Date of Award


Document Type

Major Applied Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Practical Theology

First Advisor

T. J. Betts

Scripture References in this Resource

1 Corinthians 1:22-23; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3a; 2 Peter 3:17-18; 2 Samuel 22:31; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; Ephesians 4:15-16; Hebrews 5:12-14; Isaiah 45:19; John 14:1-6; John 14-16; John 15:1-2; John 17:17; John 5:39; 46; Luke 16:19-31; Luke 2:1-14; Luke 21:25-36; Luke 24:25-27; Luke 24:44-47; Luke 5:1-11; Luke 7:11-17; Matthew 10:6-7; Matthew 21:1-9; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 6:24-34; Psalm 119:160


This thesis examines Martin Luther as an expository preacher. Contemporary authors such as Ewald Plass, Peter Brooks, Fred Meuser, Sydney Greidanus, James MacKinnon, John MacArthur, and Hughes Oliphant Old describe Luther as an expository preacher, yet none of them clarifies how or in what way they reach that conclusion. To that end, chapter 1 introduces Luther as a preacher and the need for this study.

Chapter 2 defines modern expository theory and presents a four-fold method for creating faithful, expository sermons.

Chapter 3 tracks Luther’s change in hermeneutic from a medieval, allegorical approach to a Christ-centered, historical-grammatical method. Luther’s postils (sermons on lectionary readings) are used to demonstrate his hermeneutical shift.

Chapter 4 samples Luther’s catechetical preaching, lectionary preaching, and verse-by-verse exposition of the Fourth Gospel to reveal in what ways he can be deemed an expository preacher and a forerunner of modern expository theory.

Chapter 5 draws implications from Luther’s expository methods that can benefit the church today, as well as expressing the need for additional research.