Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation

 

Martin Luther

Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation Introduction

Martin Luther was a former Augustinian friar who is best known as the Great Reformer and the father of Lutheranism and a key figure in the Protestant Reformation. He eventually came to reject many doctrines and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church, especially its stance on indulgences. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the use and effectiveness of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517.  At the request of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521, he refused to renounce any of his writings, which led to his ex-communication by the pope and his condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor. 

A person can only receive salvation and eternal life as a gift of God's grace by placing their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Redeemer. His theology questioned the pope's legitimacy and position, asserting that the Bible is the only source of knowledge that has been divinely revealed, and he opposed sacerdotalism by holding that all Christians who have been baptized constitute a holy priesthood. Luther insisted that the only acceptable names for people who professed Christ were Christian or Evangelical, and those who identify with these, as well as all of Luther's wider teachings, are known as Lutherans.

In addition, he made the Bible more understandable for the layperson by translating it into German; this had a profound effect on both the Christian church and German culture. It encouraged the creation of a standard version of the German language, added a few guidelines to the practice of translation, and had an impact on the creation of the Tyndale Bible, an English translation. His hymns had an impact on how Protestant churches learned to sing. His union with former nun Katharina von Bora established the custom of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to wed.

Early Life and Education of Martin Luther

Childhood home of Martin Luther

On November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, County of Mansfeld, Holy Roman Empire, Martin Luther was born to Hans Luder and his wife Margarethe. The following morning, on St. Martin of Tour's Day, Luther was baptized. In 1484, his family relocated to Mansfeld, where his father held mining and smelting leases for copper and served as one of four citizen representatives on the local council before being elected to the town council in 1492. He had several siblings, including Jacob, whom he is known to have been close to. 

Hans Luther was driven to see his eldest son Martin become a lawyer because he had high expectations for both himself and his family. Martin Luther was sent to Latin schools in Mansfeld, Magdeburg (where he attended a school run by a lay organization called the Brethren of the Common Life), Eisenach (where he later studied), and Mansfeld (again). Later, Martin Luther compared his education there to hell and purgatory. He enrolled in the University of Erfurt in 1501, when he was 17 years old, and later described it as a whorehouse and a beerhouse. 

He enrolled in law school per his father's wishes but dropped out almost right away because he thought the law was uncertain. Aristotle, William of Ockham, and Gabriel Biel were among the philosophers and theologians who particularly piqued Martin Luther's interest as he sought assurances about life. 

His two teachers, Bartholomeus Arnoldi von Usingen and Jodocus Trutfetter, who taught him to be skeptical of even the greatest thinkers and to test everything himself through experience, had a significant impact on him. Luther found philosophy to be unsatisfying because it assured the application of reason but none regarding loving God, which to Luther was of greater importance. He believed that men could not come to God through reason, and as a result, he had a love-hate relationship with Aristotle due to the latter's emphasis on reason. Martin Luther believed that while reason could be used to challenge people and institutions, it could not challenge God.  Because he held that divine revelation was the only way that humans could learn about God, he saw increasing value in studying the Bible. 

On July 2, 1505, a lightning strike occurred close to young Martin Luther as he rode his horse back to the university after a trip home. He sold his books and entered Erfurt's St. Augustine's Monastery on July 17, 1505. One of Luther's friends attributed the choice to his grief over the passing of two friends. He was led to the Black Cloister's entrance by those who had attended a farewell dinner. His father was indignant about Luther's education, which he felt had been wasted. Martin Luther joined the Augustinian order and committed himself to frequent confession, long periods of fasting, and intense prayer. 

This time in Martin Luther's life, he said, was marked by profound spiritual despondency. He started instructing theology at Wittenberg University in 1508. On March 9, 1508, he earned a bachelor's degree in biblical studies, and in 1509, he earned a second bachelor's degree in Peter Lombard's Sentences. 

He received his doctorate in theology on October 19, 1512, and on October 21, 1512, he was sworn in as a member of the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg after taking over from von Staupitz as chair. He held this position at the University of Wittenberg for the remainder of his professional life. In 1515, he was appointed by his religious order as the provincial vicar of Saxony and Thuringia. This required him to oversee and visit all eleven of the monasteries in his province.

