Martin Luther

The first of the Protestant reformers

Who is Martin Luther?

  • Born in Eisleben, Saxony in 1483.
  • Joined the Augustinian Friars in 1505.
  • His father was a strict disciplinarian.
  • Entered the monastery after surviving a violent thunderstorm
  • While he was in the monastery he had a problem with scrupulosity.
  • He began to see God as a lawgiver and administrator of justice.

Luther's teachings and influences

  • Emphasized the primacy of the Bible rather than Church officials as the ultimate religious authority.
  • Believed that humans could not reach salvation by their own act but that their only God could bestowed salvation by his dying grace.
  • Criticized the selling of indulgences.
  • William of Ockham influenced his teachings.
  • Influenced by the writings of the early Church philosopher, Augustine
  • His personal struggle with scrupulosity and his strict father also made him see God this way.

95 Theses

  • In October of 1570, he nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church.
  • It was a list of questions and propositions for the debate about the teachings of the Catholic Church.
  • He strongly criticized the selling of indulgences.
  • Copies of this were spread quickly throughout Europe because of the printing press.
Click here to see 95 Theses

List of the 95 Theses

Comparison of Teachings

  • Taught that faith alone saves. But Christ says, "Faith without works is dead" -James 2:26.
  • Taught that there is no supreme teaching power of the Church. Jesus instituted that Christ gave Peter the authority of Pope.
  • Believed that each person can interpret Scripture in their own way. Because each person has different life experiences, people may have different ways to interpret Scripture without making stuff up.

Conclusion

  • Although Luther was right, there was corruptions in the Church (selling indulgence). Most of his teachings went against the teaching of the Church.