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Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest,
theologian Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the ...
, author,
hymnwriter A hymnwriter (or hymn writer, hymnist, hymnodist, hymnographer, etc.) is someone who writes the text, music, or both of hymns. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the composition of hymns dates back to before the time of David, who composed many of ...
, and professor, and Augustinian friar. He is the seminal figure of the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
and the namesake of
Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Cathol ...
. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He came to reject several teachings and practices of the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
; in particular, he disputed the view on
indulgence In the teaching of the Catholic Church, an indulgence (, from , 'permit') is "a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins". The ''Catechism of the Catholic Church'' describes an indulgence as "a remission before God of ...
s. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his ''
Ninety-five Theses The ''Ninety-five Theses'' or ''Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences''-The title comes from the 1517 Basel pamphlet printing. The first printings of the ''Theses'' use an incipit rather than a title which summarizes the content ...
'' of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the
Diet of Worms The Diet of Worms of 1521 (german: Reichstag zu Worms ) was an imperial diet (a formal deliberative assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, ...
in 1521 resulted in his
excommunication Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to end or at least regulate the Koinonia, communion of a member of a congregation with other members of the religious institution who are in normal communion with each other. The ...
by the
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, 'father'), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome), head of the worldwide Cathol ...
and condemnation as an
outlaw An outlaw, in its original and legal meaning, is a person declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, all legal protection was withdrawn from the criminal, so that anyone was legally empowered to persecute or kill them ...
by the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the Middle Ages, and also known as the Roman-German Emperor since the early modern period ( la, Imperator ...
. Luther taught that
salvation Salvation (from Latin: ''salvatio'', from ''salva'', 'safe, saved') is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation. In religion and theology, ''salvation'' generally refers to the deliverance of the soul from sin and its c ...
and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's
grace Grace may refer to: Places United States * Grace, Idaho, a city * Grace (CTA station), Chicago Transit Authority's Howard Line, Illinois * Little Goose Creek (Kentucky), location of Grace post office * Grace, Carroll County, Missouri, an unincor ...
through the believer's
faith Faith, derived from Latin ''fides'' and Old French ''feid'', is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or In the context of religion, one can define faith as "belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion". Religious people often ...
in
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, names and titles), was ...
as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the pope by teaching that the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthologya compilation of ...
is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge, and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on ''Christian'' or ''Evangelical'' ( German: ''evangelisch'') as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. His translation of the Bible into the German
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language is in contrast with a "standard language". It refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, n ...
(instead of
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...
) made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the
German language German ( ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and Official language, official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Ita ...
, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the
Tyndale Bible The Tyndale Bible generally refers to the body of Bible translations, biblical translations by William Tyndale into Early Modern English, made . Tyndale's Bible is credited with being the first Bible translation in the English language to work ...
.''Tyndale's New Testament'', trans. from the Greek by William Tyndale in 1534 in a modern-spelling edition and with an introduction by David Daniell. New Haven, CT:
Yale University Yale University is a Private university, private research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Established in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the List of Colonial Colleges, third-oldest institution of higher education in the United Sta ...
Press, 1989, ix–x.
His hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. Bainton, Roland. ''Here I Stand: a Life of Martin Luther''. New York: Penguin, 1995, 269. His marriage to
Katharina von Bora Katharina von Bora (; 29 January 1499 – 20 December 1552), after her wedding Katharina Luther, also referred to as "die Lutherin" ("the Lutheress"), was the wife of Martin Luther, Germans, German Protestant Reformer, reformer and a seminal fig ...
, a former nun, set a model for the practice of
clerical marriage Clerical marriage is practice of allowing Christian clergy (those who have already been ordained) to marry. This practice is distinct from allowing married persons to become clergy. Clerical marriage is admitted among Protestantism, Protestants, i ...
, allowing Protestant
clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the ter ...
to marry.Bainton, Roland. ''Here I Stand: a Life of Martin Luther''. New York: Penguin, 1995, p. 223. In two of his later works, Luther expressed antisemitic views, calling for the expulsion of
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
and burning of
synagogue A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish: ''shul'', Ladino: or ' (from synagogue); or ', "community". sometimes referred to as shul, and interchangeably used with the word temple, is a Jewish house of wo ...
s. In addition, these works also targeted
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan c ...
s,
Anabaptists Anabaptism (from New Latin language, Neo-Latin , from the Greek language, Greek : 're-' and 'baptism', german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re- ...
, and nontrinitarian Christians. Based upon his significant anti-judaistic teachings, the prevailing view among historians is that his rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of
antisemitism in Germany Antisemitism Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice towards, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is considered to be a form o ...
and of the
Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right politics, far-right political party in Germany active between 1920 and 1945 that crea ...
."The assertion that Luther's expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment have been of major and persistent influence in the centuries after the Reformation, and that there exists a continuity between Protestant
anti-Judaism Anti-Judaism is the "total or partial opposition to Judaism as a religion—and the total or partial opposition to Jews as adherents of it—by persons who accept a competing theology, system of beliefs and ritual, practices and consider certai ...
and modern racially oriented antisemitism, is at present wide-spread in the literature; since the Second World War it has understandably become the prevailing opinion." Johannes Wallmann, "The Reception of Luther's Writings on the Jews from the Reformation to the End of the 19th century", ''Lutheran Quarterly'', n.s. 1 (Spring 1987) 1:72–97.
Luther died in 1546 with Pope Leo X's excommunication still in effect.


Early life


Birth and education

Martin Luther was born to Hans Luder (or Ludher, later Luther) Marty, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. Viking Penguin, 2004, p. 1. and his wife Margarethe (née Lindemann) on 10 November 1483 in
Eisleben Eisleben is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is famous as both the hometown of the influential theologian Martin Luther and the place where he died; hence, its official name is Lutherstadt Eisleben. First mentioned in the late 10th century, E ...
, County of Mansfeld, in the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, dissolution i ...
. Luther was
baptized Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christians, Christian sacrament of initiation and Adoption ...
the next morning on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. In 1484, his family moved to
Mansfeld Mansfeld, sometimes also unofficially Mansfeld-Lutherstadt, is a town in the district of Mansfeld-Südharz, in Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a States of Germany, state of Germany, bordering ...
, where his father was a leaseholder of copper mines and smelters Brecht, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. tr. James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985–93, 1:3–5. and served as one of four citizen representatives on the local council; in 1492 he was elected as a town councilor. The religious scholar
Martin Marty Martin Emil Marty (born on February 5, 1928) is an American Lutheran religious scholar who has written extensively on religion in the United States. Early life and education Marty was born on February 5, 1928, in West Point, Nebraska, West Point, ...
describes Luther's mother as a hard-working woman of "trading-class stock and middling means", contrary to Luther's enemies, who labeled her a whore and bath attendant. He had several brothers and sisters and is known to have been close to one of them, Jacob. Marty, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. Viking Penguin, 2004, p. 3. Hans Luther was ambitious for himself and his family, and he was determined to see Martin, his eldest son, become a lawyer. He sent Martin to Latin schools in Mansfeld, then
Magdeburg Magdeburg (; nds, label=Low German, Low Saxon, Meideborg ) is the Capital city, capital and second-largest City, city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state Saxony-Anhalt. The city is situated at the Elbe river. Otto I, Holy Roman Em ...
in 1497, where he attended a school operated by a lay group called the
Brethren of the Common Life The Brethren of the Common Life (Latin language, Latin: Fratres Vitae Communis, FVC) was a Roman Catholic Pietism, pietist religious community founded in the Netherlands in the 14th century by Gerard Groote, formerly a successful and worldly educa ...
, and
Eisenach Eisenach () is a Town#Germany, town in Thuringia, Germany with 42,000 inhabitants, located west of Erfurt, southeast of Kassel and northeast of Frankfurt. It is the main urban centre of western Thuringia and bordering northeastern Hesse, Hes ...
in 1498. Rupp, Ernst Gordon. "Martin Luther," ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', accessed 2006. The three schools focused on the so-called "
trivium The trivium is the lower division of the seven liberal arts and comprises grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The trivium is implicit in ''De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii'' ("On the Marriage of Philology and Mercury") by Martianus Capella, but the ...
": grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Luther later compared his education there to
purgatory Purgatory (, borrowed into English language, English via Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman and Old French) is, according to the belief of some Christianity, Christian denominations (mostly Catholic), an intermediate state after physical death ...
and
hell In religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or religious organization, organizations, that ...
. Marty, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. Viking Penguin, 2004, pp. 2–3. In 1501, at age 17, he entered the
University of Erfurt The University of Erfurt (german: Universität Erfurt) is a public university located in Erfurt, the capital city of the Germany, German state of Thuringia. It was founded in 1379, and closed in 1816. It was re-established in 1994, three years a ...
, which he later described as a beerhouse and whorehouse. Marty, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. Viking Penguin, 2004, p. 4. He was made to wake at four every morning for what has been described as "a day of rote learning and often wearying spiritual exercises." He received his master's degree in 1505. Marty, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. Viking Penguin, 2004, p. 5. In accordance with his father's wishes, he enrolled in law but dropped out almost immediately, believing that law represented uncertainty. Luther sought assurances about life and was drawn to theology and philosophy, expressing particular interest in
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
,
William of Ockham William of Ockham, OFM (; also Occam, from la, Gulielmus Occamus; 1287 – 10 April 1347) was an English Franciscan friar The Franciscans are a group of related Mendicant orders, mendicant Christianity, Christian Catholic religious order, ...
, and Gabriel Biel. He was deeply influenced by two tutors, Bartholomaeus Arnoldi von Usingen and Jodocus Trutfetter, who taught him to be suspicious of even the greatest thinkers and to test everything himself by experience. Marty, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. Viking Penguin, 2004, p. 6. Philosophy proved to be unsatisfying, offering assurance about the use of
reason Reason is the capacity of Consciousness, consciously applying logic by Logical consequence, drawing conclusions from new or existing information, with the aim of seeking the truth. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activ ...
but none about loving God, which to Luther was more important. Reason could not lead men to God, he felt, and he thereafter developed a love-hate relationship with Aristotle over the latter's emphasis on reason. For Luther, reason could be used to question men and institutions, but not God. Human beings could learn about God only through divine
revelation In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of Religious views on truth, truth or Knowledge#Religious meaning of knowledge, knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entiti ...
, he believed, and Scripture therefore became increasingly important to him. On 2 July 1505, while Luther was returning to university on horseback after a trip home, a lightning bolt struck near him during a thunderstorm. Later telling his father he was terrified of death and divine judgment, he cried out, "Help!
Saint Anna According to Christianity, Christian apocryphal and Islamic tradition, Saint Anne was the mother of Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary and the maternal grandmother of Jesus. Mary's mother is not named in the Gospel#Canonical gospels, canonical gospels. ...
, I will become a monk!"Brecht, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. tr. James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985–93, 1:48. He came to view his cry for help as a vow he could never break. He left university, sold his books, and entered St. Augustine's Monastery in
Erfurt Erfurt () is the capital (political), capital and largest city in the Central Germany (cultural area), Central German state of Thuringia. It is located in the wide valley of the Gera (river), Gera river (progression: ), in the southern part of ...
on 17 July 1505. One friend blamed the decision on Luther's sadness over the deaths of two friends. Luther himself seemed saddened by the move. Those who attended a farewell supper walked him to the door of the Black Cloister. "This day you see me, and then, not ever again," he said. His father was furious over what he saw as a waste of Luther's education. Marty, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. Viking Penguin, 2004, p. 7.


Monastic life

Luther dedicated himself to the Augustinian order, devoting himself to
fasting Fasting is the abstention from eating and sometimes drinking. From a purely physiology, physiological context, "fasting" may refer to the metabolism, metabolic status of a person who has not eaten overnight (see "Breakfast"), or to the metabolic ...
, long hours in
prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity or a deified an ...
,
pilgrimage A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, aft ...
, and frequent
confession A confession is a statement – made by a person or by a group of persons – acknowledging some personal fact that the person (or the group) would ostensibly prefer to keep hidden. The term presumes that the speaker is providing information th ...
.Bainton, Roland. ''Here I Stand: a Life of Martin Luther''. New York: Penguin, 1995, 40–42. Luther described this period of his life as one of deep spiritual despair. He said, "I lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, and made of him the jailer and hangman of my poor soul."Kittelson, James. ''Luther The Reformer''. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishing House, 1986, 79. Johann von Staupitz, his superior, concluded that Luther needed more work to distract him from excessive introspection and ordered him to pursue an academic career. On 3 April 1507, Jerome Schultz (lat. Hieronymus Scultetus), the Bishop of Brandenburg, ordained Luther in
Erfurt Cathedral Erfurt Cathedral (german: Erfurter Dom, link=no, officially ''Hohe Domkirche St. Marien zu Erfurt'', English: Cathedral Church of St Mary at Erfurt), also known as St Mary's Cathedral, is the largest and oldest church building in ...
. In 1508, he began teaching theology at the
University of Wittenberg Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (german: Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg), also referred to as MLU, is a public, research-oriented university in the cities of Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Halle and Wittenberg and the largest an ...
.Bainton, Roland. ''Here I Stand: a Life of Martin Luther''. New York: Penguin, 1995, 44–45. He received a bachelor's degree in biblical studies on 9 March 1508 and another bachelor's degree in the ''
Sentences ''The Four Books of Sentences'' (''Libri Quattuor Sententiarum'') is a book of theology written by Peter Lombard in the 12th century. It is a systematic compilation of theology, written around 1150; it derives its name from the ''sententiae'' o ...
'' by
Peter Lombard Peter Lombard (also Peter the Lombard, Pierre Lombard or Petrus Lombardus; 1096, Novara Novara (, Novarese Lombard, Novarese: ) is the capital city of the province of Novara in the Piedmont (Italy), Piedmont region in northwest Italy, to the ...
in 1509.Brecht, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. tr. James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985–93, 1:93. On 19 October 1512, he was awarded his
Doctor of Theology Doctor of Theology ( la, Doctor Theologiae, abbreviated DTh, ThD, DTheol, or Dr. theol.) is a terminal degree in the academic discipline of theology. The ThD, like the ecclesiastical Doctor of Sacred Theology, is an advanced research degree equiva ...
and, on 21 October 1512, was received into the senate of the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg,Brecht, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. tr. James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985–93, 1:112–27. having succeeded von Staupitz as chair of theology. He spent the rest of his career in this position at the University of Wittenberg. He was made provincial
vicar A vicar (; Latin: ''vicarius'') is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or wiktionary:agent, agent for a superior (compare "vicarious" in the sense of "at second hand"). Linguistically, ''vicar'' is cognate wit ...
of
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (german: Freistaat Sachsen, links=no ; Upper Saxon: ''Freischdaad Saggsn''; hsb, Swobodny stat Sakska, links=no), is a ...
and
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of central Germany, covering , the sixth smallest of the sixteen German states. It has a population of about 2.1 million. Erfurt is t ...
by his religious order in 1515. This meant he was to visit and oversee each of eleven monasteries in his province.


