Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Cochlaeus Misparaphrase Debacle Summary

We've had a few posts on the issue of the misquotation of Luther (i.e. Cochlaeus provided a paraphrase that did not accurately represent what Luther said, and this was then picked up and used as an alleged quote from Luther). The scope of this error is significant. In general, it appears that the quotation was generated by Cochlaeus, and then picked up by influential Romanist scholars Melchior Cano (died 1560)(who acknowledged that he got it from Cochlaeus) and Robert Bellarmine (died 1621)(who did not identify his secondary source, although he was familiar with works by Cochlaeus). From there, numerous other - mostly Roman Catholic - folks picked up the quotation, some citing back to Cochlaeus (suggesting they got it from Cano) and others simply alleging it is from Luther (suggesting they got it from Bellarmine).

In the following list, I've tried to highlight a number of the instances where Cochlaeus' "quotation" from Luther reappeared over the centuries in the Latin. The dates I've given may be misleading. For example, as noted above, Melchior Cano died in 1560, but the edition of his works that I found is significantly later.

Also, I've limited myself to the Latin. If I were to include English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Polish, I suspect the list would be much longer. Also, I'm sure that if someone with more time on their hands did a more thorough search of the literature, they would find even more instances. This is just a quick survey of some of the easier-to-locate instances.

1. Jaime Luciano Balmes (Protestantism and Catholicity, American Edition 1850)

See also, original(?) Spanish edition 1842:

2. D. Hallinen (Irish Ecclesiastical Record, April 1882)

3. Francis de Sales (Works, 1892)

4. Guglielmo Audisio (Juris naturae et gentium privati et publici fundamenta, 1852)

5. Melchior Cano (Works, 1734)(note the explicit citation to Cochlaeus)

Same thing in the 1727 edition of his works:

6. Robert Bellarmine (Works, 1856)

7. François Marie De Brouwer (Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi, in quo etiam de Romano Pontifice, 1881)

8. Leonhard Rieff (Primae Lineae historico-theologicae, Volume 1, 1824)

9. Giuseppe Brunati (De nomine, auctore, emendatoribus et authentia Vulgatæ dissertatio, 1827)


See also Brunati in L'amico d'Italia, Volume 9 (1826)


10. Treatise in Ex Theologia Polemica Positiones Selectae: "DE VERA CHRISTI ECCLESIA CATHOLICO ROMANA" (1837)

11. Fulcran Vigouroux & Louis Bacuez (Manuel biblique: ou, cours d'écriture sainte a l'usage des séminaires, Volume 1, 1884)

12.Damian Czerny (Institutiones Hermeneuticae Novi Testamenti, 1780)


13. Franz Leopold Bruno Liebermann (Institutiones theologicae, Book 2, 1831)(notice that Liebermann specifically cites to Bellarmine)

14. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (Philosophische Schriften, Volume 4, Part 1, p. 2288)(apparently quoting from Bellarmine)
(link)
15. John Chrysostom of St. Joseph (Dissertatio: De Canone Sacrorum Librorum Constituto A Sanctis Patribus In Magno Nicaeno Concilio, Volume 1, 1742)

16. Joannes Ranolder (Hermeneuticae biblicae generalis principia rationalia, christiana et catholica selectis exemplis illustrata, 1859)

17. Giuseppe Zama Mellini (Institutiones Biblicæ; sive Dissertationes isagogicæ in sacram Scripturam, 1841)(notice that he refers to Bellarmine here, though he doesn't explicitly say that he found the alleged Luther statement from him)

18.Ubaldo Ubaldi (Introductio in sacram scripturam, Volume 3, 1884)

19. José de San Pedro de Alcántara Castro (Apología de la Theología Escholástica, 1796)


20.Seweryn Lubomlcyzk (Monotessaron Evangelicum, Seu Catena Aurea, Volume 1, 1607)

21. Juan Caramuel de Lobkowitz (Theologiae moralis fundamentalis, 1676)

22. Christiani Kortholti (De variis scripturae sacrae editionibus tractatus theologico-philologicus, 1668) (quoting Bellarmine, to respond to Bellarmine)

