Who is Martin Luther?June 26, 2021
Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 17 February 1546) was a German religious reformer.
Born in Eisleben, Germany, Martin Luther studied at the University of Erfurt. Returning from a visit to his family, he decided to become a monk when he was threatened by lightning on the way to Erfurt.
At the age of 21, he entered a monastery affiliated with the order of St. Augustine and started his theological training and became a priest in the same year. The following year, he completed his doctorate at the University of Wittenberg and began teaching. In those days, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican monk commissioned by Rome, was selling indulgences around Wittenberg. Luther wrote a critique against this practice, which he had questioned since his days in the monastery. With the intention of starting a discussion about the practice of indulgence, he hung his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church on October 31, 1517, which could be considered the university’s bulletin board at that time. As a result, there was a decline in indulgence sales.
In 1518, a papal lawsuit was filed in Rome against Luther’s ideas. In this inquisition, Luther was tried in absentia. Emperor Maximillian declared him heretic; Luther was summoned to Rome to answer the accusations. But instead of going to Rome, he preferred to testify to Cardinal Cajetan in Augsburg. When Cajetan asked him to give up his ideas and his attacks on the Church, Luther turned to Wittenberg. Here, Duke of Saxony III, who was the authority of the Holy Roman German Empire to elect an emperor. Frederick took him under his protection. Pope Leo X. He demanded that Frederick be exiled, but the duke disobeyed this order. Meanwhile, Luther, who relinquished some of his views and even sent a letter of apology to the Pope, attended a debate on indulgence with Johann Eck, the rector of the University of Ingolstadt. Eck won this debate, but Luther drew the lightning of Rome.
On June 15, 1520, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther with a proclamation. In October, the papal proclamation fell into Luther’s hands, but his students at the University of Erfurt shredded it and threw it into the water. University officials did not intervene in this event. Then Luther published perhaps his most famous book, Von der Freiheit des Christenmenschen (On the Freedom of the Christian Person), together with an open letter to Pope Leo X. At the core of this small work, which reflects the theological and ideological foundations of his thought, is the concept of Freiheit (freedom).
In 1521, Luther was summoned, this time by Emperor Charles V, to testify before the Worms Council. On the way he preached in Erfurt, Eisenach, Gotha, and Frankfurt, and entered Worms in the victorious general manner, accompanied by a large crowd. Here he was asked to give up his heretical ideas in the books he had written. Luther testified: “I cannot accept the authority of popes and councils unless I am persuaded by the Scriptures and reason. For they contradict each other, and my conscience is dependent only on the word of God. For this reason, I do not turn away from any of my views because it is the denial of one’s writing despite one’s conscience it wouldn’t be true and reliable. God help me”.
The Worms Board was dissolved without any results. Luther also began translating the Bible into German in Wartburg, where he settled. Important changes were also taking place in Wittenberg while Luther was in Wartburg: monks who refused special sacramental requests left the Augustinian order. the priest of the Castle Church got married; the students destroyed the altar in the Franciscan monastery; rites began to be performed in German and the wine glass was presented to the congregation who came to the church for the first time. Prohibitions against Luther were lifted, and he too returned to Wittenberg to preach in church. Although the Nuremberg Council banned non-Catholic preaching by asking him to no longer publish books, Luther continued to write; he even asked poets and musicians to contribute to the local language to be used in the liturgy. 1524 was a year of turmoil in Germany. The peasants revolted to improve their economic conditions in line with Luther’s teachings. Among its leaders was Thomas Müntzer, a Wittenberg-trained theologian. Luther wrote a book against the attacks of the peasants, and the uprising ended in Frankenhausen killing some 50,000 peasants in a shootout, some of the Protestant priests were executed by Catholic princes, and the villagers believed that Luther had deceived them.
Married to a former nun, Luther began liturgies, which he published in 1526 as Deutsche Messe und Ordnung des Gottsdienstes (German Order of Ritual and Sacred Ceremony). In 1529, after a small work declaring that it is the duty of every Christian to fight against the Turks in order to protect Western civilization from the danger of Islam, he published the Small and Large Catechism, in which the basic beliefs and doctrines of Christianity were taught in the form of questions and answers. Three years later, the Nuremberg Religious Peace Committee freed the German Protestants.