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[RRR 13.

1 (2011) 3362] RRR (print) ISSN 1462-2459


doi:10.1558/rrr.v13i1.33 RRR (online) ISSN 1743-1727
Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2012, Unit S3, Kelham House, 3 Lancaster Street, Sheffield S3 8AF
Why Not Now? Kar|stadts Whether We Should Proceed
Slowly and Avoid Oending the Weak in Matters that
Concern Gods Will (1524)
1
Nrii R. Lrnoux
University of Minnesota
lerouxnr@morris.umn.edu
Ansrnacr
Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadts Whether We Should Proceed Slowly
[Ob man gemach faren soll] in 1524 was no best seller, and the work is of-
ten overlooked today. However, its author was a prolic publisher, espe-
cially of German tracts, in the early sixteenth century. His inuence upon
other so-called radical reformers remains yet to be measured adequately.
Despite the fact that Gemach was written shortly before Karlstadts expul-
sion from Electoral Saxony, its thesis resonated strongly with other writers
who were disenchanted with the trajectory of reforms in Wittenberg after
1522. A careful analysis of Karlstadts argumentation reveals a rigorous
reliance upon Old Testament texts, and it represents the development of
a position that holds the Christian congregation responsible for imple-
menting reforms in worship that are mandated in Gods commands. As
Karlstadts response to Luthers Invocavit Sermons (preached in March
1522 and published outside Wittenberg in 1523), Gemach shows what
Gordon Rupp called Karlstadts best polemical writing.
Keywords
Karlstadt, argumentation, oence, the weak, Scripture
Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt (14861541) wrote Whether We Should
Proceed Slowly [gemach] and Avoid Oending the Weak in Matters that Concern
Gods Will ometime during his stay in Orlamnde (early summer 1523Sep-
1. Ob man gemach || faren / und des ergernssen || der schwachen verschonen || soll / in
sachen so || gottis wil= || llen an= || gehn. || Andres Carolstadt. || M.D.XXIIII. Modern
critical edition in Erich Hertzsch, ed., Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften aus den Jahren
152325, Teil I, Neudrucke deutscher Literaturwerke des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts,
325 (Halle [Saale]: Max Niemeyer, 1956), 7397. Complete English translations in
34 J Neil R. Leroux
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tember 1524),
2
but it was not published until November 1524 in Basel. Per-
haps not surprisingly, this is not one of Karlstadts best-known works, and it
has to some extent been lost in the shue of his eucharistic tracts.
3
In fact,
this pamphlet presents a bit of an enigma in Karlstadt research. Gordon Rupp
calls Gemach perhaps [Karlstadts] best polemical writing, and then gives it
two paragraphs of comment, adding that it repays careful study.
4
Compared
to the rel ative silence from most commentators, Rupps treatment is eusive,
for while mentioned and seldom expounded carefully in the steadily growing
recent Karlstadt scholarship,
5
Gemach is nonetheless occasionally selected for
Edward J. Furcha, ed. and trans., Te Essential Carlstadt: Fifteen Tracts by Andreas
Bodenstein (Carlstadt) from Karlstadt, Classics of the Reformation, VIII (Waterloo,
Ontario; Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1995), 247268, and Michael G. Baylor, Radi-
cal Reformation, ed. and trans., Te Radical Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni-
versity Press, 1991), 4973. A nearly complete translation is Ronald J. Sider, ed. and
trans., Karlstadts Battle with Luther: Documents in a Liberal-Radical Debate (Philadel-
phia: Fortress Press, 1978), 4971, with omissions. An edition in modern German is
found in Heinhold Fast, ed., Der linke Flgel der Reformation: Glaubensseugnisse der
Tufer, Spiritualisten, Schwrmer und Antitrinitarier, Klassiker des Protestantismus, 4
(Bremen: Carl Schneman, 1962), 249269, with omissions. A two-page compiled
excerpt of the Sider text, Documents (50, 52, 6162, 6465, 70) is printed as text-
reading 5.4 in Carter Lindberg, Te European Reformations Sourcebook (Oxford and
Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000), 8687.
2. E. Freys and H. Barge, Verzeichnis der gedruckten Schriften des Andreas Boden- E. Freys and H. Barge, Verzeichnis der gedruckten Schriften des Andreas Boden-
stein von Karlstadt, Zentralblatt fr Bibliothekswesen 21 (1904): 153179, 209243,
305331 (repr. Nieuwkoop: de Graaf, 1965), #138 [hereafter abbreviated as Freys /
Barge, Ver zeichnis, and cited with entry number (#)]. Tis indicates that Gemach was
printed in mid-November by Tomas Wol. See also there Hermann Barge, Zur
Chronologie und Drucklegung der Abendmahlstraktate Karlstadts, 327 [323331].
Volkmar Joestel, Ost thringen und Karlstadt: soziale Bewegung und Reformation im
mittleren Saaletal am Vorabend des Bauernkrieges (15221524) (Berlin: Schelzky und
Jeep, 1996), 84, indicates that the dating of the writings of the fall of 1524 printed in
Basel and Strassburg is controversial and still not suciently claried.
3. See Appendix, Te Publication of Karlstadts Eucharistic Pamphlets, 15241525, in
Amy Nelson Burnett, Karlstadt and the Origins of the Eucharistic Controversy (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2011), 143147.
4. Gordon Rupp, Patterns of Reformation (London: Epworth, 1969), 138139.
5. Exceptions are Ronald J. Sider, Karlstadts Orlamnde Teology: A Teology of
Regen eration, Mennonite Quarterly Review [= MQR] 45 (1971): 361367 [191218;
352376]; Ulrich Bubenheimer, Scandalum et ius divinum: Teologische und
rechtstheologische Probleme der ersten reformatorischen Innovationen in Witten-
berg 1521/22, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fr Rechtsgeschichte 90 [Kanonistische
Abteilung 59] (1973): 322326 [263342]; Ronald J. Sider, Andreas Bodenstein von
Karlstadt: Te Development of His Tought 15171525, Studies in Medieval and Ref-
ormation Traditons, XI (Leiden: Brill, 1974), 197201. Hans-Jrgen Goertz, Karl-
Why Not Now? J 35
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modern editions or translations to repre sent Karlstadt and the beginnings
of the Radical Reformation.
6
Moreover, for one who produced about nine-
stadt, Mntzer and the Reformation of the Commoners, 15211525, in A Compan-
ion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 15211700, Brills Companions to the Christian
Tradition, VI, ed. John D. Roth and James M. Stayer (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 144,
oers incisive observations (p. 8) on Gemach. Erich Hertzsch, Karlstadt und seine Be-
deutung fr das Luthertum (Gotha: Leopold Klotz Verlag, 1932), 5354, 6667, in-
cludes several quotes from Gemach. Two ne recent studies omit mention of Gemach:
Wolfgang Simon, Karlstadt neben Luther: Ihre theologische Dierenz im Kontext
der Wittenberger Unruhen 1521/22, in Frmmigkeit Teologie Frmmigkeit-
stheologie: Contributions to European Church History. Festschrift fr Berndt Hamm zum
60. Geburtstag, Studies in the History of Christian Traditions, 124, ed. Gudrun Litz,
Heidrun Munzert, and Roland Liebenberg (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 317334; Richard
A. Beinert, Another Look at Luthers Battle with Karlstadt, Concordia Teological
Quarterly 73 (2009): 155170. Among more recent monographs, Ulrich Bubenhe-
imer, Consonantia Teologiae et Iurisprudentiae: Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt als
Teologe und Jurist zwischen Scholastik und Reformation, Jus Ecclesiasticum, XXIV
(Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1977), passes over the Orlamnde period, while Calvin
A. Pater, Karlstadt as the Father of the Baptist Movements: Te Emergence of Lay Prot-
estantism (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1984), oers several brief quotes and
observations from Gemach. Volkmar Joestel, Andreas Bodenstein gennant Karlstadt:
Schwrmer und Aufrrher? (Wittenberg: Drei Kastanien Verlag, 2000), as part of the
publishers Biographien zur Reformation series, is necessarily brief (72 pages). An
exciting recent development in Karlstadt research for Anglophones is Amy Nelson
Burnett, trans. and ed., Te Eucharistic Pamphlets of Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt,
Early Modern Studies, 6 (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2011). Mo- Mo-
dern Karlstadt research began with Hermann Barge, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt,
2 vols (Leipzig: Friedrich Brandstetter, 1905), responded to by Karl Mller, Luther
und Karlstadt: Stcke aus ihrem gegenseitigen Verhltnis (Tbingen: Mohr, 1907). On
Gemach, see Barge, vol. 2, 17885.
6. Among the Schwrmer included in Der linke Flgel by Fast, Gemach is the chosen
representative treatise for Karlstadt. In the Radical Reformation by Baylor, Gemach is
Karlstadts sole treatise (only Mntzer had two entries); in addition, under Karlstadt,
the Letter from the Community of Orlamnde to the People of Allstedt (3335)
is presented. Gemach is included in the selections of Karlstadts writings in Furcha,
Te Essential Carlstadt, and Sider, Documents. Yet to be fully investigated, however,
is a more nuanced account of Karlstadts literary inuence upon Conrad Grebel and
the Swiss Brethren. Rupp, Patterns, rightly cites the forceful inuence [of Gemach]
in the German and Swiss cities (152). Of particular signicance for our interest in
Karlstadts Gemach is, to start with, Grebels famous letters of 5th September, 1524,
to Mntzer (nos 6364 in Leland Harder, ed., Te Sources of Swiss Anabaptism: Te
Grebel Letters and Related Documents (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1985)), in which
Grebel repeatedly complains about the false forbearance [schonen] of Luther. We
know from Letter 62 (to his brother-in-law, Vadian, September 3, 1524) that Grebel
had already written, or intended to write, to Karlstadt; this letter to Karlstadt is,
however, not extant. In consulting J.C. Wenger, trans., Conrad Grebels Programmatic
36 J Neil R. Leroux
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ty published writings, which were printed in about 213 editions, one who
among evangelical authors during the years 15181525 published the
largest number of works in German; and, after Luthers, [whose] works had
the second-largest number of editions, the fact that Karlstadt is more familiar
through the comments of his Lutheran opponents than via his own writings
is doubly frustrating.
7
When Gemach is quoted, what is usually provided is
this blunt conclusion (schluss): that where Christians rule, they should not
have regard for any temporal authority. Rather, freely and on their own, they
Letters of 1524 (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1970), we nd not only the two 5th
September letters above translated but also presented in parallel, with German text
and English translation on verso and recto pages respectively, and enumerated con-
secutively, totalling 345 lines. Wenger also prints facsimile pages for the manuscript
lines. He renders the three instances of schonen (and variants) as sparing (lines 37,
46, 129). Grebels mention to Mntzer that a messenger has carried letters to Karl-
stadt is at line 254.
Of course, what cannot be easily determined is precisely what Grebel and his fol-
lowers had heard or read by early September 1524 about schonen der schwachen [spar-
ing the weak]. Mntzer had also complained about Luthers careful treatment of the
weak. In a letter of 29th March 1522, to Philip Melanchthon (14971560), Mntzer
lamented: Our most beloved Martin acts ignorantly because he does not want to
oend the little ones [parvulos]; see Peter Matheson (trans. and ed.), Te Collected
Writings of Tomas Mntzer (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988; paperback edn, 1994), 47
(no. 31); Gnther Franz (ed.), Tomas Mntzer, Schriften und Briefe: Kritische Gesam-
tausgabe (Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte, XXXIII; Gtersloh:
Gtersloher Verlagshaus Gerd Mohn, 1968), 381, lines 2021. Moreover, Grebels
knowledge (in early September 1524) of Mntzers writings seems to be very limited.
However, according to Harders notes on letter 65 (Grebel to Vadian, 14th October
1524), at this date Grebel and his group now have been visited by Karlstadts brother-
in-law, Gerhard Westerburg, who has brought with him eight of Karlstadts recent
works, in search of a publisher, including Gemach. By now (October 1524), Grebel
and his group have learned about the meeting between Karlstadt and Luther at the
Black Bear Inn in Jena on August 22; see Harder, Sources, 295. For some scant atten-
tion to this connection between Karlstadt and Grebel, cf. Harold S. Bender, Conrad
Grebel (c. 14981526): Te Founder of the Swiss Brethren Sometimes Called Anabaptists
(Goshen, IN: Mennonite Historical Society & Goshen College, 1950); Harder, Sourc-
es; Leonhard von Muralt and Walter Schmid, eds., Quellen zur Geschichte der Tufer
in der Schweiz, vol. 1: Zrich (Zrich: S. Hirzel Verlag, 1952), and Heinold Fast, Te
Dependence of the First Anabaptists on Luther, Erasmus, and Zwingli, MQR 30
(1956): 104119; he concludes that the Swiss probably learned of Reformation activi-
ties in Wittenberg from reading Karlstadts booklet against the sparing (schonen) of
the weak, meaning, of course, Gemach; see Fast Dependence, 109, n. 28.
7. Ulrich Bubenheimer, Bodenstein von Karlstadt, Andreas, in Hans J. Hillerbrand,
ed., Te Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, 4 vols (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1996), vol. 4, 180. It does not help, of course, that there is still no comprehen-
sive critical edition of Karlstadts writings and correspondence.
Why Not Now? J 37
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should strike and overthrow what is contrary to God, without preaching be-
forehand.
8
In other words, we have a remark that is clear and useful in dis-
tinguishing Karlstadts position on what is contrary to God (namely, images
9

