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Luther did not leave a clearly defined official doctrine of ‘the Office’ of Pastor, but he moves here as elsewhere between the two extremes of Rome and the radical reformation. He teaches against Rome the priesthood of all believers: nobody needs another person to approach God. Through baptism and faith every Christian is ‘ordained a priest, bishop and pope’ (WA 6, 408). He distinguishes this priesthood from the office of the Pastor. This office is an ordinance of God. It has as a special task the Gospel preaching in Word and sacrament, through which the congregation is built up. From the fifteen twenties, Luther saw the fulfilment of the office more and more as a task of authority. From his experience with the radical reformation he was careful to let the congregations run themselves. This led to the so-called ‘territorial lord’s canon law’, that in distinction from the reformed canon law attributes an important role to the authority (‘territorial lord’).

  • Dass eine christliche Versammlung oder Gemeinde Recht und Macht habe etc. [1523] (WA 11, 401-416);
  • De instituendis ministris Ecclesiae [1523] (WA 12, 169-196).