An Analysis of the Life and Work of Martin Luther: The Reformer of an entire Country by



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An Analysis of the Life and Work of Martin Luther:


Heiliges Römisches Reich deutscher Nation

  • Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation

  • The lands of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nations emerged from the Eastern borders of France to the Western borders of Poland and the Ottoman Empire, a Muslim region consisting of south-eastern Europe, Turkey, part of the Middle East, and North Africa.



Table of Events



Martin Luther was born at Eiseleben in Saxony on November 10, 1483 on St. Martin’s Eve. Martin Luther was born into an age of Christian fear was considered “complicated, lively and compassionate, however, stubborn, fearful of the wrath of God, given to the tormenting introspection and self-inflicted punishment, all in the pursuit of spiritual salvation”.

  • Martin Luther was born at Eiseleben in Saxony on November 10, 1483 on St. Martin’s Eve. Martin Luther was born into an age of Christian fear was considered “complicated, lively and compassionate, however, stubborn, fearful of the wrath of God, given to the tormenting introspection and self-inflicted punishment, all in the pursuit of spiritual salvation”.



Martin Luther attended the University of Erfurt in 1501 where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1502 and a Master of Arts degree in 1505. After receiving his Master of Arts, under the influence of his father, he enrolled in the study of law.

  • Martin Luther attended the University of Erfurt in 1501 where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1502 and a Master of Arts degree in 1505. After receiving his Master of Arts, under the influence of his father, he enrolled in the study of law.



Luther was said to question his own mortality after the death of a close friend and after a trip from his parent’s home back to the University of Erfurt, where he was caught in a terrible thunderstorm. After a close encounter with a bolt of lightning, Luther flung himself to the ground in terror, and prayed to St. Anne that if he was sparred and allowed to live, he would dedicate his life to God. Luther left the University of Erfurt to enter as a monk under the St. Augustinian order at the Black Monestary in Erfurt to find inner peace with his instilled fear of an angry God.

  • Luther was said to question his own mortality after the death of a close friend and after a trip from his parent’s home back to the University of Erfurt, where he was caught in a terrible thunderstorm. After a close encounter with a bolt of lightning, Luther flung himself to the ground in terror, and prayed to St. Anne that if he was sparred and allowed to live, he would dedicate his life to God. Luther left the University of Erfurt to enter as a monk under the St. Augustinian order at the Black Monestary in Erfurt to find inner peace with his instilled fear of an angry God.



As a young monk Luther was obsessed with atoning for his sins and went through vast lengths to punish himself. This ranged from extreme self denial and physical and mental tests to self flagellation. One such punishment consisted of lying in the snow, through the night at the height of winter until he would have to be carried back inside.

  • As a young monk Luther was obsessed with atoning for his sins and went through vast lengths to punish himself. This ranged from extreme self denial and physical and mental tests to self flagellation. One such punishment consisted of lying in the snow, through the night at the height of winter until he would have to be carried back inside.



Brother Martin Luther was ordained a priest and celebrated his first mass in 1507, made his vows in 1508, and selected for further theological studies at the University of Erfurt. His diligence and passion for his works, earned him the opportunity to be sent to the University of Wittenberg in 1508 to join the Theology Department to study and lecture in arts.

  • Brother Martin Luther was ordained a priest and celebrated his first mass in 1507, made his vows in 1508, and selected for further theological studies at the University of Erfurt. His diligence and passion for his works, earned him the opportunity to be sent to the University of Wittenberg in 1508 to join the Theology Department to study and lecture in arts.



Table of Events





In 1510 Luther was sent to Rome by his vicar general, John von Staupiz, on business for the Augustinian order with a senior friar. After a difficult 800 mile journey, the two monks reached the Roman home of Pope Julius II and early Christianity.

  • In 1510 Luther was sent to Rome by his vicar general, John von Staupiz, on business for the Augustinian order with a senior friar. After a difficult 800 mile journey, the two monks reached the Roman home of Pope Julius II and early Christianity.



