Martin Luther Biography, Reformation, 95 theses, Quotes, & Facts

Martin Luther Biography, Reformation, 95 theses, Quotes, & Facts

Martin Luther Biography is the great reformer of the 16th century, who changed the vector of world history and was not afraid to challenge the Catholic Church. Having founded Protestantism and Lutheranism, the thinker served God until the end of his days and considered himself a sinner.

Name : Martin Luther Biography _

Who is he: politician , translator , theologian

Birthday: November 10, 1483 (age 62)

Date of death: 18 February 1546

Place of birth: Eisleben, Germany

Family status: Was Married

Martin Luther Childhood and youth Early Life

Martin Luther Biography

On November 10, 1483, the future theologian Martin Luther was born into the family of a simple Saxon miner. Martin’s father Hans was hard-working; he sought to provide his family with all the necessary material goods, which was very difficult for him.

The man was originally an ordinary peasant in the village of Mera, but, having moved in search of a better life to Eisleben, he got a job in the local copper mines. When the future reformer was 6 months old, the family went to live in Mansfeld, and there Hans acquired the status of a wealthy burgher.

At the age of 7, the future philosopher had to experience his first life difficulties. The parents sent their son to study at a city school, which “provided” Luther with constant humiliation and punishment. The educational system of this institution did not allow the talented child to obtain the required level of knowledge, and during the 7 years of his stay here the boy only learned to read and write, learned several prayers and the Ten Commandments.

At the age of 14, the young man entered the Franciscan school in Magdeburg, but a year later he was transferred to Eisenach. There was a catastrophic lack of money, Martin was in poverty, and together with his friends he sang under the windows of devout citizens, trying to somehow feed himself. Then the young man began to think about making money on his own in the mines, like his father, but fate decreed otherwise.

Martin Luther and John Calvin VKontakte

The young man happened to run across the wife of a rich Eisenach inhabitant by complete chance. A woman named Ursula decided to help the boy by inviting him to her house for temporary residence, which opened the way for Martin to a new life.

In 1501, Luther graduated from school and entered the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Erfurt. The initiator of the Reformation stood out among his peers with an excellent memory, absorbed new knowledge like a sponge, easily absorbed complex materials, and soon became the center of everyone’s attention at the university.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree, the future monk was invited to lecture on philosophy to students. At the same time, he studied the basics of law. Martin developed comprehensively, but showed the greatest interest in theology and read the works of great church fathers.

After graduating from university, the young man decided to take a bold action that no one expected from him. The philosopher went to the monastery to serve God, abandoning worldly life. One of the reasons was the sudden death of Luther’s close friend and his awareness of his own sinfulness.

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Monastic Life at the monastery Worm

In the holy place, the young theologian was engaged in various duties: he served the elders, performed the work of a gatekeeper, wound the tower clock, swept the yard, and so on.

Wanting to rid the young man of a sense of human pride, the monks periodically sent Martin to the city to collect alms. The spiritual student approximately followed every instruction, followed asceticism in food, clothing, and rest. In 1506, Luther became a monk and a year later became a priest, becoming Brother Augustine.

The vow to the Lord and the status of a priest did not become a limitation for Martin in further learning and development. In 1508, the vicar general recommended the diligent monk as a teacher at the University of Wittenberg.

Here he taught young children dialectics and physics. He soon received a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies, which allowed him to teach theology to students. Luther had the right to interpret the biblical scriptures, and in order to better understand their meaning, he began to study foreign languages.

In 1511, the theologian visited Rome, where he was sent by representatives of the holy order. Here he was faced with contradictory facts regarding Catholicism. Since 1512, Luther held the position of professor of theology, read sermons, and acted as caretaker in 11 monasteries.

Protestant Reformation Wittenberg 95 Theses

Despite his tangible closeness to God, Martin Luther constantly struggled with contradictions and complexes, considering himself sinful and weak in his actions before the Almighty. The spiritual crisis became the beginning of the philosopher’s rethinking of the spiritual world and the path to the Reformation.

Martin Luther in Worms

In 1517, a papal bull was issued, which was severely criticized by Martin. The thinker was completely disillusioned with Catholic teaching. Then the theologian composed his own 95 theses, which fundamentally refuted the postulates of the Roman Church and criticized, in particular, the sale of indulgences – letters, with the purchase of which a person was freed from sins.

According to Luther’s innovation, the state should not depend on the clergy, and the latter should not act as an intermediary between man and the Lord of all things.

Martin did not accept the sayings and demands regarding the celibacy of spiritual representatives, and destroyed the authority of the pope’s decrees. Similar reform actions had been observed in history before, but the philosopher’s position turned out to be unprecedentedly shocking and bold.

Martin’s theses quickly gained popularity in society; rumors of the new teaching reached the Pope himself, who in 1519 immediately summoned the dissident to his trial. The opponent dared not to come to Rome, and then the pontiff decided to anathematize the Protestant – excommunication from the holy sacraments.

After the conflict, Luther committed an equally defiant act: he publicly burned a papal bull, calling on the people to fight the dominance of the Holy See. As a result, the heretic lost his Catholic rank.

On May 26, 1521, according to the Edict of Worms, the apostate was accused of heresy, but supporters of the basic ideas of Lutheranism helped their master escape by staging a kidnapping. In fact, Luther was placed in Wartburg Castle, where he worked on translating the Bible into German.