Start of the Reformation

In 1516,
Johann Tetzel Johann Tetzel (c. 1465 – 11 August 1519) was a Holy Roman Empire, German Dominican Order, Dominican friar and preacher. He was appointed Inquisitor for Poland and Saxony, later becoming the Grand Commissioner for indulgences in Germany. Tetze ...
, a
Dominican friar The Order of Preachers ( la, Ordo Praedicatorum) abbreviated OP, also known as the Dominicans, is a Catholic mendicant order of Pontifical Right for men founded in Toulouse, France, by the Spanish priest, saint and Mysticism, mystic Saint ...
, was sent to Germany by the Roman Catholic Church to sell indulgences to raise money in order to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Tetzel's experiences as a preacher of indulgences, especially between 1503 and 1510, led to his appointment as general commissioner by Albrecht von Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mainz, who, deeply in debt to pay for a large accumulation of benefices, had to contribute the considerable sum of ten thousand
ducat The ducat () coin was used as a trade coin in Europe from the Late Middle Ages, later Middle Ages from the 13th to 19th centuries. Its most familiar version, the gold ducat or sequin (coin), sequin containing around of 98.6% fine gold, originate ...
s toward the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Albrecht obtained permission from Pope Leo X to conduct the sale of a special plenary indulgence (i.e., remission of the temporal punishment of sin), half of the proceeds of which Albrecht was to claim to pay the fees of his benefices. On 31 October 1517, Luther wrote to his bishop, Albrecht von Brandenburg, protesting against the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his "Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences", – The first printings of the ''Theses'' use an
incipit The incipit () of a text is the first few words of the text, employed as an identifying label. In a musical composition Musical composition can refer to an Originality, original piece or work of music, either Human voice, vocal or Musical ...
rather than a title which summarizes the content. Luther usually called them "" (my propositions). which came to be known as the ''
Ninety-five Theses The ''Ninety-five Theses'' or ''Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences''-The title comes from the 1517 Basel pamphlet printing. The first printings of the ''Theses'' use an incipit rather than a title which summarizes the content ...
''. Hans Hillerbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly "searching, rather than doctrinaire."Hillerbrand, Hans J. "Martin Luther: Indulgences and salvation," ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', 2007. Hillerbrand writes that there is nevertheless an undercurrent of challenge in several of the theses, particularly in Thesis 86, which asks: "Why does the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest
Crassus Marcus Licinius Crassus (; 115 – 53 BC) was a ancient Rome, Roman general and statesman who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. He is often called "the richest man in Rome."Wallechinsky, David ...
, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?" Luther objected to a saying attributed to Tetzel that "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory (also attested as 'into heaven') springs." He insisted that, since
forgiveness Forgiveness, in a psychology, psychological sense, is the intentional and voluntary process by which one who may initially feel victimized or wronged, goes through a change in feelings and attitude regarding a given offender, and overcomes the ...
was God's alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. Christians, he said, must not slacken in following Christ on account of such false assurances. According to one account, Luther nailed his ''Ninety-five Theses'' to the door of All Saints' Church in
Wittenberg Wittenberg ( , ; Low Saxon language, Low Saxon: ''Wittenbarg''; meaning ''White Mountain''; officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg (''Luther City Wittenberg'')), is the fourth largest town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Wittenberg is situated on the Ri ...
on 31 October 1517. Scholars Walter Krämer, Götz Trenkler, Gerhard Ritter, and Gerhard Prause contend that the story of the posting on the door, although it has become one of the pillars of history, has little foundation in truth.Krämer, Walter and Trenkler, Götz. "Luther" in ''Lexicon van Hardnekkige Misverstanden''. Uitgeverij Bert Bakker, 1997, 214:216.Ritter, Gerhard. ''Luther'', Frankfurt 1985.Gerhard Prause "Luthers Thesanschlag ist eine Legende,"in ''Niemand hat Kolumbus ausgelacht''. Düsseldorf, 1986.Marshall, Peter ''1517: Martin Luther and the Invention of the Reformation'' (Oxford University Press, 2017) The story is based on comments made by Luther's collaborator
Philip Melanchthon Philip Melanchthon. (born Philipp Schwartzerdt; 16 February 1497 – 19 April 1560) was a German Lutheran Protestant Reformers, reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellect ...
, though it is thought that he was not in Wittenberg at the time. According to Roland Bainton, on the other hand, it is true. The Latin ''Theses'' were printed in several locations in Germany in 1517. In January 1518 friends of Luther translated the ''Ninety-five Theses'' from Latin into German.Brecht, Martin. ''Martin Luther''. tr. James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985–93, 1:204–05. Within two weeks, copies of the theses had spread throughout Germany. Luther's writings circulated widely, reaching
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...
, and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
as early as 1519. Students thronged to Wittenberg to hear Luther speak. He published a short commentary on Galatians and his ''Work on the Psalms''. This early part of Luther's career was one of his most creative and productive. Three of his best-known works were published in 1520: '' To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation'', ''
On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church ''Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church'' ( la, De captivitate Babylonica ecclesiae, praeludium Martini Lutheri, October 1520) was the second of the three major treatises published by Martin Luther in 1520, coming after the ''To the ...
'', and '' On the Freedom of a Christian''.


Justification by faith alone

From 1510 to 1520, Luther lectured on the Psalms, and on the books of Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians. As he studied these portions of the Bible, he came to view the use of terms such as
penance Penance is any act or a set of actions done out of Repentance (theology), repentance for Christian views on sin, sins committed, as well as an alternate name for the Catholic Church, Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox s ...
and
righteousness Righteousness is the quality or state of being morally correct and justifiable. It can be considered synonymous with "rightness" or being "upright". It can be found in Indian religions and Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic traditions, among other rel ...
by the Catholic Church in new ways. He became convinced that the church was corrupt in its ways and had lost sight of what he saw as several of the central truths of Christianity. The most important for Luther was the doctrine of justification—God's act of declaring a sinner righteous—by faith alone through God's grace. He began to teach that salvation or redemption is a gift of God's
grace Grace may refer to: Places United States * Grace, Idaho, a city * Grace (CTA station), Chicago Transit Authority's Howard Line, Illinois * Little Goose Creek (Kentucky), location of Grace post office * Grace, Carroll County, Missouri, an unincor ...
, attainable only through faith in Jesus as the
Messiah In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a salvation, saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ''Messiah in Judaism, mashiach'', Messianism#Judaism, messianism, and of a Messianic Age#Judaism, Messianic Age ...
.Wriedt, Markus. "Luther's Theology," in ''The Cambridge Companion to Luther''. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 88–94. "This one and firm rock, which we call the doctrine of justification", he writes, "is the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine, which comprehends the understanding of all godliness." Luther came to understand justification as entirely the work of God. This teaching by Luther was clearly expressed in his 1525 publication ''
On the Bondage of the Will ''On the Bondage of the Will'' ( lat, De Servo Arbitrio, literally, "On Un-free Will", or "Concerning Bound Choice"), by Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest, theologian, author, ...
'', which was written in response to ''On Free Will'' by
Desiderius Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; ; English: Erasmus of Rotterdam or Erasmus;''Erasmus'' was his baptismal name, given after St. Erasmus, St. Erasmus of Formiae. ''Desiderius'' was an adopted additional name, which he used from 1496. The ''Rote ...
(1524). Luther based his position on
predestination Predestination, in theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God in Christianity, God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul. Explanations of predestination often seek to address the Argument fro ...
on St. Paul's epistle to the . Against the teaching of his day that the righteous acts of believers are performed in with God, Luther wrote that Christians receive such righteousness entirely from outside themselves; that righteousness not only comes from Christ but actually the righteousness of Christ, imputed to Christians (rather than infused into them) through faith. "That is why faith alone makes someone just and fulfills the law," he writes. "Faith is that which brings the
Holy Spirit In Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. I ...
through the merits of Christ." Faith, for Luther, was a gift from God; the experience of being justified by faith was "as though I had been born again." His entry into Paradise, no less, was a discovery about "the righteousness of God"—a discovery that "the just person" of whom the Bible speaks (as in Romans 1:17) lives by faith. He explains his concept of "justification" in the
Smalcald Articles The Smalcald Articles or Schmalkald Articles (german: Schmalkaldische Artikel) are a summary of Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-century Ger ...
:
The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24–25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John (; ') is a common male given name in the English language of Hebrew language, Hebrew origin. The name is the English form of ''Iohannes'' and ''Ioannes'', which are the La ...
1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (
Isaiah Isaiah ( or ; he, , ''Yəšaʿyāhū'', "Yahweh, God is Salvation"), also known as Isaias, was the 8th-century BC Israelite Biblical prophet, prophet after whom the Book of Isaiah is named. Within the text of the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah hims ...
53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23–25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us ... Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls ( Mark 13:31).


Breach with the papacy

Archbishop Albrecht did not reply to Luther's letter containing the ''Ninety-five Theses''. He had the theses checked for heresy and in December 1517 forwarded them to Rome. He needed the revenue from the indulgences to pay off a papal dispensation for his tenure of more than one bishopric. As Luther later notes, "the pope had a finger in the pie as well, because one half was to go to the building of St. Peter's Church in Rome". Pope Leo X was used to reformers and heretics, and he responded slowly, "with great care as is proper." Over the next three years he deployed a series of papal theologians and envoys against Luther, which served only to harden the reformer's anti-papal theology. First, the Dominican theologian Sylvester Mazzolini drafted a heresy case against Luther, whom Leo then summoned to Rome. The Elector Frederick persuaded the pope to have Luther examined at Augsburg, where the Imperial Diet was held. Over a three-day period in October 1518, Luther defended himself under questioning by
papal legate image:K. Henry 2. Kissing the knee of the Popes Legate comming into England.gif, 300px, A woodcut showing Henry II of England greeting the pope's legate. A papal legate or apostolic legate (from the Ancient Rome, ancient Roman title ''legatus'') ...
Cardinal Cajetan. The pope's right to issue indulgences was at the centre of the dispute between the two men. The hearings degenerated into a shouting match. More than writing his theses, Luther's confrontation with the church cast him as an enemy of the pope: "His Holiness abuses Scripture", retorted Luther. "I deny that he is above Scripture". Cajetan's original instructions had been to arrest Luther if he failed to recant, but the legate desisted from doing so. With help from the Carmelite monk Christoph Langenmantel, Luther slipped out of the city at night, unbeknownst to Cajetan. In January 1519, at Altenburg in Saxony, the papal nuncio Karl von Miltitz adopted a more conciliatory approach. Luther made certain concessions to the Saxon, who was a relative of the Elector and promised to remain silent if his opponents did. The theologian
Johann Eck Johann Maier von Eck (13 November 1486 – 13 February 1543), often anglicized as John Eck, was a German Catholic theologian, Scholasticism, scholastic, prelate, and a pioneer of the counter-reformation who was among Martin Luther's most im ...
, however, was determined to expose Luther's doctrine in a public forum. In June and July 1519, he staged a
disputation In the scholasticism, scholastic system of education of the Middle Ages, disputations (in Latin: ''disputationes'', singular: ''disputatio'') offered a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish truths in theology and in scie ...
with Luther's colleague Andreas Karlstadt at
Leipzig Leipzig ( , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. Leipzig's population of 605,407 inhabitants (1.1 million in the larger urban zone) as of 2021 places the city as Germany's L ...
and invited Luther to speak. Luther's boldest assertion in the debate was that does not confer on popes the exclusive right to interpret scripture, and that therefore neither popes nor
church councils A synod () is a council of a Christian denomination, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word ''wikt:synod, synod'' comes from the meaning "assembly" or "meeting" and is analogous with the Latin ...
were infallible. For this, Eck branded Luther a new
Jan Hus Jan Hus (; ; 1370 – 6 July 1415), sometimes anglicized as John Hus or John Huss, and referred to in historical texts as ''Iohannes Hus'' or ''Johannes Huss'', was a Czechs, Czech theologian and philosopher who became a Church reformer and th ...
, referring to the Czech reformer and heretic
burned at the stake Death by burning (also known as immolation) is an list of execution methods, execution and murder method involving combustion or exposure to extreme heat. It has a long history as a form of public capital punishment, and many societies have em ...
in 1415. From that moment, he devoted himself to Luther's defeat.