The Beginning of the Protestant Reformation 

Protestant Reformation meetings

The Roman Catholic Church sent Dominican friar Johann Tetzel to Germany in 1516 to sell indulgences to raise funds for the restoration of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Tetzel was appointed general commissioner as a result of his experiences as an indulgence preacher, particularly between 1503 and 1510. At that time, Brandenburg was heavily in debt from having to pay for a large number of benefices and had to contribute a sizeable sum of 10,000 ducats to the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Albrecht received approval from Pope Leo X to carry out the sale of a special plenary indulgence, from which he was to claim that half of the proceeds would be used to cover the cost of his benefices. Albrecht von Brandenburg, a bishop, received a letter from Martin Luther on October 31, 1517, objecting to the sale of indulgences. 

He advised that Christians shouldn't let up on following Christ because of such deceptive assurances. One account claims that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of Wittenberg's All Saints' Catholic Church. The narrative is based on remarks made by Philip Melanchthon, an associate who is believed to have been absent from Wittenberg at the time. On the other hand, Roland Bainton claims that it is real. Germany published the Latin Theses in several places in 1517. Luther's supporters translated the Ninety-five Theses from Latin to German in January 1518. These have been distributed all over Germany in less than two weeks. Luther's writings were widely read and disseminated; as early as 1519, they were in France, England, and Italy. 

As Martin Luther spoke, students flocked to Wittenberg in droves. Along with his work on the Psalms, he also published a brief commentary on Galatians. One of MartinLuther's most original and fruitful periods of work was in his early years. Three of his best-known works that were published in 1520 were: To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and On the Freedom of a Christian.

Justification through Faith Alone

 

Word Alone, Faith Alone, Grace Alone

Luther delivered lectures on the Psalms, the books of Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians from 1510 to 1520. ¬†He developed a fresh perspective on the Catholic Church's use of concepts like righteousness and penance as he studied these passages of Scripture. He came to believe that the Catholic Church was corrupt in its practices and had forgotten some of the core tenets of Christianity. For Luther, the doctrine of justification‚ÄĒGod's declaration of a sinner's righteousness‚ÄĒby faith alone through God's grace‚ÄĒwas crucial.¬†

He started by preaching that salvation, or redemption, is a gift from God that can only be received by believing that Jesus is the Messiah. ¬†In his 1525 book On the Bondage of the Will, which he wrote in response to Desiderius Erasmus' On Free Will, Luther made this teaching very clear. ¬†Luther based his view of predestination on Ephesians 2:8‚Äď10 of St. Paul's epistle.¬†

Martin Luther wrote that Christians receive such righteousness entirely from outside themselves; that righteousness not only comes from Christ but is the righteousness of Christ, imputed to Christians through faith, which goes against the teaching of his day that believers' righteous acts are performed in cooperation with God. 

God has placed all of our sins on him because he is the only Lamb of God who atones for the sins of the world.  All people have sinned and are therefore freely justified by God's grace through the atoning work of Christ Jesus on the cross, without the need for their works or merits.  This cannot be obtained in any other way through work, law, or merit.  It is undeniable and certain that only our faith can make us righteous. Nothing in this article can be yielded or given up, not even if heaven, earth, and everything else were to fall.

A Falling Out with the Catholic Church 

Luther's letter containing the Ninety-five theses was not responded to by Archbishop Albrecht. He had the theses examined for heresy before sending them to Rome in December 1517.  He required the money from the indulgences to settle a papal dispensation for his holding multiple bishoprics at once.  Luther was first called to Rome by Leo after the Dominican theologian Sylvester Mazzolini prepared an accusation of heresy against him. 

The pope was convinced to examine Martin Luther in Augsburg, where the Imperial Diet was held, by the Elector Frederick.  During this time, Cardinal Cajetan, the papal legate, questioned Luther over the course of three days in October 1518, during which time Luther defended himself.  The main point of contention between the two men was the pope's authority to grant indulgences. 

Originally, Cajetan had been told to arrest Luther if he didn't repent, but the legate decided against doing so.  Luther escaped the city at night, hidden from Cajetan, with the aid of the Carmelite monk Christoph Langenmantel.  The papal nuncio Karl von Miltitz adopted a more amicable stance in January 1519 at Altenburg in Saxony. 

The Saxon, who was related to the Elector and pledged to keep quiet if his opponents did, was given some concessions by Luther.  Johann Eck, a theologian, was committed to exposing Luther's philosophy in a public setting.  He invited Luther to speak at a debate he staged with Andreas Karlstadt, a colleague in Leipzig in June and July 1519. 

Luther's most audacious claim during the discussion was that neither popes nor Catholic Church councils were infallible because Matthew 16:18 does not grant them the sole authority to interpret the Bible.  Because of this, Eck compared Martin Luther to 1415 burning at the stake of the Czech reformer and heretic Jan Hus because of this.  He committed himself to defeat Luther as soon as that happened.

