Translation Format

Paragraphs have been introduced where content warrants it, in accordance with modern English usage.

The long, multiple relative clause-laden sentences characteristic of sixteenth-century German have been broken into shorter units where feasible, again to accord more with standard English usage.

Words or phrases in [brackets] denote the translator’s addition for reasons of clarity.

Regarding the singular/plural form of “indulgence,” the original German text employs, variously, no article, the definite article, or the indefinite article, usually without expressing a specific nuance. In many instances, the English plural expresses the German singular as well or better, without change of meaning. Thus I often use the plural form, “indulgences,” where Tetzel and Luther use the singular.

This translation prefers inclusive language where Tetzel’s and Luther’s use of the nouns and pronouns denoting human beings implies “all persons” in general.

Notes have been kept to a minimum, and so no attempt has been made to cite the voluminous literature on the Luther-Tetzel conflict.