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Martin Luther born Nov. 10 1483

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Martin Luther Biography

Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk who became the father of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther criticised aspects of the Catholic Church and the concept of Papal infallibility. In particular, he believed that it was the Bible alone – and not priests or the Church – which had legitimacy for interpreting the word of Christ. Martin Luther also translated the Bible into German, making it more accessible to the general public.

Short Biography of Martin Luther

Martin Luther was born 10 November 1483, in Eisleben, Saxony (modern day Germany). His father was relatively wealthy and paid for his son to gain an education in Magdeburg and Eisenach.

In 1501, Martin Luther became a student at the University of Erfurt. At the request of his father, he took law, but he soon abandoned law, preferring to study Aristotle and the subjects of philosophy and theology. Despite admiring aspects of Aristotle and the classics, he was unsatisfied with just reason and intellectual studies and decided to become a monk so he could devote his life to God.

His time as a monk was challenging. Luther engaged in severe austerities – fasting, long hours of prayer and frequent confession, but he felt an inner spiritual dryness. He became very critical of his own failings and felt his sinful nature becoming magnified rather than transformed. Sharing his difficulties, his spiritual director gave him more work so he wouldn’t become so introspected.

As well as being aware of his own failing, he became increasingly concerned about malpractice within the church, which he felt was not in keeping with Biblical scripture. In 1510, he visited Rome on behalf of Augustinian monasteries and was shocked at the level of corruption he found.

In 1517, Martin Luther first protested to the Catholic church about the sale of indulgences. (Buying an indulgence gave the person full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven). Martin Luther argued that is was faith alone that could provide the remission of sin and not monetary payments to the church.

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Playlist: Luther and Calvin

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