23. Marin Humbelot (Sacrorum bibliorum notio generalis, 1700)

24. Leonhard Rieff (Primae Lineae historico-theologicae: Volume 1, 1824)

25. Stephan Wiest (Institutiones Theologicae: Demonstratio Religion. Catholicae, 1786)


26. Wolfgang Wilhelm (Muri civitatis sanctae, hoc est religionis catholicae fundamenta XII, 1615)

27.Pedro López Sánchez (Elementos de derecho internacional público: 1866)


28. Aleksander Tyszyński (Rozbiory i krytyki: Volume 1, 1854)


29. Buszczynski (Décadence de l'Europe, 1867)

30. Philippus Nerius Chrismann (Regula fidei catholicæ, 1792)(notice that he specifically cites Cochlaeus)

31. Benedikt Stattler (De locis theologicis, 1775)(notice the explicit citation to Cochlaeus)

32. Tobias Mollik (Dissertationes Dogmaticae, Volume 2, 1786)

33. Christoph Besold (Axiomata philosophiae christianae, Volume 2, 1626)(cites to Bellarmine)

34. William Whitaker (Disputatio de sacra scriptura contra huius temporis Papistas, 1588)(Notice that Whitaker is responding to Bellarmine, and that Whitaker is saying that Cochlaeus is the source)


That's a good place to end the list. There are a number of morals to the story. (1) Listen to and read William Whitaker. (2) Don't fall into the trap of counting the noses of scholars. The fact that the quotation is attributed to Luther by dozens of scholars in a half dozen countries doesn't mean it really was something written by Luther. (3) Always try to locate the primary source for your material, and if you do not, identify your secondary source.

-TurretinFan




UPDATE:
1. Matthaeus Praetorius (Tuba pacis, 1685)

And in the index:

2. Tommaso Bozio (De signis ecclesiae Dei, 1626)

3. Antonius Sanderus (Vindiciarum sive Dissertationum biblicarum libri tres, 1650)


Mr. Paul Hoffer, in the comment box, also states that "Von Hoeninghaus" provides this quotation.

9 comments:

louis said...

So cut-and-paste apologetics didn't start with the internet age?

Paul Hoffer said...

Among others, you forgot Liebnitz and Von Hoeninghaus, both Protestants, who listed the quote in Latin. The problem here is that you are making assumptions. We do not know for sure what version of the text Cochlaeus was looking at when he got the quote. Maybe, as polemicists often did in that day (Luther too), he did cherry pick (shame on him) or perhaps he was relying on an adulterated translation himself since Luther's fans and Protestant detractors liked to reprint Luther's works (usually without his permission) and rework to fit their own flavor of Reform, or perhaps Cochlaeus actually got it right. He names the text that he got the quote from which would have been easy to check to see if he got it wrong. Have you attempted to track down every version of the text that was extant at the time Cochlaeus wrote his treatise to Bullinger? Since Luther was alive then, why didn't he correct Cochlaeus? Or for that matter why didn't Bullinger?

That said, it is great that you are doing this as a significant example of the importance of ad fontes research, and I highly commend you for doing so, but you yourself may be guilty of not doing ad fontes research as you have not described what efforts you have made to determine which version of Luther's work Cochlaeus used for his source. It is possible he didn't do ad fontes research himself considering that the Catholic Church had banned the ownership of Luther's books in Catholic held countries. Or it is possible that the quote itself got changed once folks saw how Cochlaeus was using it. May be not, but wouldn't it be neat to be sure?

God bless!

Turretinfan said...

PH wrote: "Among others, you forgot Liebnitz and Von Hoeninghaus, both Protestants, who listed the quote in Latin."

a) By Liebnitz do you Leibnitz? If so, you should read my list more carefully.

b) As I noted, my list is just a quick survey of easily found items. I'm sure there are more - many more.

PH wrote: "The problem here is that you are making assumptions."

Everyone makes assumptions all the time. That's not the problem. If there's problem, it's in which assumptions are being made.

"We do not know for sure what version of the text Cochlaeus was looking at when he got the quote."

So what? We don't need to know "for sure." We can know beyond a reasonable doubt, which is where we are right now.

PH wrote: "Maybe, as polemicists often did in that day (Luther too), he did cherry pick (shame on him) or perhaps he was relying on an adulterated translation himself since Luther's fans and Protestant detractors liked to reprint Luther's works (usually without his permission) and rework to fit their own flavor of Reform, or perhaps Cochlaeus actually got it right."

