Martin Luther's Actions On Oct. 31st, 500 Years Ago


Martin Luther's Actions On Oct. 31st, 500 Years Ago

Postby Speak-Ez on Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:27 am

The first problem I had as I was planning this thread was where to place it. What Martin Luther started 500 years ago has gone beyond just the religious context, but I figured I couldn't go too wrong by placing this in this section of our site.

Now for what I have done to arrive at this point of starting this thread.

I used Google's search engine and placed the following parameters into the search engine:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ."Martin Luther""500 years"

There were three special entries at the top of the first page with some sort of description as "Top Stories" but probably they were only there because those companies paid for them to be there. I have a screen grab, if anyone wants to see that first page. I also think that all three of those top stories are in the list of nine I have on record as being given to us on page one.

Here is that list of nine:

Martin Luther shook the world 500 years ago, but ... - Washington Post ... go-but-d...
12 hours ago - It was the original viral post. On Oct. 31, 1517, an obscure German professor of theology named Martin Luther launched an attack on the ...

Wittenberg in the spotlight: Luther rules, 500 years after Reformation ... › World › Cities › Germany
14 hours ago - Today is exactly 500 years since Martin Luther famously (or, for exacting historians: reputedly) nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg's ...

Martin Luther's 95 Theses Are 500 Years Old. Here's ... - Time Magazine › History › faith
12 hours ago - Five hundred years ago, on Oct. 31, 1517, the small-town monk Martin Luther marched up to the castle church in Wittenberg and nailed his 95 ...

Martin Luther's Ecumenism, 500 Years After the Reformation - The ... ... ../543876/
3 days ago - Elizabeth Eaton is in a bit of a bind. Exactly 500 years ago on October 31, Martin Luther allegedly nailed his famous “95 Theses” to the door of a ...

Who was Martin Luther? 500 years since the reformation | History ... › News › History
10 hours ago - Exactly 500 years ago today, on October 1517, Martin Luther nailed his seminal work, the 95 Theses, to the door of a church in Wittenberg, ...

Luther 2017 – 500 years since the Reformation. A journey of discovery. ... uther.html
It has been 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Although there is no historical proof of this ...

Reformation: Four things about the 500th anniversary celebrations ...
11 hours ago - On this day in 1517, Martin Luther is said to have nailed 95 theses to the ... offended each other during the 500 years since the beginning of the ...

BBC - Travel - How Martin Luther's ideas lasted 500 years ... -500-years
Oct 24, 2017 - The main attraction of Castle Church in the German town of Wittenberg are the doors where Martin Luther is said to have nailed his 95 Theses, ...

Martin Luther's 95 theses, sparking the Reformation, turns 500 ... 816287001/
12 hours ago - It's been 500 years since Martin Luther (probably didn't) nail his 95 Theses to a church door, forever changing the course of Christianity. He left ...

Now for the top result listed on the Google search result page, and I wish to point out to the owners of The Washington Post, we are not a site for profit. We make no money at all here. This is for educational purposes only. We choose your article because, except for the journalistic immaturity of the first sentence, the article written in a good summary of what the Martin Luther business is all about.

The Washington Post

Martin Luther shook the world 500 years ago, but did he nail anything to a church door?
By Katherine Arcement

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It was the original viral post.

On Oct. 31, 1517, an obscure German professor of theology named Martin Luther launched an attack on the Roman Catholic Church by nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church — a story that has been repeated for hundreds of years. Luther’s act of rebellion led to the Protestant Reformation, which is being marked by millions of Christians around the world Tuesday on its 500th anniversary.

But did that dramatic moment — Luther defiantly hammering his critique to the church door — really happen?

The story was first told by Philipp Melanchthon, a fellow professor at the University of Wittenberg, a close friend of Luther’s and a leader of the Reformation, after Luther’s death in 1546. And the church door did serve as a public bulletin board of sorts.

But Melanchthon was not in Wittenberg on the day he supposedly witnessed the nailing. He didn’t join the university faculty until 1518. And Luther, a prolific writer who published 30 pamphlets in three years and later translated the Bible into German, never recounted the story.

In 1961, Erwin Iserloh, a Catholic Luther researcher, argued that there was no evidence that Luther actually nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door. Indeed, at the 1617 celebration of the Reformation, Luther was depicted as writing the 95 Theses on the church door with a quill.

Iserloh’s assertion set off a debate among Luther historians that remains unresolved.

A decade ago, Martin Treu, who works for the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt, discovered a handwritten note by Luther’s secretary, Georg Rörer, made in a revised copy of the New Testament before Luther’s death. It reads: “On the evening before All Saints’ Day in the year of our Lord 1517, theses about letters of indulgence were nailed to the doors of the Wittenberg churches by Doctor Martin Luther.”

While Rörer was also not an eyewitness, Treu noted, “he was one of Luther’s closest staff.” Treu’s conclusion: 95 Theses may have been nailed to several church doors in Wittenberg, not just at Castle Church.

What’s not in dispute: Luther mailed his attack on the Catholic sale of indulgences to the archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, Albert of Brandenburg, on Oct. 31, 1517. The indulgences were meant to assure their buyer that their sins would be forgiven — a form of corruption in Luther’s eyes.

“Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” quickly spread across Europe and reached Pope Leo X sometime in 1518. After a series of disputes, Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church on Jan. 3, 1521.

The theologian became a celebrity, and with his celebrity came a following and a new religion: Lutheranism. And the founding symbol of the Protestant Reformation remains the door of Castle Church, now inscribed in bronze with Luther’s 95 Theses.

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One comment posted below the article that is insightful.

Posted by a member using the name Historian of Europe

I am an historian, my field of research is Renaissance and Reformation Europe, and I have written books on schools and universities in this period. Here is my comment.

Whether Luther actually posted 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church is unclear. However, disputations, that is, debates concerning theological, philosophical, scientific, and medical learning were common occurrences at universities across Europe. Both professors and students engaged in them; participation in a disputation might be a prerequisite for obtaining a degree. The common practice was for the chief disputant to post a notice giving the day, time, and place of a forthcoming disputation, plus a list of propositions that he (all university students and professors were male) was prepared to defend. Some original notices survive. The propositions clustered around a general topic; their language was dry and technical. 95 theses was a high number but not unprecedented; 40 to 60 was average; a student might defend 20. Church doors were common bulletin boards, and disputations often took place in churches because they were often the largest indoor space available. At the appointed time the disputant arrived and spoke first. Then others spoke. The disputants spoke in Latin, and the disputation might last for three to five hours. Disputations were a little like sessions at a scholarly meeting today except that the speakers spoke much longer and sometimes did not voice their disagreements politely. Of course, not all scholarly sessions today are polite. At the end everyone went home. It was also common practice to send copies of the list of the theses to academics in other universities, a form of publication. Luther, a popular professor, had engaged in previous disputations at the university and would do so in the future.

Whether Luther actually posted the theses or not is not very important. But the content of and reaction to the 95 theses was very important.

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Now, to show fairness, I wish to present to you a piece written by an Associate Professor at the University of Leicester which was published on the site titled The Conversation on October 24th AEDT this year. That professor is Angus Cameron.

Essentially the piece is making the case that the Fugger banking family were the ones that were responsible for what many others attribute to Martin Luther. I won't add my agreement or not to that idea. Yet.

The man who gave us the Reformation – and it wasn’t Martin Luther

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