Ex-communication of Martin Luther

The Pope issued the papal bull, Exsurge Domine, on June 15, 1520, warning Luther that he faced ex-communication if he did not retract 41 statements from his writings, including the Ninety-five Theses, within 60 days.  Eck proclaimed the bull in Meissen and other towns that autumn. 

On December 10, 1520, Luther publicly burned the bull and decrees at Wittenberg after sending the pope a copy of On the Freedom of a Christian in October. He justified this action in Why the Pope and his Recent Book are Burned and Assertions Concerning All Articles.  As a result, on January 3, 1521, Pope Leo X issued the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem that excommunicated Martin Luther.

The Diet of Worms

The secular authorities were in charge of enforcing the ban on the Ninety-Five Theses. As required, Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms on April 18, 1521. In the Rhine-side city of Worms, there was a general assembly of the estates of the Holy Roman Empire. Emperor Charles V presided over it, and it lasted from January 28 to May 25, 1521. 

Safe transportation to and from the meeting was provided for Luther. Johann Eck presented Luther with copies of his writings that were spread out on a table and asked him if the books were his and whether he stood by their content while speaking on behalf of the empire in his capacity as the Archbishop of Trier's assistant. Luther acknowledged that he was their author but asked for some time to consider his response to the second query. Following prayer and consultation with friends, he responded the following day: "I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is captive to the Word of God unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason." 

Since going against my conscience is neither safe nor right, I am unable to and will not retract anything. Each innovator's arsenal of fallacious arguments has been drawn from the Bible itself. Both Pelagius and Arius upheld their doctrines using biblical texts. According to Arius, this passage enslaved him in the same way that you claim it did for you. He discovered the negation of the eternity of the Word‚ÄĒan eternity that you admit in this verse of the New Testament that Joseph did not know his wife until she had given birth to her firstborn son.¬†

The Council of Constance's founding fathers made a mistake when they rejected Jan Hus' claim that the Church of Jesus Christ is only the community of the elect. The church, like a loving mother, embraces all who identify as Christians and are called to experience ecstatic bliss.  The Catholic Church permitted anyone to kill Martin Luther without legal consequences.

Wartburg Castle 

Luther's disappearance while traveling back to Wittenberg was organized at Wartburg Castle. On his way home, Frederick III ordered him to be stopped by masked horsemen pretending to be robbers in a forest not far from Wittenberg. They led Luther to the safety of Eisenach's Wartburg Castle. A refutation of the Argument of Latomus, in which he explained the concept of justification to Jacobus Latomus, an orthodox theologian from Louvain, was also included. He continued his attack on Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz, whom he shamed into stopping the sale of indulgences in his episcopates. 

He makes the case in this work, in one of his strongest statements on faith, that any good deed intended to win God's favor is a sin. He stated that since all people are sinners by nature, only God's grace can make them righteous. He declared that the idea that the mass is a sacrifice is idolatry in On the Abrogation of the Private Mass and that it is instead a gift that the entire congregation should accept with thanksgiving. He reassured nuns and monks that breaking their vows was not a sin because doing so was an invalid and fruitless attempt to obtain salvation. In light of the swift developments at Wittenberg, of which he was kept fully informed, Luther made his statements from Wartburg. 

In June 1521, Reas Karlstadt, assisted by the ex-Augustinian Gabriel Zwilling, began a radical protestant reformation there that went beyond what Luther had envisioned. The protestant reformation sparked unrest that included denunciations of the magistracy, an uprising by the Augustinian friars against their prior, and statues and images being destroyed in churches. 

The arrival of a group of visionary zealots known as the Zwickau prophets, who preached radical ideas like the equality of man, adult baptism, and the impending return of Christ, made Wittenberg even more tumultuous after Christmas. When the town council asked Luther to return, he decided it was his duty to act.

Martin Luther Returns to Wittenberg

In these sermons, he emphasized the importance of fundamental Christian principles like love, patience, charity, and freedom and reminded the populace to rely on God's word rather than use violence to effect change. Luther's intervention had an immediate impact. He signaled his reemergence as a conservative force within the Protestant Reformation by collaborating with the authorities to restore order. He had to fight both the traditional Catholic Church and the radical proponents of the protestant reformation who threatened the new order by inciting social unrest and violence after expelling the Zwickau prophets. The Twelve Articles, 1525: Luther was successful in Wittenberg, but he was unable to quell radicalism elsewhere. Between 1521 and 1525, peasants and poorer town residents supported preachers like Thomas M√ľntzer and the Zwickau prophet Nicholas Storch.