and the mass
10
) from Luthers, but I argue that we also have something more
in Gemach. Tis treatises sig nicance to contemporary scholars is that it pro-
vides a glimpse into the practical world of Karlstadt as leader of a Christian
congregation (the Orlamnde gemeinde) trying to nd its ecclesiology in the
Word of God. We nd arguments in Gemach that Karlstadt has argued be-
fore and will again.
11
In addition, what should be of further interest is how
Boden stein
12
tries to demonstrate his conclusion. For a careful examination
of Gemach can be a useful exercise in intellectual history, revealing important
dierences Karlstadt had with Luther and the Wittenberg reformers; at the
same time we see some compatibil ity of the exiled theologian with his Saxon
rivals.
13
In addition, from a close reading of not only what Karlstadt chose to
8. Volkmar Joestel, dass wir Christi Fustapfen nachfolgen und leiden, wie er: Andreas
Bodenstein aus Karlstadt: Leben und Lebensbrche (14861541), in Peter Freybe,
ed., Wittenberger Lebenslufe im Umbruch der Reformation (Wittenberg: Drei Kastan-
ien Verlag, 2005), 42 [2851]. Te Gemach quote is from Schriften, 96.1215.
9. Karlstadts position on images in early 1522 was spelled out in Von Abtuhung der
Bilder (January, 1522); Freys / Barge, Verzeichnis, #88. See the modern edition of
Hans Lietzmann in Kleine Texte fr theologische und philologische Vorlesungen und
bungen, 74 (Bonn: A. Marcus und E. Weber Verlag, 1911) [hereafter abbreviated:
Lietzmann, Kleine Texte].
10. Te topic of the Mass is less frequently singled out in Gemach; it is much more the
topic focused in in the eucharistic pamphlets.
11. In the analysis of the Gemach text I will provide references to some of the impor-
tant arguments that occur in other Karlstadt writings, particularly the rst group of
eucharistic pamphlets (15211525), as translated in Burnett, Eucharistic Pamphlets,
referring to them by short title: Adoration (1521), Priesthood (1523), Exegesis (1524),
Masses (1524), Prove (1524). Tese dealt with the timing and extent of practical re-
forms, not only with changes to the mass liturgy but also with the removal of images
from churches. Burnett, Karlstadt and the Origins, 56.
12. Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 4th ed., s.v. Karlstadt (eigentlich: Boden-
stein), by Hans-Peter Hasse; Teologische Realenzyklopdie, s.v. Karlstadt, Andreas
Rudol Bodenstein von (14861541), by Ulrich Bubenheimer; Oxford Encyclopedia
of the Reformation, s.v. Bodenstein von Karlstadt, Andreas, by Ulrich Bubenheimer.
13. Scott Hendrix, Radical Agenda, Reformation Agenda: Te Coherence of the Refor-
mation, in Radikalitt und Dissent im 16. Jahrhundert / Radicalism and Dissent in the
Sixteenth Century, Zeitschrift fr Historische Forschung, 27, ed. Hans-Jrgen Goertz
and James M. Stayer ( Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 2002), 4360. On p. 51 Hen- ( Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 2002), 4360. On p. 51 Hen- On p. 51 Hen-
drix cites Karlstadts project at Orlamnde as an example of the same agenda that all
dissenters started with and which they shared with Luther. Burnett, Karlstadt and the
38 J Neil R. Leroux
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argue (and whywhat rhetoricians call the canon of in ventio), as well as the
manner in which he presented these arguments (the rhetorical can ons of dis-
positio and elocutio), we will discern more accurately what Karlstadt thought
of his audience and opponents, and how his literary mind operated.
14
So
in what follows I present some of the chief features of the argumentation
employed in this piece dedicated to Bartel Bach, city clerk of Joachimsthal,
15

