The Info List - Ninety-five Theses

The Ninety-five Theses
Ninety-five Theses
or Disputation
on the Power of Indulgences[a] are a list of propositions for an academic disputation written in 1517 by Martin Luther, professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg, Germany, that started the Reformation, a schism in the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
which profoundly changed Europe. They advance Luther's positions against what he saw as the abuse of the practice of clergy selling plenary indulgences, which were certificates believed to reduce the temporal punishment for sins committed by the purchasers or their loved ones in purgatory. In the Theses, Luther claimed that the repentance required by Christ in order for sins to be forgiven involves inner spiritual repentance rather than merely external sacramental confession. He argued that indulgences led Christians to avoid true repentance and sorrow for sin, believing that they could forgo it by purchasing an indulgence. They also, according to Luther, discouraged Christians from giving to the poor and performing other acts of mercy, believing that indulgence certificates were more spiritually valuable. Though Luther claimed that his positions on indulgences accorded with those of the Pope, the Theses challenge a 14th-century papal bull stating that the pope could use the treasury of merit and the good deeds of past saints to forgive temporal punishment for sins. The Theses are framed as propositions to be argued in debate rather than necessarily representing Luther's opinions, but Luther later clarified his views in the Explanations of the Disputation
Concerning the Value of Indulgences. Luther sent the Theses enclosed with a letter to Albert of Brandenburg, the Archbishop of Mainz, on 31 October 1517, a date now considered the start of the Reformation
and commemorated annually as Reformation
Day. Luther may have also posted the Theses on the door of All Saints' Church and other churches in Wittenberg
in accordance with University custom on 31 October or in mid-November. The Theses were quickly reprinted, translated, and distributed throughout Germany and Europe. They initiated a pamphlet war with indulgence preacher Johann Tetzel, which spread Luther's fame even further. Luther's ecclesiastical superiors had him tried for heresy, which culminated in his excommunication in 1521. Though the Theses were the start of the Reformation, Luther did not consider indulgences to be as important as other theological matters which would divide the church, such as justification by faith alone and the bondage of the will. His breakthrough on these issues would come later, and he did not see the writing of the Theses as the point at which his beliefs diverged from those of Rome.


1 Background 2 Content 3 Luther's intent 4 Distribution and publication 5 Reaction 6 Legacy 7 See also 8 Notes and references

8.1 Notes 8.2 References 8.3 Sources

9 External links

Background[edit] Martin Luther, professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg
and town preacher,[2] wrote the Ninety-five Theses
Ninety-five Theses
against the contemporary practice of the church with respect to indulgences. In the Catholic Church, practically the only Christian church in Western Europe at the time, indulgences are part of the economy of salvation. In this system, when Christians sin and confess, they are forgiven and will no longer receive eternal punishment in hell, but may still be liable to temporal punishment.[3] This punishment could be satisfied by the penitent's performing works of mercy.[4] If the temporal punishment is not satisfied during life, it would need to be satisfied in purgatory. With an indulgence (which may be translated "kindness"), this temporal punishment could be lessened.[3] Under abuses of the system of indulgences, clergy benefited by selling indulgences and the pope gave official sanction in exchange for a fee.[5]

Woodcut of an indulgence-seller in a church from a 1521 pamphlet

Popes are empowered to grant plenary indulgences, which provide complete satisfaction for any remaining temporal punishment due to sins, and these were purchased on behalf of people believed to be in purgatory. This led to the popular saying, "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs". Theologians at the University of Paris
University of Paris
had criticized this saying late in the 15th century.[6] Earlier critics of indulgences included John Wycliffe, who denied that the pope had jurisdiction over purgatory. Jan Hus
Jan Hus
and his followers had advocated a more severe system of penance, in which indulgences were not available.[7] Johannes von Wesel had also attacked indulgences late in the 15th century.[8] Political rulers had an interest in controlling indulgences because local economies suffered when the money for indulgences left a given territory. Rulers often sought to receive a portion of the proceeds or prohibited indulgences altogether, as Duke George did in Luther's Electoral Saxony.[9] In 1515, Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
granted a plenary indulgence intended to finance the construction of St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
in Rome.[10] It would apply to almost any sin, including adultery and theft. All other indulgence preaching was to cease for the eight years in which it was offered. Indulgence
preachers were given strict instructions on how the indulgence was to be preached, and they were much more laudatory of the indulgence than those of earlier indulgences.[11] Johann Tetzel was commissioned to preach and offer the indulgence in 1517, and his campaign in cities near Wittenberg
drew many Wittenbergers to travel to these cities and purchase them, since sales had been prohibited in Wittenberg
and other Saxon cities.[12] Luther also had experience with the indulgences connected to All Saints' Church, Wittenberg.[13] By venerating the large collection of relics at the church, one could receive an indulgence.[14] He had preached as early as 1514 against the abuse of indulgences and the way they cheapened grace rather than requiring true repentance.[15] Luther became especially concerned in 1517 when his parishioners, returning from purchasing Tetzel's indulgences, claimed that they no longer needed to repent and change their lives in order to be forgiven of sin. After hearing what Tetzel had said about indulgences in his sermons, Luther began to study the issue more carefully, and contacted experts on the subject. He preached about indulgences several times in 1517, explaining that true repentance was better than purchasing an indulgence.[16] He taught that receiving an indulgence presupposed that the penitent had confessed and repented, otherwise it was worthless. A truly repentant sinner would also not seek an indulgence, because they loved God's righteousness and desired the inward punishment of their sin.[17] These sermons seem to have ceased from April to October 1517, presumably while Luther was writing the Ninety-five Theses.[18] He composed a Treatise on Indulgences, apparently in early autumn 1517. It is a cautious and searching examination of the subject.[19] He contacted church leaders on the subject by letter, including his superior Hieronymus Schulz (de), Bishop of Brandenburg, sometime on or before 31 October, when he sent the Theses to Archbishop Albert of Brandenburg.[20] Content[edit]

