Role of Martin Luther in European Reformations - Free Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-15
Role of Martin Luther in European Reformations - Free Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Christianity Church Martin Luther King
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1408 words
12 min read

Before the protestant reformation, the Catholic Church dominated the lives of people in many parts of Europe. The church owned big pieces of land, and the church's Pope played a key role in the politics of European politics. As a result, whatever the doctrine taught by the catholic church was respected and accepted by all political leaders regardless of whether it was against their beliefs or not. During that time, the rituals that were practiced and the significance of the Catholic church in many people's lives contributed to the success that the church was experiencing during that period. The church used the concept of salvation to ensure that its rituals were practiced. One of the most significant rituals of the Catholic church during this time was indulgence, which was only granted by the bishops within the church. The bishops aided people to pay off their sins to reduce the time that they spent in purgatory. It was only after the renaissance and Reformation that people reduced their dependence on the Catholic Church. Martin Luther King, who was a German Monk, played a key role in the Reformation process through his 95 theses.

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The reformation process started in the 1400s with the emergence of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was influential for the reformation of state Catholic churches. Humanism, which was a deep faith in human beings, was also inspired by the Renaissance, and it called for reforms in church states so that people could have freedom of worship. Through the Renaissance, the humanism movement continued and became popular in many parts of Europe. During this time, Martin Luther, who was a Catholic priest, influenced the theory of Christianity. He was, therefore, responsible for the formation of new faith foundations among the Christians. Luther took an active part in rejecting Catholic doctrines and promoted the new way of thinking brought about by the Renaissance. To do so, Martin Luther, who was then living as a Catholic monk, started studying scriptures deeply and intensely. He aimed to find out any flaws in the way the Catholic Church interpreted the scriptures. After the intensive study of the scriptures, Luther identified several flaws in how Catholic doctrine taught how people were supposed to obtain salvation. Luther's intensive reading familiarized him with scriptures from the Book of Romans Chapter 1 verses 16-17, and it is these verses shaped the way Luther thought about the Catholic doctrine. The verses from the Romans' book taught Luther that to be righteous and obtain salvation, one only needed to have faith. Through understanding that salvation only needed one to have faith, Luther recognized the flaws behind the Catholic church's interpretation of the scriptures that had corrupted many people in Europe about what one needed to obtain salvation. According to Luther's reading of the scriptures from Romans Chapter One, one only needed to have faith in God to obtain salvation. After understanding what people needed to do to obtain salvation, which contrasted with what the Catholic church preached, Luther decided to start to launch a dispute with the Catholic Church. It was this dispute that led to reformation.

Luther was against the Catholic Church's belief of purgatory which led to the indulgences system's creation. Purgatory was the belief that after death, one stays in the middle of earth and heaven as one awaits judgment from God. The church sold this indulgence to the people by reducing the time they would spend in purgatory. After reading the scripture, Luther found and identified flaws in the purgatory belief. Through the scripture that Luther had read, salvation could only be obtained by a person's faith but not by any other way like the purgatory that the Catholic Church had been preaching. This realization of how salvation is obtained was really significant for Luther. It was through it that Luther was convinced that the Catholic Church was misleading the people and thus decided to branch away from the Catholic Church and nailed 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg Church in 1517 to challenge Catholicism and its doctrines. It was the 95 theses that led to the foundation of the whole Protestant Reformation. The 95 theses clearly pointed out the flaws that had existed in the Catholic doctrine, including the selling of indulgences. The theses also questioned the role and powers of the Pope as the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church. Through the 95 theses Luther, the sale of indulgences to obtain salvation that had been practiced by the Catholic church for many years was discredited, and the idea of gaining salvation through only faith was introduced, and this contributed to several people branching out of the Catholic Church to form Protestant Churches.

Luther's nailing of the 95 theses at Wittenberg was really significant as it marked the beginning of the reformation and breaking away from the Catholic Church. If it were not for the 95 Theses, it would have been impossible for the people to break away from the church. Through it, German people started to oppose the catholic doctrines and their immorality and started to promote a new way of gaining salvation. Through it, the protestant reformation foundation was laid, and people started switching from the Catholic Church. This reduced the reliance of people on Catholic doctrines to obtain salvation through the sale of indulgences. People also switched from relying heavily on churches to making a more personal approach to God. Faith was all that was important, and therefore, an individual's relationship with God was emphasized, which had not been done in the Catholic Church. Due to Luther's teachings through the 95 Theses, Christianity's religion was revolutionized by introducing new concepts of individual salvation through faith rather than the Catholic doctrines of selling indulgences to obtain salvation.

The concept of Christianity, coupled with Luther's teachings, started the formation of Protestantism, which led to the introduction of a new form of Christianity and the springing of many churches in the world. The breaking out from the Catholic church to the protestant reformation encouraged many people to rely on the Bible's individual reading and not to rely so much on church leaders. Luther's teachings were impactful as more people stopped relying on church leaders to obtain salvation. All those people needed to do was to read the scripture and have faith to gain salvation. Many people were not in agreement with Catholic teaching and the sale of indulgences, but no one could cite these flaws for fear of being rebuked. Therefore, Luther was really important during the Reformation as he openly challenged the Catholic Church and opened people's minds to what they believed was actually not true.

Luther translated the bible from Latin into German. Before the Reformation, the bible was only written in Latin, which could only be read by a few people. It was also the fact that the bible was written in Latin that gave the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church power to read and interpret scriptures for people, and no one could challenge the teachings because they could not read and understand Latin. Luther's translation of the bible to Germany was therefore important to the Reformation process as many Bibles written in German were accessible to the public. This promoted the reading, understanding, and different interpretations of the scriptures, which made people formulate new views to oppose the teachings of the Catholic Church. If it was not for Luther's translation of the bible from Latin to German, people would not read the bible and interpret the Bible. This would have delayed the process of reformation and delayed the emergence of religious denominations.


In conclusion, the Renaissance was really important to Luther as it brought new thinking. Through this new thinking, he was able to challenge the Catholic Church's teachings and lay the foundation for the reformation process. The nailing of 95 theses at the door of Wittenberg Church and the translation of the bible from Latin to German speeded the process of reformation, which underlined the importance of Martin Luther in the process.


Bishop, Paul A. "Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation." Hillsborough Community College (2014). ._Bishop.pdf.

Starcher, Richard L., Philip C. Huber, J. Nelson Jennings, Benjamin L. Hartley, Stan Nussbaum, and William R. Burrows. "Perspectives on the missiological legacy of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation." Missiology 45, no. 4 (2017): 374-395.

Judd, Daniel K. "Clinical and Pastoral Implications of the Ministry of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation." Open Theology 1, no. open-issue, (2016).

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