Since the hero of the story is a Christian, that Biblical scripture would appear in the story is not unexpected. The first scripture that appears in the story is The Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus spoke to the multitudes. Luther’s father frames the Beatitudes and hangs them above the headboard of his son’s bed. These essential teachings from Jesus about all the ordinary people who would be blessed profoundly affected young Luther who probably read them many nights before he went to sleep. They tell him that God loves everyone who is righteous and thinks of others before himself.
I was raised in a Baptist household and read the King James Version of the Bible. Daily prayer and Bible study was an essential part of my childhood. My family attended church three times a week: Sunday morning services, Sunday evening services, and Wednesday prayer meetings.
Therefore, I was attuned to a similar life that Luther might have had as the son of a Lutheran protestant. However, to be authentic, I originally found the Lutheran version of the Bible and all the scriptures that I used in the first draft that I submitted to the publisher were the Lutheran transcriptions.
To my amazement, when the manuscript was returned by the editor, I had to change all the scriptural quotations. As it turns out, all versions of the Bible are copyrighted by the religion for which they are written. Only the King James Version is not copyrighted. Therefore, I had to change all the transcriptions to the version with which I had grown up. This didn’t bother me too much except when as a POW, Luther explained to his fellow prisoners how love is the center of Christianity by reading from First Corinthians 13. I prefer the Lutheran version which uses the word love, whereas the King James Version uses charity in its place.
During the height of the war, Luther’s father gives him a framed version of Psalm 23 to comfort him before and after battles with the image of God as a shepherd.
When the Welsh captain is convalescing in Luther’s cabin, the two men exchange quotes from Ecclesiastes and Romans as they realize they are fellow Christians and become friends.
Luther early in life learned that there are many different religions, and he investigated some of them and found himself drawn to Buddhism because the teachings of the Buddha are like the teachings of the Christ. Thus, he added to his cabin a framed version of Buddha’s Eightfold Path to Enlightenment.
A final religious document, although most people don’t think of it as such, is the Hippocratic Oath, for it is an oath to the pagan gods of Athens, the world’s first democracy. It begins, “I swear to Apollo the physician. . . .”