This page is for the distribution of my works having primarily to do with Martin Luther and / or early Lutheranism

Original Works

Pfarramt, Geography, and the Order of the Church: a Formal Opinion from Wittenberg

This is my title given to my translation of a formal Wittenberg faculty opinion written on July 24, 1536.  It is found in WA Br 7, 476-479 and St. L. 10, 264-265. The opinion was sent to Leonhard Beyer, the Parish Rector (Pfarrherr / pastor) of Zwickau.

There are many aspects to the Opinion that are of interest.  But the primary motivation for the translation for me was that it was a very concrete example by which to demonstrate the local geographical assumptions built into the concept of “Pfarrherr”  (pastor, parish rector) and “parish” for the reformers.  This aspect of geography and the local parish as part of their working with the doctrine of the ministry is easily lost upon those only familiar with a modern ‘congregational’ concept which is entirely focused on ‘people’ and ‘members’ and which is almost entirely without any conceptual reference to ‘geography’.

Originally published in Concordia Theological Quarterly 81, no.3 (2017): 239-247.

Also available here.

Office and Offices Some Basic Lutheran Philology

Mark Nispel. “Office and Offices Some Basic Lutheran Philology.” Logia a Journal of Lutheran Theology VI, no. 3 (1997): 5-12.

This article discusses the ideas and the words associated with concepts such as “office” (Amtofficial) and “function” and “vocation” in Luther and the Lutheran Confessions.  It then discusses the insights from this discussion to the topics of the ministry of the word  and vocation.

Available here.

Wittenberg’s University Reforms

Nispel, Mark D. Wittenberg Reforms in the University and the Early Reaction to Copernicus. December 1997. Research Paper for History 931, Lincoln, NE.

This was a paper written for my History of Social Science class in 1997.  It discusses Wittenberg University and the reforms made there by Luther and Melanchthon in relation to the sciences.

Available here.

Topics include Aristotle, Natural Philosophy, Astronomy / Astrology


That it is not permissible to depose pastors because they sternly rebuke public vice

Translation of: Luther SL 10,1624-1629

Luther, Martin. “Daß Man Seelsorger Darum, Daß Sie öffentliche Laster Hart Strafen, Nicht Absetze Könne.” In Dr. Martin Luthers Sämmtliche Schriften, 1624-629. Vol. 10. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1892.

This is a translation (Good Friday 2011) of a letter by Luther to a City Council admonishing them in regard to how they treat their pastors.

Available here.