Martin Luther's 95 Theses Essay

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Karlene RadwayHUMN 41751Mr. FeldmanDate: 04-20-16Martin Luther’s 95 ThesesMartin Luther is one of the greatest religious trailblazers that the world has everwitnessed. He is remembered by most as the man that sparked the beginning of the ProtestantReformation by posting his 95 Theses for all to see. Some viewed Luther as a heretic, whileothers perceived him as an activist for religious truth and sovereignty. Martin Luther disagreedwith several elements of the Catholic religious system and he voiced his opposition to theCatholic papacy by distributing and nailing his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door inWittenberg on October 31, 1517. Martin Luther’s publishing of the 95 Theses assisted him inexposing the unethical selling of indulgences, demonstrated …show more content…
“His object was tomake the Bible available to ordinary people, in the language they spoke on the streets, so thatthey could mediate for themselves the meanings without the intervention of a priest” (Sayre267). He did this by using the printing press, which used movable type to create identical copiesof written works like the Bible and Luther’s 95 Theses. Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press wasamong one of the greatest contributors to the Protestant Reformation.Lastly, corruption within the Catholic Church was a large part of Martin Luther’s 95Theses. The extensive corruption and underhandedness of the church involved extorting andpressuring many people for money through means of increased payment for marriages,indulgences, and baptisms. According to the twenty-eighth thesis, “it is certain that when moneyclinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the Church intercedes,the result is in the hands of God alone” (Wilson 373).Luther was exposing those in the CatholicChurch who told untruths about religious and moral matters to boost their own authority andsqueeze extensive amounts of money out of the rich and the poor. These greed propelled actswould not be forgiven through indulgences, but would be answered for when these corrupt andpowerful members of the Catholic Church faced God himself. This extortion meant that only therich could afford to pay these massive amounts regarding religious matters, while the poor couldbuy them, but would suffer great loss to the comfort and happiness of their families. “Then theyhad to watch the proceeds from the practice build the most extravagant, even profligate ofprojects in Rome” (Sayre 264). One of these extravagant projects included the Basilica of St.Peter under Pope Leo X, which was rebuilt with indulgence monies collected by the Church. Hefurther stated that the Church was “‘a many-headed monster,’ an ‘inferno of

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