By Martin Luther [ I will quote snippets from this letter . It was translated for Project Wittenburg by Dr. Gary Mann in 1995 ] I have continually tried translating in a pure and accurate German . I also know that in Rom. 3 , the word "solum" is not present in either Greek or Latin text... The letters s-o-l-a are not there ... they [papists] do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text -- if the translation is to be clear and accurate , it belongs there . I wanted to speak German since it was German I had spoken in translation -- not Latin or Greek . ... we must ask the mother in the home , the children on the street , the common person in the market about this . We must be guided by their tongue , the manner of their speech , and do our translating accordingly ... they [ papists] will lay the original before me literally and translate it as : "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Is that speaking with a German tongue ? What German could understand something like that ? What is this "abundance of the heart ?" No German can say that ; unless , of course , he was trying to say that someone was altogether too magnanimous , or too courageous , though even that would not yet be correct , as "abundance of the heart" is not German , not any more than "abundance of the house," "abundance of the stove" or "abundance of the bench" is German . But the mother in the home and the common man say this : "What fills the heart overflows the mouth." That is speaking with the proper German tongue of the kind I have tried for , although unfortunayely not always successfully . The literal latin is a great barrier to speaking proper German . ... for these literalist [#%! ] I would have to translate it [ What Judas says in Matt. 26 and Mark 14 ] "Why has this loss of salve occurred ?" But what kind of German is this ? What German says "loss of salve occurred " ? And if he does understand it at all , he would think that the salve is lost and must be looked for and found again ; even though that is obscure and uncertain . Now if that is good German why do they not come out and make us a fine , new German testament and let Luther's testament be ? I think that would really bring out their talents . But a German would say "Ut quid , etc...." as "Why this waste?" or "Why this extravagance ?" Even "it is a shame about the ointment" -- these are good German , in which one can understand that Magdalene had wasted the salve she poured out and had done wrong . That is what Judas meant as he thought he could have used it better . Now when the angel greets Mary , he says : "Greetings to you , Mary , full of grace , the Lord is with you " . Well up to this point , this has simply been translated from the simple Latin , but tell me is that good German ? since when does a German speak like that -- being 'full of grace" ? ... So I translated it : " You gracious one". This way a German can at last think about what the angel meant by his greeting . Yet the papists rant about me corrupting the angelic greeting -- and I still have not used the most satisfactory German translation . What if I had used the most satisfactory German and translated the salutation : "God says hello , Mary dear' ( for that is what the angel was intending to say and what he would have said had he been German ! ) If I had , I believe that they would have hanged themselves out of their great devotion to dear Mary and because I have destroyed the greeting . ... That is the way Gabriel speaks , as we can see in Daniel . Now if I were to literally translate the words of the angel , and use the skills of these [*@#!] , I would have to translate it as 'Daniel , you man of desires" or 'Daniel , you man of lust" . Oh , that would be beautiful German ! ... But when those words are put together you get "you man of desires" and no German is going to understand that . He might even think that Daniel is full of lustful desires . Now wouldn't that be a fine translation ! So I have to let the literal words go and try to discover how the German says what the Hebrew "ish chamudoth" expresses . Yet I have not just gone ahead , ignoring the exact wording in the original . Instead , with great care , I have , along with my helpers , gone ahead and have kept literally to the original , without the slightest deviation , wherever it appeared that a passage was crucial . ... But rather than doing violence to the original , I have done violence to the German tongue .