It was brought to my attention that Martin Luther added the word "alone" to Romans 3:28. Is this a fact? Thank you.
I will let Martin Luther himself answer that question. In his “On Translating: An Open Letter,” written in 1530, he explained his translation of Romans 3:28: “I knew very well that the word solum [Latin = alone, only] is not in the Greek or Latin text…It is a fact that these four letters s o l a are not there…At the same time…it belongs there if the translation is to be clear and vigorous. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had undertaken to speak in the translation. But it is the nature of our German language that in speaking of two things, one of which is affirmed and the other denied, we use the word solum (allein) along with the word nicht [not] or kein [no]. For example, we say, ‘The farmer brings allein [only] grain and kein [no] money.’
“…This is the German usage, even though it is not the Latin or Greek usage. It is the nature of the German language to add the word allein in order that the word nicht or kein may be clearer or more complete.” [Luther’s Works, American Edition, Volume 35, 188-189]
Luther acknowledged that the word “alone” or “only” is not in the Greek text, but the idea certainly is. With that and also the nuances of the German language in mind, he included “alone” in his translation.
Certainly, if we are not saved by our good works or by a combination of faith and good works, then we are saved through faith alone. That is the consistent message of Scripture (e.g., Romans 3:28; Galatians 3:11; Titus 3:5-6).