We could speculate all day. The evidence, however, all points to Cochlaeus as the source.

PH wrote: "He names the text that he got the quote from which would have been easy to check to see if he got it wrong."

a) Easy for whom?

b) We have checked, and he did get it wrong.

PH wrote: "Have you attempted to track down every version of the text that was extant at the time Cochlaeus wrote his treatise to Bullinger?"

Critical editions of Luther's works are made for the purpose of avoiding this sort of process of reinventing the wheel. That said, if you're aware of evidence that there some other version that's not reflected in the critical edition of Luther's works, by all means share the info. Otherwise, this is just more speculation.

PH wrote: "Since Luther was alive then, why didn't he correct Cochlaeus?"

What makes you think Luther even saw the writing? It was written toward the end of Luther's life and wasn't addressed to him - and it was written by someone of whom Luther had a very opinion.

"Or for that matter why didn't Bullinger?"

Who knows? Does his silence help Cochlaeus?

PH wrote: "That said, it is great that you are doing this as a significant example of the importance of ad fontes research, and I highly commend you for doing so, but you yourself may be guilty of not doing ad fontes research as you have not described what efforts you have made to determine which version of Luther's work Cochlaeus used for his source."

This is interesting. What efforts do you suggest I make? What further editions should I look for?

PH wrote: "It is possible he didn't do ad fontes research himself considering that the Catholic Church had banned the ownership of Luther's books in Catholic held countries."

I'm not sure why anyone would think that Cochlaeus didn't read Luther's books. Perhaps someone very unfamiliar with Cochlaeus would think that.

PH wrote: "Or it is possible that the quote itself got changed once folks saw how Cochlaeus was using it."

More speculation.

PH wrote: "May be not, but wouldn't it be neat to be sure?"

I'm already sure. Your speculation doesn't raise any reasonable doubts in my mind.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Posted updated with three additional selections. Nothing from Von H. ... but if Mr. Hoffer will provide a scan or citation, I will happily add it to the link.

John Bugay said...

What's interesting to me is that James Swan's blog has more than 1000-1200 articles, each of which details Roman Catholic misuse of Martin Luther.

And Paul Hoffer's response is "maybe ... or perhaps ... have you attempted to track down EVERY version ...?"

What are we to think about such reaches, such wishful thinking from Rome, in the face of the mountain of evidence presented?

Paul Hoffer, let me ask you, you seem to have some kind of conscience when it comes to potential misuse of information.

Why then are you not outraged that so many Roman Catholics are misusing Luther information?

James Swan said...

We do not know for sure what version of the text Cochlaeus was looking at when he got the quote. Maybe, as polemicists often did in that day (Luther too), he did cherry pick (shame on him) or perhaps he was relying on an adulterated translation himself since Luther's fans and Protestant detractors liked to reprint Luther's works (usually without his permission) and rework to fit their own flavor of Reform, or perhaps Cochlaeus actually got it right. He names the text that he got the quote from which would have been easy to check to see if he got it wrong. Have you attempted to track down every version of the text that was extant at the time Cochlaeus wrote his treatise to Bullinger? Since Luther was alive then, why didn't he correct Cochlaeus?

Actually, Cochlaeus leaves clues as to which version of Luther's 1527 text he had. He calls Luther's treatise "a very eloquent German book" and that "Luther himself published it" (see Luther's Lives, p. 214). LW 37 also confirms Luther role in its publication:

"Luther concentrated on the writing of his treatise from early January, 1527, to mid-March. The virtually complete manuscript, still extant, shows the care with which Luther wrote, retouched, and more than once revised the work. He succeeded in having it published in time for the Frankfurt spring fair, at which two of Zwingli’s treatises also appeared" [LW 37:5].

Cochlaeus definitely obtained many of Luther's writings. Those that he had were probably the most popular and most available. I have found from my studies of Romanist citations of Luther, the oldest sources typically take quotes from the most popular treatises of Luther.

