One of the fundamental concepts of the Reformation is the certainty of faith and salvation. God’s Word, through which faith arises and flourishes, is articulated in Luther’s motto: Verbum Domini manet in aeternum (“The Word of the Lord remains forever”). This biblical motto confesses the insurmountable power of the Word of God. In printed Bibles and other works of the Reformation, Luther’s motto is located in a prominent place, such as a Bible’s cover or title page, as part of an intricate illustration. The illustration’s placement on the outside cover alludes to the beauty and power that is to be found inside the printed work. It is a visual and tangible form of the content of the gospel, aimed at the heart of the human being. Although decorative images that included this motto of the Reformation were not often used in historical books and other printed works besides Bibles, the extant uses of them are striking, as the essay demonstrates with illustrations.


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pp. 72-86
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