Martin Luther born in 1843 at Eisleben, Germany was a priest and a theologian who is considered the father of the protestant reformation. He schooled in Magdenburg before excelling in his academics and proceeding to Erfut University in 1501 where he also joined the Augustina Monastery in Erfut to become a priest. Five years later he became a teacher at Wittenburg University. His reformation teachings began in 1517 at Wittenberg where the Catholic Church had sent Johann Tetzel to sell documents called indulgences (Gustav 23). The indulgences were supposed to pardon sins of people and the proceeds would be used to repair St. Peters Cathedral in Rome.
Luther was against this decree by the then pope Leo X and so he wrote his personal view on the issue and pinned the paper on the door of a church in Wittenburg. This did not go well with the pope and in 1520 he demanded that Luther take back all the writings. He refused and it resulted in excommunication from the Catholic Church by the pope and consequently declared an outlaw by Charles V the holy Roman emperor (Gustav 32)
Luther’s teachings were based on the notion that salvation was freely earned through having faith in Jesus Christ the saviour of sins and not by good deeds. His doctrines challenged the authority of the pope claiming that the bible is the only source of divine knowledge and every baptised Christians were a holy priesthood (Gustav 78). The translation of the bible in German language in 1534 resulted in revolutionizing of the church and German culture as a whole. It also led to translation of the bible in other formats like King James Version. His hymns also resulted in singing in churches which was unacceptable before. Furthermore his marriage to a nun Katharina Von Bora in 1525 marked the onset of clerical marriages in the protestant faith.
Later on in his life he became even more anti-Semitic even claiming that Jews’ homes be destroyed, and their synagogues burned (Gustav 143). This painted him as a controversial figure. He died at his home town in Eisleben aged 62 years on 18th February, 1546. Luther is honoured: on 18th February in the Lutheran calendar of Saints and as a feast day in Episcopal calendar of saints; and in England on 31st October (Gustav 150).
Koning, Gustav. The Life of Martin Luther, the German Reformer. Munich: Nabu Press, 2010. Print. : 3+