German priest, theologian and author / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Martin Luther OSA (/ˈluːθər/; German: [ˈmaʁtiːn ˈlʊtɐ] (listen); 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest, theologian, author, hymnwriter, professor, and Augustinian friar. He is the seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation whose followers became known as Lutherans.
|Born||10 November 1483|
|Died||18 February 1546 62) (aged|
Eisleben, County of Mansfeld, Holy Roman Empire
|Education||University of Erfurt|
University of Wittenberg
|Notable work||Ninety-five Theses (1517)|
|Tradition or movement|
|Part of a series on|
Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; in particular, he disputed the view on indulgences. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor. Luther died in 1546 with Pope Leo X's excommunication still in effect.
Luther taught that salvation and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds; rather, they are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge, and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical (German: evangelisch) as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. His translation of the Bible into the German vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to marry.
In two of his later works, Luther expressed anti-Judaistic views, calling for the expulsion of Jews and burning of synagogues. In addition, these works also targeted Roman Catholics, Anabaptists, and nontrinitarian Christians. Based upon his teachings, the prevailing view among historians is that his rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of antisemitism in Germany and of the Nazi Party.