Excommunication

On 15 June 1520, the Pope warned Luther with the papal bull (edict) ''
Exsurge Domine () is a papal bull promulgated on 15 June 1520 by Pope Leo X. It was written in response to the teachings of Martin Luther which opposed the views of the Catholic Church, Church. It censured forty-one propositions extracted from Luther's ''Nine ...
'' that he risked
excommunication Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to end or at least regulate the Koinonia, communion of a member of a congregation with other members of the religious institution who are in normal communion with each other. The ...
unless he recanted 41 sentences drawn from his writings, including the ''Ninety-five Theses'', within 60 days. That autumn, Eck proclaimed the bull in Meissen and other towns. Von Miltitz attempted to broker a solution, but Luther, who had sent the pope a copy of ''On the Freedom of a Christian'' in October, publicly set fire to the bull and
decretal Decretals ( la, litterae decretales) are letters of a pope that formulate decisions in canon law (Catholic Church), ecclesiastical law of the Catholic Church.McGurk. ''Dictionary of Medieval Terms''. p. 10 They are generally given in answer to co ...
s at Wittenberg on 10 December 1520,Brecht, Martin. (tr. Wolfgang Katenz) "Luther, Martin," in Hillerbrand, Hans J. (ed.) ''Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation''. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996, 2:463. an act he defended in ''Why the Pope and his Recent Book are Burned'' and ''Assertions Concerning All Articles''. As a consequence, Luther was excommunicated by Pope on 3 January 1521, in the bull ''
Decet Romanum Pontificem (from Latin: "It Befits the Roman Pontiff"; 1521) is the papal bull which excommunication, excommunicated the German theologian Martin Luther; its title comes from the Incipit, first three Latin words of its text. It was issued on January 3, 1 ...
''. And although the
Lutheran World Federation The Lutheran World Federation (LWF; german: Lutherischer Weltbund) is a global Communion (religion), communion of national and regional Lutheran denominations headquartered in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The federation was fou ...
, Methodists and the Catholic Church's
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity The Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, previously named the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), is a dicastery whose origins are associated with the Second Vatican Council which met intermittently from 1962 to 1965. Po ...
agreed (in 1999 and 2006, respectively) on a "common understanding of justification by God's grace through faith in Christ," the Catholic Church has never lifted the 1520 excommunication.


Diet of Worms

The enforcement of the ban on the ''Ninety-five Theses'' fell to the secular authorities. On 18 April 1521, Luther appeared as ordered before the
Diet of Worms The Diet of Worms of 1521 (german: Reichstag zu Worms ) was an imperial diet (a formal deliberative assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, ...
. This was a general assembly of the estates of the Holy Roman Empire that took place in Worms, a town on the
Rhine The Rhine ; french: Rhin ; nl, Rijn ; wa, Rén ; li, Rien; rm, label=Sursilvan, Rein, rm, label=Sutsilvan and Surmiran, Ragn, rm, label=Rumantsch Grischun, Vallader and Puter, Rain; it, Reno ; gsw, Rhi(n), including in Alsatian dialect, Al ...
. It was conducted from 28 January to 25 May 1521, with Emperor Charles V presiding. Prince Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, obtained a
safe conduct Safe conduct, safe passage, or letters of transit, is the situation in time of international conflict or war where one state, a party to such conflict, issues to a person (usually an enemy state's subject) a pass or document to allow the enemy ...
for Luther to and from the meeting. Johann Eck, speaking on behalf of the empire as assistant of the
Archbishop of Trier The Diocese of Trier, in English historically also known as ''Treves'' (International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA "tɾivz") from French ''Trèves'', is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic church in Germany.
, presented Luther with copies of his writings laid out on a table and asked him if the books were his and whether he stood by their contents. Luther confirmed he was their author but requested time to think about the answer to the second question. He prayed, consulted friends, and gave his response the next day:
Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.
At the end of this speech, Luther raised his arm "in the traditional salute of a knight winning a bout." Michael Mullett considers this speech as a "world classic of epoch-making oratory."Mullett (1986), p. 25 Eck informed Luther that he was acting like a heretic, saying,
Martin, there is no one of the heresies which have torn the bosom of the church, which has not derived its origin from the various interpretation of the Scripture. The Bible itself is the arsenal whence each innovator has drawn his deceptive arguments. It was with Biblical texts that
Pelagius Pelagius (; c. 354–418) was a British theologian known for promoting a system of doctrines (termed Pelagianism by his opponents) which emphasized human choice in salvation and denied original sin. Pelagius and his followers abhorred the moral s ...
and
Arius Arius (; grc-koi, Ἄρειος, ; 250 or 256 – 336) was a Cyrenaica, Cyrenaic presbyter, asceticism, ascetic, and priest best known for the doctrine of Arianism. His teachings about the nature of the Godhead in Christianity, which emphasized ...
maintained their doctrines. Arius, for instance, found the negation of the eternity of the Word—an eternity which you admit, in this verse of the New Testament—''Joseph knew not his wife till she had brought forth her first-born son''; and he said, in the same way that you say, that this passage enchained him. When the fathers of the
Council of Constance The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council recognized by the Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418 in the Bishopric of Constance in present-day Germany. The council ended the Western Schism by deposing or accepting the res ...
condemned this proposition of Jan Hus—''The church of Jesus Christ is only the community of the elect'', they condemned an error; for the church, like a good mother, embraces within her arms all who bear the name of Christian, all who are called to enjoy the celestial beatitude.
Luther refused to recant his writings. He is sometimes also quoted as saying: "Here I stand. I can do no other". Recent scholars consider the evidence for these words to be unreliable since they were inserted before "May God help me" only in later versions of the speech and not recorded in witness accounts of the proceedings. However, Mullett suggests that given his nature, "we are free to believe that Luther would tend to select the more dramatic form of words." Over the next five days, private conferences were held to determine Luther's fate. The emperor presented the final draft of the
Edict of Worms The Diet of Worms of 1521 (german: Reichstag zu Worms ) was an imperial diet (a formal deliberative assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, ...
on 25 May 1521, declaring Luther an
outlaw An outlaw, in its original and legal meaning, is a person declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, all legal protection was withdrawn from the criminal, so that anyone was legally empowered to persecute or kill them ...
, banning his literature, and requiring his arrest: "We want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic." It also made it a crime for anyone in Germany to give Luther food or shelter. It permitted anyone to kill Luther without legal consequence.


At Wartburg Castle

Luther's disappearance during his return to Wittenberg was planned. had him intercepted on his way home in the forest near Wittenberg by masked horsemen impersonating highway robbers. They escorted Luther to the security of the
Wartburg Castle The Wartburg () is a castle originally built in the Middle Ages. It is situated on a precipice of to the southwest of and overlooking the town of Eisenach, in the state of Thuringia, Germany. It was the home of St. Elisabeth of Hungary, the p ...
at
Eisenach Eisenach () is a Town#Germany, town in Thuringia, Germany with 42,000 inhabitants, located west of Erfurt, southeast of Kassel and northeast of Frankfurt. It is the main urban centre of western Thuringia and bordering northeastern Hesse, Hes ...
. During his stay at Wartburg, which he referred to as "my
Patmos Patmos ( el, Πάτμος, ) is a Greece, Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It is famous as the location where John of Patmos received the visions found in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament, and where the book was written. One of the nor ...
", Luther translated the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...
from Greek into German and poured out doctrinal and polemical writings. These included a renewed attack on Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz, whom he shamed into halting the sale of indulgences in his episcopates, and a ''Refutation of the Argument of Latomus'', in which he expounded the principle of justification to Jacobus Latomus, an orthodox theologian from Louvain. In this work, one of his most emphatic statements on faith, he argued that every good work designed to attract God's favor is a sin. All humans are sinners by nature, he explained, and God's grace alone (which cannot be earned) can make them just. On 1 August 1521, Luther wrote to Melanchthon on the same theme: "Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides."Martin Luther
"Let Your Sins Be Strong," a Letter From Luther to Melanchthon
, August 1521, Project Wittenberg, retrieved 1 October 2006.
In the summer of 1521, Luther widened his target from individual pieties like indulgences and pilgrimages to doctrines at the heart of Church practice. In ''On the Abrogation of the Private Mass'', he condemned as idolatry the idea that the mass is a sacrifice, asserting instead that it is a gift, to be received with thanksgiving by the whole congregation. His essay ''On Confession, Whether the Pope has the Power to Require It'' rejected compulsory
confession A confession is a statement – made by a person or by a group of persons – acknowledging some personal fact that the person (or the group) would ostensibly prefer to keep hidden. The term presumes that the speaker is providing information th ...
and encouraged private confession and
absolution Absolution is a traditional theological term for the forgiveness imparted by ordained Priest#Christianity, Christian priests and experienced by Penance#Christianity, Christian penitents. It is a universal feature of the historic churches of Chri ...
, since "every Christian is a confessor." In November, Luther wrote ''The Judgement of Martin Luther on Monastic Vows''. He assured monks and nuns that they could break their vows without sin, because vows were an illegitimate and vain attempt to win salvation. Luther made his pronouncements from Wartburg in the context of rapid developments at Wittenberg, of which he was kept fully informed. Andreas Karlstadt, supported by the ex-Augustinian Gabriel Zwilling, embarked on a radical programme of reform there in June 1521, exceeding anything envisaged by Luther. The reforms provoked disturbances, including a revolt by the Augustinian friars against their prior, the smashing of statues and images in churches, and denunciations of the magistracy. After secretly visiting Wittenberg in early December 1521, Luther wrote ''A Sincere Admonition by Martin Luther to All Christians to Guard Against Insurrection and Rebellion''. Wittenberg became even more volatile after Christmas when a band of visionary zealots, the so-called Zwickau prophets, arrived, preaching revolutionary doctrines such as the equality of man,
adult baptism Believer's baptism or adult baptism (occasionally called credobaptism, from the Latin word meaning "I believe") is the practice of baptizing those who are able to make a conscious profession of faith, as contrasted to the practice of Infant bapt ...
, and Christ's imminent return. When the town council asked Luther to return, he decided it was his duty to act.


Return to Wittenberg and Peasants' War

Luther secretly returned to Wittenberg on 6 March 1522. He wrote to the Elector: "During my absence, Satan has entered my sheepfold, and committed ravages which I cannot repair by writing, but only by my personal presence and living word." For eight days in
Lent Lent ( la, Quadragesima, 'Fortieth') is a solemn religious moveable feast#Lent, observance in the liturgical calendar commemorating the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert and enduring Temptation of Jesus, temptation by Satan, according ...
, beginning on Invocavit Sunday, 9 March, Luther preached eight sermons, which became known as the "Invocavit Sermons". In these sermons, he hammered home the primacy of core Christian values such as love, patience, charity, and freedom, and reminded the citizens to trust God's word rather than violence to bring about necessary change.
Do you know what the Devil thinks when he sees men use violence to propagate the gospel? He sits with folded arms behind the fire of hell, and says with malignant looks and frightful grin: "Ah, how wise these madmen are to play my game! Let them go on; I shall reap the benefit. I delight in it." But when he sees the Word running and contending alone on the battle-field, then he shudders and shakes for fear.Schaff, Philip
''History of the Christian Church, Vol VII, Ch IV''
.
The effect of Luther's intervention was immediate. After the sixth sermon, the Wittenberg jurist Jerome Schurf wrote to the elector: "Oh, what joy has Dr. Martin's return spread among us! His words, through divine mercy, are bringing back every day misguided people into the way of the truth." Luther next set about reversing or modifying the new church practices. By working alongside the authorities to restore public order, he signalled his reinvention as a conservative force within the Reformation. After banishing the Zwickau prophets, he faced a battle against both the established Church and the radical reformers who threatened the new order by fomenting social unrest and violence. Despite his victory in Wittenberg, Luther was unable to stifle radicalism further afield. Preachers such as
Thomas Müntzer Thomas Müntzer ( – 27 May 1525) was a German preacher and theologian of the early Reformation whose opposition to both Martin Luther and the Roman Catholic Church led to his open defiance of late-feudal authority in central Germany. Müntzer w ...
and Zwickau prophet Nicholas Storch found support amongst poorer townspeople and peasants between 1521 and 1525. There had been revolts by the peasantry on smaller scales since the 15th century. Luther's pamphlets against the Church and the hierarchy, often worded with "liberal" phraseology, led many peasants to believe he would support an attack on the upper classes in general. Revolts broke out in
Franconia Franconia (german: Franken, ; Franconian dialect: ''Franggn'' ; bar, Frankn) is a region of Germany, characterised by its culture and Franconian dialect (German: ''Fränkisch''). The three administrative regions of Lower, Middle and Upper ...
,
Swabia Swabia ; german: Schwaben , colloquially ''Schwabenland'' or ''Ländle''; archaic English also Suabia or Svebia is a cultural, Historical region, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany. The name is ultimately derived from the ...
, and
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of central Germany, covering , the sixth smallest of the sixteen German states. It has a population of about 2.1 million. Erfurt is t ...
in 1524, even drawing support from disaffected nobles, many of whom were in debt. Gaining momentum under the leadership of radicals such as Müntzer in Thuringia, and Hipler and Lotzer in the south-west, the revolts turned into war. Luther sympathised with some of the peasants' grievances, as he showed in his response to the
Twelve Articles The Twelve Articles (German ''Zwölf Artikel'') were part of the peasants' demands of the Swabian League during the German Peasants' War of 1525. They are considered the first draft of human rights and civil liberties in continental Europe after t ...
in May 1525, but he reminded the aggrieved to obey the temporal authorities. During a tour of Thuringia, he became enraged at the widespread burning of convents, monasteries, bishops' palaces, and libraries. In '' Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants'', written on his return to Wittenberg, he gave his interpretation of the Gospel teaching on wealth, condemned the violence as the devil's work, and called for the nobles to put down the rebels like mad dogs:
Therefore let everyone who can, smite, slay, and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel ... For baptism does not make men free in body and property, but in soul; and the gospel does not make goods common, except in the case of those who, of their own
free will Free will is the capacity of agents to choice, choose between different possible courses of Action (philosophy), action unimpeded. Free will is closely linked to the concepts of moral responsibility, praise, culpability, sin, and other judgemen ...
, do what the apostles and disciples did in Acts 4 32–37 They did not demand, as do our insane peasants in their raging, that the goods of others—of Pilate and Herod—should be common, but only their own goods. Our peasants, however, want to make the goods of other men common, and keep their own for themselves. Fine Christians they are! I think there is not a devil left in hell; they have all gone into the peasants. Their raving has gone beyond all measure.
Luther justified his opposition to the rebels on three grounds. First, in choosing violence over lawful submission to the secular government, they were ignoring Christ's counsel to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"; St. Paul had written in his epistle to the that all authorities are appointed by God and therefore should not be resisted. This reference from the Bible forms the foundation for the doctrine known as the
divine right of kings In European Christianity, the divine right of kings, divine right, or God's mandation is a political and religious doctrine of political legitimacy of a monarchy. It stems from a specific Metaphysics, metaphysical framework in which a monarch ...
, or, in the German case, the divine right of the princes. Second, the violent actions of rebelling, robbing, and plundering placed the peasants "outside the law of God and Empire", so they deserved "death in body and soul, if only as highwaymen and murderers." Lastly, Luther charged the rebels with blasphemy for calling themselves "Christian brethren" and committing their sinful acts under the banner of the Gospel. Only later in life did he develop the Beerwolf concept permitting some cases of resistance against the government.Whitford, David, ''Tyranny and Resistance: The Magdeburg Confession and the Lutheran Tradition'', 2001, 144 pages Without Luther's backing for the uprising, many rebels laid down their weapons; others felt betrayed. Their defeat by the
Swabian League The Swabian League (''Schwäbischer Bund'') was a mutual defence and peace keeping association of Imperial State, Imperial Estates – free Imperial cities, prelates, principalities and knights – principally in the territory of the early mediev ...
at the
Battle of Frankenhausen The Battle of Frankenhausen was fought on 14 and 15 May 1525. It was an important battle in the German Peasants' War and the final act of the war in Thuringia: joint troops of Landgrave Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse, Philip I of Hesse and Duke ...
on 15 May 1525, followed by Müntzer's execution, brought the revolutionary stage of the Reformation to a close. Thereafter, radicalism found a refuge in the
Anabaptist Anabaptism (from New Latin language, Neo-Latin , from the Greek language, Greek : 're-' and 'baptism', german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re- ...
movement and other religious movements, while Luther's Reformation flourished under the wing of the secular powers. In 1526 Luther wrote: "I, Martin Luther, have during the rebellion slain all the peasants, for it was I who ordered them to be struck dead."


