Things You Do Not Know About Martin Luther

Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. We put together some things we believe you do not know about him. Enjoy.

Luther and The Paying of Money to the Church In Return For The Remission of Sins:
Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed his understanding of the Catholic view on indulgences, that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He never intended to question the church or the pope. But on October 31, 1517, Luther wrote to Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz asking for rectification and a disputation, meaning an academic debate on the issue.
Luther prepared a collection of arguments and points of criticism as a basis for the debate. According to his own accounts, 95 of these points became the theses that he personally nailed with a hammer to the Wittenberg church door. However, this has never been proved. On the other hand, the phenomenal effect of these theses quickly spread throughout the country. Luther probably became famous because the theses critical of the church were printed on a leaflet that was in circulation.

He Translated The New Testament In Eleven (11) Weeks:
Luther translated the New Testament into German in just 11 weeks. He was not the first to translate the Bible but he was the first to use the Greek original as the source text and not the Latin translation. He translated the historical text with great linguistic skill, poeticism and imagery; his translation surpassed all previous German translations. Everyone was able to understand the Bible, as he used simple language. It was no wonder that his writings rapidly spread with the help of the 16th century's new technology of book printing. 

Luther and The Freedom of Conscience
When the function of clergy as a link between the believer and God was, so to speak, abolished, Luther's Reformation filled the vacancy with the human conscience. The thoughts and actions of every Christian were no longer a part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, but instead, each person was solely responsible to their own conscience. This was revolutionary, but it had nothing to do with individualism as we know it today. To Luther, freedom of conscience meant his conscience was "captive to the Word of God," to use his words. It was simply about faith. #

Luther and the Hymn
Luther can also be considered as the inventor of the hymn, and wrote several himself. The chorale was one of the defining elements of the Reformation movement and an integral part of church services. Since Luther's era, singing together in German has been part of the tradition and identity of Protestants. Nothing proves it more than a book of hymns. Some of Luther's songs have even become spiritual folk songs. The most well-known one, "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come," is still a popular Christmas carol in Germany today.
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