has original text related to this article: Ninety-five Theses

The first thesis has become famous. It states, "When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, 'Repent,' he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance." In the first few theses Luther develops the idea of repentance as the Christian's inner struggle with sin rather than the external system of sacramental confession.[21] Theses 5–7 then state that the pope can only release people from the punishments he has administered himself or through the church's system of penance, not the guilt of sin. The pope can only announce God's forgiveness of the guilt of sin in his name.[22] In theses 14–29, Luther challenged common beliefs about purgatory. Theses 14–16 discuss the idea that the punishment of purgatory can be likened to the fear and despair felt by dying people.[23] In theses 17–24 he asserts that nothing can be definitively said about the spiritual state of people in purgatory. He denies that the pope has any power over people in purgatory in theses 25 and 26. In theses 27–29, he attacks the idea that as soon as payment is made, the payer's loved one is released from purgatory. He sees it as encouraging sinful greed, and says it is impossible to be certain because only God has ultimate power in forgiving punishments in purgatory.[24]

1525 woodcut of forgiveness from Christ outweighing the pope's indulgences

Theses 30–34 deal with the false certainty Luther believed the indulgence preachers offered Christians. Since no one knows whether a person is truly repentant, a letter assuring a person of his forgiveness is dangerous. In theses 35 and 36, he attacks the idea that an indulgence makes repentance unnecessary. This leads to the conclusion that the truly repentant person, who alone may benefit from the indulgence, has already received the only benefit the indulgence provides. Truly repentant Christians have already, according to Luther, been forgiven of the penalty as well as the guilt of sin.[24] In thesis 37, he states that indulgences are not necessary for Christians to receive all the benefits provided by Christ. Theses 39 and 40 argue that indulgences make true repentance more difficult. True repentance desires God's punishment of sin, but indulgences teach one to avoid punishment, since that is the purpose of purchasing the indulgence.[25] In theses 41–47 Luther criticizes indulgences on the basis that they discourage works of mercy by those who purchase them. Here he begins to use the phrase, "Christians are to be taught..." to state how he thinks people should be instructed on the value of indulgences. They should be taught that giving to the poor is incomparably more important than buying indulgences, that buying an indulgence rather than giving to the poor invites God's wrath, and that doing good works makes a person better while buying indulgences does not. In theses 48–52 Luther takes the side of the pope, saying that if the pope knew what was being preached in his name he would rather St. Peter's Basilica be burned down than "built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep."[25] Theses 53–55 complain about the restrictions on preaching while the indulgence was being offered.[26] Luther criticizes the doctrine of the treasury of merit on which the doctrine of indulgences is based in theses 56–66. He states that everyday Christians do not understand the doctrine and are being misled. For Luther, the true treasure of the church is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This treasure tends to be hated because it makes "the first last",[27] in the words of Matthew 19:30 and 20:16.[28] Luther uses metaphor and wordplay to describe the treasures of the gospel as nets to catch wealthy people, whereas the treasures of indulgences are nets to catch the wealth of men.[27]