Marriage

Martin Luther married
Katharina von Bora Katharina von Bora (; 29 January 1499 – 20 December 1552), after her wedding Katharina Luther, also referred to as "die Lutherin" ("the Lutheress"), was the wife of Martin Luther, Germans, German Protestant Reformer, reformer and a seminal fig ...
, one of 12 nuns he had helped escape from the Nimbschen
Cistercian convent Cistercian nuns are female members of the Cistercian Order, a religious order belonging to the Roman Catholic branch of the Catholic Church. History The first Cistercian monastery for women, Le Tart Abbey, was established at Tart-l'Abbaye in the ...
in April 1523, when he arranged for them to be smuggled out in herring barrels. "Suddenly, and while I was occupied with far different thoughts," he wrote to Wenceslaus Link, "the Lord has plunged me into marriage." At the time of their marriage, Katharina was 26 years old and Luther was 41 years old. On 13 June 1525, the couple was engaged, with
Johannes Bugenhagen Johannes Bugenhagen (24 June 1485 – 20 April 1558), also called ''Doctor Pomeranus'' by Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest, theologian, author, hymnwriter, and professor, ...
, Justus Jonas, Johannes Apel,
Philipp Melanchthon Philip Melanchthon. (born Philipp Schwartzerdt; 16 February 1497 – 19 April 1560) was a German Lutheran Protestant Reformers, reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellect ...
and
Lucas Cranach the Elder Lucas Cranach the Elder (german: Lucas Cranach der Ältere ;  – 16 October 1553) was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known ...
and his wife as witnesses. On the evening of the same day, the couple was married by Bugenhagen. The ceremonial walk to the church and the wedding banquet were left out and were made up two weeks later on 27 June. Some priests and former members of
religious orders A religious order is a lineage of Community, communities and Organization, organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its fo ...
had already married, including Andreas Karlstadt and Justus Jonas, but Luther's wedding set the seal of approval on clerical marriage. He had long condemned vows of celibacy on biblical grounds, but his decision to marry surprised many, not least Melanchthon, who called it reckless. Luther had written to George Spalatin on 30 November 1524, "I shall never take a wife, as I feel at present. Not that I am insensible to my flesh or sex (for I am neither wood nor stone); but my mind is averse to wedlock because I daily expect the death of a heretic." Before marrying, Luther had been living on the plainest food, and, as he admitted himself, his mildewed bed was not properly made for months at a time. Luther and his wife moved into a former monastery, " The Black Cloister," a wedding present from Elector
John the Steadfast Johann (30 June 146816 August 1532), known as Johann the Steadfast or Johann the Constant (''Johann, der Beständige''), was Prince-elector, Elector of Saxony from 1525 until 1532 from the Wettin (dynasty), House of Wettin. He is notable for org ...
. They embarked on what appears to have been a happy and successful marriage, though money was often short. Katharina bore six children: Hans – June 1526; Elisabeth – 10 December 1527, who died within a few months; Magdalene – 1529, who died in Luther's arms in 1542; Martin – 1531;
Paul Paul may refer to: *Paul (given name) Paul () is a common masculine given name in countries and ethnicities with a Christian heritage (Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Protestantism) and, beyond Europe, ...
 – January 1533; and Margaret – 1534; and she helped the couple earn a living by farming and taking in boarders. Luther confided to Michael Stiefel on 11 August 1526: "My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of
Croesus Croesus ( ; Lydian language, Lydian: ; Phrygian language, Phrygian: ; grc, :wikt:Κροῖσος, Κροισος, Kroisos; Latin: ; reigned: c. 585 – c. 546 BC) was the Monarch, king of Lydia, who reigned from 585 BC until his Siege of Sar ...
."


Organising the church

By 1526, Luther found himself increasingly occupied in organising a new church. His biblical ideal of congregations choosing their own ministers had proved unworkable. According to Bainton: "Luther's dilemma was that he wanted both a confessional church based on personal faith and experience and a territorial church including all in a given locality. If he were forced to choose, he would take his stand with the masses, and this was the direction in which he moved." From 1525 to 1529, he established a supervisory church body, laid down a new form of worship service, and wrote a clear summary of the new faith in the form of two
catechisms A catechism (; from grc, κατηχέω, "to teach orally") is a summary or exposition of doctrine and serves as a learning introduction to the Sacraments traditionally used in catechesis, or Christian religious teaching of children and adult c ...
. To avoid confusing or upsetting the people, Luther avoided extreme change. He also did not wish to replace one controlling system with another. He concentrated on the church in the
Electorate of Saxony The Electorate of Saxony, also known as Electoral Saxony (German: or ), was a territory of the Holy Roman Empire from 1356–1806. It was centered around the cities of Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz. In the Golden Bull of 1356, Emperor Charles ...
, acting only as an adviser to churches in new territories, many of which followed his Saxon model. He worked closely with the new elector, John the Steadfast, to whom he turned for secular leadership and funds on behalf of a church largely shorn of its assets and income after the break with Rome. For Luther's biographer Martin Brecht, this partnership "was the beginning of a questionable and originally unintended development towards a church government under the temporal sovereign". The elector authorised a visitation of the church, a power formerly exercised by bishops. At times, Luther's practical reforms fell short of his earlier radical pronouncements. For example, the ''Instructions for the Visitors of Parish Pastors in Electoral Saxony'' (1528), drafted by Melanchthon with Luther's approval, stressed the role of repentance in the forgiveness of sins, despite Luther's position that faith alone ensures justification. The
Eisleben Eisleben is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is famous as both the hometown of the influential theologian Martin Luther and the place where he died; hence, its official name is Lutherstadt Eisleben. First mentioned in the late 10th century, E ...
reformer Johannes Agricola challenged this compromise, and Luther condemned him for teaching that faith is separate from works. The ''Instruction'' is a problematic document for those seeking a consistent evolution in Luther's thought and practice. In response to demands for a German
liturgy Liturgy is the customary public ritual of worship performed by a religious group. ''Liturgy'' can also be used to refer specifically to public worship by Christian, Christians. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal r ...
, Luther wrote a '' German Mass'', which he published in early 1526. He did not intend it as a replacement for his 1523 adaptation of the Latin Mass but as an alternative for the "simple people", a "public stimulation for people to believe and become Christians." Luther based his order on the Catholic service but omitted "everything that smacks of sacrifice", and the Mass became a celebration where everyone received the wine as well as the bread. He retained the elevation of the host and
chalice A chalice (from Latin 'mug', borrowed from Ancient Greek () 'cup') or goblet is a footed cup intended to hold a drink. In religious practice, a chalice is often used for drinking during a ceremony or may carry a certain symbolic meaning. Re ...
, while trappings such as the Mass
vestment Vestments are liturgy, liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christianity, Christian religion, especially by Eastern Christianity, Eastern Churches, Catholic Church, Catholics (of all rites), Anglicans, and Lutherans. ...
s, altar, and candles were made optional, allowing freedom of ceremony. Some reformers, including followers of
Huldrych Zwingli Huldrych or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland, born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenaries, Swiss mercenary system. He ...
, considered Luther's service too papistic, and modern scholars note the conservatism of his alternative to the Catholic Mass. Luther's service, however, included congregational singing of hymns and psalms in German, as well as parts of the liturgy, including Luther's unison setting of the
Creed A creed, also known as a confession of faith, a symbol, or a statement of faith, is a statement of the shared belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition is truth, true. In epist ...
. To reach the simple people and the young, Luther incorporated religious instruction into the weekday services in the form of catechism. He also provided simplified versions of the baptism and marriage services. Luther and his colleagues introduced the new order of worship during their visitation of the Electorate of Saxony, which began in 1527. They also assessed the standard of pastoral care and Christian education in the territory. "Merciful God, what misery I have seen," Luther writes, "the common people knowing nothing at all of Christian doctrine ... and unfortunately many pastors are well-nigh unskilled and incapable of teaching."


Catechisms

Luther devised the catechism as a method of imparting the basics of Christianity to the congregations. In 1529, he wrote the ''Large Catechism'', a manual for pastors and teachers, as well as a synopsis, the ''Small Catechism'', to be memorised by the people. The catechisms provided easy-to-understand instructional and devotional material on the
Ten Commandments The Ten Commandments (Biblical Hebrew עשרת הדברים \ עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדְּבָרִים, ''aséret ha-dvarím'', lit. The Decalogue, The Ten Words, cf. Mishnaic Hebrew עשרת הדיברות \ עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְ ...
, the
Apostles' Creed The Apostles' Creed (Ecclesiastical Latin, Latin: ''Symbolum Apostolorum'' or ''Symbolum Apostolicum''), sometimes titled the Apostolic Creed or the Symbol of the Apostles, is a Christianity, Christian creed or "symbol of faith". The creed most ...
, The Lord's Prayer,
baptism Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christian sacrament of initiation and adoption, almost i ...
, and the
Lord's Supper The Eucharist (; from Greek , , ), also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an Ordinance (Christianity), ordinance in ot ...
. Luther incorporated questions and answers in the catechism so that the basics of Christian faith would not just be learned by rote, "the way monkeys do it", but understood. The catechism is one of Luther's most personal works. "Regarding the plan to collect my writings in volumes," he wrote, "I am quite cool and not at all eager about it because, roused by a Saturnian hunger, I would rather see them all devoured. For I acknowledge none of them to be really a book of mine, except perhaps the '' Bondage of the Will'' and the Catechism." The ''Small Catechism'' has earned a reputation as a model of clear religious teaching. It remains in use today, along with Luther's hymns and his translation of the Bible. Luther's ''Small Catechism'' proved especially effective in helping parents teach their children; likewise the ''Large Catechism'' was effective for pastors. Using the German vernacular, they expressed the Apostles' Creed in simpler, more personal, Trinitarian language. He rewrote each article of the Creed to express the character of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Luther's goal was to enable the catechumens to see themselves as a personal object of the work of the three persons of the Trinity, each of which works in the catechumen's life.Charles P. Arand, "Luther on the Creed." ''Lutheran Quarterly'' 2006 20(1): 1–25. ; James Arne Nestingen, "Luther's Catechisms" ''The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation.'' Ed. Hans J. Hillerbrand. (1996) That is, Luther depicts the Trinity not as a doctrine to be learned, but as persons to be known. The Father creates, the Son redeems, and the Spirit sanctifies, a divine unity with separate personalities. Salvation originates with the Father and draws the believer to the Father. Luther's treatment of the Apostles' Creed must be understood in the context of the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments) and The Lord's Prayer, which are also part of the Lutheran catechetical teaching.


