Lutheran Quarterly

Spring 2022 – How Luther Became the Mythical ‘Here I Stand” Hero by Samuel L.Young

On April 18, 1521, Martin Luther made his famous address before CharlesV and the Diet of Worms. The earliest reports of the Diet attested that Luther switched to German for his final declaration. An account printed in Strasbourg the following month rendered the line as “GOTT HELF MIR ARMEN. Amen.’9 and included a portrait of Luther being anointed by the Holy Spirit.1 The more standard report on the Diet extended the line to “Ich kan nicht anderst, hie[r] stehe ich, Gott helffmir,Amen. ”2 The definitive rendering of Luther s declaration, however, would come from the pen of his cobelligerent Philip Melanchthon, who, in his biographical introduction to the Latin edition of Luthers works, reported that the Reformer had said “Hie[r] stehe ich / Ich kan nie anders / Gott helffmir /Amen.”3

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