where we know Karlstadt had established friendships that go back to 1520,
when he was working out his views on the canon.
16
For Karlstadts theme of
Origins, argues: Eucharistic theology per se was not an issue of contention between
Luther and Karlstadt, for through April 1522 they agreed in their understanding of
the Last Supper (32, my emphasis).
14. Demonstrating Karlstadts training in the trivial arts (grammar, dialectic, rhetoric) is
not easy, yet no one quibbles over the scholastics love for the art of disputation. Addi-
tionally, scholars are recently beginning to recognize more richly Karlstadts acumen
with language use; see Bill McNiel, Andreas von Karlstadt as a humanist theologian,
in Werner O. Packull and Georey L. Dipple, eds., Radical Reformation Studies: Es-
says presented to James M. Stayer (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), 106119; William Wal-
lace McNiel, Andreas von Karlstadt and Tomas Mntzer: Relatives in Teology and
Reformation, PhD. Dissertation (Queens University, Kingston, ON, 1999); Neil
Leroux, Karlstadts Christag Predig: Prophetic Rhetoric in an Evangelical Mass,
Church History 72 (1), (2003): 10237.
15. Located on the Tringian side of the Ore Mountains (Erzegebirge), Joachimsthal
was founded in 1516. According to C. Brown, by 1520 the free, royal mining town
had quickly grown to 5,000, peaking in 1533 at over 18,000: Over the course of
the 1520s, the town was exposed to nearly every form of Christianity that Germany
had to oer; followers of Luther, Erasmus, Karlstadt, Mntzer, Hubmaier, and the
Pope all rubbed elbows with one another within the narrow connes of the Tal. See
Christopher Boyd Brown, Singing the Gospel: Lutheran Hymns and the Success of the
Reformation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 2627.
16. According to Martin Brecht, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, Martin Luther und
der Kanon der Heiligen Schrift, in Querdenker der Reformation: Andreas Bodenstein
von Karlstadt und seine frhe Wirkung, ed. Ulrich Bubenheimer and Stefan Oehmig
(Wrzburg: Religion & Kultur Verlag, 2001), 135 [135150], Karlstadt was the rst
reformer to write about the topic of the biblical canon, producing two such writings
in 1520. 18th August is the date of the Vorrede of De canonicis scripturis libellus (Freys /
Barge, Verzeichnis #34, and reprinted in Karl August Credner, Zur Geschichte des Can-
ons [Halle, 1847], 316412), and on 4th November brought out Welche bucher Bib-
lisch seint (Freys / Barge, Verzeichnis, #46). In the latter work, Karlstadt had accepted
the canonicity of the Epistle of James. Brecht adds: Te writing [De canonicis scrip-
turis] is dedicated to the Joachimsthal preacher, Wolfgang Kuch, whom Bodenstein
had visited at the beginning of 1520. In addition to Kuch, some highly placed people
are greeted, whom Bodenstein had blessed. In Joachimsthal, Bodenstein was met with
an interest in the Scriptures, and this prompted him to draw up the document on the
canon. Terein he attempted to assess the authority, meaning and direction of the bib-
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the sanctication of the justied was already forming then, and in Gemach
we nd repeated emphasis on the consciences of the justied, revealing (in
this polemical tract) important theological commitments.
17
Moreover, we
have known that Karlstadt had visited Joachimsthal several times in 1522,
and from Hans-Peter Hasses discovery in the Zwickauer Ratsschulbibliothek,
we have the sermon Karlstadt preached there on 29th September (Michaelstag
[St Michaels Day]). In that sermon, Karlstadts next to last topic: oence
[scandalum; ergernusz], surely aroused keen interest. And since the congrega-
tion at Orlamnde was known to have proceeded with reforms involving im-
age removal, surely ocials in Joachimsthal would want to hear more about
handling this issue.
18
In the salutatio
19
Karlstadt greets Bach warmly, wishing him the knowl-
edge of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Tis mention of knowledge
20

is noteworthy, since it foreshadows what Karlstadt argues in the exordium,
namely that he must set his reader straight on the proper source of wisdom
and truth. Tus a twofold purpose is at work: rst, to persuade a friend and
other readers like him;
21
and secondly to declare or assert for all to learn, what
lical writings. (135). Hans-Peter Hasse, Karlstadts Predigt am 29. September 1522
in Joachimsthal, Archiv fr Reformationsgeschichte (= ARG) 81 (1990): 107 [97119],
says Karlstadts dedicatory preface to De canonicis included greeting to eleven Brgers
and that he ultimately dedicated eight dierent writings to Brgers from Joachimsthal.
Wolfgang Kuch had enrolled at Wittenberg University in October 1520. According to
Fast, Der linke Flgel, 251, three of Karlstadts dedicated [to Joachimsthalers] writings
were printed in 1520. Tese dedicated writings are also discussed briey under the
topic of Die Abendmahlstraktate 1524 by Ralf Ponader, Caro nichil prodest. Joan.
vi. Das eisch ist nicht nutz / sonder der geist: Karlstadts Abendmahlverstndnis in
der Auseinandersetzung mit Martin Luther 15211524, in Andreas Bodenstein von
Karlstadt (14861541): Ein Teologe der frhen Reformation, ed. Sigrid Loo and Mar-
kus Matthias (Lutherstadt Wittenberg: Hans Lut, 1998), 226227 [223245].
17. Goertz, Karlstadt, Mntzer and the Reformation, 6, 8, 12.
18. Hasse, Karlstadts Predigt am 29. September 1522 in Joachimsthal, 109; Karlstadts
sermon text at 116.17117.1 (Nunc de scandalo.; in Stephan Roths macronic
transcription); Joestel, Ostthringen und Karlstadt, 87. Karlstadt had concluded this
topic by arguing that those who do not progress in the Christian life should be expelled
from the Church: Christus dedit suis hic ein leip(lich) strae et glad(ium) domit wir
mochten strae(n) seduc(entes) a Christiana vita, sed videndum est vt beszerte sich.
etc. vt(ique) exclus(sio) ex(tra) ecclesiam et si noluerit etc. ulla pestilens dingk venit in
hunc mundum qual f(a)l(s)a doctrina. Hasse, Karlstadts Predigt, 117.1014.
19. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.19; Fast, Der linke Flgel, 251; Furcha, Te Es-
sential Carlstadt, 248; Sider, Documents, 50; Baylor, Radical Reformation, 49.
20. Fast, Der linke Flgel, renders kunst as Erkenntnis.
21. Ulrich Bubenheimer, Andreas Bodenstein genannt Karlstadt (14861541), Frankische
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Karlstadts position regarding reforms is, and how it diers from Luthers at
Wittenberg. In his Exordium
22
Karlstadt incorporates the epistolary narratio
(brief stating of the problem) with an extended introduction that lays the
groundwork for his rst major argument (Section 1). Karlstadts argument to
Bach is that he should not be surprised that his desire to proceed slowly with
reforms is erroneous, for the chief scribes and the entire population erred in
the past and were capable of error. Tus in this section Karlstadt injects a
familiar dichotomy that has informed his argumentation for the last couple
of years.
23
He oers a dissociative argument
24
that drives a wedge between (A)
worldly opinion, and (B) authoritative truth. Included in the former (A) are:
all learned persons, princes, and the whole crowd;
25
the great mass;
26
everyone;
27

the wis dom of the wise;
28
whether learned or ignorant.
29
Tese are all capable
of error and stum bling;
30
ignorance or error;
31
all adding up to naught and
folly;
32
genuine harlotry and spiritual adultery;
33
harlotry and whorishness;
34

Lebensbilder 14 (1991): 54 [4764], reminds us that Karlstadts dedicatee in Von Abtuhung
der Bilder is Count Wolfgang von Schlick of Joachimsthal. In 1521/22, at the high point
of his literary production, Karlstadt had a following in Joachimsthal and Annaberg.
22. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 7475; Fast, Der linke Flgel, 251254; Furcha, Te Essen-
tial Carlstadt, 248249; Sider, Documents, 5052; Baylor, Radical Reformation, 4952.
23. As found in Te Meaning of the Term Gelassen and Where in Holy Scripture It is
Found (April, 1523), Freys / Barge, Verzeichnis, #104105; Furcha, Te Essential
Carlstadt, 133168. In the Michaelstag sermon of 1522 Karlstadt had argued that
Te greatest, ugliest oence is false doctrine [dz groste greulichd(ste) ergernusz etc. est
mala falsche doctrina Christus]. Cf. Hasse, Karlstadts Predigt, 117.1.
24. Chaim Perelman, Te Realm of Rhetoric, trans. William J. Kluback, introduction
by Carroll C. Arnold (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1982),
126137; see Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Te New Rhetoric: A
Treatise on Argumentation, trans. John Wilkinson and Purcell Weaver (Notre Dame,
IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969), 411459.
25. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.25, 29; see also 76.5.
26. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.22.
27. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.27.
28. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.28.
29. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 75.12.
30. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.29.
31. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.26.
32. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 75.11.
33. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 75.35.
34. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 75.4.
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despite how it all seems good to us.
35
Comprising the latter (B) are: Gods
word;
36
Gods commandments,
37
Gods true sayings,
38
Gods judgments,
39
Gods
true foundations;
40
divine righteousness and truth;
41
pure truth alone.
42
Tese all,
in contrast to the former, are enduring, a foundation and rock upon which
one can stand. One is therefore bound to Scripture so that no one can be
guided by the whims of his heart.
43
Karlstadt supports these arguments with
numerous scriptural references in the margins (six from the Old Testament,
three from the New).
44
His argumentation invokes God, who has: stipulat-
ed; clearly shown;
45
said; calls; for bade; ordered. God has done so specically
through the biblical writers Moses and Paul.
Tat all scholars (gelarter), including ordained priests and bishops,
46
can
err is an acceptable conclusion for readers to draw, given that Karlstadt has
already argued that, should even apostles, Paul, or angels fall away or teach
otherwise, the truth of Scripture and the one who clings to it will remain
unconcerned, without vacillation. Tis particular line of argument, called ar-
gumentum a fortiori (from strength), or qal wachomer, rea sons from stronger
to weaker; once a more dicult premise is suciently established, it is easier
35. gut duncket; Sider, Documents, 51.
36. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.23; 75.5, 34; 76.6.
37. gebot; Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 75.29.
38. waren reden; Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 76.7.
39. urteilen; Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 76.10.
40. warhatige grnde; Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 75.25.
41. gtlicher gerechtigkeit und warheit; Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 76.14.
42. Die blosse warheit aber / alein; Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 75.17.
43. Karlstadt argued the importance of truth (over custom) in November 1521 in his
Forms (Von beiden gestaldten der heylige Messze); see Burnett, Eucharistic Pamphlets,
50. He championed the value of Gods Word (over a priests words) in his Christmas
Day Sermon of 1521 (Predig); see Burnett, Eucharistic Pamphlets, 88. In his Priest-
hood (Von dem Priesterthum und oper Christi [December 1523], Burnett, Eucharistic
Pamphlets, 89), Karlstadt lauded the knowledge of Gods merciful will, knowledge
of Christ, and divine knowledge. Similar arguments are found in his Dialogue (Oc-
tober 1524); see Burnett, Eucharistic Pamphlets, 163165.
44. Two from the Prophets (Jeremiah 23; Isaiah 2), four from the Pentateuch (Leviticud
4; Deuteroniomy 12; Numbers 15 [twice]); two from the Gospels (Luke 15; Mat-
thew. 16), one from Paul (Galatians 1).
45. Te sentence actually begins with Da durch (by this [Gods stipulation in Leviticus 4])
in rst position, indicating Karlstadts emphasis on the texts transparent authority.
46. So Sider, Documents, 52, n. 2.
42 J Neil R. Leroux
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for readers to accept a less dicult one.
47
Karlstadt explicitly uses this line of
argument (how much more; meaning even more likely) frequently in this
tract.
48
Here he uses it only implicitly.
49
In my analysis that follows, I organize
my remarks under the ve head ings Karlstadt uses in the Gemach printing.
In whatever one does, one shou|d a|so not |ook to others
50

