Some questions about Martin Luther's "95 Theses" are when he wrote the document, what the document was about and what inspired him to write it. Another question about "95 Theses" is what effect the document had on the world.Continue Reading
Martin Luther was a German monk who began to question the actions of the Catholic Church in the early 16th century. At the time, the Catholic Church was engaged in the sale of indulgences, which were papers signed by the pope absolving the buyer of his sins. Luther disagreed that an indulgence could wipe away a man's sins and guarantee a spot in heaven. A friar, Johann Tetzel, was aggressively selling indulgences in Germany to raise money to pay for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Angered by Tetzel's actions, Luther wrote the "Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences," also known as the "95 Theses." On October 31, 1517, Luther nailed the Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. The document criticized the Church's assertion that indulgences provided for salvation and rebuked the sale of indulgences to pay for the Basilica. Luther believed that faith and God's grace were the only path to salvation.
The "95 Theses" were printed and distributed throughout Europe and sparked anger from the Church. The Pope deemed Luther a heretic and demanded that he rescind the arguments he presented, but he refused. Fearing the Church would kill him, Luther went into hiding and translated the Bible to German. He turned away from the Catholic Church and began to spread the idea that people could reach salvation through their individual faith in God. His ideas became the basis of the Protestant form of Christianity.Learn more about Renaissance & Reformation