Ever since the 15th century, the peasantry had staged smaller-scale uprisings. In 1524, uprisings took place in Thuringia, Swabia, and Franconia, gaining support from the disgruntled nobles, many of whom were in debt. The uprisings escalated into war as they gained strength under the direction of radicals like M√ľntzer in Thuringia and Hipler and Lotzer in the southwest.¬†

In his response to the Twelve Articles in May 1525, Luther demonstrated his sympathy for some of the grievances of the peasants while advising those who felt wronged to submit to temporal authorities. "Our peasants want to make the goods of other men common, and keep their own for themselves," he raged during a tour of Thuringia as convents, monasteries, bishops' palaces, and libraries were routinely set on fire. They are wonderful Christians, too! I believe that all of the demons have left hell and entered the world of the peasants. Three reasons led Luther to defend his opposition to the insurgents. 

The doctrine of the divine right of kings, or, in the case of Germany, the divine right of the princes, is based on this passage from the Bible. He didn't come up with the Beerwolf idea until much later in life, which allowed for some instances of government resistance. Many rebels put down their weapons in the absence of Luther's support; others felt betrayed. The Swabian League's victory over them at the Battle of Frankenhausen on May 15, 1525, along with M√ľntzer's execution, put an end to the Protestant Reformation's revolutionary phase. Thereafter, radicalism found refuge in the Anabaptist movement and other religious movements, while Luther's Reformation fell under the wing of the secular powers.

Martin Luther's Marriage 

When he arranged for the 12 nuns to be smuggled out in herring barrels in April 1523, Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, one of the 12 nuns he had assisted in escaping from the Nimbschen Cistercian convent. The couple got engaged on June 13, 1525, in front of witnesses including Lucas Cranach the Elder and his wife, Justus Jonas, Johannes Apel, Philipp Melancholy, and Johannes Bugenhagen. 

The couple was wed by Bugenhagen that same day in the evening. The wedding banquet and the formal walk to the church were missed; they were made up two weeks later, on June 27. Even though Andreas Karlstadt and Justus Jonas, two priests and former members of religious orders, had already wed, Luther's nuptials gave clerical unions the stamp of approval. On biblical grounds, he had long opposed celibacy vows, but Melanchthon, among others, was shocked by his choice to wed. He referred to it as reckless. 

Although money was frequently tight, they started what seems to have been a happy and successful marriage. In addition to giving birth to six children‚ÄĒHans in June 1526; Elisabeth on December 10, 1527, who passed away shortly after; Magdalene in 1529, who passed away in Luther's arms in 1542; Martin in 1531; Paul in January 1533; and Margaret in 1534‚ÄĒKatharina also assisted the couple financially by farming and hosting boarders.

Organizing a New Church as a Result of the Protestant Reformation

By 1526, Luther was becoming more and more involved in starting a new protestant church. His attempt to implement the congregations' right to choose their ministers had failed. To avoid confusing or upsetting the populace, Luther avoided drastic change. Additionally, he did not want to switch from one control system to another. He primarily served as an advisor to churches in new territories, many of which adopted his Saxon model, while concentrating on the church in the Electorate of Saxony. 

He collaborated closely with John the Steadfast, the new elector, to whom he turned for secular leadership and funding on behalf of a church that had been largely stripped of its resources and income following the split with Rome. A visitation of the church was authorized by the elector, which was a function formerly performed by bishops. 

Luther's practical reforms occasionally fell short of his earlier radical declarations. Despite Luther's belief that justification is guaranteed by faith alone, Melanchthon emphasized the importance of repentance in the Instructions for the Visitors of Parish Pastors in Electoral Saxony, which were written with his approval. Luther criticized Johannes Agricola of Eisleben for teaching that faith and works are not mutually exclusive when he questioned this compromise. 

Anyone looking for a clear progression in Luther's ideas and methods must deal with the Instruction. In response to requests for a German liturgy, Luther composed a German Mass, which he published in the early years of 1526. Modern scholars point out the conservatism of Luther's alternative to the Catholic Mass. 

Some people, including Huldrych Zwingli's followers, thought his service to be too papistic. However, Luther's service included congregational singing of German hymns and psalms as well as some liturgical elements, such as Luther's unison setting of the Creed. Luther incorporated religious instruction in the form of a catechism into the weekday services to reach the uninitiated and the young. 

Additionally, he offered condensed versions of the marriage and baptism services. During their 1527‚Äď1528 tour of the Electorate of Saxony, Luther and his associates introduced the new order of worship. They also assessed the standard of pastoral care and Christian education in the territory.

