Martin Luther is the main theologian of Protestantism. its opposition to the Catholic Church and his antiquated methods, he ended up creating a doctrinal split that lasts to this day. He was revered by many after his death and respected by some of his contemporaries.
He was born on November 10, 1483 in Eisleben (Germany) in a family with very limited resources. His primary education was very poor, almost non-existent, but he was able to enter the University of Erfurt in 1501. There he developed his talent exponentially and stood out for his good memory, his incomparable imagination, his reasoning and his dedication to study. Although he had the opportunity to continue studying law at the University, he chose to change his life radically.
In 1507, Luther was ordained to the priesthood and a year later he began teaching Theology at the University of Wittenberg. This change came about because of his great interest in what he called the “Word of God,” that is, the Bible. He saw how throughout his life, he had sinned against those divine commands, so he opted for “mend your way”. On March 9, 1508, Luther received his Bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies and, finally, on October 19, 1512, he was awarded the Doctor of Theology degree.
His life at that time was dedicated exclusively to prayer, asceticism and theological studies. He wrote the play “Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans", what revealed the doctrine of the justification of salvation by faith, an essential idea of the text of Saint Paul, and that would become the cornerstone of official Protestantism.
For Luther, only faith saved, not works and even less false good works acquired with money. This is the beginning of the theologian's opposition to the sale of indulgences by Archbishop Albert of Brandenburg, supported by the preaching of the Dominican religious.
Luther raised the alarm and hung up the calls "95 theses”On October 31, 1517 at the door of the Wittenberg Palace church to talk about them. In his writings he attacked the very principle of indulgences, in such a way that he denied the Church the power to erase the penalties of the afterlife. At this time, Luther did not intend to separate from the Church, but only to combat the abuses that manifested themselves in it through theological debates or discussions with other experts in the field. At all times he defended his ideas and agreed to conduct profound talks with renowned theologians, such as Cardinal Cayetano and Jean Eck.
Although he was always open to dialogue, from Rome they began to see him as a threat, therefore, by mandate of the Pope Leo X, finally condemned his positions in 1520. That same year, Luther published the three works that have since been called "The Great Reforming Writings." Its about "Manifesto to the nobility of Germany”, In which he attacks Roman supremacy and advocates universal priesthood; "The Babylonian Captivity", where challenges the Catholic theory of the sacraments, of which only baptism and the Holy Supper are preserved (Eucharist); and finally, "Of the freedom of the Christian”, On whose pages formulates a new doctrine of the Church, not the "visible", With its institutions, its dogmas and its organization charts, but of the invisible, the one that lies"within those who live in true faith”.
The reaction of the papacy was immediate. After several notices threatening Luther, on January 3, 1521, he was excommunicated through the bull “Decet Romanum Pontificem"And summoned to appear before the Imperial Diet at Worms. There he refused to recant and went over to the side of the imperial princes. Before a decision was made about the theologian's fate, he left the city and disappeared completely. The Emperor Charles V drew up the Edict of Worms on May 25, 1521, declaring him a fugitive and heretic, at the same time decreed the burning and prohibition of all his writings.
But nevertheless, Luther still had some support. Frederick of Saxony protected him, hid him and offered him lodging in his castle in Wartburg. There he was held, growing a wide beard and using a pseudonym to remain anonymous. But he did not remain idle, since translated the New Testament into German and in 1534 he completed the translation of the entire Bible.
In 1522, returned to Wittenberg to defend his work against the radicalism of the theologian Karlstadtand the deviations of the Anabaptist movement. These issues led him to intervene in the bloody "Peasant war”Between the years 1524 and 1525.
Again, Luther was not passive and began to organize his Reformed Church. For this he published the "Little Catechism" and the "Great Catechism" in 1529, in which he regulated the liturgy and worship. He reached out to humanists to share his theories. But with the writings of "De servo arbitrio" in 1525, he had certain controversies with Erasmus of Rotterdam and ended up breaking with the humanists. From 1530, the time of the Augsburg diet, dates the “Augsburg Confession”. It was a text written by Melanchthon and is considered, along with the “Smalkalda Articles”Of Luther, as the confession of faith of the Lutheran Churches.
Since then, the life of the reformer took place in a much more relaxed atmosphere. Martin Luther, who in 1525 married an old nun named Katharina von Bora and who bore him six children, dedicated himself to his family life and the consolidation of his work. Finally, on February 18, 1546, he died in his hometown. His friends published the "Table talks”, Texts that allow us to better understand the strong and complex personality of the theologian.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved History and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.