Karlstadt argues that knowledge prompts action, that action is strongly implied
in knowl edge, so that in behaviour also we must look only to God. He begins
accordingly, As I have just now shown through scriptural proofs, no one should
look to another or wait for others to follow ones lead in knowledge of the truth
[Jn 5:3941]. Tis applies to ones deeds.
51
Moreover, when we consider how
he closes this section, what Karlstadt believes he has now proven, is: So you
47. Put another way, although the second premise of an a fortiori argument derives its
acceptance from comparison to the rsttherein being found easier for the reader
to believethe arguer (writer) has more at stake in the second premise, for it is the
one needing to be accepted. Te rst premise is simply selected for use ahead of the
second. On a fortiori, see Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, 299, 343344, 354, 478;
on qal wachomer, see Richard N. Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Pe-
riod (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), 6869. Reading RSV, how much more and
much more are used argumentatively in Deut. 31:27; 1 Sam. 21:5; 23:3; 2 Sam.
4:11; 16:11; Job 4:19; Prov. 11:31; 15:11; 19:7; 21:27; Ezek. 14:21; Mt. 6:30; 7:11;
10:25; 12:12; Luke 11:13; 12:24; 12:28; Rom. 5:910, 15, 17; 11:12, 24; 1 Cor. 6:3;
2 Cor. 3:11; Phil. 2:12; Heb. 8:6; 9:14; 12:9.
48. Earlier in 1524 Karlstadt used it to make precise arguments about Sabbath obliga-
tions. See Regarding the Sabbath and Statutory Holy Days, Freys / Barge, Verzeichnis,
#115118; Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 317338 [330332]. He also uses how
much more arguments in Recipients (Von den Empfahern / Zeychen / und zusag des
heyligenn Sacraments eysch und bluts Christi [1521]) and Prove (Ob man mit heyliger
schrit erweysen mge[1524]); see Burnett, Eucharistic Pamphlets, 24 and 118.
49. I nd Jesus to be employing implicit qal wachomer (argumentum a fortiori) in Mark 2:1
12; Mt. 9:18; Luke 5:1726, when he allows his listeners to draw the logical inference
that it is easier to say: your sins are forgiven you than to say: Arise, take up your bed
and walk. Terefore, when he then performs the latter miracle (the more dicult), the
scribes can reason that Jesus is thus also able to perform the former miracle, forgiving
sins (the less dicult). Te point of view of the audience (scribes) is the crucial one.
50. Jm thun sol man auch nit v andere sehen; Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 680
[76.2021]; Fast, Der linke Flgel, 254259; Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 250
253; Sider, Documents, 5256; Baylor, Radical Reformation, 5256.
51. Nu wie ich itzt / durch schritlich gezegnus beweiset hab / dz sich keener nach den
andern sol umbsehen oder warten biss die anderen hernach volgen / in erkantnus
der warheit. Also auch ist es mit dem thun. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 6.2225;
translation in Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 250.
Why Not Now? J 43
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have a candid justication for my view that we here (at Orlamnde)
52
were not
obliged to refrain either in teaching or activity from carrying out Gods com-
mands until our neighbors and the guzzlers at Wittenberg followed.
53

Karlstadt here attempts to demonstrate that if one is to look only to God
for knowledge, then one ought also consider God alone for ones behaviour,
for the entire tract must cover these two aspects: authority behind our knowl-
edge and authority for our actions. If we say the Scriptures alone are the sole
legitimate source of knowledge, then we ought also to nd in them our sole
justication for action. It would thus follow that taking ones justication
to act from the status of others (their knowledge and/or behav ior) violates
our principle of the suciency of Scripture for both knowledge and action.
In these early sections Karlstadt steps back and forth between connecting
knowledge and action, and separating divine wisdom-authority from human
wisdom-authority.
54

52. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt (253) does not translate alhie. Sider, Documents, 56,
n. 5, says Karlstadt undoubtedly wrote from Orlamnde. Baylor, Radical Reforma-
tion, 56, as well as in the Exordium, 49, places Orlamnde in the text, in brackets.
53. Also habet ir redliche entschldigung / das wir alhie / wider mit der leer nach mit
der that stil zuhalten schuldig gewest / gottes gebotten zu volbrengen / biss unsere
nachburn / unnd die schlemmer zu Wittenberg nachfolgten. Hertzsch, Karlstadts
Schriften, 80.2427; translation in Sider, Documents, 56. Not only Karlstadt but oth-
ers (Tomas Mntzer and Valentin Ickelsamer) had echoed this reproach about heavy
drinking by Luther and followers. Ickelsamer provided details: He complained to
other students that Luther sat in a pretty room and merrily drank beer with other
doctors and lords while many urgent matters were neglected; Valentin Ickelsamer,
Clag etlicher Bruder: An alle Christen von der grossen Ungerechtickeyt und Tiran-
nei, so Endressen Bodensteyn von Carolstat yetzo von Luther zu Wittenbergk ges-
chicht (1525), in Neudrucke deutscher Literaturwerke, 118 (1893), 43 [4155], ed.
Ludwig Endres, cited by Roy L. Vice, Valentin Ickelsamers Odyssey from Rebellion
to Quietism, MQR 69 (1995): 77 [7592]. Luther scholars are familiar with Luthers
own boast in the Invocavit Sermons that the Word did the work, while all he did was
drink Wittenberg beer with his Philip [Melanchthon] and [Nikolaus] Amsdorf ;
see Luthers Works: American Edition [ =LW], 55 vols, ed. H. Lehman and J. Pelikan
(Philadelphia: Fortress Press; St. Louis: Concordia, 19551986), vol. 51:77; Hans-
Ulrich Delius (ed.), Martin Luther: Studienausgabe [= LStA] (Berlin: Evangelische
Verlagsanstalt, 1982), vol. 2:537.69; D. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Ausgabe
[= WA], 67 vols, ed. J.K.F. Knaake et al. (Weimar: Hermann Bhlaus Nachfolger,
18832009), vol. 10(3):18.1016
54. Karlstadts argument begins by derivings important connection between knowing
and doing from Gods authority in Scripture. However, his argument also claims
to be showing that we are not to follow others in our actions; this latter eort is not
so easily proven in the texts he cites. For chapters 45 of Deuteronomy explicitly
command obedience to Gods teaching, but only imply that one must disregard all
44 J Neil R. Leroux
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Te issue in Gemach is far more signicant than whether one policy over
another is more prudent. Karlstadt characterises the go-slow position as
unbalanced, insubordi nate disobedience against God: It is God who shall
punish those who stay away when he gave them orders. Obedience to Gods
commands must be carried out regardless of ex tenuating circumstances or
putative excuses. In pursuing his argument, Karlstadt consid ers the crucial
topic of brotherly love, including the signicant, God-ordained human re-
lationship of marriage, a covenant into which Karlstadt himself had entered
in January 1522.
God will punish them all together when he summons those who failed to
appear even though they adduce golden excuses and trot out the best reasons
of brotherly love. For there should always be a great and special love between
married people. Nevertheless, Christ says that he who excused himself be-
cause of his wife [Luke 14:20]
55
was unworthy of his meal. Each person (who
understands correctly) should act correctly without timidity and without gaz-
ing about.
56
One small, potential concession (for the marriage bond) is dwarfed by the
fusil lade of textual support, most of it from the Gospels, that Karlstadt then
launches. He con cisely dismisses brotherly love as evil and harmful (arg und
schdlich), and soon he will argue at length in Section 4 that brotherly love is
a devilish cover-up. Clearly, then, doing nothing, waiting, looking to others for
example are all unacceptable behaviours, whatever the reasons given. Nothing
short of complete fullling of Gods commands will do. Karlstadt makes the
obedience mandate strongly present with a personal pledge. In it he responds
others in deciding how to act. At this point, Karlstadt may simply expect his readers
to accept his claim about disregarding the weak, based on arguments in his Exordium.
In citing Deuteronomy 45, Karlstadt has used a text that carefully establishes the
signicant process of God teaching, so that his people hear and learn, and then obey.
Readers of the English translations in Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt (250) and Sider,
Documents (50) can, however, be misled when they read Karlstadt to be saying God is
commanding us in these texts to be teaching his commands; that, in fact, comes later,
in Deuteronomy 6, not used by Karlstadt. Te agent who teaches (lehren) in Deuter-
onomy 45 is God (4.1, 5). In Deut. 5:31 God tells Moses that he must teach (lehren)
the commandments. In Deut. 6:14 he instructs fathers to teach their children.
55. Karlstadt did not enter the Luke 14 reference in the margin.
56. Got wirt sie all sampt straen so er fordert die auss bliben / ob sie gleich guldene ent- Got wirt sie all sampt straen so er fordert die auss bliben / ob sie gleich guldene ent-
schldung furwenden / unnd die beste ursachen brderlichen lieb frweltzen. Denn
es solt je ein grosse und sunderliche lieb sein zwischen eeleten / dannest spricht
Christus / das der seines malhs unwirdig was / der sich mit seinem weib entschuldiget
etc. Es sol ein iglicher recht thun / (der recht versteet) one schew und one umbsehen.
Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 78.814; trans. Sider, Documents, 54.
Why Not Now? J 45
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to opposing viewpoints from Luther in the Invocavit Sermons,
57
as well as
the subsequent censorship of his publications
58
and expulsion from Electoral
Saxony: Accord ingly, they will not be able to tie a blindfold or curtain in
front of my eyes to stop me from doing something that God wants, or to do
something God forbids, even if they should preach and write for a thousand
years about oences and brotherly love.
59
Karl stadt nds his contemporaries
who advocate going slow (gemach) to be worse than Lots wife or those whom
Christ condemned for looking back. Troughout this section, and reversing
his pattern in the Exordium (eighty lines), here in 167 lines Karlstadt has used
fewer texts from the Old Testament (ve) than from the New (fourteen).
60