Translation of the Bible

Luther had published his German translation of the New Testament in 1522, and he and his collaborators completed the translation of the Old Testament in 1534, when the whole Bible was published. He continued to work on refining the translation until the end of his life. Others had previously translated the Bible into German, but Luther tailored his translation to his own doctrine. Two of the earlier translations were the Mentelin Bible (1456) and the Koberger Bible (1484). There were as many as fourteen in High German, four in Low German, four in Dutch, and various other translations in other languages before the Bible of Luther. Luther's translation used the variant of German spoken at the Saxon chancellery, intelligible to both northern and southern Germans. He intended his vigorous, direct language to make the Bible accessible to everyday Germans, "for we are removing impediments and difficulties so that other people may read it without hindrance." Published at a time of rising demand for German-language publications, Luther's version quickly became a popular and influential Bible translation. As such, it contributed a distinct flavor to the German language and literature. Furnished with notes and prefaces by Luther, and with woodcuts by Lucas Cranach that contained anti-papal imagery, it played a major role in the spread of Luther's doctrine throughout Germany. The Luther Bible influenced other vernacular translations, such as the
Tyndale Bible The Tyndale Bible generally refers to the body of Bible translations, biblical translations by William Tyndale into Early Modern English, made . Tyndale's Bible is credited with being the first Bible translation in the English language to work ...
(from 1525 forward), a precursor of the
King James Bible The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an Bible translations into English, English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, which was commissioned in 1604 and publis ...
. When he was criticised for inserting the word "alone" after "faith" in , he replied in part: " e text itself and the meaning of St. Paul urgently require and demand it. For in that very passage he is dealing with the main point of Christian doctrine, namely, that we are justified by faith in Christ without any works of the Law. ... But when works are so completely cut away—and that must mean that faith alone justifies—whoever would speak plainly and clearly about this cutting away of works will have to say, 'Faith alone justifies us, and not works'." Luther did not include
First Epistle of John The First Epistle of John is the first of the Johannine epistles of the New Testament, and the fourth of the catholic epistles. There is no scholarly consensus as to the authorship of the Johannine works. The author of the First Epistle is term ...
, the Johannine Comma in his translation, rejecting it as a forgery. It was inserted into the text by other hands after Luther's death.


Hymnodist

Luther was a prolific hymnodist, authoring hymns such as "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (" A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"), based on
Psalm 46 Psalm 46 is the 46th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble". In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint and Latin V ...
, and " Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her" ("From Heaven Above to Earth I Come"), based on Luke 2:11–12. Luther connected high art and folk music, also all classes, clergy and laity, men, women and children. His tool of choice for this connection was the singing of German hymns in connection with worship, school, home, and the public arena.Christopher Boyd Brown, ''Singing the Gospel: Lutheran Hymns and the Success of the Reformation''. (2005) He often accompanied the sung hymns with a lute, later recreated as the
waldzither The waldzither (german: "forest zither") is a plucked string instrument from Germany that came up around 1900 in Thüringen, Thuringia. It is a type of cittern that has nine steel strings in five courses. Different types of waldzither come in di ...
that became a national instrument of Germany in the 20th century. Luther's hymns were frequently evoked by particular events in his life and the unfolding Reformation. This behavior started with his learning of the execution of
Jan van Essen and Hendrik Vos Jan van Essen and Hendrik Vos or Voes, were the first two Lutherans executed by the Council of Brabant for their adherence to Protestant Reformation, Reformation doctrine. They were burned at the stake in Brussels on 1 July 1523. Background Esse ...
, the first individuals to be martyred by the Roman Catholic Church for Lutheran views, prompting Luther to write the hymn " Ein neues Lied wir heben an" ("A New Song We Raise"), which is generally known in English by John C. Messenger's translation by the title and first line "Flung to the Heedless Winds" and sung to the tune Ibstone composed in 1875 by Maria C. Tiddeman. Luther's 1524 creedal hymn "" ("We All Believe in One True God") is a three-stanza confession of faith prefiguring Luther's 1529 three-part explanation of the Apostles' Creed in the ''Small Catechism''. Luther's hymn, adapted and expanded from an earlier German creedal hymn, gained widespread use in vernacular Lutheran liturgies as early as 1525. Sixteenth-century Lutheran hymnals also included "Wir glauben all" among the catechetical hymns, although 18th-century hymnals tended to label the hymn as Trinitarian rather than catechetical, and 20th-century Lutherans rarely used the hymn because of the perceived difficulty of its tune. Luther's 1538 hymnic version of the
Lord's Prayer The Lord's Prayer, also called the Our Father or Pater Noster, is a central Christian prayer which Jesus taught as the way to pray. Two versions of this prayer are recorded in the gospels: a longer form within the Sermon on the Mount in the Gosp ...
, " Vater unser im Himmelreich", corresponds exactly to Luther's explanation of the prayer in the ''Small Catechism'', with one stanza for each of the seven prayer petitions, plus opening and closing stanzas. The hymn functions both as a liturgical setting of the Lord's Prayer and as a means of examining candidates on specific catechism questions. The extant manuscript shows multiple revisions, demonstrating Luther's concern to clarify and strengthen the text and to provide an appropriately prayerful tune. Other 16th- and 20th-century versifications of the Lord's Prayer have adopted Luther's tune, although modern texts are considerably shorter. Luther wrote " Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" ("From depths of woe I cry to You") in 1523 as a hymnic version of Psalm 130 and sent it as a sample to encourage his colleagues to write psalm-hymns for use in German worship. In a collaboration with Paul Speratus, this and seven other hymns were published in the ''Achtliederbuch'', the first Lutheran hymnal. In 1524 Luther developed his original four-stanza psalm paraphrase into a five-stanza Reformation hymn that developed the theme of "grace alone" more fully. Because it expressed essential Reformation doctrine, this expanded version of "Aus tiefer Not" was designated as a regular component of several regional Lutheran liturgies and was widely used at funerals, including Luther's own. Along with Erhart Hegenwalt's hymnic version of
Psalm 51 Psalm 51, one of the penitential psalms, is the 51st psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "Have mercy upon me, O God". In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint and Latin ...
, Luther's expanded hymn was also adopted for use with the fifth part of Luther's catechism, concerning confession. Luther wrote " Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein" ("Oh God, look down from heaven"). " Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland" (Now come, Savior of the gentiles), based on ''
Veni redemptor gentium "Veni redemptor gentium" (Come, Redeemer of the nations) is a Latin Advent or Christmas hymn by Ambrose of Milan in iambic tetrameter. The hymn is assigned to the Matins, Office of Readings for Advent, from December 17 through December 24, in the ...
'', became the main hymn (Hauptlied) for
Advent Advent is a Christianity, Christian season of preparation for the Nativity of Christ at Christmas. It is the beginning of the liturgical year in Western Christianity. The name was adopted from Latin "coming; arrival", translating Koine Gre ...
. He transformed ''A solus ortus cardine'' to "" ("We should now praise Christ") and '' Veni Creator Spiritus'' to "" ("Come, Holy Spirit, Lord God"). He wrote two hymns on the
Ten Commandments The Ten Commandments (Biblical Hebrew עשרת הדברים \ עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדְּבָרִים, ''aséret ha-dvarím'', lit. The Decalogue, The Ten Words, cf. Mishnaic Hebrew עשרת הדיברות \ עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְ ...
, "" and "Mensch, willst du leben seliglich". His " Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ" ("Praise be to You, Jesus Christ") became the main hymn for Christmas. He wrote for
Pentecost Pentecost (also called Whit Sunday, Whitsunday or Whitsun) is a Christianity, Christian holiday which takes place on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles in the Ne ...
" Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist", and adopted for Easter "" (Christ is risen), based on Victimae paschali laudes. "", a paraphrase of
Nunc dimittis The Nunc dimittis (), also known as the Song of Simeon or the Canticle of Simeon, is a canticle A canticle (from the Latin ''canticulum'', a diminutive of ''canticum'', "song") is a hymn, psalm or other Christianity, Christian song of praise ...
, was intended for Purification, but became also a funeral hymn. He paraphrased the
Te Deum The "Te Deum" (, ; from its incipit, , ) is a Latin Christian hymn traditionally ascribed to AD 387 authorship, but with antecedents that place it much earlier. It is central to the Ambrosian hymns, Ambrosian hymnal, which spread throughou ...
as " Herr Gott, dich loben wir" with a simplified form of the melody. It became known as the German Te Deum. Luther's 1541 hymn "" ("To Jordan came the Christ our Lord") reflects the structure and substance of his questions and answers concerning baptism in the ''Small Catechism''. Luther adopted a preexisting
Johann Walter Johann Walter, also known as ''Johann Walther'' or ''Johannes Walter'' (original name: ''Johann Blankenmüller'') (1496 – 25 March 1570) was a Lutheran composer and poet during the Protestant Reformation, Reformation period. Life Walter was bor ...
tune associated with a hymnic setting of Psalm 67's prayer for grace; Wolf Heintz's four-part setting of the hymn was used to introduce the Lutheran Reformation in Halle in 1541. Preachers and composers of the 18th century, including J.S. Bach, used this rich hymn as a subject for their own work, although its objective baptismal theology was displaced by more subjective hymns under the influence of late-19th-century Lutheran
pietism Pietism (), also known as Pietistic Lutheranism, is a movement within Lutheranism that combines its emphasis on biblical doctrine with an emphasis on individual piety and living a holy Christianity, Christian life, including a social concern for ...
. Luther's hymns were included in early Lutheran hymnals and spread the ideas of the Reformation. He supplied four of eight songs of the First Lutheran hymnal ''Achtliederbuch'', 18 of 26 songs of the ''
Erfurt Enchiridion The ''Erfurt Enchiridion'' ( enchiridion, from grc, ἐγχειρίδιον, hand book) is the second Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-ce ...
'', and 24 of the 32 songs in the first choral hymnal with settings by Johann Walter, '' Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn'', all published in 1524. Luther's hymns inspired composers to write music.
Johann Sebastian Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the late baroque music, Baroque period. He is known for his orchestral music such as the ''Brandenburg Concertos''; instrumental compositions such as the Cello Suite ...
included several verses as
chorale Chorale is the name of several related musical forms originating in the music genre of the Lutheran chorale: * Hymn tune of a Lutheran hymn (e.g. the melody of "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme"), or a tune in a similar format (e.g. one of the th ...
s in his cantatas and based chorale cantatas entirely on them, namely ''Christ lag in Todes Banden'', BWV 4, as early as possibly 1707, in his second annual cycle (1724 to 1725) ''Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein'', BWV 2, ''Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam'', BWV 7, ''Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland'', BWV 62, ''Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ'', BWV 91, and ''Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir'', BWV 38, later ''Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott'', BWV 80, and in 1735 ''Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit'', BWV 14.


On the soul after death

In contrast to the views of
John Calvin John Calvin (; frm, Jehan Cauvin; french: link=no, Jean Calvin ; 10 July 150927 May 1564) was a French Christian theology, theologian, pastor and Protestant Reformers, reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal ...
and
Philipp Melanchthon Philip Melanchthon. (born Philipp Schwartzerdt; 16 February 1497 – 19 April 1560) was a German Lutheran Protestant Reformers, reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellect ...
, throughout his life Luther maintained that it was not false doctrine to believe that a Christian's soul sleeps after it is separated from the body in death. Accordingly, he disputed traditional interpretations of some Bible passages, such as the parable of the
rich man and Lazarus The rich man and Lazarus (also called the parable of Dives and Lazarus or Lazarus and Dives) is a parable of Jesus from the 16th chapter of the Gospel of Luke The Gospel of Luke), or simply Luke (which is also its most common form of abbr ...
. This also led Luther to reject the idea of torments for the saints: "It is enough for us to know that souls do not leave their bodies to be threatened by the torments and punishments of hell, but enter a prepared bedchamber in which they sleep in peace." He also rejected the existence of
purgatory Purgatory (, borrowed into English language, English via Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman and Old French) is, according to the belief of some Christianity, Christian denominations (mostly Catholic), an intermediate state after physical death ...
, which involved Christian souls undergoing penitential suffering after death. He affirmed the continuity of one's personal identity beyond death. In his
Smalcald Articles The Smalcald Articles or Schmalkald Articles (german: Schmalkaldische Artikel) are a summary of Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-century Ger ...
, he described the saints as currently residing "in their graves and in heaven." The Lutheran theologian
Franz Pieper Franz August Otto Pieper (June 27, 1852 – June 3, 1931) was a Confessional Lutheran theologian who also served as the fourth president of what was known at that time as the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other Stat ...
observes that Luther's teaching about the state of the Christian's soul after death differed from the later Lutheran theologians such as Johann Gerhard. Lessing (1755) had earlier reached the same conclusion in his analysis of Lutheran orthodoxy on this issue. Luther's ''Commentary on Genesis'' contains a passage which concludes that "the soul does not sleep (''anima non sic dormit''), but wakes (''sed vigilat'') and experiences visions".
Francis Blackburne Francis Blackburne Privy Council of Ireland, PC (Ire) King's Serjeant, KS (11 November 1782 – 17 September 1867) was an Irish judge and eventually became Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Background Born at Great Footstown in County Meath, he was th ...
argues that John Jortin misread this and other passages from Luther, while Gottfried Fritschel points out that it actually refers to the soul of a man "in this life" (''homo enim in hac vita'') tired from his daily labour (''defatigus diurno labore'') who at night enters his bedchamber (''sub noctem intrat in cubiculum suum'') and whose sleep is interrupted by dreams. Henry Eyster Jacobs' English translation from 1898 reads: :"Nevertheless, the sleep of this life and that of the future life differ; for in this life, man, fatigued by his daily labour, at nightfall goes to his couch, as in peace, to sleep there, and enjoys rest; nor does he know anything of evil, whether of fire or of murder."


