Martin Luther: A Leader of the Protestant Reformation

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Rajni Devraj
Mrs. Lukon
Western Civ.
20/11/12

Martin Luther

Martin Luther was born on November 10 and was one of the most renowned leaders of the protestant reformation. Luther was from Eisleben in the Holy Roman Empire (present day East Germany), and was born into a family of small but free landowners. He received his education in a cathedral school at Eisenach. After his master’s degree, he began studying law. His father was very dedicated to make Luther a lawyer, and was ready to use whatever means to make this dream come true. His father’s dream never came true. In July 1505, Luther got caught in a thunderstorm. In fear of dying, he made a vow to St. Anna (the mother of Virgin Mary) that he would become a monk. Luther entered the Augustinian Monastery at Erfurt on the 17th of July. In the monastery, he practiced strict order and discipline and began studying scripture intensively. He was declared a priest in 1507. Luther believed he was very sinful and always had a guilty conscience; he tried to evade it by living in the monastery but it was not very effective. Shortly after, in 1511, he received his doctor of theology degree. He started living in another monastery in Wittenberg and taught at the University of Wittenberg. Luther’s main belief was that salvation was not achieved because of good deeds, but only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. He denied the authority of the pope or the church councils and believed that the bible is the sole source of religious truth. By 1517, he had grown confident about his beliefs and posted a sheet of his 95 theses about the idea of salvation by grace alone on the chapel’s door of the university. Most people saw his theses as an attack against the pope and the church’s authority. In October 1518, Luther was asked to withdraw his writings, but he refused to do so until his mistakes were explained to him using scripture, logic and reason. He continued to criticize the pope and eventually in 1520, the...
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