First page of the 1517 Basel
printing of the Theses as a pamphlet

In theses 67–80, Luther discusses further the problems with the way indulgences are being preached, as he had done in the letter to Archbishop Albert. The preachers have been promoting indulgences as the greatest of the graces available from the church, but they actually only promote greed. He points out that bishops have been commanded to offer reverence to indulgence preachers who enter their jurisdiction, but bishops are also charged with protecting their people from preachers who preach contrary to the pope's intention.[27] He then attacks the belief allegedly propagated by the preachers that the indulgence could forgive one who had violated the Virgin Mary. Luther states that indulgences cannot take away the guilt of even the lightest of venial sins. He labels several other alleged statements of the indulgence preachers as blasphemy: that Saint Peter
Saint Peter
could not have granted a greater indulgence than the current one, and that the indulgence cross with the papal arms is as worthy as the cross of Christ.[29] Luther lists several criticisms advanced by laypeople against indulgences in theses 81–91. He presents these as difficult objections his congregants are bringing rather than his own criticisms. How should he answer those who ask why the pope does not simply empty purgatory if it is in his power? What should he say to those who ask why anniversary masses for the dead, which were for the sake of those in purgatory, continued for those who had been redeemed by an indulgence? Luther claimed that it seemed strange to some that pious people in purgatory could be redeemed by living impious people. Luther also mentions the question of why the pope, who is very rich, requires money from poor believers to build St. Peter's Basilica. Luther claims that ignoring these questions risks allowing people to ridicule the pope.[29] He appeals to the pope's financial interest, saying that if the preachers limited their preaching in accordance with Luther's positions on indulgences (which he claimed was also the pope's position), the objections would cease to be relevant.[30] Luther closes the Theses by exhorting Christians to imitate Christ even if it brings pain and suffering. Enduring punishment and entering heaven is preferable to false security.[31] Luther's intent[edit] The Theses are written as propositions to be argued in a formal academic disputation,[32] though there is no evidence that such an event ever took place.[33] In the heading of the Theses, Luther invited interested scholars from other cities to participate. Holding such a debate was a privilege Luther held as a doctor, and it was not an unusual form of academic inquiry.[32] Luther prepared twenty sets of theses for disputation at Wittenberg
between 1516 and 1521.[34] Andreas Karlstadt
Andreas Karlstadt
had written a set of such theses in April 1517, and these were more radical in theological terms than Luther's. He posted them on the door of All Saints' Church, as Luther was alleged to have done with the Ninety-five Theses. Karlstadt posted his theses at a time when the relics of the church were placed on display, and this may have been considered a provocative gesture. Similarly, Luther posted the Ninety-five Theses
Ninety-five Theses
on the eve of All Saints' Day, the most important day of the year for the display of relics at All Saints' Church.[35] Luther's theses were intended to begin a debate among academics, not a popular revolution,[34] but there are indications that he saw his action as prophetic and significant. Around this time, he began using the name "Luther" and sometimes "Eleutherius", Greek for "free", rather than "Luder". This seems to refer to his being free from the scholastic theology which he had argued against earlier that year.[36] Luther later claimed not to have desired the Theses to be widely distributed. Elizabeth Eisenstein has argued that his claimed surprise at their success may have involved self-deception and Hans Hillerbrand has claimed that Luther was certainly intending to instigate a large controversy.[1] At times, Luther seems to use the academic nature of the Theses as a cover to allow him to attack established beliefs while being able to deny that he intended to attack church teaching. Since writing a set of theses for a disputation does not necessarily commit the author to those views, Luther could deny that he held the most incendiary ideas in the Theses.[37] Distribution and publication[edit]

has original text related to this article: Letter to the Archbishop of Mainz

On 31 October 1517, Luther sent a letter to Archbishop of Mainz, Albert of Brandenburg, under whose authority the indulgences were being sold. In the letter, Luther addresses the archbishop out of a loyal desire to alert him to the pastoral problems created by the indulgence sermons. He assumes that Albert is unaware of what is being preached under his authority, and speaks out of concern that the people are being led away from the gospel, and that the indulgence preaching may bring shame to Albert's name. Luther does not condemn indulgences or the current doctrine regarding them, nor even the sermons which had been preached themselves, as he had not seen them firsthand. Instead he states his concern regarding the misunderstandings of the people about indulgences which have been fostered by the preaching, such as the belief that any sin could be forgiven by indulgences or that the guilt as well as the punishment for sin could be forgiven by an indulgence. In a postscript, Luther wrote that Albert could find some theses on the matter enclosed with his letter, so that he could see the uncertainty surrounding the doctrine of indulgences in contrast to the preachers who spoke so confidently of the benefits of indulgences.[38]

This 19th-century painting by Julius Hübner
Julius Hübner
sensationalizes Luther's posting of the Theses before a crowd. In reality, posting theses for a disputation would have been routine.

