Martin Luther is the first Protestant

Martin Luther and the Reformation

Martin Luther and the Catholic Church

Luther was an Augustinian monk and taught theology at the university in Wittenberg. He questioned the methods of the church very much. Back then, people could buy their sins free with letters of indulgence. That is, if someone violated a rule of faith, he only had to buy a letter of indulgence and use it to “pay” for his sins. The Catholic faith then assumed that everyone in purgatory had to atone for their sins. Letters of indulgence could shorten this time in purgatory. Of course, that made people very afraid. Luther did not think much of these methods and studied the Bible for a long time.

Luther's 95 theses

According to a legend, Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. Theses are tenets or views of a person. In these theses he complained about the indulgence trade and the great power of the Pope. Luther did not think it right for anyone other than God to decide how human sins should be punished. He also criticized the fact that the money from the indulgence trade was used for expensive church houses. It is not known for sure whether Luther really nailed the theses. Nevertheless, they had a great effect: Many believers turned away from the Catholic Church and founded a new one - the Protestant Church. In Germany it is said that someone is “Protestant” if he or she is a Protestant. Protestants celebrate on October 31 the Reformation day. Reformation is Latin and means "renewal" or "redesign".

Translation of the Bible

After posting the theses, Luther was persecuted by the Pope and the Catholic Church. He hid on the Wartburg in Eisenach, a town in Thuringia. Luther disguised himself with the name "Junker Jörg" and translated the Bible into German during his time at the Wartburg. While reading the Bible he realized that God automatically forgives everyone and that no church or Pope was needed for this forgiveness. Luther's translation of the Bible was distributed throughout the country through traveling booksellers. Anyone could read the Bible now and get an idea of ​​their own faith. In addition, with his translation of the Bible, Luther standardized the many approaches to written German languages.

Church division and Protestantism

The Catholic Church and the Pope demanded that Luther withdraw his theses. Of course he didn't. In the meantime, more and more believers turned away from the Catholic faith and followed Luther's reformatory movement. The church split into Catholics and Protestants. Luther's followers called themselves “Protestants” - for them the Pope was no longer the head of the church. Many religious wars were waged in Europe up to the 17th century: In 1555 there was the Augsburg Religious Peace, from which the Protestants could freely live out their religion. During the Thirty Years' War, among other things, Catholic French and German Protestants fought against the German Kaiser.