Sacramentarian controversy and the Marburg Colloquy

In October 1529,
Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse (13 November 1504 – 31 March 1567), nicknamed (in English: "the Magnanimous"), was a German nobility, German nobleman and champion of the Protestant Reformation, notable for being one of the most important of the ...
, convoked an assembly of German and Swiss theologians at the Marburg Colloquy, to establish doctrinal unity in the emerging Protestant states. Agreement was achieved on fourteen points out of fifteen, the exception being the nature of the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; from Greek , , ), also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an Ordinance (Christianity), ordinance in ot ...
—the
sacrament A sacrament is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is recognized as being particularly important and significant. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments ...
of the Lord's Supper—an issue crucial to Luther. The theologians, including Zwingli, Melanchthon,
Martin Bucer Martin Bucer (Early New High German, early German: ''Martin Butzer''; 11 November 1491 – 28 February 1551) was a German Protestant reformer based in Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices. Buc ...
, and Johannes Oecolampadius, differed on the significance of the words spoken by Jesus at the
Last Supper Image:The Last Supper - Leonardo Da Vinci - High Resolution 32x16.jpg, 400px, alt=''The Last Supper'' by Leonardo da Vinci - Clickable Image, Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art have been undertaken by artistic masters for centuries, ...
: "This is my body which is for you" and "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (
1 Corinthians 11 1 Corinthians 11 is the eleventh chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament of the Christianity, Christian Bible. It was authored by Paul the Apostle and Sosthenes in Ephesus. In this chapter, Paul writes on the conduct o ...
:23–26). Luther insisted on the
Real presence The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is the Christianity, Christian doctrine that Jesus, Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist, not merely symbolically or metaphorically, but in a true, real and substantial way. There are a number of ...
of the body and blood of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine, which he called the
sacramental union Sacramental union (Latin: ''unio sacramentalis''; Martin Luther's German Language, German: ''Sacramentliche Einigkeit'';''Weimar Ausgabe'' 26, 442.23; ''Luther's Works'' 37, 299-300. German: ''sakramentalische Vereinigung'') is the Lutheranism, Lu ...
, while his opponents believed God to be only spiritually or symbolically present. Zwingli, for example, denied Jesus' ability to be in more than one place at a time. Luther stressed the
omnipresence Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present anywhere and everywhere. The term omnipresence is most often used in a religious context as an attribute of a deity or God, supreme being, while the term ubiquity is generally used to des ...
of Jesus' human nature. According to transcripts, the debate sometimes became confrontational. Citing Jesus' words "The flesh profiteth nothing" (
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John (; ') is a common male given name in the English language of Hebrew language, Hebrew origin. The name is the English form of ''Iohannes'' and ''Ioannes'', which are the La ...
6.63), Zwingli said, "This passage breaks your neck". "Don't be too proud," Luther retorted, "German necks don't break that easily. This is Hesse, not Switzerland." On his table Luther wrote the words "''Hoc est corpus meum''" ("This is my body") in chalk, to continually indicate his firm stance. Despite the disagreements on the Eucharist, the Marburg Colloquy paved the way for the signing in 1530 of the
Augsburg Confession The Augsburg Confession, also known as the Augustan Confession or the Augustana from its Latin name, ''Confessio Augustana'', is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Protestant Ref ...
, and for the formation of the
Schmalkaldic League The Schmalkaldic League (; ; or ) was a military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement between nations concerning national security. Nations in a military alliance agree to active participation and contribution to the defens ...
the following year by leading Protestant nobles such as John of Saxony, Philip of Hesse, and George, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. The Swiss cities, however, did not sign these agreements.


Epistemology

Some scholars have asserted that Luther taught that faith and reason were antithetical in the sense that questions of faith could not be illuminated by reason. He wrote, "All the articles of our Christian faith, which God has revealed to us in His Word, are in presence of reason sheerly impossible, absurd, and false." and "
hat A hat is a head covering which is worn for various reasons, including protection against weather conditions, ceremonial reasons such as university graduation, religious reasons, safety, or as a fashion accessory. Hats which incorporate mech ...
Reason in no way contributes to faith. ..For reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things." However, though seemingly contradictorily, he also wrote in the latter work that human reason "strives not against faith, when enlightened, but rather furthers and advances it", bringing claims he was a fideist into dispute. Contemporary Lutheran scholarship, however, has found a different reality in Luther. Luther rather seeks to separate faith and reason in order to honor the separate spheres of knowledge that each applies to.


On Islam

At the time of the Marburg Colloquy,
Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I ( ota, سليمان اول, Süleyman-ı Evvel; tr, I. Süleyman; 6 November 14946 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in Western world, the West and Suleiman the Lawgiver ( ota, قانونى سلطان س ...
was besieging Vienna with a vast Ottoman army. Luther had argued against resisting the Turks in his 1518 ''Explanation of the Ninety-five Theses'', provoking accusations of defeatism. He saw the Turks as a
scourge A scourge is a whip (implement), whip or lash, especially a multi-thong type, used to inflict severe physical punishment, corporal punishment or Mortification of the flesh, self-mortification. It is usually made of leather. Etymology The word is ...
sent by God to punish Christians, as agents of the biblical
apocalypse Apocalypse () is a literary genre A literary genre is a category of literature. Genres may be determined by literary technique, setting tone, tone, Content (media), content, or length (especially for fiction). They generally move from mo ...
that would destroy the
Antichrist In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist refers to people prophesied by the Bible to oppose Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ and substitute themselves in Christ's place before the Second Coming. The Glossary of Christianity, term Antichrist ...
, whom Luther believed to be the papacy and the Roman Church. He consistently rejected the idea of a
Holy War A religious war or a war of religion, sometimes also known as a holy war ( la, sanctum bellum), is a war which is primarily caused or justified by differences in religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of desi ...
, "as though our people were an army of Christians against the Turks, who were enemies of Christ. This is absolutely contrary to Christ's doctrine and name". On the other hand, in keeping with his doctrine of the two kingdoms, Luther did support non-religious war against the Turks. In 1526, he argued in ''Whether Soldiers can be in a State of Grace'' that national defence is reason for a just war. By 1529, in '' On War against the Turk'', he was actively urging Emperor Charles V and the German people to fight a secular war against the Turks. He made clear, however, that the spiritual war against an alien faith was separate, to be waged through prayer and repentance. Around the time of the Siege of Vienna, Luther wrote a prayer for national deliverance from the Turks, asking God to "give to our emperor perpetual victory over our enemies". In 1542, Luther read a Latin translation of the
Qur'an The Quran (, ; Standard Arabic: , Classical Arabic, Quranic Arabic: , , 'the recitation'), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation in Islam, revelation from God in Islam, ...
. He went on to produce several critical pamphlets on
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
, which he called "Mohammedanism" or "the Turk". Though Luther saw the Muslim faith as a tool of the devil, he was indifferent to its practice: "Let the Turk believe and live as he will, just as one lets the papacy and other false Christians live." He opposed banning the publication of the Qur'an, wanting it exposed to scrutiny.


Antinomian controversy

Early in 1537, Johannes Agricola—serving at the time as pastor in Luther's birthplace, Eisleben—preached a sermon in which he claimed that God's gospel, not God's moral law (the Ten Commandments), revealed God's wrath to Christians. Based on this sermon and others by Agricola, Luther suspected that Agricola was behind certain anonymous
antinomian Antinomianism (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: M ...
theses circulating in Wittenberg. These theses asserted that the law is no longer to be taught to Christians but belonged only to city hall. Luther responded to these theses with six series of theses against Agricola and the antinomians, four of which became the basis for
disputation In the scholasticism, scholastic system of education of the Middle Ages, disputations (in Latin: ''disputationes'', singular: ''disputatio'') offered a formalized method of debate designed to uncover and establish truths in theology and in scie ...
s between 1538 and 1540. He also responded to these assertions in other writings, such as his 1539
open letter An open letter is a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally. Open letters usually take the form of a letter addressed to an indiv ...
to C. Güttel ''Against the Antinomians'', and his book ''On the Councils and the Church'' from the same year. In his theses and disputations against the antinomians, Luther reviews and reaffirms, on the one hand, what has been called the "second use of the law," that is, the law as the Holy Spirit's tool to work sorrow over sin in man's heart, thus preparing him for Christ's fulfillment of the law offered in the gospel. Luther states that everything that is used to work sorrow over sin is called the law, even if it is Christ's life, Christ's death for sin, or God's goodness experienced in creation. Simply refusing to preach the Ten Commandments among Christians—thereby, as it were, removing the three letters l-a-w from the church—does not eliminate the accusing law. Claiming that the law—in any form—should not be preached to Christians anymore would be tantamount to asserting that Christians are no longer sinners in themselves and that the church consists only of essentially holy people. Luther also points out that the Ten Commandments—when considered not as God's condemning judgment but as an expression of his eternal will, that is, of the natural law—positively teach how the Christian ought to live. This has traditionally been called the "third use of the law." For Luther, also Christ's life, when understood as an example, is nothing more than an illustration of the Ten Commandments, which a Christian should follow in his or her
vocation A vocation () is an job, occupation to which a person is especially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified. People can be given information about a new occupation through student orientation. Though now often used in non-religio ...
s on a daily basis. The Ten Commandments, and the beginnings of the renewed life of Christians accorded to them by the sacrament of
baptism Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christian sacrament of initiation and adoption, almost i ...
, are a present foreshadowing of the believers' future
angel In various theistic religious traditions an angel is a supernatural spiritual being who serves God. Abrahamic religions often depict angels as wikt:benevolent, benevolent celestial intermediaries between God (or Heaven) and humanity. Oth ...
-like life in heaven in the midst of this life. Luther's teaching of the Ten Commandments, therefore, has clear
eschatological Eschatology (; ) concerns expectations of the end of the Contemporary era, present age, human history, or of the world itself. The end of the world or end times is predicted by several world religions (both Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic and ...
overtones, which, characteristically for Luther, do not encourage world-flight but direct the Christian to service to the neighbor in the common, daily vocations of this perishing world.


Bigamy of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse

From December 1539, Luther became involved in the designs of
Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse (13 November 1504 – 31 March 1567), nicknamed (in English: "the Magnanimous"), was a German nobility, German nobleman and champion of the Protestant Reformation, notable for being one of the most important of the ...
to marry a lady-in-waiting of his wife, Christine of Saxony. Philip solicited the approval of Luther, Melanchthon, and Bucer, citing as a precedent the polygamy of the patriarchs. The theologians were not prepared to make a general ruling, and they reluctantly advised the
landgrave Landgrave (german: Landgraf, nl, landgraaf, sv, lantgreve, french: landgrave; la, comes magnus, ', ', ', ', ') was a noble title used in the Holy Roman Empire, and later on in its former territories. The German titles of ', ' ("margrave"), a ...
that if he was determined, he should marry secretly and keep quiet about the matter because divorce was worse than
bigamy In cultures where monogamy is mandated, bigamy is the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another. A legal separation, legal or de facto separation of the couple does not alter their marital status as m ...
. As a result, on 4 March 1540, Philip married a second wife,
Margarethe von der Saale Margarethe von der Saale (1522 – 6 July 1566) was a German noblewoman, lady-in-waiting and morganatic spouse by bigamy to Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. Marriage Born as daughter of Hans von der Saale and his wife, Anna von Miltitz. When she came ...
, with Melanchthon and Bucer among the witnesses. However, Philip's sister Elisabeth quickly made the scandal public, and Philip threatened to expose Luther's advice. Luther told him to "tell a good, strong lie" and deny the marriage completely, which Philip did. Margarethe gave birth to nine children over a span of 17 years, giving Philip a total of 19 children. In the view of Luther's biographer Martin Brecht, "giving confessional advice for Philip of Hesse was one of the worst mistakes Luther made, and, next to the landgrave himself, who was directly responsible for it, history chiefly holds Luther accountable". Brecht argues that Luther's mistake was not that he gave private pastoral advice, but that he miscalculated the political implications. The affair caused lasting damage to Luther's reputation.


Anti-Jewish polemics and antisemitism

Tovia Singer, an
Orthodox Jewish Orthodox Judaism is the collective term for the traditionalist and theologically conservative branches of contemporary Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic ...
rabbi, remarking about Luther's attitude toward Jews, put it thus: "Among all the Church Fathers and Reformers, there was no mouth more vile, no tongue that uttered more vulgar curses against the Children of Israel than this founder of the Reformation." Luther wrote negatively about the Jews throughout his career.Michael, Robert. ''Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust''. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, 109; Mullett, 242. Though Luther rarely encountered Jews during his life, his attitudes reflected a theological and cultural tradition which saw Jews as a rejected people guilty of the murder of Christ, and he lived in a locality which had expelled Jews some ninety years earlier. He considered the Jews blasphemers and liars because they rejected the divinity of Jesus. In 1523, Luther advised kindness toward the Jews in ''That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew'' and also aimed to convert them to Christianity. When his efforts at conversion failed, he grew increasingly bitter toward them. Luther's major works on the Jews were his 60,000-word treatise ''Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen'' ('' On the Jews and Their Lies''), and ''Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi'' ('' On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ''), both published in 1543, three years before his death. Luther argued that the Jews were no longer the chosen people but "the devil's people", and referred to them with violent language. Citing Deuteronomy 13, wherein
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important Prop ...
commands the killing of idolaters and the burning of their cities and property as an offering to God, Luther called for a "''scharfe Barmherzigkeit''" ("sharp mercy") against the Jews "to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames."Gritsch, Eric W. (2012). ''Martin Luther's Anti-Semitism: Against His Better Judgment''. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. . pp. 86–87. Luther advocated setting
synagogue A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish: ''shul'', Ladino: or ' (from synagogue); or ', "community". sometimes referred to as shul, and interchangeably used with the word temple, is a Jewish house of wo ...
s on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding
rabbi A rabbi () is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi – known as ''semikha'' – following a course of study of Jewish history and texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of ...
s from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, and smashing up their homes, so that these "envenomed worms" would be forced into labour or expelled "for all time".Luther, ''On the Jews and Their Lies'', ''Luthers Werke''. 47:268–71. In Robert Michael's view, Luther's words "We are at fault in not slaying them" amounted to a sanction for murder. "God's anger with them is so intense," Luther concluded, "that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!" Luther spoke out against the Jews in Saxony, Brandenburg, and Silesia.Michael, 117. Josel of Rosheim, the Jewish spokesman who tried to help the Jews of Saxony in 1537, later blamed their plight on "that priest whose name was Martin Luther—may his body and soul be bound up in hell!—who wrote and issued many heretical books in which he said that whoever would help the Jews was doomed to perdition." Josel asked the city of Strasbourg to forbid the sale of Luther's anti-Jewish works: they refused initially but did so when a Lutheran pastor in Hochfelden used a sermon to urge his parishioners to murder Jews. Luther's influence persisted after his death. Throughout the 1580s, riots led to the expulsion of Jews from several German Lutheran states.