It was customary when proposing a disputation to have the theses printed by the university press and publicly posted.[39] No copies of a Wittenberg
printing of the Ninety-five Theses
Ninety-five Theses
have survived, but this is not surprising as Luther was not famous and the importance of the document was not recognized.[40][b] In Wittenberg, the university statutes demand that theses be posted on every church door in the city, but Philip Melanchthon, who first mentioned the posting of the Theses, only mentioned the door of All Saints' Church.[c][42] Melanchthon also claimed that Luther posted the Theses on 31 October, but this conflicts with several of Luther's statements about the course of events,[32] and Luther always claimed that he brought his objections through proper channels rather than inciting a public controversy.[43] It is possible that while Luther later saw the 31 October letter to Albert as the beginning of the Reformation, he did not post the Theses to the church door until mid-November, but he may not have posted them on the door at all.[32] Regardless, the Theses were well-known among the Wittenberg
intellectual elite soon after Luther sent them to Albert.[40] The Theses were copied and distributed to interested parties soon after Luther sent the letter to Archbishop Albert.[44] The Latin Theses were printed in a four-page pamphlet in Basel, and as placards in Leipzig
and Nuremberg.[44][1] In all, several hundred copies of the Latin Theses were printed in Germany in 1517. Kaspar Nützel (de) in Nuremberg
translated them into German later that year, and copies of this translation were sent to several interested parties across Germany,[44] but it was not necessarily printed.[45][d] Reaction[edit] Albert seems to have received Luther's letter with the Theses around the end of November. He requested the opinion of theologians at the University of Mainz
University of Mainz
and conferred with his advisers. His advisers recommended he have Luther prohibited from preaching against indulgences in accordance with the indulgence bull. Albert requested such action from the Roman Curia.[47] In Rome, Luther was immediately perceived as a threat.[48] In February 1518, Pope
Leo asked the head of the Augustinian Hermits, Luther's religious order, to convince him to stop spreading his ideas about indulgences.[47] Sylvester Mazzolini was also appointed to write an opinion which would be used in the trial against him.[49] Mazzolini wrote A Dialogue against Martin Luther's Presumptuous Theses concerning the Power of the Pope, which focused on Luther's questioning of the pope's authority rather than his complaints about indulgence preaching.[50] Luther received a summons to Rome in August 1518.[49] He responded with Explanations of the Disputation
Concerning the Value of Indulgences, in which he attempted to clear himself of the charge that he was attacking the pope.[50] As he set down his views more extensively, Luther seems to have recognized that the implications of his beliefs set him further from official teaching than he initially knew. He later said he might not have begun the controversy had he known where it would lead.[51] The Explanations have been called Luther's first Reformation

These commemorative doors were installed at All Saints' Church, Wittenberg, on Luther's 375th birthday in 1858.[53]

Johann Tetzel
Johann Tetzel
responded to the Theses by calling for Luther to be burnt for heresy and having theologian Konrad Wimpina
Konrad Wimpina
write 106 theses against Luther's work. Tetzel defended these in a disputation before the University of Frankfurt on the Oder
University of Frankfurt on the Oder
in January 1518.[54] 800 copies of the printed disputation were sent to be sold in Wittenberg, but students of the University seized them from the bookseller and burned them. Luther became increasingly fearful that the situation was out of hand and that he would be in danger. To placate his opponents, he published a Sermon on Indulgences
and Grace, which did not challenge the pope's authority.[55] This pamphlet, written in German, was very short and easy for laypeople to understand.[45] Luther's first widely successful work, it was reprinted twenty times.[56] Tetzel responded with a point-by-point refutation, citing heavily from the Bible and important theologians.[57][e] His pamphlet was not nearly as popular as Luther's. Luther's reply to Tetzel's pamphlet, on the other hand, was another publishing success for Luther.[59][f] Another prominent opponent of the Theses was Johann Eck, Luther's friend and a theologian at the University of Ingolstadt. Eck wrote a refutation, intended for the Bishop of Eichstätt, entitled the Obelisks. This was in reference to the obelisks used to mark heretical passages in texts in the Middle Ages. It was a harsh and unexpected personal attack, charging Luther with heresy and stupidity. Luther responded privately with the Asterisks, titled after the asterisk marks then used to highlight important texts. Luther's response was angry and he expressed the opinion that Eck did not understand the matter on which he wrote.[61] The dispute between Luther and Eck would become public in the 1519 Leipzig
Debate.[57] Luther was summoned by authority of the pope to defend himself against charges of heresy before Thomas Cajetan
Thomas Cajetan
at Augsburg
in October 1518. Cajetan did not allow Luther to argue with him over his alleged heresies, but he did identify two points of controversy. The first was against the fifty-eighth thesis, which stated that the pope could not use the treasury of merit to forgive temporal punishment of sin.[62] This contradicted the papal bull Unigenitus promulgated by Clement VI in 1343.[63] The second point was whether one could be assured that they had been forgiven when their sin had been absolved by a priest. Luther's Explanations on thesis seven asserted that one could based on God's promise, but Cajetan argued that the humble Christian should never presume to be certain of their standing before God.[62] Luther refused to recant and requested that the case be reviewed by university theologians. This request was denied, so Luther appealed to the pope before leaving Augsburg.[64] Luther was finally excommunicated in 1521 after he burned the papal bull threatening him to recant or face excommunication.[65] Legacy[edit]

Print made for the 1617 Reformation
Jubilee showing Luther enscribing the Theses on the Wittenberg
church door with a giant quill

