Martin Luther

Brief Biography

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, in Germany, in 1483, the son of a mining family of rural origin. He attended the Latin School in Mansfeld from 1488 onwards, continuing his schooling in Magdeburg and later in Eisenach. In 1501 Luther began his studies in Erfurt and intended to become a lawyer.
In 1505, however, he made a decision that changed the course of his life radically: he decided to enter the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt. This decision shaped the rest of his life, and his search for a merciful God and His will, culminated in the development of the Reformation of the Church. Luther's negative personal experiences with the ecclesiastical means of grace resulted in not only increasing criticism of the deplorable state of affairs within the church but above all to a fundamental reconsideration of medieval theology.
His public criticism of the misuse of letters of indulgence in 1517 did not result in the desired discussion but led to the start of a court of inquisition culminating in Luther's excommunication after the Imperial Diet of Worms in 1521. Friedrich the Wise organized a "kidnapping" to protect Martin Luther's life.
Luther spent almost a year as Knight George on the Wartburg, where he translated the new testament into German. Luther's most obvious break with his monk's vows ensued when he married the former nun Katharina von Bora in June 1525. The basic unit of the protestant parish house had been born.
After the Peasants' War in 1525, which Luther had disapproved of, the Reformer promoted the development of the protestant territorial church through visitations and church policies. He died in Eisleben, the town of his birth, in February 1546. By order of the Elector Luther was buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

11/10/1483 Born in Eisleben
1505 Monk in Erfurt
1512 Doctor of Theology in Wittenberg
1517 The 95 Theses nailed to the Door of the Castle Church
1520 Luther burns the papal bull of excommunication
1521 At the Imperial Diet of Worms, Luther refuses to recant
1521 While in hiding at the Wartburg, Eisenach, Luther translated the New Testament into German
1525 Luther weds Katharina von Bora ; a number of polemical tracts follow
1529 "The Small Catechism"
1534 The Publication of the first Wittenberg Bible, Old and New Testaments, in Martin Luther's German translation
2/18/1546 Luther dies in Eisleben and is laid to rest in the Castle Church in Wittenberg

LINKS Life of Luther by Melancthon. Commentary on Epistle to the Galatians Luther's definition of Faith A very valuable resource of all things Luther. German, with English page. Lots of Luther - including some music on-line.

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