Luther’s Works: The American Edition, published by Concordia and Fortress Press between 1955 and 1986, comprises fifty-five volumes. These are a selection representing only about a third of Luther’s works in the Latin and German of the standard Weimar Edition, not including the German Bible.
The year 1525 was perhaps one of the most tumultuous for Luther and his Reformation. It was the year of the break between Luther and a number of forces heretofore presumed to be on his side. The ultra-radical reformers alienated the lower classes from the Lutheran Reformation with the charge that Luther was only a halfway reformer. Luther responded with Against the Heavenly Prophets. In May Luther tried to avert a peasant uprising by an appeal both to the princes and to the peasants. But the Peasant Revolt broke out nevertheless, and Luther responded with Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants. 1525 was also the year when world famous scholar Erasmus declared himself against Luther, provoking him into responding with On the Bondage of the Will. This, plus the death of friends, his protector prince, and rumor of an assassin coming for Luther from Poland, was still not enough to prevent Luther from continuing his lectures on the minor prophets. This volume demonstrates Luther's perseverance and triumph against all odds. Luther's commentary on Zechariah points to Zechariah as "an outstanding model" in comforting people not to despair when the promises of Christ's kingdom do not seem to come true. This comfort is for all time.