Place In Death’s Powerful Hands
Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483 and passed away on February 18, 1546. He was a German teacher of theology, songwriter, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.
Luther was ordained to the priesthood in the year 1507. He came to decline several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; specifically, he disagreed with the view on indulgences. Luther offered an academic discussion of the practice and effectiveness of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses in 1517. His turn-down to reject all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in the year 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in the year 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor.
Luther taught that salvation and, thus, eternal life are not obtained by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's trust in Jesus Christ as Redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and the office of the Pope by educating that the Bible is the only source of sacred revealed knowledge, and against the sacerdotal by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who recognize with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings are called Lutherans, though Luther persisted on Christian or Evangelical (German: evangelist) as the only allowable names of individuals who professed Christ.
His interpretation of the Bible into the German vernacular made it more obtainable to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It encourages the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His songs of praises influenced the success of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical union, accepting Protestant clergy to get married.
In two of his later works, Luther conveyed antagonistic views towards Jews. His eloquence was not directed at Jews alone, but also towards Roman Catholics, Anabaptist, and nontrinitarian Christians. Luther passed away in 1546 with Pope Leo X's excommunication still efficacious.
Martin Luther was born to Hans Luder (or Ludher, later Luther) and his wife Margarethe (née Lindemann) on November 10, 1483 in Eisleben, County of Mansfeld in the Holy Roman Empire. Martin Luther was baptized the next morning on the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours. His family transferred to Mansfeld in the year 1484, where his father was a leaseholder of copper mines and smelters and worked as one of four citizen representatives on the local council; in the year 1492, he was elected as a town councilor. The devout scholar Martin Marty describes Luther's mother as a hard-working woman of "trading-class stock and middling mean" and notes that Luther's enemies later wrongly described her as a whore and bath attendant.
He had some brothers and sisters, and is known to have been close to one of them, Jacob. Hans Luther was determined for himself and his family, and he was motivated to see Martin, his eldest son, become a lawyer. He sent Martin to Latin educational institutions in Mansfeld, Magdeburg in the year 1497, where he attended a school operated by a lay group called the Brethren of the Common Life, and Eisenach in the year 1498.The three schools focused on the so-called "trivium": grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Luther later contrasted his education there to purgatory and hell.
In the year 1501, at the age of 17, he entered the University of Erfurt, which he later represented as a beer-house and whorehouse. He was made to wake up at four every morning for what has been illustrated as "a day of rote learning and often wearying spiritual exercises." He got his master's degree in the year 1505.
In agreement with his father's wishes, he enrolled in law, but dropped out almost quickly, trusting that law represented uncertainty. Luther wanted assurances about life and was drawn to theology and philosophy, expressing specific interest in Aristotle, William of Ockham, and Gabriel Biel. He was strongly influenced by two tutors, Bartholomaeus Arnoldi von Usingen and Jodocus Trutfetter, who educated him to be doubtful of even the greatest thinkers and to test everything himself by experience.
Philosophy confirmed to be not satisfied, providing assurance about the use of reason, but none about loving God, which Luther was more significant. Reason could not lead men to God, he felt, and he thereafter developed a love-hate relationship with Aristotle over the latter's emphasis on reason. For Luther, reason could be used to question men and institutions, but not God. Human beings could learn about God only through divine revelation, he believed, and Scripture therefore became increasingly essential to him.
On July 2, 1505, while going back to university on horseback after a travel home, a lightning bolt struck close Luther during a thunderstorm. Later, telling his father, he was scared of dying and divine judgment, he cried out, "Help! Saint Anna, I will begin to be a monk!" He came to see his cry for help as a vow he could never interrupt. He left university, sold his books, and joined St. Augustine's Monastery in Erfurt on July 17, 1505. One friend criticized the decision on Luther's sorrow over the deaths of two friends. Luther himself seemed disheartened by the move. Those who took part in a farewell supper walked him to the door of the Black Cloister. "This day you recognize me, and then, not ever again," he said. His father was extremely angry over what he saw as a waste of Luther's schooling.
Luther committed himself to the Augustinian order, sacrificing himself to fasting, long hours in prayer, pilgrimage, and frequent confession. Luther explained this period of his existence as one of the strongest spiritual despair. Martin Luther pronounced that, " I disoriented connection with Him the Savior and Sympathizer, and made of him the jailer and executioner of my unfortunate soul. " Johann von Staupitz, his superior, pointed Luther's understanding away from continual reflection upon his sins toward the merits of Christ. He educated that true regret does not involve self-inflicted penances and punishments, but rather a change of heart.