Influence within Nazism

Luther was the most widely read author of his generation, and within Germany he acquired the status of a prophet. According to the prevailing opinion among historians,"The assertion that Luther's expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment have been of major and persistent influence in the centuries after the Reformation, and that there exists a continuity between Protestant
anti-Judaism Anti-Judaism is the "total or partial opposition to Judaism as a religion—and the total or partial opposition to Jews as adherents of it—by persons who accept a competing theology, system of beliefs and ritual, practices and consider certai ...
and modern racially oriented antisemitism, is at present wide-spread in the literature; since the Second World War it has understandably become the prevailing opinion." Johannes Wallmann, "The Reception of Luther's Writings on the Jews from the Reformation to the End of the 19th century", ''Lutheran Quarterly'', n.s. 1 (Spring 1987) 1:72–97.
his anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of antisemitism in Germany,Berger, Ronald. ''Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach'' (New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 2002), 28; Johnson, Paul. ''A History of the Jews'' (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1987), 242; Shirer, William. ''The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich'', (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960). and in the 1930s and 1940s provided an "ideal underpinning" for the Nazis' attacks on Jews. Reinhold Lewin writes that anybody who "wrote against the Jews for whatever reason believed he had the right to justify himself by triumphantly referring to Luther." According to Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
contained references to and quotations from Luther.
Heinrich Himmler Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (; 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was of the (Protection Squadron; SS), and a leading member of the Nazi Party of Germany. Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and a main architect of th ...
(albeit never a Lutheran, having been brought up Catholic) wrote admiringly of his writings and sermons on the Jews in 1940. The city of
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants ...
presented a first edition of ''On the Jews and their Lies'' to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper '' Der Stürmer'', on his birthday in 1937; the newspaper described it as the most radically antisemitic tract ever published. It was publicly exhibited in a glass case at the Nuremberg rallies and quoted in a 54-page explanation of the Aryan Law by E.H. Schulz and R. Frercks. On 17 December 1941, seven Protestant regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the
yellow badge Yellow badges (or yellow patches), also referred to as Jewish badges (german: Judenstern, lit=Jew's star), are badges that Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating fr ...
, "since after his bitter experience Luther had already suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory." According to
Daniel Goldhagen Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (born June 30, 1959) is an American author, and former associate professor of government and social studies at Harvard University. Goldhagen reached international attention and broad criticism as the author of two controver ...
, Bishop Martin Sasse, a leading Protestant churchman, published a compendium of Luther's writings shortly after
Kristallnacht () or the Night of Broken Glass, also called the November pogrom(s) (german: Novemberpogrome, ), was a pogrom against Jews carried out by the Nazi Party's Sturmabteilung, (SA) paramilitary and Schutzstaffel, (SS) paramilitary forces along ...
, for which
Diarmaid MacCulloch Diarmaid Ninian John MacCulloch (; born 31 October 1951) is an English people, English academic and historian, specialising in ecclesiastical history and the history of Christianity. Since 1995, he has been a fellow of St Cross College, Oxford ...
, professor of the history of the church at the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
argued that Luther's writing was a "blueprint." Sasse applauded the burning of the synagogues and the coincidence of the day, writing in the introduction, "On 10 November 1938, on Luther's birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany." The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words "of the greatest antisemite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews." At the heart of scholarly debate about Luther's influence is whether it is
anachronistic An anachronism (from the Ancient Greek, Greek , 'against' and , 'time') is a chronology, chronological inconsistency in some arrangement, especially a juxtaposition of people, events, objects, language terms and customs from different time per ...
to view his work as a precursor of the racial antisemitism of the Nazis. Some scholars see Luther's influence as limited, and the Nazis' use of his work as opportunistic. Johannes Wallmann argues that Luther's writings against the Jews were largely ignored in the 18th and 19th centuries, and that there was no continuity between Luther's thought and Nazi ideology. Uwe Siemon-Netto agreed, arguing that it was because the Nazis were already antisemites that they revived Luther's work. Siemon-Netto, "Luther and the Jews," Lutheran Witness 123 (2004) No. 4:19, 21. Hans J. Hillerbrand agreed that to focus on Luther was to adopt an essentially ahistorical perspective of Nazi antisemitism that ignored other contributory factors in German history.Hillerbrand, Hans J. "Martin Luther," ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', 2007. Hillerbrand writes: "His strident pronouncements against the Jews, especially toward the end of his life, have raised the question of whether Luther significantly encouraged the development of German anti-Semitism. Although many scholars have taken this view, this perspective puts far too much emphasis on Luther and not enough on the larger peculiarities of German history." Similarly, Roland Bainton, noted church historian and Luther biographer, wrote "One could wish that Luther had died before ever 'On the Jews and Their Lies''was written. His position was entirely religious and in no respect racial." However, Christopher J. Probst, in his book ''Demonizing the Jews: Luther and the Protestant Church in Nazi Germany'' (2012), shows that a large number of German Protestant clergy and theologians during the Nazi era used Luther's hostile publications towards the Jews and their Jewish religion to justify at least in part the anti-Semitic policies of the National Socialists. The pro-Nazi Christian group Deutsche Christen drew parallels between Martin Luther and the "Führer"
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was dictator of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populo ...
. Some scholars, such as Mark U. Edwards in his book ''Luther's Last Battles: Politics and Polemics 1531–46'' (1983), suggest that since Luther's increasingly antisemitic views developed during the years his health deteriorated, it is possible they were at least partly the product of a state of mind. Edwards also comments that Luther often deliberately used "vulgarity and violence" for effect, both in his writings condemning the Jews and in diatribes against "Turks" (Muslims) and Catholics. Since the 1980s, Lutheran denominations have repudiated Martin Luther's statements against the Jews and have rejected the use of them to incite hatred against Lutherans. Strommen et al.'s 1970 survey of 4,745 North American Lutherans aged 15–65 found that, compared to the other minority groups under consideration, Lutherans were the least prejudiced toward Jews. Nevertheless, Professor Richard Geary, former professor of modern history at the
University of Nottingham , mottoeng = A city is built on wisdom , established = 1798 – teacher training college1881 – University College Nottingham1948 – university status , type = Public , chancellor ...
and the author of ''Hitler and Nazism'' (Routledge 1993), published an article in the magazine ''
History Today ''History Today'' is an illustrated history magazine. Published monthly in London since January 1951, it presents serious and authoritative history to as wide a public as possible. The magazine covers all periods and geographical regions and pub ...
'' examining electoral trends in
Weimar Germany The Weimar Republic (german: link=no, Weimarer Republik ), officially named the German Reich, was the government of Germany from 1918 to 1933, during which it was a Constitutional republic, constitutional federal republic for the first time in ...
between 1928 and 1933. Geary notes that, based on his research, the Nazi Party received disproportionately more votes from Protestant than Catholic areas of Germany.


Final years, illness and death

Luther had been suffering from ill health for years, including Ménière's disease,
vertigo Vertigo is a condition where a person has the sensation of movement or of surrounding objects moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement. This may be associated with nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulties w ...
, fainting,
tinnitus Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no corresponding external sound is present. Nearly everyone experiences a faint "normal tinnitus" in a completely quiet room; but it is of concern only if it is bothersome, interferes with normal hearin ...
, and a
cataract A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens (anatomy), lens of the eye that leads to a visual impairment, decrease in vision. Cataracts often develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry or double visi ...
in one eye. From 1531 to 1546 his health deteriorated further. In 1536, he began to suffer from kidney and bladder stones,
arthritis Arthritis is a term often used to mean any disorder that affects joints. Symptoms generally include joint pain and stiffness. Other symptoms may include redness, warmth, Joint effusion, swelling, and decreased range of motion of the affected j ...
, and an ear infection ruptured an ear drum. In December 1544, he began to feel the effects of
angina Angina, also known as angina pectoris, is chest pain or pressure, usually caused by ischemia, insufficient blood flow to the Cardiac muscle, heart muscle (myocardium). It is most commonly a symptom of coronary artery disease. Angina is typical ...
. His poor physical health made him short-tempered and even harsher in his writings and comments. His wife Katharina was overheard saying, "Dear husband, you are too rude," and he responded, "They are teaching me to be rude." In 1545 and 1546 Luther preached three times in the Market Church in Halle, staying with his friend Justus Jonas during Christmas. His last sermon was delivered at Eisleben, his place of birth, on 15 February 1546, three days before his death. It was "entirely devoted to the obdurate Jews, whom it was a matter of great urgency to expel from all German territory," according to Léon Poliakov. James Mackinnon writes that it concluded with a "fiery summons to drive the Jews bag and baggage from their midst, unless they desisted from their calumny and their usury and became Christians." Luther said, "we want to practice Christian love toward them and pray that they convert," but also that they are "our public enemies ... and if they could kill us all, they would gladly do so. And so often they do." Luther's final journey, to Mansfeld, was taken because of his concern for his siblings' families continuing in their father Hans Luther's copper mining trade. Their livelihood was threatened by Count Albrecht of Mansfeld bringing the industry under his own control. The controversy that ensued involved all four Mansfeld counts: Albrecht, Philip, John George, and Gerhard. Luther journeyed to Mansfeld twice in late 1545 to participate in the negotiations for a settlement, and a third visit was needed in early 1546 for their completion. The negotiations were successfully concluded on 17 February 1546. After 8 p.m., he experienced chest pains. When he went to his bed, he prayed, "Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God" (Ps. 31:5), the common prayer of the dying. At 1 a.m. on 18 February, he awoke with more chest pain and was warmed with hot towels. He thanked God for revealing his Son to him in whom he had believed. His companions, Justus Jonas and Michael Coelius, shouted loudly, "Reverend father, are you ready to die trusting in your Lord Jesus Christ and to confess the doctrine which you have taught in his name?" A distinct "Yes" was Luther's reply.Reeves, Michael. "The Unquenchable Flame". Nottingham: IVP, 2009, p. 60. An apoplectic stroke deprived him of his speech, and he died shortly afterwards at 2:45 a.m. on 18 February 1546, aged 62, in Eisleben, the city of his birth. He was buried in the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, in front of the pulpit. The funeral was held by his friends
Johannes Bugenhagen Johannes Bugenhagen (24 June 1485 – 20 April 1558), also called ''Doctor Pomeranus'' by Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest, theologian, author, hymnwriter, and professor, ...
and Philipp Melanchthon. A year later, troops of Luther's adversary Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor entered the town but were ordered by Charles not to disturb the grave. A piece of paper was later found on which Luther had written his last statement. The statement was in Latin, apart from "We are beggars," which was in German. The statement reads:
# No one can understand
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...
's ''
Bucolics The ''Eclogues'' (; ), also called the ''Bucolics'', is the first of the three major works of the Latin literature, Latin poet Virgil. Background Taking as his generic model the Greek bucolic poetry of Theocritus, Virgil created a Roman versio ...
'' unless he has been a shepherd for five years. No one can understand Virgil's ''
Georgics The ''Georgics'' ( ; ) is a poem by Latin poet Virgil, likely published in 29 BCE. As the name suggests (from the Greek language, Greek word , ''geōrgika'', i.e. "agricultural (things)") the subject of the poem is agriculture; but far from b ...
'', unless he has been a farmer for five years. # No one can understand Cicero's ''Letters'' (or so I teach), unless he has busied himself in the affairs of some prominent state for twenty years. # Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as
Elijah Elijah ( ; he, אֵלִיָּהוּ, ʾĒlīyyāhū, meaning "My God In monotheistic thought, God is usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxfo ...
and
Elisha Elisha ( ; or "God is my salvation", Koine Greek, Greek: , ''Elis îos'' or , ''Elisaié,'' Latin: ''Eliseus'') was, according to the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a Thaumaturgy, wonder-worker. His name is commonly transliterated into Engli ...
,
John the Baptist John the Baptist or , , or , ;Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history''. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 1994. syc, ܝܘܿܚܲܢܵܢ ܡܲܥܡܕ݂ܵܢܵܐ, Yoḥanān Maʿmḏānā; he, יוחנן המטביל, Yohanān HaMatbil; la, Ioannes Bapti ...
, Christ and the apostles. Do not assail this divine
Aeneid The ''Aeneid'' ( ; la, Aenē̆is or ) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area ...
; nay, rather prostrate revere the ground that it treads. We are beggars: this is true.
The tomb of
Philipp Melanchthon Philip Melanchthon. (born Philipp Schwartzerdt; 16 February 1497 – 19 April 1560) was a German Lutheran Protestant Reformers, reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellect ...
, Luther's contemporary and fellow reformer, is also located in the All Saints' Church. File:Luthers Sterbehaus Eisleben.jpg, Martin Luther's Death House, considered the site of Luther's death since 1726. However the building where Luther actually died (at Markt 56, now the site of Hotel Graf von Mansfeld) was torn down in 1570. File:Luther death-hand mask.jpg, Casts of Luther's face and hands at his death, in the Market Church in Halle File:Schlosskirche (Wittenberg).jpg, '' Schlosskirche'' in Wittenberg, where Luther posted his ''Ninety-five Theses'', is also his gravesite. File:Luthertombstoneunderaltar.jpg, Luther's tombstone beneath the pulpit in the Castle Church in Wittenberg File:Luthergrab-WB.jpg, Close-up of the grave with inscription in Latin


