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Martin Luther And The Ninety-Five Theses

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During the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation transformed Europe from a nation previously united by a singular Christian faith into one divided by conflicting religious beliefs and practices. Martin Luther, a German monk and theologian, played a significant role in the onset of this reform movement. In 1517, Luther wrote the Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, more commonly referred to as the Ninety-Five Theses, which called for a scholarly debate on various church practices, particularly the sale of indulgences to absolve human sin. Contrary to the church’s teaching, Luther asserted that people obtained salvation by faith, not through works or deeds, such as purchasing indulgences. Although Luther did not intend his work to be a program for reform, its widespread publication created public upheaval about the corruption within the church and thus threatened the power of the Pope. Therefore, the Ninety-Five Theses served as the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation because it sparked a theological conflict between Martin Luther and the papal authority, which eventually resulted in Luther breaking away from the Roman Catholic church and forming a new sect of Christianity.
Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, Saxony, in modern southeast Germany. He grew up in a middle-class family with his parents, Hans and Margarette Luther. His father, who was of peasant lineage and worked as a copper miner, wanted his son to become a lawyer. Thus, Luther enrolled in school at the age of seven and continued his studies through adolescence. In 1501, he entered the University of Erfurt, where he earned a Master of Arts degree and subsequently began law school in 1505. ...

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...who openly departed from the Roman Catholic church in the 16th century. Furthermore, his Ninety-Five Theses became the first widespread publication to question church practices and thus threaten papal authority. The church and Luther particularly disagreed on ideas related to salvation, and Luther’s refusal to recant his beliefs, which contradicted with those of the Pope, resulted in his excommunication from the church. Nevertheless, this excommunication initiated his breaking away from the church and led him to create his own church, which embraced Scripture as the sole authority and justification by faith. The theology of the Reformation emerged from his Ninety-Five Theses and this work marked the beginning of the process that transformed Luther “the monk” into Luther “the reformer” and fractured the Roman Catholic church into new sects of Christianity.
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