Quote: Martin Luther on Fossils

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“ … just as there are mountains after the Flood where previously there were fields and lovely plain, so undoubtedly there are now springs where there were none before and vice versa. For the entire surface of the earth was changed. Have no doubt that there are remains of the Flood, because where there are now mines, there are commonly found pieces of petrified wood. In the stones themselves there appear various forms of fish and other animals. Thus I believe that before the Flood the Mediterranean Sea was not surrounded by land, but that the channel in which it now has its place was produced for it by the Flood. Likewise, the area of the Red Sea without a doubt was formerly a fertile plain, and is likely some parts of this garden. So also are the remaining gulfs, the Persian, the Arabian, etc, consist of the remnants of the Flood.”

From Luther's Works, Lectures on Genesis, 1535-1536, Chapters 1 - 5, p.98,99. Published 1958, Concordia Publishing House St Louis

Editorial Comment: The footnotes in this edition suggest Luther's knowledge of fossils comes from his father's experience as a miner. Luther commenced Genesis lectures either on or after Tuesday June 1st, 1535. By December 4th 1536, Luther had commenced the ninth chapter of Genesis.

Luther lived at a time when the majority of academics accepted the Aristotlian/Greek pagan idea that fossils were not the remains of actual creatures, but had been produced by mysterious plastic forces in the earth. It was to be several centuries before the concept that fossils were actually remains of plants and animals, was to catch on through the work of Flood geologist John Woodward in the UK. Luther undoubtedly played a part in breaking down pagan superstitions about fossils. (Ref. Fossils, Luther, Flood)

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