In 1527, Cochlaeus was well under way in writing against Luther, and actively sought Luther's writings. Often his method was to cite Luther with a myriad of quotes to prove Luther contradicted himself. Of Cochlaeus's writings from this period, the introduction to Luther's Lives points out he was fairly accurate in citing Luther (p.43), but also on footnote 21 on page 374 they point out he sometimes (rarely) conflated statements from Luther. They also note that in his compilations of Luther quotes Cochlaeus was "unconcerned about context, development of thought, or later revisions of earlier statements made by any Protestant thinker" (p. 43). These writings from 1527 served as a basis for many of his later writings ( see Luther's Lives, p. 43), like those he published in the 1540's.

Catholic scholar Adolf Herte also argues Cochlaeus had in fact actually read very little of Luther’s books from cover to cover because most of his citations used were from the prefaces and conclusions of Luther’s treatises [see: Gotthelf Wiedermann, “Cochlaeus as Polemicist,” p. 200 found in, Peter Newman Brooks (ed.), Seven-Headed Luther (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983]. In fact, if one takes a look at the very quote in dispute, it comes from very early in the treatise That These Words Of Christ, “This Is My Body,” etc., Still Stand Firm Against The Fanatics (1527), proving Herte's point.

James Swan said...

Since Luther was alive then, why didn't he correct Cochlaeus?

The Catholic Encyclopedia notes, “Luther, to the vexation of Cochlaeus wrote in answer only a single work, "Adversus Armatum Virum Cocleum".” This is indeed true, yet Cochlaeus’s name appears various times throughout Luther’s Works. Late in his career, Luther was to say:

“Thus the papists, too, studiously distort our statements in order to enhance their own cause. When we declare that a man is not justified by works, they assert that we are forbidding and condemning good works. Such vipers are Cochlaeus, Witzel, and others.  These are satanic lies of venomous and very evil men who do not listen to our statements and do not want to listen. Yet they force them into having a different meaning—a meaning which they themselves want them to have.”[LW 3:193]

“For thus the enemies of the truth are accustomed to obscure, traduce, and corrupt the fruits and gains of the Gospel and of salvation among simple and godly hearers. Eck, Cochlaeus, Pighius, and many others are the best contrivers of such calumnies.  They adorn themselves with false and counterfeit praises; but they defame us, in order to make us more obnoxious to those who are strangers to our doctrine. Accordingly, they secretly take away what is most beautiful and best for winning over the hearts of simple men, namely, the favor and goodwill of men, by which we could gain and educate many through the Word. We have to be befouled in order that they may be beautiful.” [LW 7:92]

Had Luther the foreknowledge of Cochlaeus’s lasting impact on Catholic scholars studying his life and writings, perhaps Luther would have spent more time refuting his material. Luther did not take him all that seriously. Rather than engage him, Luther lampoons, insults or simply dismisses his writings as nonsense. Luther refers to Cochlaeus as a “windbag,” a “viper,” “impudent young rascal,” and he sarcastically calls him the “profound thinker that he is.” Luther would say this in regard to Cochlaeus:

“I fear no fanatic, for I know none who can oppose me with arguments that would put me to confusion. All their arguments I’ve already heard from the devil-in fact, more weighty ones—but I have overcome them through the Word of God. I don’t think Cochlaeus could stand my devil even as long as it takes me to say a single word. He and those like him know nothing about this.” [LW 54:93]

natamllc said...

Hear hear to these tidbits about Cochlaeus.

One gets a sense that one can say of Luther, he was like Peter all the while one gets a sense of Calvin, he was like Paul in intelligence.

Both of these giants of Reformation are indeed of an intelligence that clearly is not of this world!

Not that it is necessary to prop up your stature James Swan, just as a way of unanimity, I highlight this quality of Luther, cited to wit we all do well to emulate as we do Calvin and Turrentin and others too:

"Luther concentrated on the writing of his treatise from early January, 1527, to mid-March. The virtually complete manuscript, still extant, shows the care with which Luther wrote, retouched, and more than once revised the work. He succeeded in having it published in time for the Frankfurt spring fair, at which two of Zwingli’s treatises also appeared" [LW 37:5]."

It is said of both, TurrentinFan and Swan, the same quality and care of work is produced!

I am more than greatly benefited and edified by this good work!

Thanks you guys and as good soldiers let your hearts take it to heart, others are being blessed by your endurance too in the fight for the Faith once delivered to the Saints!

pilgrim said...

Speechless ....

I am really edified by these two brothers (TF and James Swan).

Thanks TF and Swan.