During his pilgrimage, Luther became offended by the manipulations of the papacy under Julius II and the Roman Popes before him. Luther later said that he would not have missed the trip, “for then I might have been afraid of being unjust to the Pope.”

  • During his pilgrimage, Luther became offended by the manipulations of the papacy under Julius II and the Roman Popes before him. Luther later said that he would not have missed the trip, “for then I might have been afraid of being unjust to the Pope.”

  • After his pilgrimage in Rome, Luther returned to the monastery in Erfurt and resumed his lectures at the University of Wittenberg in 1511. Upon Luther’s return, John von Staupiz approached Brother Martin and requested that he consider becoming a doctor and a preacher in theological studies. Although Luther provided many reasons why he should not, he later returned to the University of Wittenberg, this time to prepare for the doctorate and to lecture the Bible. It was at Wittenberg that Luther read the inspiring works of St. Augustine, the Scripture, the early church and humanism in preparation for his degree. In October of 1512, Luther received the degree of Doctor of Theology. Slowly, terms like penance and righteousness took on new meaning. Luther believed and taught that salvation is a gift of God's grace, received by faith and trust in God's promise to forgive sins for the sake of Christ's death on the cross. This, he believed was God's work from beginning to end.



It was while lecturing at the Elector Frederick’s Castle Church in Wittenberg he began to take issue with the secular pursuits of the papacy. The sale of St. Peter’s indulgences, the payment of money replacing the deed of penance, or the forgiveness of God contingent upon confession, as issued originally by Pope Julius II and later reissued Pope Leo X for the construction of a new basilica over the tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican, became a subject of concern for Luther when Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, established his showman performance on the outskirts of the Wittenberg border. Tetzel promised the purchase of this indulgence would assure a direct passage to heaven not only for the purchaser, but for the purchasers departed relatives who were suffering in purgatory. Luther believed that salvation of man was not found in the Church or in the sale of indulgences. He felt that if man were to repent his sin through faith, he could be forgiven.

  • It was while lecturing at the Elector Frederick’s Castle Church in Wittenberg he began to take issue with the secular pursuits of the papacy. The sale of St. Peter’s indulgences, the payment of money replacing the deed of penance, or the forgiveness of God contingent upon confession, as issued originally by Pope Julius II and later reissued Pope Leo X for the construction of a new basilica over the tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican, became a subject of concern for Luther when Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, established his showman performance on the outskirts of the Wittenberg border. Tetzel promised the purchase of this indulgence would assure a direct passage to heaven not only for the purchaser, but for the purchasers departed relatives who were suffering in purgatory. Luther believed that salvation of man was not found in the Church or in the sale of indulgences. He felt that if man were to repent his sin through faith, he could be forgiven.



“Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests thathose who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter

  • “Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests thathose who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter

  • In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen”



Luther challenged the subject of indulgences in proposal for discussion in his Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, known as the 95 Theses, which he posted to the door of Frederick the Wise of Saxony’s Castle Church on October 31, 1517.

  • Luther challenged the subject of indulgences in proposal for discussion in his Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, known as the 95 Theses, which he posted to the door of Frederick the Wise of Saxony’s Castle Church on October 31, 1517.



Luther presented copies of the 95 theses’ to his students and colleagues, who passed the proposition on to printers. In just a few months’ copies of Luther’s, 95 theses were available throughout Europe. Approached by fellow Augustinians who took alarm, Luther, decided to make further certainty that everyone knew exactly what he meant. He submitted a written tract to his bishop, and simplified versions of his views in German among the people. The controversy that broke loose with the publication of the 95 Theses placed even more pressure on the reformer to study the Bible. This study convinced him that the Church had lost sight of several central truths. To Luther, the most important of these was the doctrine that brought him peace with God.

  • Luther presented copies of the 95 theses’ to his students and colleagues, who passed the proposition on to printers. In just a few months’ copies of Luther’s, 95 theses were available throughout Europe. Approached by fellow Augustinians who took alarm, Luther, decided to make further certainty that everyone knew exactly what he meant. He submitted a written tract to his bishop, and simplified versions of his views in German among the people. The controversy that broke loose with the publication of the 95 Theses placed even more pressure on the reformer to study the Bible. This study convinced him that the Church had lost sight of several central truths. To Luther, the most important of these was the doctrine that brought him peace with God.



It wasn’t until 1518, that Pope Leo X took an interest in much of what he regarded a “monkish squabble” and summoned Luther to Rome. The Elector Frederick of Saxony, loathing the idea of a Saxon being tried and judged by the Italians, asserted his view to Charles V in conference with Archbishop Albert. The Pope, in concessions to Frederick agreed to have Luther meet with Cardinal Cajetan in Augsburg, General of the Dominican Order. Luther, willing to accept that the abuses in the Church existed without the Popes knowledge, was “asked by the Cardinal, to recant his writings or face excommunication, trial by Inquisition and likely death; Luther quoted Scripture supporting that men were redeemed by faith and not by the purchase of indulgences. Cardinal Cajetan asserted that the theory of indulgences was doctrine, Luther denied it” and the discussion was ended.

  • It wasn’t until 1518, that Pope Leo X took an interest in much of what he regarded a “monkish squabble” and summoned Luther to Rome. The Elector Frederick of Saxony, loathing the idea of a Saxon being tried and judged by the Italians, asserted his view to Charles V in conference with Archbishop Albert. The Pope, in concessions to Frederick agreed to have Luther meet with Cardinal Cajetan in Augsburg, General of the Dominican Order. Luther, willing to accept that the abuses in the Church existed without the Popes knowledge, was “asked by the Cardinal, to recant his writings or face excommunication, trial by Inquisition and likely death; Luther quoted Scripture supporting that men were redeemed by faith and not by the purchase of indulgences. Cardinal Cajetan asserted that the theory of indulgences was doctrine, Luther denied it” and the discussion was ended.



Table of Events



In 1520 Luther published three pamphlets: The Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, declaring that the Church should be reformed with assistance of the State. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, asserting that Rome had corrupted the real meaning of the Gospel had been held from the people of the Christian Roman Empire and calling for reform, and On the Freedom of a Christian Man, a short pamphlet on personal salvation.

  • In 1520 Luther published three pamphlets: The Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, declaring that the Church should be reformed with assistance of the State. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, asserting that Rome had corrupted the real meaning of the Gospel had been held from the people of the Christian Roman Empire and calling for reform, and On the Freedom of a Christian Man, a short pamphlet on personal salvation.



Luther received the papal bull Exsurge Domine, which threatened Luther with excommunication, for his publishing’s that summed the corruption of papal power. In response, Luther wrote Against the Execrable Bull of the Antichrist. On December 10, 1520, Luther an his students at Wittenberg burned the Canon Law, the document that recorded the laws of the church and the papal bull Exsurge Domine before the city gate.

  • Luther received the papal bull Exsurge Domine, which threatened Luther with excommunication, for his publishing’s that summed the corruption of papal power. In response, Luther wrote Against the Execrable Bull of the Antichrist. On December 10, 1520, Luther an his students at Wittenberg burned the Canon Law, the document that recorded the laws of the church and the papal bull Exsurge Domine before the city gate.



In 1521 Martin Luther was excommunication by Pope Leo X. The only steps left, was to call for a secular ban making Luther an outlaw of the land. Charles V called a diet, the assembly of the princes, prelates and representatives of the free cities to assemble in Worms.

  • In 1521 Martin Luther was excommunication by Pope Leo X. The only steps left, was to call for a secular ban making Luther an outlaw of the land. Charles V called a diet, the assembly of the princes, prelates and representatives of the free cities to assemble in Worms.



