Tabletalk: Luther's Comments on Life, the Church and the Bible
Luther's Divine Discourses (as this book was known) stirred up so much anger in the Roman Catholic Church that all copies were ordered to be burnt under an edict by Pope Gregory XIII. All copies were thought lost until one was found by Casparus Van Sparr in 1626, while building on a house once owned by his grandfather in Germany. The book was wrapped in a linen cloth treated with beeswax and buried in the ground - it was perfectly preserved.
An English friend of Casparus, Captain Henry Bell, brought the book back to Britain and began the work of translation several times but never completed it. He then received a vision of an old man who told him that he would be given an opportunity to complete the translation. Two weeks later he was arrested and spent the next 10 years in jail during which time he completed the work and produced what we now know as Tabletalk.
The translation was 'borrowed' by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud who kept omitting to return it until (after his death) a committee of Parliament, petitioned by Bell, ordered the book to be printed in 1646.
This collection of informal comments was gathered together by Antony Lauterbach and John Aurifaber, who were very close to Luther towards the end of his life. It is a serendipitous collection and many of the Reformer's words are pithy and direct. Although known for being outspoken in public Luther, like us all, was even more so in private.
Includes an extensive introductory biography of Luther's life.