After 8 years, Martin’s Protestantism was officially accepted by society and began to be considered one of the movements of Catholicism, but a few years later a split occurred in his camp into two more movements: Lutheranism and Calvinism.

John Calvin became the second major reformer after Luther, whose main idea was the absolute predetermination of human destiny by God.

Opinion about Jews return to wittenberg sale of indulgences

Luther’s attitude toward Jews changed throughout his life. Initially, he condemned the persecution of representatives of this nationality and recommended treating them with tolerance.

The philosopher sincerely believed that a Jew who heard his sermons would definitely decide to be baptized. In his pamphlet “That Christ was Born a Jew,” the theologian emphasized the Jewish origin of the Son of God and supported the ancient people in their reluctance to follow “papal paganism.”

Afterwards, the reformer became convinced that the Jews did not intend to follow his teachings, and at some point he became hostile to them. Luther’s books, written in this state, were anti-Semitic in nature (“On the Jews and Their Lies,” “Table Talk,” and others).

Thus, the famous German philosopher disappointed the Jewish people, who turned away from the Reformation he proposed. Subsequently, the Lutheran Church became a source of inspiration for anti-Semites, and its positions served to create propaganda against Jews in Germany and their persecution.

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Personal life

Luther believed that God cannot forbid all people to live in love and prolong their lineage. According to facts from the biography, the wife of the brave theologian was a former nun, who bore him 6 children in their marriage.

Katharina von Bora was a nun at the monastery at the behest of her parents, impoverished nobles. When the girl turned 8 years old, she took a vow of celibacy. Church upbringing, discipline and the austerities adopted by Katharina made the character of Martin’s wife stern and strict, which was clearly manifested in the personal life of the spouses.

The wedding of Martin and Käthe (as Luther called the girl) took place on June 13, 1525. At that time, the Protestant was 42 years old, and his sweet companion was only 26 years old. The couple chose an abandoned Augustinian monastery as their place of residence. Loving hearts lived in simplicity, without accumulating any property. Their home was always open to people in need of any help. In 1524, Luther left the monastery. In the year 1525, he tied the knot with Katharina von Bora.

Diet of worms become a Monk

Until his death, Martin Luther worked hard, lectured, preached, and wrote books. Energetic and hard-working by nature, he often forgot about food and healthy sleep. Over the years, this began to manifest itself in dizziness and sudden fainting. The worshiper became the owner of the so-called stone disease, which caused him a lot of suffering.

There is an alternative theory according to which the former monk weighed 150 kg before his death. Due to an unhealthy weakness for food, he allegedly developed a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. At the same time, kidney disease made itself felt, but the Protestant decided not to change his lifestyle. Such behavior, according to this version, caused the death of Martin Luther.

Poor health was fueled by mental contradictions and doubts. During his lifetime, Martin admitted that the devil often came to him at night, asking strange questions. The founder of Protestantism prayed to God for death for many years.

Luther died on February 18, 1546. His body was solemnly buried in the courtyard of the palace church, where once, according to legend, he nailed the famous 95 theses.

Memory katharina von Bora

In 2003, in memory of the historical figure, Eric Till shot a biographical drama film called “Luther,” showing the life of the holy minister from the beginning of his reform activities until his death.

Saxony-Anhalt has two cities officially named after the reformer: Lutherstadt-Eisleben and Wittenberg (often referred to by locals as “Luther’s cities”). The second of them also houses the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

The philosopher is honored with a memorial on February 18 according to the Lutheran and Episcopal (in the United States) calendars of saints. The English Church, in turn, venerates the theologian on October 31.


  • 1515-1516 – “Lectures on the Epistle to the Romans”
  • 1517 – “95 theses on indulgences”
  • 1520 – “To the Christian nobility of the German nation”
  • 1520 – “On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church”
  • 1520 – “Letter to Mulpfort”
  • 1520 – “Open Letter to Pope Leo X”
  • 1525 — “On the Slavery of the Will”
  • 1528 — “On the war against the Turks”
  • 1529 — “Large and Small Catechism”
  • 1530 – “Letter of Transfer”
  • 1538 – “Praise of Music”
  • 1543 — “On the Jews and their lies”


  • “Hate, like an advanced cancer, corrodes the human personality and takes away all vitality”
  • “If a person has not discovered something for himself that he is ready to die for, he is not able to live fully.”
  • “You can’t live without a wife just as you can’t live without food and drink. Born and raised by women, we largely live their lives and have no way of renouncing them.”
  • “If they told me that the world would end tomorrow, I would plant a tree today.”
  • “The moment faith arises in you, you know that everything that exists in you is entirely sinful, worthy of blame and damnation.”

Interesting Facts

  • The real name of the reformer is Luder. Having become a clergyman, he took a more sonorous surname.
  • Luther’s father wanted his son to become a lawyer. Upon learning that Martin had decided to serve God, the man became furious and refused the blessing.
  • The monk Johann Tetzel, who distributed indulgences, after reading 95 theses, spoke harshly to their creator: “I will ensure that in three weeks this heretic ascends to the stake and proceeds to heaven in an urn.”
  • Legend has it that the theologian was one of the first to put up a Christmas tree at home and decorate the tree with candles.

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