The indulgence controversy set off by the Theses was the beginning of the Reformation, a schism in the Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
which initiated profound and lasting social and political change in Europe.[66] Luther later stated that the issue of indulgences was insignificant relative to controversies which he would enter into later, such as his debate with Erasmus
over the bondage of the will,[67] nor did he see the controversy as important to his intellectual breakthrough regarding the gospel. Luther later wrote that at the time he wrote the Theses he remained a "papist", and he did not seem to think the Theses represented a break with established Catholic doctrine.[43] But it was out of the indulgences controversy that the movement which would be called the Reformation
began, and the controversy propelled Luther to the leadership position he would hold in that movement.[67] The Theses also made evident that Luther believed the church was not preaching properly and that this put the laity in serious danger. Further, the Theses contradicted the decree of Pope
Clement VI, that indulgences are the treasury of the church. This disregard for papal authority presaged later conflicts.[68] 31 October 1517, the day Luther sent the Theses to Albert, was commemorated as the beginning of the Reformation
as early as 1527, when Luther and his friends raised a glass of beer to commemorate the "trampling out of indulgences".[69] The posting of the Theses was established in the historiography of the Reformation
as the beginning of the movement by Philip Melanchthon
Philip Melanchthon
in his 1548 Historia de vita et actis Lutheri. During the 1617 Reformation
Jubilee, the centenary of 31 October was celebrated by a procession to the Wittenberg
Church where Luther was believed to have posted the Theses. An engraving was made showing Luther writing the Theses on the door of the church with a gigantic quill. The quill penetrates the head of a lion symbolizing Pope
Leo X.[70] In 1668, 31 October was made Reformation
Day, an annual holiday in Electoral Saxony, which spread to other Lutheran lands.[71] 31 October 2017, the 500th Anniversary of Reformation
Day, was celebrated with a national public holiday throughout Germany.[72] See also[edit]

Chinese 95 theses

Notes and references[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b Latin: Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum. This title comes from the 1517 Basel
pamphlet printing. The first printings of the Theses use an incipit rather than a title which summarizes the content. The 1517 Nuremberg
placard edition opens Amore et studio elucidande veritatis: hec subscripta disputabuntur Wittenberge. Presidente R.P Martino Lutther ... Quare petit: vt qui non possunt verbis presentes nobiscum disceptare: agant id literis absentes. Luther usually called them "meine Propositiones" (my propositions).[1] ^ The Wittenberg
printer was Johann Rhau-Grunenberg (de). A Rhau-Grunenberg printing of Luther's " Disputation
Against Scholastic Theology", published just eight weeks before the Ninety-five Theses, was discovered in 1983.[41] Its form is very similar to that of the Nuremberg
printing of the Ninety-five Theses. This is evidence for a Rhau-Grunenberg printing of the Ninety-five Theses, as the Nuremberg printing may be a copy of the Wittenberg
printing.[40] ^ Georg Rörer, Luther's scribe, claimed in a note that Luther posted the theses to every church door. ^ No copies of the 1517 German translation survive.[46] ^ Tetzel's pamphlet is titled Rebuttal Against a Presumptuous Sermon of Twenty Erroneous Articles.[58] ^ Luther's reply to Tetzel's Rebuttal is titled Concerning the Freedom of the Sermon on Papal Indulgences
and Grace. Luther intends to free the Sermon from Tetzel's insults.[60]


^ a b c Cummings 2002, p. 32. ^ Junghans 2003, pp. 23, 25. ^ a b Brecht 1985, p. 176. ^ Wengert 2015a, p. xvi. ^ Noll 2015, p. 31. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 182. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 177. ^ Waibel 2005, p. 47. ^ Brecht 1985, pp. 178, 183. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 178. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 180. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 183. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 186. ^ Brecht 1985, pp. 117–118. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 185. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 184. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 187. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 188. ^ Wicks 1967, p. 489. ^ Leppin & Wengert 2015, p. 387. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 192. ^ Waibel 2005, p. 43. ^ Wengert 2015b, p. 36. ^ a b Brecht 1985, p. 194. ^ a b Brecht 1985, p. 195. ^ Waibel 2005, p. 44. ^ a b c Brecht 1985, p. 196. ^ Wengert 2015a, p. 22. ^ a b Brecht 1985, p. 197. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 198. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 199. ^ a b c d Brecht 1985, pp. 199–200. ^ Leppin & Wengert 2015, p. 388. ^ a b Hendrix 2015, p. 61. ^ McGrath 2011, pp. 23–24. ^ Lohse 1999, p. 101. ^ Cummings 2002, p. 35. ^ Brecht 1985, pp. 190–192. ^ Pettegree 2015, p. 128. ^ a b c Pettegree 2015, p. 129. ^ Pettegree 2015, p. 97. ^ Wengert 2015b, p. 23. ^ a b Marius 1999, p. 138. ^ a b c Hendrix 2015, p. 62. ^ a b Leppin & Wengert 2015, p. 389. ^ Oberman 2006, p. 191. ^ a b Brecht 1985, pp. 205–206. ^ Pettegree 2015, p. 152. ^ a b Brecht 1985, p. 242. ^ a b Hendrix 2015, p. 66. ^ Marius 1999, p. 145. ^ Lohse 1986, p. 125. ^ Stephenson 2010, p. 17. ^ Brecht 1985, pp. 206–207. ^ Hendrix 2015, p. 64. ^ Brecht 1985, pp. 208–209. ^ a b Hendrix 2015, p. 65. ^ Pettegree 2015, p. 144. ^ Pettegree 2015, p. 145. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 209. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 212. ^ a b Hequet 2015, p. 124. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 253. ^ Hequet 2015, p. 125. ^ Brecht 1985, p. 427. ^ Dixon 2002, p. 23. ^ a b McGrath 2011, p. 26. ^ Wengert 2015a, pp. xliii–xliv. ^ Stephenson 2010, pp. 39–40. ^ Cummings 2002, pp. 15–16. ^ Stephenson 2010, p. 40. ^ https://publicholidays.de/reformation-day/


