A Short Tidbit
Today is the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, or the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Catholic Church. It was a time of great change. Many were beginning to come out of the dark and middle ages, as books became more readily available, to the higher classes, as the printing press had been invented by Johann Gutenberg sometime before 1450, and it was improved over the years, so the copies could more readily come out. Martin Luther was one man who took advantage of the idea of books getting printed for the masses. He pianistically translated the Holy Bible from Hebrew / Latin to German, so that those in Europe could finally read it for themselves, instead of relying on Catholic priest, dictated by the pope, for what the Holy Bible said and how it should be interpreted. He used all the ways in which people could understand the Holy Bible, such as simple illustrations (like movie posters today) for the masses that were illiterate, small pamphlets, which were so popular, that they made for easy transferal of new thoughts and ideas, just printing off The New Testament, that could be bought with one week’s pay, and the whole Holy Bible, that would take an entire month’s earnings to purchase. Luther wanted to get out the good news, but why?
In a time of poverty, death, exploration, enslavement, manipulation, and revolt, the Popes of the time wanted to control the people, even to the point to them believing where they would go after death, so that a new church could be funded and built for them. “In 1517, Pope Leo X declares indulgence for rebuilding St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, a rebuilding that began in 1506 under Pope Julius II. John Tetzel raises much money for the new basilica by telling people they must buy indulgences, or they and their loved ones will suffer in purgatory,” (LutheranReformation.org). Luther, a Catholic Priest, had been influenced by the Bible and the writings of the early church philosopher Augustine, and retained the simple and true belief that one cannot get to heaven on good works alone, but on the blood and salvation of Jesus Christ. Jesus in the only way into heaven because he is, “the way, the truth, and the life,” ( ). Therefore, because of all the abuse the Popes of the days were exploiting on the masses, for newly remodeled church, Martin Luther decided to end it and he nailed his 95 Theses or, “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg 500 years ago today, October 31, 1517.
Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, The. “Reformation.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 15 Feb. 2017, www.britannica.com/event/Reformation.
History.com Staff. “Martin Luther and the 95 Theses.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/topics/martin-luther-and-the-95-theses.
Missouri Synod, The Lutheran Church -. “Reformation 500th Anniversary | News, Resources, History.” Lutheran Reformation, Lutheran Church Extension Fund, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Thrivent Financial Foundation, 31 Oct. 2017, lutheranreformation.org/.
Waugh, Barry. “The Importance of the Printing Press for the Protestant Reformation, Part One.” reformation21.Org, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Oct. 2013, reformation21.org/articles/the-importance-of-the-printing.php.
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