sexta-feira, 4 de janeiro de 2008

Martin Luther's biography

Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 in Eisleben - February 18, 1546 in Eisleben) was a German monk and theologian of Christianity, and later the founder of the Lutheran Church, the first church of Protestantism, split from the Roman Catholic. He was one of greatest figures in the Reformation.
After Luther studied philosophy at the University of Erfurt. In 1505 he entered into the Augustinian Order as a monk. Luther studied theology and ancient languages in Erfurt. In 1512 he became a doctor of theology in Wittenberg and began his lectures on the Psalms and Letters of Paul.
In October 1517 Luther wrote his 95 Theses, although he did not put them on a Church in Wittenberg as the legend says, but published a copy. Luther called them The Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences. It questioned the teaching of western Church and its ideas about penance, the authority of the Pope and the usefulness of "indulgences". At that time, the Catholic Church was saying that they were allowed to decide who could go to Heaven after death, and they were selling indulgences for money to tell them they could go to Heaven. If that was true, it would mean that poor people would not be able to go to Heaven, but that the priests in the church would be rich from selling these things. Luther felt that this way of doing things was all wrong, and against the Bible.
Studying the Letters of Paul, especially the Letter to Romans, Luther developed an idea: "sola fide". This means the idea that only faith can bring humans to the salvation that God gives from his mercy. Many church customs were therefore useless, and should be cast away, because they made many bad things.
First Luther believed that he could reform (change) the Roman Church from the inside with his Theses, but the Papacy took his attitude as heresy and excommunicated him in June 15 1520 with a paper saying he did not have their permission to go to Heaven. In October, Luther burned the paper in public, and showed he would not obey the Church unless they accepted his words.
Emperor Charles V opened the imperial Diet of Worms on 22 January 1521 to hear the case. For Luther it was the last chance to say he had been wrong. But he didn't change his mind. The Diet declared Luther an outlaw.
With help of a friend, Luther hid in Wartburg Castle, near Erfurt. In the castle, he translated the Bible. First he wrote the New Testament in German instead of the original Greek: Later he translated the Old Testament into German, too. Until then, the Holy Mass and the Bible were in Latin. Very few people understood it. So the people went to mass, and they did not understand what the priest said. Luther translated the Bible so that more people could read and understand it. That way they were no longer depending on the priest to tell them what was in the Bible, but could read it themselves.
Luther started his own church, called the Lutheran Church with his friend Philip Melanchton. Luther died in 1546.

Nenhum comentário: