“Peter Lombard was adequate as a theologian; none has been his equal. He read Hilary, Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory, and also all the councils. He was a great man. If he had by chance come upon the Bible he would no doubt have been the greatest.” Martin Luther, “Judgment Concerning Peter Lombard,” Table Talk no. 192, Luther’s Works, volume 54, p. 26.
As a Lutheran who studies the Middle Ages, this is one of my favorite quotes. Dr. Luther’s statements recorded in Table Talk reflect his ability to be humorous and sarcastic to make a point. Peter Lombard wrote the Sentences in middle of the twelfth century. This book became the most siginificant work of scholastic theology that every theologian studied in great detail. Luther studied and taught Lombard’s Sentences and maintained a respect for Peter Lombard but continued to note Lombard’s lack of real biblical understanding.
“Peter Lombard was a very diligent man with a superior mind. He wrote many excellent things. He would really have been a great doctor of the church if he had given himself wholly and truly to the Holy Scriptures, but he confuses the Scriptures with many useless quotations.” Martin Luther, “Evaluation of Peter Lombard and His Work,” Table Talk no. 3698, Luther’s Works, volume 54, p. 260.