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1483–1521] (in German). Translated by James L. Schaff. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress. ISBN 978-0-8006-2813-0 – via Questia. (Subscription required (help)).  Cummings, Brian (2002). The Literary Culture of the Reformation: Grammar and Grace. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198187356.001.0001 – via Oxford Scholarship Online. (Subscription required (help)).  Dixon, C. Scott (2002). The Reformation
in Germany. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell.  Hendrix, Scott H. (2015). Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-16669-9.  Hequet, Suzanne (2015). "The Proceedings at Augsburg, 1518". In Wengert, Timothy J. The Annotated Luther, Volume 1: The Roots of Reform. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress. pp. 121–166. ISBN 978-1-4514-6535-8 – via Project MUSE. (Subscription required (help)).  Junghans, Helmar (2003). "Luther's Wittenberg". In McKim, Donald K. Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–36 – via Questia. (Subscription required (help)).  Leppin, Volker; Wengert, Timothy J. (2015). "Sources for and against the Posting of the Ninety-Five Theses" (PDF). Lutheran Quarterly. 29: 373–398.  Lohse, Bernhard (1999) [1995]. Luthers Theologie in ihrer historischen Entwicklung und in ihrem systematischen Zusammenhang [Martin Luther's Theology: Its Historical and Systematic Development. Contributors] (in German). Translated by Roy A. Harrisville. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress. ISBN 978-0-8006-3091-1 – via Questia. (Subscription required (help)).  Lohse, Bernhard (1986) [1980]. Martin Luther—Eine Einführung in sein Leben und sein Werk [Martin Luther: An Introduction to His Life and Work] (in German). Translated by Robert C. Schultz. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress. ISBN 978-0-8006-0764-7 – via Questia. (Subscription required (help)).  Marius, Richard (1999). Martin Luther: The Christian Between God and Death. Cambridge, MA: Belknap. ISBN 978-0-674-55090-2.  McGrath, Alister E. (2011). Luther's Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther's Theological Breakthrough. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell – via Questia. (Subscription required (help)).  Noll, Mark A. (2015). In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible in American Public Life, 1492–1783. New York: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190263980.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-026398-0 – via Oxford Scholarship Online. (Subscription required (help)).  Oberman, Heiko A. (2006) [1982]. Luther: Mensch zwischen Gott und Teufel [Luther: Man Between God and the Devil] (in German). Translated by Eileen Walliser-Schwarzbart. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10313-7.  Pettegree, Andrew (2015). Brand Luther. New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-1-59420-496-8.  Stephenson, Barry (2010). Performing the Reformation: Religious Festivals in Contemporary Wittenberg. New York: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732753.001.0001 – via Oxford Scholarship Online. (Subscription required (help)).  Waibel, Paul R. (2005). Martin Luther: A Brief Introduction to His Life and Works. Wheeling, IL: Harlan Davidson. ISBN 978-0-88295-231-4 – via Questia. (Subscription required (help)).  Wengert, Timothy J. (2015a). Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses: With Introduction, Commentary, and Study Guide. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress – via Project MUSE. (Subscription required (help)).  Wengert, Timothy J. (2015b). "[The 95 Theses or] Disputation
for Clarifying the Power of Indulgences, 1517". In Wengert, Timothy J. The Annotated Luther, Volume 1: The Roots of Reform. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress. pp. 13–46. ISBN 978-1-4514-6535-8 – via Project MUSE. (Subscription required (help)).  Wicks, Jared (1967). "Martin Luther's Treatise on Indulgences" (PDF). Theological Studies. 28 (3): 481–518. 

