Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) was a priest and monk, and a German professor of theology, and one the most important figures in the Protestant Reformation.
In his days, the Catholic church was heavily involved in politics and in the practice of selling ‘indulgences‘. According to thee Catholic church, those who felt they had sinned could simply buy a pardon and, in exchange for their money, a prayer would be said or a candle lit to ‘absolve‘ them of their sins. The more money people paid for the indulgences, the more years – they believed – were taken off their time in purgatory .
Increasingly resentful of the ways of the Catholic Church, Martin Luther sent 95 Theses enclosed with a letter to Albert of Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mainz, on 31 October 1517, a date now considered the start of the Reformation. The 95 Theses attacked the corrupt practices of the papacy and essentially sparked the biggest revolution the Christian faith had ever seen. Luther may have also posted the Theses on the door of All Saints’ Church and other churches in Wittenberg,
Six Interesting Fact About Martin Luther
1. The famous story of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church may be just a legend
The story tells that Luther went to the Castle Church in Wittenburg, hammer in hand, and nailed his incendiary document to the front door. There were no eye-witnesses and Martin Luther himself was unclear on what he actually did to spread his 95 Theses, other than sending them to the local archbishop.
2. A near death experience may have inspired Luther to become a monk
Martin Luther’s father had planned for him to study law in order to help with the family business, but Luther had other plans. At age 21 he was caught up in a large storm and according to tradition, he prayed to St. Anna to save his life, promising to become a monk if he survived. Luther survived and honored his promise and became a monk two years later.
3. Luther was ‘kidnapped’ by a friend to avoid severe persecution from the Catholic Church
After publishing his 95 Theses, Luther was called to Rome to answer for his heresy. Since he did not comply, he was excommunicated, but that didn’t stop him, and in fact he burned the paper which announced his excommunication in a pit used to burn old rags.
He was able to avoid execution because of his great popularity with the general public, but in 1521 he was called to a Diet in the town of Worms, an assembly of the Holy Roman Empire, to explain himself. In Worms, Luther stated that he would only retract his criticisms of the church if they could show him sufficient evidence from the holy scripture that he was wrong. While he was traveling back, Frederick the Wise, Luther’s protector, ordered a group of knights to “kidnap” and hide him until the the danger of being arrested and even executed by the catholic church would pass.
4. Luther translated the New Testament from Greek to German in just 11 weeks
While living in an isolated castle, Luther spent 11 weeks of his 10 months as a “kidnapped” prisoner translating the New Testament at an astonishing rate of 1,800 words a day. Luther later translated also the old testament from Hebrew. Many consider his version of the Bible the most beautifully written. It was also the most popular.
5. Martin Luther not only had a big impact on the church, but also on the German language
Luther was a prolific writer who wrote more than 100 works in his lifetime. He was born just 10 years after the invention of the printing press and so his works reached thousands of people at a time when literature was sparse. Most of his writing was in Early New High German and experts believe that Luther’s writing, and especially his translation of the bible, strongly contributed to making this dialect popular.
6. Luther’s wife was the one who proposed
One Catholic tradition Luther didn’t support was celibacy in priests and in 1525 he married Katharina von Bora, an ex-nun whom he had met her while helping a group of nuns who had recently left a Cistercian convent to follow the reformation. Apparently she proposed marriage to him, to which he agreed.
Best 24 Quotes From Martin Luther
“I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.” ― Martin Luther
“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” ― Martin Luther
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” ― Martin Luther
“Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.” ― Martin Luther
“There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.” ― Martin Luther
“Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in him unless he knew where his believers are?” ― Martin Luther
“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” ― Martin Luther
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” ― Martin Luther
“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” ― Martin Luther
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” ― Martin Luther
“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” ― Martin Luther
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” ― Martin Luther
“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” ― Martin Luther
“There never yet have been, nor are there now, too many good books.” ― Martin Luther
“The gospel cannot be truly preached without offense and tumult.” ― Martin Luther
“Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.” ― Martin Luther
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say” ― Martin Luther
“God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” ― Martin Luther
“There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.” ― Martin Luther
“They are trying to make me into a fixed star. I am an irregular planet.” ― Martin Luther
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. It is laying hold of His willingness.” ― Martin Luther
“Pray, and let God worry.” ― Martin Luther
“The fewer the words, the better the prayer.” ― Martin Luther
“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair” ― Martin Luther