In the follow ing section Karlstadt returns squarely to the Hebrew Scriptures,
particularly Deuteron omy, for biblical evidence.
Every congregation, be it sma|| or |arge, must see for itse|f and do what is
right and good without waiting for anyone
61

Tis section appears at rst glance to be a digression, interrupting the direct ow from
Section 1 (on doing what one knows to be right, based only on Gods commands) to
Sec tion 3 (on the importance of action following directly and surely from knowledge.)
Yet closer scrutiny of the section heading itself reveals that this is no digression at all.
Here Karlstadt explores the nature of the concept of covenant (bund) and
its operations: laws and statutes, ordinances, customs and practices, rights.
Karlstadt establishes the jurisdic tions unto which the covenant was given: the
separate communities (gemeinen) and the household (hauss). It is these last
57. LW 51:70100; LStA 2:530558; WA 10 (3):164. For more on Karlstadts theme of
biblischen Rechts (ius biblicum), see Bubenheimer, Consonantia, 230235.
58. Censorship was ordered on 27th April, 1522; Barge, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt
vol. II, 562; Hans-Peter Hasse, Bcherzensur an der Universitt Wittenberg im 16.
Jahrhundert, in 700 Jahre Wittenberg: Stadt Universitt Reformation, ed. Stefan
Oehmig (Weimar: Hermann Bhlaus Nachfolger, 1995), 190 [187212].
59. Dem nach werden sie mir dz schurtztchlin oder frhang nit fr mein augen binden
/ das ich etwas lass / dz got haben wil / oder etwas thu / das gott verbet / ob sie mir
tausent iar von ergernssen und brderlicher lieb predigten und schreiben. Hertzsch,
Karlstadts Schriften, 78.3135; Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 251252.
60. Old Testament (Deut. 4:2; 5:1; Lev. 5:17; Ps. 50; Gen. 19:26); New Testament (John
5:3941; Luke 12:47; 2 Cor. 6:1416; Luke 14:20; John 14:21; Mt. 12:30; Luke
9:62; Luke 17; John 21:1922; Acts 910; Mt. 10:5; John 4:27; Acts 21:2023;
Epistle to the Galatians).
61. Ein ieglich gemain / sie sey klein oder gro / sol fr sich sehen / das sie recht vnd wol
thu / vnd au niemants warten. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 8082 [80.2830];
Fast, Der linke Flgel, 259262; Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 253255; Sider, Doc-
uments, 5658; Baylor, Radical Reformation, 5658.
46 J Neil R. Leroux
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two entities and terms that Karlstadt considers to have the most relevant au-
thority and responsibility under Gods covenant. His trajectory re mains at
the level of God and community, as mediated by Moses (later by Paul), and
as implemented by Levites or housefathers. God holds accountable the sloth-
ful and neglect ful, who do not use their ears and eyes for understanding, nor
their bodies for righteous living. In citing texts from Deut. 29, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11,
13, respectively,
62
Karlstadt asserts that Gods consistent message is simple:
the covenant people are to do what God teaches them. Moreover, Gods peo-
ple were to be content with his teaching and his works; neither were they to
add to or take away from his teaching.
63
So rmly bound (hetiglich bande)
were the people to the covenant (bund) that they were not permitted either to
teach or to do (anders leren noch anders thun) other than what they had heard.
Because of this bond (bandes) Moses called the law a covenant (bund). Citing
Deuteron omy 26, 27, 28, and quoting Moses at Deut 6:7, Karlstadt argues,
in an implied argu mentum a fortiori, that not only did the covenant apply to
all who heard Moses, but also for generations to come [dein kinder und kind-
skinder], not for a single day but all days of ones life.
64