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Ninety-five Theses
Ninety-five Theses
at Project Gutenberg Ninety-five Theses
Ninety-five Theses
public domain audiobook at LibriVox Luther 2017 Official website of 500th anniversary celebrations

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Martin Luther

Works (hymns)

Ninety-five Theses
Ninety-five Theses
(1517) Sermon on Indulgences
and Grace (1518) To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (1520) On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church
On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church
(1520) On the Freedom of a Christian (1520) Against Henry, King of the English (1522) Luther Bible
Luther Bible
(1522, 1534) The Adoration of the Sacrament (1523) Formula missae (1523) Hymns

First Lutheran hymnal
First Lutheran hymnal
(1524) Erfurt Enchiridion (1524) Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn
Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn

Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants (1525) On the Bondage of the Will
On the Bondage of the Will
(1525) The Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ—Against the Fanatics (1526) Deutsche Messe
Deutsche Messe
(1526) Confession Concerning Christ's Supper (1528) On War Against the Turk (1529) Small Catechism (1529) Large Catechism (1529) "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (1529) Smalcald Articles
Smalcald Articles
(1537) On the Councils and the Church (1539) "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam" (1543) On the Jews and Their Lies
On the Jews and Their Lies
(1543) Vom Schem Hamphoras
Vom Schem Hamphoras
(1543) List of hymns by Martin Luther Luther's Table Talk
(1566) Weimar edition of Luther's works

Topics and events

Reformation Lutheranism Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 Leipzig
Debate, 1519 Exsurge Domine, 1520 Diet of Worms, 1521 Decet Romanum Pontificem, 1521 Marburg Colloquy, 1529 Augsburg
Confession, 1530 Luther's canon Theology of Martin Luther

Theology of the Cross Universal priesthood Sola scriptura Two kingdoms Law and Gospel Marian theology

Eucharist in Lutheranism

Sacramental union Words of Institution

Antisemitism Propaganda during the Reformation Die Lügend von S. Johanne Chrysostomo (1537 edition)


Hans and Margarethe Luther (parents) Katharina von Bora
Katharina von Bora
(wife) Magdalena Luther
Magdalena Luther
(daughter) Paul Luther
Paul Luther
(son) Albert of Brandenburg Bartholomaeus Arnoldi Erasmus Georg Rörer Johann Cochlaeus Johann von Staupitz Justus Jonas Karl von Miltitz Andreas Karlstadt Philip Melanchthon Pope
Leo X Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick the Wise

Luther sites

All Saints' Church, Wittenberg Lutherhaus Lutherstädte Martin Luther's Birth House Martin Luther's Death House Melanchthonhaus (Wittenberg) St. Augustine's Monastery Veste Coburg
Veste Coburg
(Fortress) Wartburg

Film and theatre

Martin Luther
Martin Luther
(1923 film) Luther (1928 film) Luther (1964 film) Martin Luther
Martin Luther
(1953 film) Luther (1973 film) Martin Luther, Heretic (1983 film) Luther (2003 film) Luther (1961 play)


Martin Luther
Martin Luther
bibliography Book:Martin Luther Luther rose Theologia Germanica

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Lutheran history

Start of the Reformation


Ninety-five Theses Heidelberg Disputation Leipzig
Debate Marburg Colloquy Diet of Speyer (1529) Protestation at Speyer Presentation of the Augsburg


Denmark–Norway and Holstein Finland Germany Iceland Sweden


Martin Luther Katharina von Bora Philip Melanchthon Johannes Bugenhagen Johannes Brenz Justus Jonas Argula von Grumbach Petrus Särkilahti Mikael Agricola Stephan Agricola Nicolaus von Amsdorf Laurentius Andreae Olaus Petri Laurentius Petri Stephan Praetorius Johann Pfeffinger Frederick the Wise

Early turmoil


Dissemination of the Augsburg
Confession Variata Colloquy of Worms (1540–1541) Diet of Regensburg Schmalkaldic War Augsburg
Interim Peace of Passau Peace of Augsburg Colloquy of Worms (1557) Publication of the Magdeburg Centuries Adiaphoristic controversies (first second) Controversy on the Descent into Hell Presentation of the Greek Augsburg
Confession Signing of the Formula of Concord


Philip Melanchthon Matthias Flacius Nicolaus Gallus Cyriacus Spangenberg Joachim Westphal Andreas Musculus Victorinus Strigel Johannes Agricola Andreas Osiander John the Magnanimous


Crypto-Calvinism Sacramentarians Philippists Ubiquitarians Gnesio-Lutherans

Orthodox and Scholastic periods


Acceptance of the Book
of Concord Martin Chemnitz Colloquy of Mumpelgart Jakob Andreae Nikolaus Selnecker David Chytraeus Matthias Hafenreffer Leonhard Hutter Aegidius Hunnius Stephan Praetorius


Johann Gerhard J. A. Quenstedt Abraham Calovius Georg Calixtus Nicolaus Hunnius Jesper Brochmand Salomo Glassius Johann Hülsemann J. C. Dannhauer J. F. König Johannes Musaeus J. W. Baier Thirty Years' War


