Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German monk, theologian, university professor, priest, father of Protestantism, and church reformer whose ideas started the Protestant Reformation.
Martin Luther had a small head-start on Tyndale, as Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church’s corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German for the first time from the 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus, and publish it in September of 1522. Luther also published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530’s he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German.
LUTHER’S 95 THESIS
On Halloween of 1517, Luther changed the course of human history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg, accusing the Roman Catholic church of heresy upon heresy. Many people cite this act as the primary starting point of the Protestant Reformation… though to be sure, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Thomas Linacre, John Colet, and others had already put the life’s work and even their lives on the line for same cause of truth, constructing the foundation of Reform upon which Luther now built. Luther’s action was in great part a response to the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel, a Dominican priest. Luther’s charges also directly challenged the position of the clergy in regard to individual salvation. Before long, Luther’s 95 Theses of Contention had been copied and published all over Europe.
Perhaps the most ironic case in the heresy insanity was that of Lutheran Church founder, Martin Luther. When this Catholic priest successfully rebelled against the papacy, thousands were encouraged to begin thinking for themselves in matters of religion. This freedom was fostered by Luther until it included questioning his doctrines. During the Peasant’s War, Luther urged the nobility to have no mercy, and to track down and kill heretics—this time “heretics” being those who disagreed with Lutheranism. He urged trained killers to “track them like dogs and kill these children of the devil!” Taking him at his word, the nobles and their armies butchered over one hundred thousand God-fearing men, women and children. Luther later boasted that “I, Martin Luther, slew all the peasants in the rebellion, for I said that they should be slain; all their blood is upon my head. But I cast it on the Lord God …“