Lutheran

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Portrait of Martin Luther (1528) by the workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder, from the collection of the Lutherhaus in Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

From the surname of German theologian and ecclesiastical reformer Martin Luther (1483–1546) +‎ -an.

Luther is from an Old High German given name, from liut (people) + heri (army) (from Proto-Germanic *harjaz (army; commander, warrior), from Proto-Indo-European *kóryos (war; troops), from *ker- (army)).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

Lutheran (comparative more Lutheran, superlative most Lutheran)

  1. (Christianity) Of or pertaining to the theology of Martin Luther (1483–1546) or his followers, or the Lutheran church.
    A Lutheran understanding of the Lord’s Supper is not the same as that of other denominations.
    • 1581, D. Fulke [i.e., William Fulke], A Briefe Confutation, of a Popish Discourse: Lately Set Forth, and Presumptuously Dedicated to the Queenes Most Excellent Maiestie: By Iohn Howlet [pseudonym; Robert Persons], or Some Other Birde of the Night, vnder that Name. Contayning Certaine Reasons, why Papistes Refuse to Come to Church, which Reasons are here Inserted and Set Downe at Large, with Their Generall Answeres, London: Printed [by Thomas Dawson] for George Byshop, OCLC 931154147, folio 12, recto and verso:
      [I]f when Luther firſt began to teach new doctrine, the catholiks at that time had not vouchſafed to giue him the hering, but had auoided his prechings & preuy couenticles, ther had not bin now in the worlde, either Lutheran, Swinglian, Calueniſt, Puritan, Anabaptiſt, Trinetarie, Family of loue, Adamite, or the lyke: whereof now there are ſo many thouſands abroad, al ſpringing of that firſt ſecte, and troubling at this day the whole worlde, []
    • 1798 August, “Extract of a Letter from the Rev. Mr. Gunther, Minister at Wodonoy Bujerack, in the Russian Government of Saratow, on the Wolga, in Asia, to the Rev. Dr. Burckhardt, London”, in The Evangelical Magazine, volume VI, London: Printed by and for T. Chapman, No. 151 Fleet-Street, OCLC 220733602, page 309:
      On the borders of that river [the Volga] 104 colonies have ſettled, conſiſting of Germans, who emigrated to thoſe parts in the years of dearth and famine. Theſe colonies have already three Calviniſt, and four Lutheran ministers.
    • 2015, Ringo Ringvee, “Religion and Nation-building in Estonia: Some Perspectives on Secular Society”, in Greg Simons and David Westerlund, editors, Religion, Politics and Nation-building in Post-Communist Countries (Post-Soviet Politics), Farnham, Surrey; Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4724-4969-6, page 151:
      [A] number of Lutheran priests were involved in the activities of the EHS [Estonian Heritage Society]. The EELC [Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church] identified itself again as 'the people's church' and stressed the connection between the Lutheran Church and Estonian national identity, although the alleged connection with radical nationalism is an exaggeration.

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Noun[edit]

Lutheran (plural Lutherans)

  1. (Christianity) A member of any of the Christian churches which identify with the theology of Martin Luther.
    The split between the Lutherans and the Roman Catholics began with the Edict of Worms in 1521.
    • 1583, William Rainolds [i.e., William Reynolds], “VVherein is Refelled[sic, meaning Repelled?] M. VV. Ansvvere to Certaine Places of S[aint] Chrysostome Touching the Real Presence and Sacrifice”, in A Refvtation of Svndry Reprehensions, Cavils, and False Sleightes, by which M. [William] Whitaker Laboureth to Deface the Late English Translation and Catholike Annotations of the New Testament, and the Booke of Discouery of Heretical Corruptions, Paris: [s.n.], OCLC 8433986, pages 222–223:
      [I]f you had bene but ſo conuerſante in Caluine [John Calvin] as your profeſsion requireth, you could not ſo far haue bene ouerſeene in this eaſie diſtinction knowen to Catholike, Lutheran and Zuinglian, although when Caluine wrote thus, perhaps he was more then halfe a Lutheran, and not ſo far gone in Zuinglianiſme as after.
    • 1772, William Robertson, “The Siege of Magdeburg [marginal note]”, in The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V, volume IV, new edition, London: Printed for W[illiam] Strahan; T[homas] Cadell, in the Strand; Edinburgh: J. Balfour, OCLC 969042486, book X, page 40:
      [] George of Mecklenburg, a younger brother of the reigning Duke, an active and ambitious Prince, collected a conſiderable number of thoſe ſoldiers of fortune who had accompanied Henry of Brunſwick in all his wild enterprizes; and though a zealous Lutheran himſelf, invaded the territories of the Magdeburgers, hoping that, by the merit of this ſervice, he might procure ſome part of their domains to be allotted to him as an eſtabliſhment.
    • 1906, Thomas M[artin] Lindsay, “From the Diet of Speyer, 1526, to the Religious Peace of Augsburg, 1555”, in A History of the Reformation (International Theological Library), volume I (The Reformation in Germany from Its Beginning to the Religious Peace of Augsburg), New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, OCLC 3960339, pages 345–346:
      At this memorable Diet of Speyer (1529), a compact Roman Catholic majority faced a weak Lutheran minority. The Emperor, through his commissioners, declared at the outset that he abolished, "by his imperial and absolute authority (Machtvollkommenheit)," the clause in the ordinance of 1526 on which the Lutherans had relied when they founded their territorial Churches; it had been the cause, he said, "of much ill counsel and misundestanding." [] It was this ordinance which called forth the celebrated Protest, from which comes the name Protestant. The Protest was read in the Diet on the day (April 19th, 1529) when all concessions to the Lutherans had been refused.

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