David Hollatz Christian Scriver V. E. Löscher J. M. Goeze

Speculative or critical theologies


Johann Salomo Semler Johann David Michaelis Johann Christoph Döderlein

Old Tübingen school

Gottlob Christian Storr Friedrich Gottlieb Süskind Johann Friedrich Flatt


Christoph Friedrich von Ammon Julius Wegscheider Wilhelm Gesenius Albrecht Ritschl Adolf von Harnack Wilhelm Herrmann


Karl Daub Philip Marheineke David Strauss Ferdinand Christian Baur Richard Adelbert Lipsius Otto Pfleiderer


Franz Volkmar Reinhard Karl Gottlieb Bretschneider Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette


Johann Gottfried Herder Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi Friedrich Schleiermacher



Martin Moller Johann Arndt Jakob Böhme J. V. Andreae P. J. Spener J. W. Petersen A. H. Francke J. F. Buddeus J. A. Bengel G. C. Knapp


J. G. Hamann Hans Nielsen Hauge Haugeanism Paavo Ruotsalainen Finnish Awakening Claus Harms Lars Levi Laestadius Laestadianism Carl Olof Rosenius N. F. S. Grundtvig August Tholuck



E. W. Hengstenberg F. A. Philippi F. G. Hedberg Carl Paul Caspari C. P. Krauth L .A. Gotwald


G. C. A. von Harless J. W. F. Höfling Gottfried Thomasius J. C. K. von Hofmann Franz Delitzsch K. F. A. Kahnis Theodosius Harnack C. E. Luthardt F. H. R. von Frank Paul Althaus Werner Elert

High Church

A. F. C. Vilmar F. J. Stahl A. F. O. Münchmeyer J. K. W. Löhe Theodor Kliefoth Heinrich Hansen

Old Lutheran


Old Lutheran schism Background J. G. Scheibel Eduard Huschke Henrik Steffens H. E. F. Guericke G. P. E. Huschke Free churches

Australia / New Guinea

August Kavel Gotthard Fritzsche Johann Flierl Lutheran Church of Australia

United States

Martin Stephan J. A. A. Grabau Wilhelm Sihler F. C. D. Wyneken C. F. W. Walther H. A. Preus Synodical Conference of North America


Confessional Lutheranism Homosexuality


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History of Christianity

Centuries:1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st

Ministry of Jesus and Apostolic Age


Ministry Crucifixion Resurrection

Holy Spirit Leadership

Apostles Seventy disciples Paul the Apostle Council of Jerusalem

Great Commission New Testament

Background Gospels Acts Pauline epistles General epistles Revelation

Ante-Nicene Period

Judaism split Justin Martyr Ignatius Persecution Fathers Irenaeus Marcionism Canon Tertullian Montanism Origen

Late ancient

Constantine Monasticism Councils: Nicaea I Creed Athanasius Arianism Jerome Augustine Constantinople I Ephesus I Chalcedon

Eastern Christianity

Eastern Orthodoxy Church of the East Oriental Orthodoxy Chrysostom Nestorianism Iconoclasm Great Schism Fall of Constantinople Armenia Georgia Greece Egypt Syria Ethiopia Bulgaria Ottoman Empire Russia America

Middle Ages

Pelagianism Gregory I Celtic Germanic Scandinavian Kievan Rus' Investiture Anselm Abelard Bernard of Clairvaux Bogomils Cathars Crusades Waldensians Inquisition Scholasticism Dominic Francis Bonaventure Aquinas Wycliffe Avignon Papal Schism Bohemian Reformation Hus Conciliarism


Primacy development Papacy Timeline Lateran IV Trent Counter-Reformation Thomas More Leo X Guadalupe Jesuits Jansenists Xavier Monastery dissolution Wars Teresa Vatican I and II Modernism



Erasmus Five solae Eucharist Calvinist–Arminian debate Arminianism Dort Wars


Martin Luther 95 Theses Diet of Worms Melanchthon Orthodoxy Eucharist Book
of Concord


Zwingli Calvin Presbyterianism Scotland Knox TULIP Dort Three Forms of Unity Westminster


Timeline Henry VIII Cranmer Settlement 39 Articles Common Prayer Puritans Civil War


Radical Reformation Grebel Swiss Brethren Müntzer Martyrs' Synod Menno Simons Smyth


Revivalism English denominations Baptists Congregationalism First Great Awakening Methodism Millerism Pietism Neo- and Old Lutherans


Camp meeting Holiness movement Independent Catholic denominations Second Great Awakening Restoration Movement Jehovah's Witnesses Mormonism Seventh-day Adventist Adventism Third Great Awakening Azusa Revival Fundamentalism Ecumenism Evangelicalism Jesus movement Mainline Protestant Pentecostalism Charismatics Liberation theology Christian right Christian left Genocide by ISIL

Timeline Missions Timeline Martyrs Theology Eastern Orthodoxy Oriental Orthodoxy Protestantism Catholicism

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 209044204 LCCN: no2016168656 GND: 4228382-6 SUDOC: 120743647 N