What is not generally known is that there were 18 Catholic translations of the whole Bible into German before Luther's translation saw the light of day. According to the 15-volume Catholic Encyclopedia, "these included five complete folio editions printed before 1477, nine from 1477 to 1522, and four in Low German, all prior to Luther's New Testament in 1522." (See for yourself: Click on the following link to the Catholic Encyclopedia and scroll down to "German versions.") There were also Catholic translations of the Bible into many other languages over the centuries well before the Protestant Reformation. In fact, the Latin Vulgate itself was a translation into the vernacular Latin tongue of the day: hence it was called "Vulgate" -- a reference to the "vulgar" (or common) tongue. Much of this is explored in detail by Henry G. Graham in Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church (pictured left).
It is also not generally known that Luther's celebrated translation of the Bible, famous for the formative influence it had on the German language, may not have been entirely original. The Swiss Reformer, Ulrich Zwingli, is quoted as having declared to Luther:
"You are unjust in putting forth the boastful claim of dragging the Bible from beneath the dusty benches of the schools. You forget that we have gained a knowledge of the Scriptures through the translations of others. You are very well aware, with all your blustering, that previously to your time there existed a host of scholars who, in biblical knowledge and philological attainments, were incomparably your superiors." [Alzog. III, 49, quoted in Patrick F. O'Hare, The Facts about Luther (pictured right) (Rockford, IL: Thomas A. Nelson Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. 191]Follow subsequent discussion on this thread here.