Allen from Wisconsin asked me about a catholic version of the bible. Though I do not know about that his mail got me thinking about Luther. Luthers translation of the bible into German lead to one German "Hochdeutsch" from the many dialects. Maybe I should tell that to some of my Swiss friends, who still talk in dialect .-)
Here is one famous quote from that time:
"Wenn das Geld im Kasten klingt, die Seele aus dem Fegefeuer springt. "
It means that on could by letters of absolution. Those made the church rich and Luther mad, so he started his famous "95 Thesen". I am not going into religious details about Luthers work, but will concentrate on his translation work here.
Luther translated the new testament during his time on the Wartburg 1521-22 and later the old testament. By 1525 a third of those Germans that could read owned a copy of his bible. He used the "Ostmitteldeutsch" of his hometown. This became what is now known as "Hochdeutsch".
Luther is famous for his "volksnahe Sprache" and "vulgäre Ausdrücke" like:
"Aus einem glücklichen Arsch kommt ein fröhlicher Furz."
"Ein Rausch ist zu ertragen, die Trunkenheit aber nicht."
"Anstrengungen machen gesund und stark."