Action must immediate|y and a|ways
65
fo||ow understanding
66

In occupying himself so intimately with what contemporary educators might
call the learning processes by which God produces understanding in his
people, Karlstadt seems to imperil his position later on in the tract. For, in
rebutting anticipated opposing argu ments (= prolepsis) Karlstadt downplays
the necessity of understanding everything about Gods commands before we
obey them. Ten Karlstadt oers an extended prolepsis, which engages not a
trivial but rather a most crucial objection, one his reader (Bach et al.) would
62. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 254, cites Deut. 13:1 at Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften,
81.11, which has Karlstadt citing Deut. 12. Te verse about adding and taking away
from the law is Deut. 12:32 in Vulgate and English versions. However, in the Ger-
man Bible it is in Deut. 13:1. Fast, Der linke Flgel, cites Deut. 12:29.
63. Te theme of neither adding to nor taking away from Scripture is one Karlstadt
argues, citing Deuteronomy 4 and 12, in Exegesis (Auszlegung dieser wort Christi)
[1524]; see Burnett, Eucharistic Pamphlets, 145.
64. Nicht einen tag / sondern alle tag / dein leben lang. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 82.3.
65. bald und allzeit, Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 82.30f.; trans. Sider, Documents.
Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt (255) reverses Karlstadts doublet; Sider, Documents
(59) preserves it.
66. Die that sol dem verstand bald vnd allzeit folgen. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften,
8287 [82.3031]); Fast, Der linke Flgel [omitted]; Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt,
255260; Sider, Documents, 5964; Baylor, Radical Reformation, 5864.
Why Not Now? J 47
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raise. Te point herein contains two opposing theological positions, thus pro-
viding a readers dilemma: Te rst position, which I call continual obedience,
is a summary of Karlstadts own line of argument: that being Gods servant,
as grounded in Scripture, means one should act, work, love, and speak ac-
cording to divine law continually, per petually or
67
at all timesthe latter
being an expression Karlstadt utters not only in his heading to this section
but ve times in six lines.
68
Te authoritative voice cites Christ (Jn 13.35),
with additional texts cited from Old Testament (Ps. 34:2; Prov. 17:17) and
Apocrypha (Tobit 4:20).
69
Te second position Karlstadt brings, which I call
episodic obedience, seems directly to oppose the rst, for it recalls selected
Old Testament texts that teach the contingent nature of some of Gods com-
mands. Te text in Eccl. 3:1
70
holds that everything has its season (seine zeit).
Karlstadt elaborates:
In other words, nothing can go on forever; for a while it happens; then it
stands still. So also God has set up certain commandments to be kept for a
time, but not all our life or every day, as the Hebrew text and you would have
it. Among these are the Sabbath on the seventh day, the seventh week, the
seventh year, the ftieth yearall of which are based on the number seven
[Gen. 20:9; Deut. 16:13]the paschal feast for a certain time of the year;
the festival of booths for a certain time, and the like [Lev. 25:123]. Tese
had to happen for a specic time, but they were not to last forever.
71
67. Karlstadts precise doublet is alle zeit oder ewer leben lang. Tus Furcha, Te Essential
Carlstadt (257) rendering the doublet conjunction and is mistaken.
68. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 84.2631.
69. Tis is the only text from the Apocrypha that Karlstadt cites in this tract. Karlstadt
considered the apocryphal books and the Church Fathers, who ranked slightly below
them, as unarmoured soldiers; see McNiel, Karlstadt and Mntzer, 35. In De ca-
nonicis scripturis libellus, Karlstadt lists Tobit among those apocryphal books that are
non-canonical but still hagiographi; see H.H. Howarth, Te Origin and Authority of
the Biblical Canon according to the Continental Reformers: 1 Luther and Karlstadt,
Journal of Teological Studies 8 (1907): 321365 [334].
70. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 257, n. 13), Sider, Documents (61), and Hertzsch,
Karlstadts Schriften (103, endnotes for 84) all acknowledge that Karlstadts marginal
citation of Eccle. 9. is erroneous.
71. dz ist. Es mag kein geschet ewiglich geschehene / ein zeit geschichts / ein zeit liget
es still. Auch hat gott etlich gebott also gestellet / das wir die selben au etliche zeit
halten mssen / und nit unser leben lang oder alle tag / als hebreisch inhelt / unnd du
haben wilt. Als nemlich den Sabbat am sibenden tag / sibende wochen / sibend iar /
funfzigest iar / welches auch auss der sibenden zal her kam. Das fest passah ein zeit
im iar / das fest der laubber htten und der gleichen / ein zeit / die nur au ein zeit
geschehen musten / unnd nicht alle tag. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 84.3485.3;
48 J Neil R. Leroux
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So the apparent antinomy is now in place: (A) Karlstadts positionobey
commandments at all times throughout your life; continual obedience; no stag-
nation [versus] (B) opposing positionobey commandments only for a time
but not all our life or every day; episodic obedience; for a while, then stand still.
Following the objection, Karlstadt lays out his response, which seems to
embrace both positions. Episodic obedience most certainly does not mean
hesitation but rather alert sensitivity to the needs of ones neighbor, as per-
ceived by one under the continual obligation of Gods commandment (gottes
gesetz) of love. Now he can proceed to diagnose a contemporary condition
that meets his criteria: the presence of images or masses. To wit, provided
that rst, these are found in places where we are in control, or secondly,
among those who confess God, the idols or masses must be dealt with as
God commanded, given that, thirdly, they are God-blaspheming and Christ-
blaspheming. Karlstadt concludes that dealing with idols or masses means
removal (abthuung) must be done daily throughout our lives. Moreover, re-
trieving his jurisdictional principle from the previous section, the removal
action ought to occur at the local level of the congregation, for each congre-
gation in its own city is obligated to keep them [images, masses] away from
its own [Deuteronomy 14 and 15].
72
Oence
73
and Love of Neighbour are a Devi|ish C|oak for A|| Kinds of Evi|
74
Tis section being the penultimate one in the treatise, Karlstadt here turns
up the rhetorical heat to advance more damning charges against the opposing
position, not only attempting to show it erroneous but also evil. He will man-
age to shift the notion of oence (ergernss) from passive to active signica-
tion, for the more sinister he paints the particular sins of permitting images,
trans. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 257.
72. Sider, Documents, translates die ire zu enthalten as to restrain the error. Sider, Docu-
ments (62), Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt (258), and Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften
(103, endnotes for 85) are puzzled at Karlstadts marginal citation of Deuteronomy
14 and 15, while Baylor, Radical Reformation (61) cites them without comment.
73. Ergernus vnd liebe des nechsten ist ein tefelischer mantell aller boheyt. Hertsch, Hertzsch,
Karlstadts Schriften, 88.12. Heading from Sider, Documents, 64. Furcha, Te Essential
Carlstadt (260) reads Giving Oence in both section heading and rst sentence, which
is unjustied strictly by Ergernus alone here, whereas on the title page (73) ergernssen
der schwachen verschonen is rightly rendered avoid oending the weak. As it happens,
however, Furchas reading is faithful to the sense of Karlstadts argument.
74. Hertzsch, Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 9891; Fast, Der linke Flgel, 262266;
Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 260263; Sider, Documents, 6468; Baylor, Radical
Reformation, 6468.
Why Not Now? J 49
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the greater the damage done. In Von Abtuhung der Bilder (1522) Karlstadt
had gone to great lengths to show oence rendered unto God when one
makes, venerates, or tolerates images. Here his emphasis is much more on
the need for decisive, not hesitant, action against images. He may presume
readers already know images are wrong; now they need to know that they
must proceed swiftly against them. In 1522 Karlstadt still held out hope that
rulers would take action against images; now he wants congregational leaders
to wait no longer. Te rst step, however, is to ensure that readers appreciate
the full depth of the evil of images; that evil, it must be remembered, has to
t within the framework of purported good intended for the weak, which the
go-slow strategy allegedly invokes.
In the rst step of the argument Karlstadt transforms his prior use of the
more innocuous term images, swapping it for the more malevolent idols.
He labels our images [unser bildnus] repeatedly as idols (gtzen). As it hap-
pens, Karlstadt only twice uses the term images (bildnus, bilder) in this section
of 160 lines; he uses idols (gtzen) or [false] gods (gttern) twenty times. Tis
usage contrasts with his earlier practice of seldom using any of these terms
(only seven times in 550 lines). Moreover, this prevalence of idols terminol-
ogy in the rst step (twenty lines) cannot be relegated to scriptural language
from the Pentateuch, for Karlstadt oers no textual references at all. Rather,
he weaves this terminology into an exposition of the contemporary scene of
decadence. Tus, Karlstadt has not only recast images into idols, but he has
begun to turn the concepts of brotherly love and oence on their heads.
Still, the most potent weapon is Karlstadts analogy (gleichnuss)
75
of the
young child playing with a sharp knife. Since this analogy responds so di-
rectly to an analogy oered earlier by Luther (an enemy ties a rope around a
brothers neck) in Eine treue Vormahnung (1522),
76
here is Karlstadts analogy
in full:
Now I ask whether, if I should see that a little innocent child holds a sharp
pointed knife in his hand and wants to keep it, I would show him brotherly
love if I would allow him to keep the dreadful knife as he desires with the
result that he would wound or kill himself, or when I would break his will
and take the knife? You must always say that if you take from the child what
75. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 260 renders gleichnuss as parable; Sider, Documents,
65 reads comparison. I take Karlstadt here not to be referring to what Isaiah says,
for he seems to be uttering expository declaration, not telling a story. Rather, I take
Karlstadt to be using Isaiah to recall a theme that his analogy will exemplify.
76. LW 45: 5774; WA 8: 676687.
50 J Neil R. Leroux
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brings injury to him, you do a fatherly or brotherly Christian deed.
77
Karlstadt has used matching doublets(A) a destructive, foolish (schedlich
/ nerrisch) thing [= idols] corresponds to (B) a sharp, pointed (spitzig, scharp)
knife in the hands of (C) a little innocent (klein unmndig) childto enact
the situation he has argued: whether innocent child or foolish schwachen,
neither is aware of the grave danger; nor is either seemingly able to wrest
himself from it. Karlstadts child can cry over being rescued, yet the reaction
is irrelevant, for the danger has been averted, and only by prompt emergency
action. Contrastingly, Luther depicts the situation with the schwachen much
dierently, for his analogy (gleychniss) casts the victim as an adult capable of
responding to the means of rescue. Luther does see the schwachen as victims
(If an enemy had tied a rope around your brothers neck, endangering his
life), but in his account a fool (narr) who rushes in and slashes away with
a knife could either stab or strangle his brother, doing more damage than
either rope or enemy.
78
Karlstadts scene, however, poses risk to the child
only through inaction, so that the obviously Christian deed is for the adult
parent
79
to rush to rescue the imperiled child.
Not only does inaction pose danger to the weak, it constitutes a distor-
tion of Scripture. Gods Word, from Christ and Moses, has been nullied
by anyone who would add his own words against God; these expressions for
adding (setzen, zusatz) to the Word are sprinkled nine times throughout the
remainder of the treatise, compared to just twice prior.
80
When one main-
tains that going easy (gemach) and being lenient toward the weak (schone der
schwachen) are Gods will, he makes of Christ and Moses a falschen Christen
unnd propheten. Christ says it would be better for you to cut o, tear out,
and cast from you, than to be cast into the re of hell along with those oen-
sive things [Mt. 18:8].
81
Karlstadt confronts Luthers go-slow position, not
77. Demnach frag ich / wenn ich sehe / das ein dkein unmndig kindelin ein spitzig
scharp messer in seiner handt hett / und wlt es gern behalten / ob ich jm denn
brderliche lieb beweiset / wenn ich jm das schedlich messer und seinen willen liess /
damitt sichs verwundet oder ertdt / oder denn / wenn ich jm seinen willen breche /
und das messer nm? Du must ie sagen / wenn du dem kind nimbst / das im schaden
brengt / so thustu ein vterlich oder brderlich Christelich werck. Hertzsch, Karl-
stadts Schriften, 88.3389.2; trans. Sider, Documents, 65.
78. LW 45: 73; WA 8: 686.48.
79. On parental, see n. 91 (below).
80. zusatz: cf. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 87.35; 92.17, 30, 35; 93.25, 27; 95.11;
setzen: 89.31, 34; 95.10; not add to or subtract from [nicht darzu nach dar von
thun]: 87.39.
81. Christus spricht / es ist dir besser / du hawest abe / reissest auss / und werest von
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by abandoning Mosaic texts but by searching them meticulously. Tus far in
doing so, Karlstadt has bolstered the opposing position from within Exodus
23. Now in the nal section we shall see how he topples this position, which
perhaps has troubled Karlstadts reader in Joachimsthal.
82
Answer
83
As Karlstadt continues his exegetical argument in the Antwort, he amasses
additional textual evidence, in order to compile an unassailable case. He at-
tempts to demonstrate that: (1) additional evidence from Deut. 7 corrobo-
rates previous ndings; (2) specic details of the expulsion orders God gave
the Israelites
84
infer that immediate, rapid action is precisely what He was
dictating; (3) exact timing of the carrying out of the orders is provided; (4)
Gods purposes in issuing such orders are explicitly oered.
85
Karlstadt then
presents his conclusion, stipulating through reminder of the jurisdictional
grounds for acting aggressively upon that which one knows to be right. He
oers: rst, the circumstances that must obtainwhere Christians rule; sec-
ondly, on what basis they are to actfreely on their own, not considering
dir / dann das du mit den ergerlichen dingen werdest in das hellisch fewr geworf-
fen. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 89.3890.8; trans. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt,
261262. In the Michaelstag sermon of 1522 the text is Mt. 18:110, although Karl-
stadt did not refer to that text in the section on oence.
82. Still mysterious are Karlstadts remarks (Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 90.3539)
where he seems to be responding to an opponent who advocated using Gods order-
ing of the Jews not to eliminate their enemies hastily, as authoritative for the contem-
porary images question. Nothing in his Invocavit Sermons or On Receiving Both
Kinds indicates that Luther ever took such a position. What Karlstadt says in our
quote above (Letter to the Princes of Saxony, n. 126) points away from Luther being
the advocate of the position Karlstadt challenges here.
83. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 9297; Fast, Der linke Flgel, 266268; Furcha, Te
Essential Carlstadt, 263268; Sider, Documents, 6871; Baylor, Radical Reformation,
6873.
84. In Masses (Wider die alte und newe Papistische Messen [1524], see Burnett, Eucharistic
Pamphlets, 114), Karlstadt argues: God long ago recognized our carelessness and
destroyed it through his prohibitions when he said to the Jews, When you enter the
land of the Gentiles and see their lovely and harsh worship with which they serve
their gods, you should not do as they do, Deuteronomy 12 [:2931]. Tat is to say,
You should not be moved to worship me in any other way than I have commanded
by either the appearance or the harshness of divine worship or anything else or at
anything other than Gods ordinance.
85. In both Deut. 7:2 and Exod. 23:33 Moses includes explanatory clauses (lest they )
that God oers for his purposes behind the expulsion orders.
52 J Neil R. Leroux
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government; thirdly, the generally-dened infractions they must oppose
what is contrary to God; fourthly, the exception they cannot permiteven
without preaching.
86

