Perspective: Martin Luther

Nora Mangan

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95 Theses

Martin Luther wrote the 95 Theses as a plea for a more godly Church. He suggests ideas that would preserve faith and end corruption, such as the Church selling indulgences. These theses show people that an indulgence is not a ticket into heaven, only good faith can ensure heaven. Luther's 95 Theses was also a declaration of independence for the Protestant Church.


Luther's translation and spread of the Bible allowed people to examine the text differently. Lutheranism split into different Protestant churches, such as Baptist and Presbyterian churches. The Protestant emphasis on literacy and education allowed the transition into Modern Europe. The Roman Catholic Church that once flourished with power and ruled most of Europe, split into separate religions that people could choose to follow.

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Luther's Teachings

Luther thought anyone could have a direct relationship with God. They didn’t need priests to talk to God for them. This idea challenged the traditional structure of the church. He argued people’s beliefs shouldn’t be based on traditions, but on the Bible. This took away power from priests and popes. Luther also translated the Bible’s New Testament into German, to spread the exact ideas of the bible, rather than the Church's teachings. For the first time many Europeans could read the Bible for themselves.


Disagreement with the Church

Luther's 95 Theses and writings go against the power of the Church. He wants to take away power from the Church's leader, the Pope. When he is called to recant his writings, he states he cannot, which makes the Church name him an outlaw.

Religious Hatreds

Because of the many new religions forming due to Luther's teachings, hatreds between religions caused wars and disagreement. The Holy Roman Empire harassed religious minorities. Protestants and Catholics in Europe produced long-lasting religious hatreds. Also, Luther attacked Jews and other religions for not converting.


With the spread of the Bible, people interpreted the text in the way they pleased. Luther encouraged strict following of the text which caused extreme homophobia, celibacy, rape, and persecution of other religions.
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