Table Talk

Author: Martin Luther

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The amaranth is a flower that grows in August; it is more a stalk than a flower, is easily broken off, and grows in joyful arid pleasant sort; when all other flowers are gone and decayed, then this, being sprinkled with water, becomes fair and green again; so that in winter they use to make garlands there off It is called amaranth from this, that it neither withers nor decays.

I know nothing more like unto the Church than this flower, amaranth. For although the Church bathes her garment in the blood of the Lamb, and is colored over with red, yet she is more fair, comely, and beautiful than any state and assembly upon the face of the earth. She alone is embraced and beloved of the Son of God, as his sweet and amiable spouse, in whom only he takes joy and delight, and whereon his heart alone depends; he utterly rejects and loathes others, that contemn or falsify his Gospel.

Moreover, the Church willingly suffers herself to be plucked and broken off, that is, she is loving, patient, and obedient to Christ her bridegroom in the cross; she grows and increases again, fair, joyful, and pleasant, that is, she gains the greatest fruit and profit thereby; she learns to know God aright, to call upon him freely and undauntedly, to, confess his word and doctrine, and produces many fair and glorious virtues.

At last, the body and stalk remain whole and sound, and cannot be rooted out, although raging and swelling be made against some of the members, and these be torn away. For like as the amaranth never withers or decays, even so, the Church can never be destroyed or rooted out. But what is most wonderful, the amaranth has this quality, that when it is sprinkled with water, and dipped therein, it becomes fresh and green again, as if it were raised and wakened from the dead. Even so likewise the Church will by God be raised and wakened out of the grave, and become living again; will everlastingly praise, extol, and laud the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his Son and our Redeemer, together with the Holy Ghost. For though temporal empires, kingdoms, and principalities have their changings, and like flowers soon fall and fade away, this kingdom, which is so deep rooted, by no power can be destroyed or wasted, but remains eternally.


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Chicago: Martin Luther, "376," Table Talk, trans. William Hazlitt in The Table Talk or Familiar Discourse of Martin Luther (London: D. Bogue, 1848), Original Sources, accessed February 28, 2020,

MLA: Luther, Martin. "376." Table Talk, translted by William Hazlitt, in The Table Talk or Familiar Discourse of Martin Luther, London, D. Bogue, 1848, Original Sources. 28 Feb. 2020.

Harvard: Luther, M, '376' in Table Talk, trans. . cited in 1848, The Table Talk or Familiar Discourse of Martin Luther, D. Bogue, London. Original Sources, retrieved 28 February 2020, from