We must remember that the popes are only following the authority as conferred by Christ according to (Matthew 16:18-19). They did not start their own church as Luther did, they merely lead Christ’s Church in Rome, as first bishop among equals according to the teachings of Christ as passed on through the teachings of Peter (2 Peter 1:12-15) & Paul (1 Timothy 1:1-7, Titus 1:4-9). The popes do not make their own proclamations as Luther did, as they can only repeat infallible teachings of Christ & the Holy Spirit. By contrast, Luther who did what Peter (2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Peter 2:1-11) and Paul (Colossians 2:8) warned against by creating his own views that conflicted with the scriptures and the early writings of the Church.
Popes speaking in the singular “I” speak for themselves as sinners as did Alexander the VI, simply as imperfect men and not with the authority of the Church. Only those Popes speaking in the plural “We”, and meeting the other conditions of papal infallibility, actually confer the true teachings of the Church as passed on from Jesus Christ through the bishops over the past ~2000 years.
If popes alone determined the nature of Christianity, then there was no point for Christ to start the chain and pass on the keys to the kingdom. Popes only repeat, they do not make up new facts as Luther did. And they especially do not pass on fallible teachings in conflict with the original teachings of Christ.
Additionally, Luther ignored the oldest of the Greek texts: The Septuagint, translated & written between 284 & 247 BC, which contained the books that he removed from his version of the bible that became the Protestant Bible. The last of the Christian Scriptures by John the Evangelist was completed around 90 AD. But, Luther used the abbreviated Hebrew Bible, compiled and translated into Greek around 147 AD (the 2nd Century) under the direction of Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph (a Pharisee) as Luther’s guide to assemble his abbreviated Christian bible.
Why was the Hebrew Bible abbreviated? The Pharisees were left to translate the broken scriptures back into a singular set of manuscripts after having the leadership of the Jewish faith, the Sadducees (last of the Levites and holders of the manuscripts), executed under Herod Agrippa II around 44 AD; and, in 70 AD, the temple was destroyed as well. This left Pharisees lacking complete scriptural possessions and the end result was a Hebrew Bible missing the following books: Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, Judith, Tobit, 1 Maccabees, & 2 Maccabees. And, of the books the Pharisees had, at least 6 Messianic Prophecies were removed. Unfortunately, Luther used their flawed work to further his own flawed work.
History does not treat Luther well, and perhaps it is better that everyone learn the specific reasons why this is the case.
This writing was made as a response to a comment on an article regarding the writings of Martin Luther which can be found here: http://www.davidlgray.info/blog/2013/09/500-years-of-protestantism-the-33-most-ridiculous-things-martin-luther-ever-wrote/