Quotations by Luther, Martin


If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Sep-11
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I would rather be ruled by a wise Turk than a Christian donkey.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer! (There is no beer in heaven, so let us drink it here.)

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
(Attributed)
Added on 11-Sep-09 | Last updated 11-Sep-09
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If I knew the world should go under tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today.”

[Und wenn ich wüsste, dass morgen die Welt unterginge, so pflanzte ich heute noch einen Apfelbaum.]

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
(Attributed)

Many alternative translations and paraphrases of this apocryphal statement can be found:

  • "Even if I knew that the whole world was going to smash tomorrow, still, I would plant an apple tree today. [Auch wenn ich wüsste, dass morgen die Welt zugrunde geht, würde ich heute noch einen Apfelbaum pflanzen.]"
  • "If I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would plant a tree this afternoon."
  • "If I knew I was to die tomorrow, I would plant a tree today."
Added on 1-Apr-10 | Last updated 1-Apr-10
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Who loves not wine, women, and song
Remains a fool his whole life long.

[Wer nicht liebt Weib, Wein und Gesang,
A Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang.]

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
(Attributed)

Attributed in Matthias Claudius, Der Wandsbecker Bothe (1775). Inscription in the Luther Room, Wartburg, Germany.
Added on 24-May-13 | Last updated 1-May-17
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For, where God built a church, there the devil would also build a chapel.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Table Talk [Colloquia Mensalia], ch. 2 (1566) [tr. Bell]
    (Source)

See Herbert, who identifies it as a common phrase.
Added on 1-May-17 | Last updated 19-Apr-18
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Cannon and fire-arms are cruel and damnable machines. I believe them to have been the direct suggestion of the devil. Against the flying ball, no valour avails; the soldier is dead ‘ere he sees the means of his destruction.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Table Talk, # 820 [tr. W. Hazlitt (1848)]
Added on 6-Oct-09 | Last updated 6-Oct-09
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There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Table Talk, #292 (1566) [tr. Hazlitt (1857)]
Added on 30-Sep-11 | Last updated 30-Sep-11
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Thou canst not prevent the birds from flying above they head, but thou canst prevent their building their nests in thy hair.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Letter to Hieronymous Weller (1530)
    (Source)

On temptation, attributed to "a wise oracle."
Added on 30-Sep-15 | Last updated 30-Sep-15
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Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: “Do not drink,” answer him: “I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.” One must always do what Satan forbids.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Letter to Jerome Weller (Jul 1530)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "We are soon defeated if we try too hard not to sin. So when the devil says ‘Do not drink’ answer him: ‘I shall drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to!’"
Added on 17-Jul-09 | Last updated 9-Feb-16
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I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Speech before the Diet of Worms (18 Apr 1521)
Added on 25-Mar-09 | Last updated 9-Feb-17
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The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
Table Talk
    (Source)

Variations:
  • "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not go for texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn."
  • The best way to expel the devil, if he will not depart for texts from Holy Scripture, is to jeer and flout him. [Source]
Added on 14-Feb-17 | Last updated 14-Feb-17
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