This article reviewed claims made by modern scholars Ford Lewis Battles and G.H.
Williams, as well as charges made by Melanchthon, against Andreas Karlstadt (1486–1541)
in regard to the imposition of Mosaic Law upon the civil realm. Melanchthon called Karlstadt
‘insane’ based on this charge, whilst Battles claims Karlstadt proposed to replace European
civil law completely with the ‘entire Mosaic code’. This study examined some of Karlstadt’s
writings in regard to images, the pace of reforms in Wittenberg, and the preference for
reform to be carried out by the princes and not the masses. It also consulted the secondary
source analyses of Ulrich Bubenheimer and Calvin Augustus Pater – both of which present
views opposite to that of Battles, and both would have been available to Battles in 1986. The
results of the literary review conducted in this study demonstrate that the claims of Battles,
Williams, and Melanchthon are not supported by the evidence.
This research is based on a
PhD degree at the University
of Pretoria (2012) in
Systematic Theology under
the supervision of Prof. Dr