Tat which God forbids and which makes one sin against him and which
destroys the neighbor, one should take away immediately, the sooner the bet-
ter. For thereby one serves God and does good to the neighbor, even though
he grumbles and scolds because of it. And one brings him to consider what is
best for him. To that end, may God help us. Amen.
87
It is evident (and has been since section 2) that Karlstadt has shifted some-
what from his position of early 1522 (Von Abtuhung der Bilder), which called
upon secular authorities to implement the Wittenberg Ordnung of 24th Jan-
uary.
88
What has not changed, however, is the notion that oences do not
inhere in internal, psychological reactions of people but rather are principally
seen as external harm and danger lurking about, capable of destruction.
89

86. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 96.1215. Tis conclusion is one of the most com-
monly quoted lines from Gemach found in recent studies of Karlstadt; see Joestel,
dass wir Christi Fustapfen, 42.
87. Das got verbotten / unnd gegen im sndigen macht unnd den nechsten verderbt /
sol man bald hinnemen / wie ehe wie besser / dann damit dienet man got / und thut
dem nechsten gut / ob er gleich drumb murret und schnurret / und brengt jnen zu
trachten nach seinem besten / dazu hel uns gott. Amen. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schrif-
ten, 96.2997.3; trans. Sider, Documents, 7071.
88. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 118; Lietzmann, Kleine Texte (20.3321.5).
89. Convinced that images and the mass violated Gods standards, as clearly shown from
Scripture, Karlstadt judged that he had little alternative but to take action, regardless
of whom that action oended. In the words of Bubenheimer, For Karlstadt there
exists an oence in faith if something is objectively in conict with divine Law.
Tis state of things oends, in that it stands in the way of real faith, even though
the erring believer may be unaware of this. Cf. Bubenheimer, Scandalum et ius
divinum (287), quoted in Sergiusz Michalski, Te Reformation and the Visual Arts:
Te Protestant Image Question in Western and Eastern Europe (London: Routledge,
1993), 47. A fuller statement of Bubenheimers is found in Consonantia, 245: Fr
Karlstadt liegt ein rgernis im Glauben vor, wenn etwas (hier: das Vorhandensein
religiser Bilder) objektiv im Widerspruch zur Schrift als dem gttlichen Gesetz steht.
Ein solcher Tatbestand rgert, d. h. hindert am richtigen Glauben, ohne da es dem
verfhrten Glubigen bewut ist. Daher ist das Beibehalten der Bilder rgernis. Fr
Luther liegt ein rgernis vor, wenn jemand subjektiv an etwas (hier: an der Beseiti-
gung der Bilder) Ansto nimmt, das er im Glauben nicht bejahen kann und das ihm
daher Ansto sein knnte, gegen das Gewissen zu handeln. Der Tatbestand (Bilder-
beseitigung), der Ansto erregt, kann dabei objektiv gut sein, aber der Glaube ist zu
schwach, um seine Zustimmung zu geben. Daher erregt das Abtun der Bilder rgernis
(emphasis Bubenheimers). A particularly compelling summary of Karlstadts stance
here, with specic reference to Gemach, is Alejandro Zorzin, Andreas Bodenstein von
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Tus, as he considers those provisions of the Law for which God had a
timeless, yet not obvious, principle in mind, Karlstadt grants that people
whom he will then go on to call ignorant (unverstendigen)the truly weak
(schwachen)are susceptible to misunderstanding of Gods gurative sayings
(those that bind not according to letter but according to meaning) and there-
fore oence. Karlstadt concedes that preaching and teaching are necessary
to head o this oence taking; however, it must be doneas he has said
aboveeither simultaneous with or prior to the action taken. Te preaching
must, according to Karlstadt, be based in expounding Gods law (gesetz gottes),
as Christ, Stephen, Peter, and Paul had done, in the tradition of the prophets
before them. Tus, Karlstadt has trumped Luthers preach, dont force policy
of the Invocavit sermons, arguing for a force, yet keep preaching strategy.
Conc|usion
Ronald Sider held that up to March 1522 Karlstadt and Luther were in
fundamental theological agreement and that Karlstadt believed deeply in
forensic justication, despite the fact that he employed the words justica-
tion and gospel less than Luther. His thesis was that Karlstadts dierences
then with Luther were strategic, not theological.
90
However, Sider and later
scholars suggest that during the Orlamnde period Karlstadt was forming a
theology of regeneration and sanctication.
91
Hans-Jrgen Goertz re cently
Karlstadt, in Te Reformation Teologians: An Introduction to Teology in the Early
Modern Period, ed. Carter Lindberg (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), 331332 [327337].
Zorzin notes especially Bubenheimers Scandalum.
90. Ronald J. Sider, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt: Between Liberal and Radical, in
Proles of Radical Reformers: Biographical Sketches from Tomas Mntzer to Paracel sus,
ed. Hans-Jrgen Goertz and Walter Klaassen (Kitchener, ON: Herald Press, 1982),
47 [4553], the position he maintained in Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt (1974).
James S. Preus, Carlstadts Ordinaciones and Luthers Liberty, Harvard Teological
Studies, 26 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974), argues a similar posi-
tion. In a review of Preus, Carter C. Lindberg challenged this position; see MQR 52
(1978): 273275.
91. Sider, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, 212214. Citing Sider, Documents (212),
Volkmar Joestel has developed several studies that continue to contribute to a richer
understanding of Karlstadts theology in his Orlamnde period, work building from
his Ostthringen und Karlstadt: Joestel, Neue Erkenntnisse zu Jenaer Karlstadtschrift-
en 1524, in Loo and Matthias, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, 121142, examin-
ing three writings not found in Hertzsch, Schriften; Joestel, Andreas Bodenstein von
Karlstadts Schrift Von dem Sabbat und gebotenen Feiertagen im Spiegel der sozialen
Bewegung in Ostthringen (15221524), in Bubenheimer and Oehmig, Querdenker
der Reformation, 211227.
54 J Neil R. Leroux
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concluded that All the well-intended eorts to minimize the dierences
between Karlstadt and Lutherlocating them not in theology but in their
strategies fail to rec ognize the importance of the tensions that emerged
from the very beginning of the Wit tenberg discussions about Reformation
theology.
92
Seldom, though, in explicating the Orlamnde theology do
scholars quote from Gemach.
93
What I have found is that Karlsta dt does not
structure Gemach around issues of eectiveness (the pertinent meas ure of a
policy) as one plausibly could infer from the title. Rather, his argumentation
foregrounds the authority of Mosaic Law,
94
ratied and carried out by Christ
and the Apos tles. He is defending policy by carefully arguing his theology,
but what kind of theology do we nd?
It is clear from Gemach that Karlstadt has not very often here (in 1524)
used the terms justication or gospel, nor has he employed the word
Christian; he has used faith or faithful only once each.
95
In Gemach we see
that Karlstadts rationale for acting speedily to remove images and other un-
godly practices from worship has shifted to concern for the weak, especially
as seen in the child-playing-with-sharp-knife analogy.
96
Instead of a Christian
92. Goertz, Karlstadt, Mntzer and the Reformation of the Commoners, 19.
93. Sider, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt (237) does quote Gemach (84.1119) about
how laziness in the performance of works of love toward the neighbor is a certain
sign that one lacks a fervent remembrance of Gods words.
94. At Wittenberg University, Karlstadt had lectured on Augustines De spiritu et littera
(15171519), the Epistle of James (1520), Genesis (1521), Deuteronomy (1521
1522), Jeremiah (1522), and Zechariah (1523); see Bubenheimer, Scandalum et
ius divinum, 276, n. 52. In Gemach, Karlstadt cites Deuteronomy more than any
other biblical book. Volker Gummelt, Bugenhagens Handschrift von Karlstadts Jer-
emiavorlesung aus dem Jahre 1522, ARG 86 (1995): 59 [5666], shows Karlstadt,
commenting on Jer. 1.16b, nding the theme for the abolition of images because of
the weak: Libaverunt sacri caverunt. Sic imagines sunt abolendae propter inrmos
qui se illis incurvant (62).
95. Interestingly, however, Karlstadt more than once delineates what he calls divine
right eousness and truth [gtlicher gerechtigkeit und warheit] (76.14) and Gods true
right eousness and his just truth [gottes warhatige gerechtigkeit unnd gerechte warheitt]
(86.5). Could Karlstadt have had Eph. 4.24 in mind (true righteousness and holiness
[iustitia et sanctitate veritatis]), which reading Luther rendered wahrer Gerechtigkeit
und Heiligkeit in his 1522 Septembertestament?
96. David M. Whitford, Luthers Political Encounters, in Te Cambridge Companion
to Martin Luther, ed. Donald K. McKim (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
2003), 179191, cites Karlstadts analogy of the child playing with the knife: As a
parent would rush to save from harm a child wielding a knife, so too must a pastor
rush to save his ock from error (183). Whitford is commenting on the Wittenberg
disturbances of 15211522, yet (citing Gemach) he sees this analogy as indicative of
Why Not Now? J 55
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community being sidetracked by the prospect that some might be oended
at image removal, Karlstadt wants to direct attention back to divine law and
the damage that spiritual adultery from the presence of idols will do to those
we call weak.
97
He asserts that, in spite of their taking oence now, they
will thank us later.
98
In responding to the topic of brotherly love, Karlstadts
stance toward the weak is fatherly (vterlich).
Karlstadt endeavors to explicate a sort of theology of learning, whereby he
strives to show how the Word operates on hearers, establishing knowledge,
which then translates into action. Citing Deuteronomy 29, he declares that,
A person who is clearly mindful of divine teaching must not stagnate, nor
be idle or slothful, since Gods words bind him and drive him to action.
99

