his Bible, Martin Luther was highly ambivalent about it. "I am so great an enemy to . . . Esther, that I wish [it] had not come to us at all, for [it has] too many heathen unnaturalities," he said in Table Talk 24. And in one exchange with Erasmus he said it "deserves. . . to be … [Read more...]

Bonhoeffer’s blessed sign

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I’ve been dipping in an out of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison and was surprised to discover that he used the sign of the cross in his daily prayers.In a letter from November 21, 1943, he says this: “I’ve found that following [Martin] Luther’s instruction to ‘make the sign of the cross’ at our morning and evening prayers is in itself most useful. There is something objective about it. . . .”Growing up, I always understood the sign of the cross to be empty superstitio … [Read more...]


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