Luther wrote both the words and music for "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," considered the "Battle Hymn of the Lutheran Reformation." Lutherans usually observe the custom of standing while singing this hymn.

There are two versions of this hymn of Luther's. The original version, written by Luther, is very rhythmic. The repeated notes at the beginning bring to mind the hammer blows of nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. The melody is rugged in its presentation.

The second version, unknown by Luther, is the so-called "smoothed-out" version. This version came into being some 200 years after Luther and is the version used in most hymnbooks today. Sometimes Christians are surprised that it is not the original version. You are encouraged to learn the original version. It is well worth the effort.

Pastor Gordon Waterman


1. A mighty Fortress is our God,
A trusty Shield and Weapon;
He helps us free from ev'ry need
That hath us now o'ertaken.
The old evil Foe
Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight;
On earth is not his equal.

2. With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected;
But for us fights the Valiant One,
Whom God Himself elected.
Ask ye, Who is this?
Jesus Christ it is,
Of Sabaoth Lord,
And there's none other God;
He hold the field forever.

3. Tho' devils all the world should fill,
All eager to devour us,
We tremble not, we fear no ill,
They shall not over-pow'r us.
This world's prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none,
He's judged; the deed is done;
One little word can fell him.

4. The Word they still shall let remain
Nor any thanks have for it;
He's by our side upon the plain
With His good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child, and wife,
Let these all be gone,
They yet have nothing won;
The kingdom our remaineth. Amen.

By Martin Luther, 1529
Based on Psalm 46