Legacy and commemoration

Luther made effective use of
Johannes Gutenberg Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (; – 3 February 1468) was a German inventor and Artisan, craftsman who introduced letterpress printing to Europe with his movable type, movable-type printing press. Though not the first of its ki ...
's printing press to spread his views. He switched from Latin to German in his writing to appeal to a broader audience. Between 1500 and 1530, Luther's works represented one fifth of all materials printed in Germany. In the 1530s and 1540s, printed images of Luther that emphasized his monumental size were crucial to the spread of Protestantism. In contrast to images of frail Catholic saints, Luther was presented as a stout man with a "double chin, strong mouth, piercing deep-set eyes, fleshy face, and squat neck." He was shown to be physically imposing, an equal in stature to the secular German princes with whom he would join forces to spread Lutheranism. His large body also let the viewer know that he did not shun earthly pleasures like drinking—behavior that was a stark contrast to the ascetic life of the medieval religious orders. Images from this period include the woodcuts by Hans Brosamer (1530) and
Lucas Cranach the Elder Lucas Cranach the Elder (german: Lucas Cranach der Ältere ;  – 16 October 1553) was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known ...
and
Lucas Cranach the Younger Lucas Cranach the Younger (german: Lucas Cranach der Jüngere ; October 4, 1515 – January 25, 1586) was a German Renaissance painter and portraitist, the son of Lucas Cranach the Elder and brother of Hans Cranach. Life and career Lucas Cranach ...
(1546). Luther is honoured on 18 February with a commemoration in the Lutheran Calendar of Saints and in the Episcopal (United States) Calendar of Saints. In the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
's
Calendar of Saints The calendar of saints is the traditional Christianity, Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the day as the feast day or feast of said saint. The word "feast" in thi ...
he is commemorated on 31 October. Luther is honored in various ways by Christian traditions coming out directly from the Protestant Reformation, i.e. Lutheranism, the
Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed Tradition, Reformed Protestantism, Reformed Christianity, or simply Reformed) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the Christian theology, theological tradition and forms of Christianity, Christ ...
, and
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation, in the context of the Protestant Reformation in Euro ...
. Branches of Protestantism that emerged afterwards vary in their remembrance and veneration of Luther, ranging from a complete lack of a single mention of him to a commemoration almost comparable to the way Lutherans commemorate and remember his persona. There is no known condemnation of Luther by Protestants themselves. Various sites both inside and outside Germany (supposedly) visited by Martin Luther throughout his lifetime commemorate it with local memorials.
Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a States of Germany, state of Germany, bordering the states of Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia and Lower Saxony. It covers an area of and has a population of 2.18 million inhabit ...
has two towns officially named after Luther, Lutherstadt Eisleben and
Lutherstadt Wittenberg Wittenberg ( , ; Low Saxon: ''Wittenbarg''; meaning ''White Mountain''; officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg (''Luther City Wittenberg'')), is the fourth largest town in Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-A ...
.
Mansfeld Mansfeld, sometimes also unofficially Mansfeld-Lutherstadt, is a town in the district of Mansfeld-Südharz, in Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a States of Germany, state of Germany, bordering ...
is sometimes called Mansfeld-Lutherstadt, although the state government has not decided to put the ''
Lutherstadt A ''Lutherstadt'' (German language, German for "Luther city", plural ''Lutherstädte'') is a city where German protestant reformer Martin Luther visited or played an important role. Two cities, Eisleben, Lutherstadt Eisleben and Wittenberg, Luthers ...
'' suffix in its official name.
Reformation Day Reformation Day is a Protestant Christianity, Christian religious holiday celebrated on 31 October, alongside All Hallows' Eve (Halloween) during the triduum of Allhallowtide, in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation. According to Philip ...
commemorates the publication of the ''Ninety-five Theses'' in 1517 by Martin Luther; it has been historically important in the following European entities. It is a civic holiday in the German states of
Brandenburg Brandenburg (; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska ) is a states of Germany, state in the northeast of Germany bordering the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Saxony, as well as the country of Poland. With an ar ...
,
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV; ; nds, Mäkelborg-Vörpommern), also known by its Anglicisation, anglicized name Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania, is a Federated state, state in the north-east of Germany. Of the country's States of Germany, sixtee ...
,
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (german: Freistaat Sachsen, links=no ; Upper Saxon: ''Freischdaad Saggsn''; hsb, Swobodny stat Sakska, links=no), is a ...
,
Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a States of Germany, state of Germany, bordering the states of Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia and Lower Saxony. It covers an area of and has a population of 2.18 million inhabit ...
,
Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a states of Germany, state of central Germany, covering , the sixth smallest of the sixteen German states. It has a population of about 2.1 million. Erfurt is t ...
,
Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein (; da, Slesvig-Holsten; nds, Sleswig-Holsteen; frr, Slaswik-Holstiinj) is the Northern Germany, northernmost of the 16 states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the form ...
and
Hamburg (male), (female) en, Hamburger(s), Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central (CET) , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central (CEST) , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal ...
. Two further states (
Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is a States of Germany, German state (') in Northern Germany, northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with , and fourth-largest in populati ...
and
Bremen Bremen (Low German also: ''Breem'' or ''Bräm''), officially the City Municipality of Bremen (german: Stadtgemeinde Bremen, ), is the capital of the Germany, German States of Germany, state Bremen (state), Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (''Freie H ...
) are pending a vote on introducing it. Slovenia celebrates it because of the profound contribution of the Reformation to its culture. Austria allows Protestant children not to go to school that day, and Protestant workers have a right to leave work in order to participate in a church service. Switzerland celebrates the holiday on the first Sunday after 31 October. It is also celebrated elsewhere around the world.


Luther and the swan

File:Strümpfelbach im Remstal - Kirche - Lutherbild.jpg, Luther with a swan (painting in the church at Strümpfelbach im Remstal, Weinstadt, Germany, by J. A. List) File:WLM - andrevanb - amsterdam, ronde lutherse kerk (1).jpg, Swan weather vane, Round Lutheran Church, Amsterdam File:Halberstadt St Martini Altar.jpg, Altar in St Martin's Church,
Halberstadt Halberstadt (Eastphalian dialect, Eastphalian: ''Halverstidde'') is a town in the Germany, German state of Saxony-Anhalt, the capital of Harz (district), Harz district. Located north of the Harz mountain range, it is known for its old town cente ...
, Germany. Luther and the swan are toward the top on the right. File:Fotothek df tg 0004142 Münze ^ Gedenkmünze ^ Schaumünze ^ Medaille ^ Schwan.jpg, Coin commemorating Luther (engraving by Georg Wilhelm Göbel,
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (german: Freistaat Sachsen, links=no ; Upper Saxon: ''Freischdaad Saggsn''; hsb, Swobodny stat Sakska, links=no), is a ...
, 1706)
Luther is often depicted with a swan as his attribute, and Lutheran churches often have a swan for a weather vane. This association with the swan arises out of a prophecy reportedly made by the earlier reformer Jan Hus from Bohemia and endorsed by Luther. In the Bohemian language (now Czech), Hus's name meant "grey goose". In 1414, while imprisoned by the Council of Constance and anticipating his execution by burning for heresy, Hus prophesied, "Now they will roast a goose, but in a hundred years' time they'll hear a swan sing. They'd better listen to him." Luther published his ''Ninety-five Theses'' some 103 years later.The Lutheran Identity of Josquin's ''Missa Pange Lingua'' (reference note 94)
Early Music History, vol. 36, October 2017, pp. 193–249; CUP; retrieved 6 July 2020


Works and editions

* The Erlangen Edition (''Erlangener Ausgabe'': "EA"), comprising the ''Exegetica opera latina'' – Latin exegetical works of Luther. * The Weimar Edition (Weimarer Ausgabe) is the exhaustive, standard German edition of Luther's Latin and German works, indicated by the abbreviation "WA". This is continued into "WA Br" ''Weimarer Ausgabe, Briefwechsel'' (correspondence), "WA Tr" ''Weimarer Ausgabe, Tischreden'' (tabletalk) and "WA DB" ''Weimarer Ausgabe, Deutsche Bibel'' (German Bible). * The American Edition (''Luther's Works'') is the most extensive English translation of Luther's writings, indicated either by the abbreviation "LW" or "AE". The first 55 volumes were published 1955–1986, and a twenty volume extension (vols. 56–75) is planned of which volumes 58, 60, and 68 have appeared thus far.


See also

*
Antilegomena ''Antilegomena'' (from Ancient Greek, Greek ) are written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed. Eusebius in his ''Church History (Eusebius), Church History'' (c. 325) used the term for those Christian scriptures that were "disputed", lite ...
* George of Hungary * Luther's canon * Luther's Marian theology * Lutherhaus Eisenach * Martin Luther's Birth House * Propaganda during the Reformation *
Protestantism in Germany The religion of Protestantism, a form of Christianity, was founded within Germany in the 16th-century Reformation. It was formed as a new direction from some Catholic Church, Roman Catholic principles. It was led initially by Martin Luther and ...
* Resources about Martin Luther * Theology of Martin Luther * '' Bruder Martin'' * '' Hochstratus Ovans'' * ''
Theologia Germanica ''Theologia Germanica'', also known as ''Theologia Deutsch'' or ''Teutsch'', or as ''Der Franckforter'', is a mystical Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of Religious ecstasy, ecs ...
''


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * * *


Further reading

For works by and about Luther, see Martin Luther (resources) or Luther's works at Wikisource. * Atkinson, James (1968). ''Martin Luther and the Birth of Protestantism'', in series, Pelican Book Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin Books. 352 pp. * Bainton, Roland. ''Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther'' (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1950)
online
* Brecht, Martin. ''Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483–1521'' (vol 1, 1985); ''Martin Luther 1521–1532: Shaping and Defining the Reformation'' (vol 2, 1994); ''Martin Luther The Preservation of the Church Vol 3 1532–1546'' (1999), a standard scholarly biograph
excerpts
* Erikson, Erik H. (1958). ''Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History''. New York: W.W. Norton. * * Fife, Robert Herndon. (1928). ''Young Luther: The Intellectual and Religious Development of Martin Luther to 1518.'' New York: Macmillan. *Fife, Robert Herndon. (1957). ''The Revolt of Martin Luther.'' New York NY: Columbia University Press. * Friedenthal, Richard (1970). ''Luther, His Life and Times''. Trans. from the German by John Nowell. First American ed. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. viii, 566 p. ''N.B''.: Trans. of the author's ''Luther, sein Leben und seine Zeit''. * * * Kolb, Robert; Dingel, Irene; Batka, Ľubomír (eds.): ''The Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther's Theology''. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. . * Luther, M. ''The Bondage of the Will.'' Eds. J.I. Packer and O.R. Johnson. Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1957. . * Luther, Martin (1974). ''Selected Political Writings'', ed. and with an introd. by J.M. Porter. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. * ''Luther's Works'', 55 vols. Eds. H.T. Lehman and J. Pelikan. St Louis, Missouri, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1955–86. Also on CD-ROM. Minneapolis and St Louis: Fortress Press and Concordia Publishing House, 2002. * Maritain, Jacques (1941). ''Three Reformers: Luther, Descartes, Rousseau''. New York: C. Scribner's Sons. N.B.: Reprint of the ed. published by Muhlenberg Press. * Nettl, Paul (1948). ''Luther and Music'', trans. by Frida Best and Ralph Wood. New York: Russell & Russell, 1967, cop. 1948. vii, 174 p. * Reu, Johann Michael (1917). ''Thirty-five Years of Luther Research''. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House. * Schalk, Carl F. (1988). ''Luther on Music: Paradigms of Praise''. Saint Louis, Mo.: Concordia Publishing House. * Stang, William (1883). ''The Life of Martin Luther''. Eighth ed. New York: Pustet & Co. ''N.B''.: This is a work of Roman Catholic polemical nature. * Warren Washburn Florer, Ph.D. (1912, 2012)
''Luther's Use of the Pre-Lutheran Versions of the Bible: Article 1''
George Wahr, The Ann Arbor Press, Ann Arbor, Mich. Reprint 2012: Nabu Press,


External links

* * * *
Maarten Luther Werke

Digitized 1543 edition of ''Von den Juden und ihren Luegen''
by Martin Luther at the
Leo Baeck Institute, New York The Leo Baeck Institute New York (LBI) is a research institute in New York City dedicated to the study of German-Jewish history and culture, founded in 1955. It is one of three independent research centers founded by a group of German-speaking J ...
* * *
Website about Martin Luther

Commentarius in psalmos Davidis
Manuscript of Luther's first lecture as Professor of Theology at the University of Wittenberg, digital version at the Saxon State and University Library, Dresden (SLUB) * * Martin Luther Collection: Early works attributed to Martin Luther, (285 titles). From th
Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress

Robin Leaver: Luther's Liturgical Music

Chronological catalog of Luther's life events, letters, and works with citations
(LettersLuther4.doc: 478 pages, 5.45 MB) {{DEFAULTSORT:Luther, Martin 1483 births 1546 deaths 16th-century apocalypticists 16th-century Christian mystics 16th-century German Protestant theologians 16th-century German male writers 16th-century Latin-language writers 16th-century people of the Holy Roman Empire Anglican saints Antisemitism in Germany Augustinian friars Burials at All Saints' Church, Wittenberg Christian Hebraists Converts to Lutheranism from Roman Catholicism Critics of Judaism Christian critics of Islam Critics of the Catholic Church Founders of religions 16th-century German Lutheran clergy German Lutheran hymnwriters German Lutheran theologians German male non-fiction writers German Christian mystics 16th-century German translators Laicized Roman Catholic priests Latin–German translators Lutheran sermon writers Lutheran writers
Martin Martin may refer to: Places * Martin City (disambiguation) * Martin County (disambiguation) * Martin Township (disambiguation) Antarctica * Martin Peninsula, Marie Byrd Land * Port Martin, Adelie Land * Point Martin, South Orkney Islands Austral ...
People celebrated in the Lutheran liturgical calendar People excommunicated by the Catholic Church People from Eisleben People with Ménière's Disease Philosophers of law Protestant mystics German translation scholars Translators of the Bible into German University of Erfurt alumni University of Wittenberg faculty Lutheran saints