Luther taught that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with Luther's teachings are called Lutherans.
His translation of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.
In his later years, while suffering from several illnesses and deteriorating health, Luther became increasingly antisemitic, writing that Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed. These statements have contributed to his controversial status. Contents [hide] * 1 Early life * 1.1 Birth and education * 1.2 Monastic and academic life * 2 The start of the Reformation * 2.1 Justification by faith * 2.2 Breach with the papacy * 2.3 Excommunication * 3 Diet of Worms * 4 At Wartburg Castle * 5 Return to Wittenberg and Peasants' War * 6 Marriage * 7 Organising the church * 7.1 Catechisms * 8 Translation of the Bible * 9 Hymns * 10 On the soul after death * 11 Controversy * 11.1 Sacramentarian controversy and the Marburg Colloquy * 11.2 On Islam * 11.3 Augsburg Confession * 11.4 Antinomian controversy * 11.5 Bigamy of Philip of Hesse * 11.6 Anti-Judaism and antisemitism * 12 Depiction of Luther * 13 Final years and death * 14 Works and editions * 15 See also * 16 References * 17 Further reading * 18 External links |
Birth and education
Portraits of Hans and Margarethe Luther by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1527
Martin Luther was born to Hans Luder (or Ludher, later Luther) and his wife Margarethe (née Lindemann) on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben, Germany, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. He was baptized as a Catholic the next morning on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. His family moved to Mansfeld in 1484, where his father was a leaseholder of copper mines and smelters and served as one of four citizen representatives on the local council. The religious scholar Martin Marty describes Luther's mother as a hard-working woman of "trading-class stock and middling means" and notes that Luther's enemies would later wrongly describe her as a whore