About the Book
Author: Martin Luther
Genre: Non-Fiction, Historical Theology
Release Date: August 8, 2017
In 1517, an unknown Augustinian monk, informed by his growing belief that salvation is by faith alone, published and distributed a stark criticism of papal abuses in the Catholic Church. In doing so, Martin Luther lit the spark for what would become the Protestant Reformation. What became known as the “95 Theses” was a series of statements expressing concern with corruption within the church, primarily the selling of “indulgences” to the people as a means of releasing them from acts of penitence. For the five hundredth anniversary of Luther’s revolutionary writing, This volume combines each thesis with an excerpt from one of his later works to provide a convenient way to understand the ideas and concepts that became the seeds of the Protestant Reformation.
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My ReviewAs I read Martin Luther, I was overcome with so much realization. To put myself in our author's shoes, I felt the confusion he must have had at what he had been taught not lining up with his personal Bible study. Fear in knowing that he had to expose the truth of the fact that indulgences were a money raising scheme with no eternal benefit. Using wit, sarcasm, and just plain truth of Scripture, Luther boldly went where no one had before even as a little known monk. He knew the Lord had told him to speak for truth and He did so with great zeal and boldness. As a result, the Lord used this as a turning point to birth the Protestant Reformation. The book was written in an easy to read way with each thesis point labeled and further explanation from Luther's other writings. I loved how it was organized in this way so you could fully understand each point and also really get a feel for Luther's personality as an author. The words I held in my hands of God's servant Luther changed the world, and reminded me of two things: God's Word does not return void, and all the Lord requires of us is to be obedient and willing to glorify Him. Don't miss this priceless and well organized resource to study and cherish words that changed the world!
I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are my own.
About the AuthorMartin Luther (1483–1546) was a German monk, priest, professor of theology, and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the sale of indulgences, the church’s practice of selling pieces of paper that guaranteed freedom from God’s punishment for sin. In 1517, Luther directly confronted this and other papal abuses by publishing his “95 Theses.” In 1534, Luther published a complete translation of the Bible into German.
Guest Post from Whitaker House Publishing
In 1517, a thriving new industry was sweeping northern Germany. Begun a few centuries earlier, its reappearance in the 16th century was perhaps the cleverest abuse of church power to date. Church officials strapped for cash decided to offer remission from the punishment for sins, or “indulgence,” to German believers in return for a commensurate amount of money. The slick church salesmanship of indulgences incensed one young priest, who believed that faithful Christians were being manipulated and the Word of God misinterpreted. He wrote a pamphlet comprised of 95 claims that he hoped would inspire scholarly debate. Titled Disputation of Dr. Martin Luther Concerning Penitence and Indulgences, it went down in history as “The 95 Theses.”
Most historians believe that Martin Luther did not intend to spark a public debate. It was written in Latin, the language of scholars, and pinned to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church which served as a “bulletin board” of sorts, where Luther knew fellow theologians would see it and perhaps engage in a discussion on the topic.
Luther’s pamphlet, however, was not another piece of paper flapping in the wind. Someone translated into German, and distributed it to the public with the help of a recent invention—the printing press. Luther tried to retrieve his work, but the damage was done. Within weeks, the debate that began in Wittenberg spread throughout Germany, and within months, all of Europe.
Five hundred years later, Whitaker House presents each of Luther’s 95 Theses paired with an excerpt from his many writings. Not every excerpt directly relates to the accompanying thesis, but we endeavored to select passages in which Luther was expounding on the same subject. Where further explanation was thought necessary to contextualize his words, a footnote is included. We hope you find 95: The Ideas That Changed the World an accessible and fascinating look into the ideas of this groundbreaking priest who stood up for God’s Word, the grace of the gospel—and made history.
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