Thus Saith God: This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I Am Well Pleased; Hear ye Him


This hand-colored woodcut with texts by the noted Protestant theologian Erasmus Alber (also seen as Alberus) was printed in Magdeburg around 1550. It shows the resurrected Christ defeating the enemies of Protestantism, who are depicted in the shape of a three-headed apocalyptic animal: the pope, a Turk, and Interim. Interim refers to the political compromises of 1548 between Catholics and Protestants, particularly the December Leipzig Interim devised by the German Reformation leader Philipp Melanchthon (1497−1560) and agreed to by Emperor Charles V. In the background are Golgotha and the Crucifixion (right) and the heavenly city of Jerusalem (left). The three persons of the Trinity are represented: God the Father in the upper left; the dove, representing the Holy Spirit; and Jesus Christ as the incarnation of God on earth. In the following text, in rhyming couplets in German by Alber, Christ in turn names Martin Luther as his representative on earth and the leader of the true Christian faith. The title at the top is a verse from the account of the Transfiguration in the Gospel of Matthew: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

Last updated: July 8, 2015