Relying heavily on argumentum a fortiori, Karlstadt argues from the strength
Karlstadts anthro pology of regeneration.
97. In Adoration (Von anbettung und ererbietung der tzeychen des newen Testaments [1521],
see Burnett, Eucharistic Pamphlets, 45), Karlstadt argues: Why do we care if some
are oended by the word of God? Many people took oence at Christs words that
he and his disciples confessed. Christ is the cornerstone of all unbelievers, and they
take oence at him and are wounded, as it says in 1 Peter 2 [:68]. Michael G.
Baylor, Karlstadts poli tische Haltung im Aufbruch der Reformation, Mennonitische
Geschichtsbltter 62 (2005): 14 [920], argues that Karlstadts position in both Wit-
tenberg (15211522) and Or lamnde (15231524) is not overtly iconoclastic but
instead is ambiguous (zweideutig). He argues this not only on the basis of Karlstadts
remarks in Von Abtuhung der Bilder and Gemach but also on his actions, particularly
when secular authority called him to account for them.
98. Whenever the image of God is distorted or damaged, peoples souls and the church
or the community are imperiled, since they are not corresponding to the divine will
as re vealed in the Holy Scriptures. Tose who make images to venerate or worship,
violate the Decalogues prohibition of graven images and show that their souls are
cleaving to the creaturely instead of submitting to the divine will; Goertz, Karlstadt,
Mntzer and the Reformation of the Commoners, 17. I deem what might be called
a parental stance from Karlstadts analogy of the child with a sharp knifehis they
will thank us later; and his Furthermore, it is wanton for a human being to give
reasons for divine statutes when there is no divine foundation for them. It is sucient
simply to say, God wills it; cf. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 264; Hertzsch, Karl-
stadts Schriften, 93.1113. Tus, parents may consider themselves to be protecting
their children, hoping their children will be grateful later, and often choosing not to
reveal to those children the reasons for their instructions.
99. Wer gttlicher leer recht und wol gedencket / der kan nit still stehen / nach mssig
oder treg sein / wenn jnen gottes reden zur tadt verpinden und treiben. Cf. Hert-
zsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 84.1921; trans. Furcha, Te Essential Carlstadt, 256. Sider,
An dreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt (237), quotes from this very passage in explicat-
ing Karl stadts notion of faith as the fth (on faith) of seven constituents of the
Orlamnde theology (212303).
56 J Neil R. Leroux
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of Gods forever commands for expulsion of idols from Canaan to the more
obvious needhence, to continued obedience to instructions in the present,
without regard to secular or ecclesiastical so-called authorities; Mosaic Law
establishes sucient authority in the congregation or even household. Karl-
stadts defense of obedience to the letter of scriptural command and the spirit
of certain gurative sayings frequently engages anticipated objections, to-
gether with his refutation.
100
Given that all attempts to look elsewhere than
Scriptural Truth for grounding understanding are blasphemy, additions to
Scripture that are supposedly helpful for comprehension are unacceptable.
Yet it seems from this attempt to persuade his reader Bach, as well as oth-
ers at Joachimsthal and beyond, that Karlstadt still respected the power of
the Word proclaimed in writing, even though he maintains that insistence
on preaching as a necessary prerequisite to action is misguided and a harm-
ful roadblock in the path of obedient discipleship.
101
His own proclamation,
however, aords diminished signicance to apostolic (particularly Pauline)
doctrine, save for nding selected actions to comport with divine law. Sadly,
if Karlstadt ever did write his promised sequel
102
to Gemach, we would love
100. Karlstadt used prolepsis in earlier writings, as I argued in Leroux, Church History
72(1), (2003): 102137, and Leroux, Sixteenth Century Journal 34(1), (2003): 73
105. Worth investigating carefully would be Karlstadts Predig oder homilien uber den
propheten Malachiam (Wittenberg, 1522), Freys/Barge, Verzeichnis, #9394, since
in Malachi the biblical author employs a question-answer strategy for introducing
objections and then refuting them. In the anonymous medieval tract that Lu ther
adored (and edited in 1516 and 1518), the Teologia Germanica, the author (com-
monly referred to as Te Frankfurter) employs prolepsis at the end of chapter 1,
varying the precise function of it through altered use of prolepsis in chapters 3, 4, 8.
See Te Teologia Germanica of Martin Luther, trans., intro., Bengt Homan; preface,
Bengt Hgglund (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), 61, 6264, 6869. One of these
strategiesusing rhetorical questions (Was ist das?), not for the purpose of enter-
taining objections but for permitting further exposition through paraphraseLuther
later employed in his catechisms; see Timothy J. Wengert, Te Rhetorical Key to the
Lutheran Confessions for Faith and Life in Todays Church, Seminary Ridge Review
4(2), (2002): 4952 [4561].
101. Interestingly, however, Karlstadt initially argues delicately to his friend Bach. Wheth-
er this literary tone is due to their friendship, or because correcting the Joachimsthal-
ers would be a strategic gain, or due to his sensing that Bach may yet be won over to
the truth, proceeding carefully with Bach is what Karlstadt does. In the entire tract
Karlstadt refers to Bach in endearing direct address (lieber bruder) only four times;
three of those four times are in the Exordium; cf. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 74.10;
75.10; 76.9; 92.16.
102. Hertzsch, Karlstadts Schriften, 97.48.
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to have it with us today.
103
Further investigation into Karlstadts hermeneutic
and ecclesiology remains a desideratum.
Bib|iography
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er und Antitrinitarier. Edited by H. Fast. Klassiker des Protestantismus, 4.
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Grebel, Conrad. Conrad Grebels Programmatic Letters of 1524. Translated by J.C.
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103. Hans-Peter Hasse, Tauler und Augustin als Quelle Karlstadts: am Beispiel von Karl-
stadts Marginalien zu Taulers Predigt zum Johannistag ber Lk 1:523, in Loo and
Matthias, Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt, 258 [247282], argues that Karlstadts
position on the images question cannot be suciently under stood without account-
ing for the inuence of Tauler, whose sermons he had studied in tensively in 1517
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liothek des Predigerseminars Wittenberg. Vortrag im Predigerseminar Wittenberg,
1987 (type script). I have independently found some evidence of mystical inuence
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eternity, it must become chastened and empty of images [Bilden] and detached from
all created things and, above all, from the claims of self (68). Bengt Homan used
Luthers 1518 edition (Wittenberg: J. Grnenberg). Te Frankfurters notion here,
while not citing Tauler (as he does in chapter 15), is very close to Karlstadts da die
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. Te Eucharistic Pamphlets of Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt. Translated
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