My Pilgrimage to Wartburg Castle
Part of my trip to Germany last month took me to Eisenach, the hometown of Johann Sebastien Bach, but also the location of Wartburg Castle (above). In 1521, following the imperial Diet of Worms where Martin Luther refused to stand down from his views, Prince Frederick of Saxony had Luther abducted and hidden in the Wartburg in order to protect the reformer. During his 10 months at the castle, Luther grew out his hair and beard, lived in disguise, and went by the name Junker Jorg (George the Knight).
Luther's great accomplishment was taking 10 weeks in the Fall of 1522 to translate the New Testament into colloquial German. Below are pictures of Luther's room where he worked as well as an early edition of the German New Testament now kept in the Lutherhaus museum in Wittenberg. After his translation was checked over by his colleague Phillip Melanchton, 3000 copies of the German NT were printed and sold overnight.
For me, traveling to Wittenberg and Eisenach was almost a pilgrimage of sorts as I pondered Luther's courage and boldness to stand up to state and church powers for his biblical convictions. I noticed on the walls of his room that travelers have been visiting Wartburg and carving their initials in the walls since 1603! May we emulate Luther's courage to remain faithful to Scripture as our final authority for belief and practice.
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