Luther was summoned before the Imperial Diet of Worms, to appear before Charles V and the princes to explain his conduct. Archbishop Albert gives Luther the opportunity to recant the heresies contained in 20 of his publishing’s. Because of his strong faith Luther refused to change his beliefs and stated:

  • Luther was summoned before the Imperial Diet of Worms, to appear before Charles V and the princes to explain his conduct. Archbishop Albert gives Luther the opportunity to recant the heresies contained in 20 of his publishing’s. Because of his strong faith Luther refused to change his beliefs and stated:



“Da dann Ihre Majestät und Ihr lordships eine einfache Erwiderung wünscht, ich ohne Hörner werde und ohne Zähne beantworten. Wenn ich nicht durch Zeugnisse der Schrift und klare Vernunftgründe überzeugt werde; denn weder dem Papst noch den Konzilien allein glaube ich, da es feststeht, daß sie öfter geirrt und sich selbst widersprochen haben, so bin ich durch die Stellen der heiligen Schrift, die ich angeführt habe, überwunden in meinem Gewissen und gefangen in dem Worte Gottes. Daher kann und will ich nichts widerrufen, weil wider das Gewissen etwas zu tun weder sicher noch heilsam ist. Gott helfe mir, Amen!„

  • “Da dann Ihre Majestät und Ihr lordships eine einfache Erwiderung wünscht, ich ohne Hörner werde und ohne Zähne beantworten. Wenn ich nicht durch Zeugnisse der Schrift und klare Vernunftgründe überzeugt werde; denn weder dem Papst noch den Konzilien allein glaube ich, da es feststeht, daß sie öfter geirrt und sich selbst widersprochen haben, so bin ich durch die Stellen der heiligen Schrift, die ich angeführt habe, überwunden in meinem Gewissen und gefangen in dem Worte Gottes. Daher kann und will ich nichts widerrufen, weil wider das Gewissen etwas zu tun weder sicher noch heilsam ist. Gott helfe mir, Amen!„

  • Dr. Rev. Martin Luther



“Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.”

  • “Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.”

  • Dr. Rev. Martin Luther



Charles V, bound by faith and politics to Roman interests, issued the Edict of Worms, declaring Luther an outlaw, after the imperial diet. The elector Frederick covertly arranged to have Luther taken to a mountain fortress, the Wartburg, on his return to Wittenberg

  • Charles V, bound by faith and politics to Roman interests, issued the Edict of Worms, declaring Luther an outlaw, after the imperial diet. The elector Frederick covertly arranged to have Luther taken to a mountain fortress, the Wartburg, on his return to Wittenberg



In 1522, while in hiding Luther translated the New Testament from Erasmus’ Greek into the form of vernacular German used today. Although Luther had been writing similar material in Latin from 1513, this first decade of his works in German was produced during the period of transition from spat Mittelhochdeutsch into fruh Neuhochdeutsch as well as from Catholicism to Protestantism.

  • In 1522, while in hiding Luther translated the New Testament from Erasmus’ Greek into the form of vernacular German used today. Although Luther had been writing similar material in Latin from 1513, this first decade of his works in German was produced during the period of transition from spat Mittelhochdeutsch into fruh Neuhochdeutsch as well as from Catholicism to Protestantism.



Table of Events



Table of Events



Luther continued to write tracts against religious enthusiasts and the Peasant Rebellion of 1524 - 1525, a peasant revolution stemming from his misinterpreted attacks against the Church, until he fell ill and died at Eisleben, the town he was born, on February 18, 1546. Though Luther’s works were influenced by his faith and trust in God’s forgiveness, they began the Reformation of Germany and it’s sever from the Holy Roman Empire, the creation of the Lutheran and Protestant religions, and advocated political influence.

  • Luther continued to write tracts against religious enthusiasts and the Peasant Rebellion of 1524 - 1525, a peasant revolution stemming from his misinterpreted attacks against the Church, until he fell ill and died at Eisleben, the town he was born, on February 18, 1546. Though Luther’s works were influenced by his faith and trust in God’s forgiveness, they began the Reformation of Germany and it’s sever from the Holy Roman Empire, the creation of the Lutheran and Protestant religions, and advocated political influence.



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