Luther on God’s Law

These above words “from the beginning of the World” mean the substance of God’s Law of the Decalogue must have been given to Adam before his fall.   Cf. Ecclesiastes 7:29. Without such a prelapsarian Law, Adam’s fall from his primordial sinless condition could never at all have occurred.   For sin is the transgression of the Law.   First John 3:4.

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So Luther rightly translates Hosea 6:7, regarding the Ephraimites and the Gileadites, as follows:  “sie uebertreten den Bund wie Adam” (alias: “they transgress the covenant like Adam). Indeed, those who imitate Adam in this, similarly transgress God’s Law through their idolatry and murder and theft and adultery etc.   This is why Luther’s rendition of Hosea 6:7-10 has God saying even of the covenant people that “they, like Adam, transgress the covenant….   Gilead is a city full of idolatry and bloodguiltiness….   Like a troop of robbers…they murder on the road….. There is whoredom.”4