Luther's Catechisms

Luther created the catechism as a way to teach the congregations the fundamentals of Christianity. He produced two catechisms in 1529: the Small Catechism, a summary for laypeople to memorize; and the Large Catechism, a guide for pastors and teachers. The catechisms offered simple-to-understand instruction and devotional material on the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, baptism, and the Lord's Supper. 

One of Luther's most intimately personal works is the catechism. Along with Luther's translation of the Bible and his hymns, it is still in use today. Luther's Small Catechism and Large Catechism both proved useful in assisting parents in teaching their children the Christian faith. They expressed the Apostles' Creed in a more straightforward, relatable, and trinitarian manner using the German vernacular. Each tenet of the Creed was revised by him to better reflect the attributes of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. 

Luther wanted the catechumens to understand that they are each personally affected by the three persons of the Trinity, each of whom is active in the catechumen's life. Luther, therefore, presents the Trinity as a person to be known rather than a doctrine to be understood. 

A divine unity with three distinct personalities is created by the Father; the Son redeems, and the Spirit sanctifies. The Father is the source of salvation, and salvation leads the believer to the Father. The Decalogue and The Lord's Prayer, which are also a part of the Lutheran catechism, must be understood in the context of Luther's treatment of the Apostles' Creed.

Biblical Translation 

When the entire Bible was published in 1534, Martin Luther and his collaborators had finished translating the Old Testament. They published their German translation of the New Testament in 1522. Until the end of his life, he kept improving his translation. The Bible had already been translated into German before, but Luther's version was customized to fit his doctrine.

The Koberger Bible and the Mentelin Bible were two of the earlier translations. Before the Lutheran Bible, there were up to fourteen in High German, four in Low German, four in Dutch, and various other translations in other languages. A German that was understood by both northern and southern Germans was used in Martin Luther's translation of the Bible. It gave the German language and literature a unique flavor. It was accompanied by prefaces and notes written by Martin Luther, as well as anti-papal woodcuts by Lucas Cranach. It significantly contributed to the dissemination of Luther's ideas throughout Germany. 

The Tyndale Bible, an antecedent of the King James Bible, was influenced by the Luther Bible, among other vernacular translations. Because he addresses the core idea of Christian doctrine‚ÄĒthat we are justified by faith in Christ alone, apart from any performance of the law‚ÄĒin that passage. Whoever would speak plainly and clearly about this cutting away of works will have to say, "Faith alone justifies us, and not works," because when works are so completely removed, it must follow that faith alone justifies. It was inserted into the text by other hands after Luther's death.

Hymns During the Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther drew connections between fine art and popular music, as well as between clergy and laypeople, men and women, and children. The singing of German hymns in connection with worship, school, home, and the public sphere was his preferred method for making this connection. He frequently played the lute, which was later recreated as the waldzither and adopted as the national instrument of Germany in the 20th century, to accompany hymns that were being sung. 

Luther's hymns frequently reference specific occasions in his life as well as the development of the Protestant Reformation. As early as 1525, Luther's hymn, which he modified and expanded from an earlier German creedal hymn, was used frequently in vernacular Lutheran liturgies. Both a liturgical setting of the Lord's Prayer and a tool for testing candidates on particular catechism questions, the hymn serves these dual purposes. Multiple revisions can be seen in the manuscript that has survived, illustrating Luther's desire to strengthen and clarify the text as well as provide a tune that is suitable for prayer. 

Luther's tune was used in other versions of the Lord's Prayer from the 16th and 20th centuries, though the modern texts are much shorter. This hymn and seven others were included in the Achtliederbuch, the first Lutheran hymnal, as a result of collaboration with Paul Speratus. Luther's expanded hymn and Erhart Hegen-hymnic Walt's rendition of Psalm 51 were both adopted for use with the fifth section of Luther's catechism, which deals with confession. 

Wolf Heintz's four-part setting of Psalm 67's prayer for grace was used to launch the Lutheran Protestant Reformation in Halle in 1541; Luther used a pre-existing Johann Walter tune connected with it. This rich hymn was used as a subject by preachers and composers of the 18th century, including J.S. Bach, though its objective baptismal theology was replaced by more subjective hymns under the influence of late-19th-century Lutheran pietism. 

Early hymnals contained Luther's hymns, which helped the Protestant Reformation's ideas spread. He contributed four of the eight songs in the first choral hymnal, Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn, and 18 of the 26 songs in the Erfurt Enchiridion, all of which were published in 1524. He also contributed 24 of the 32 songs in the Erfurt Enchiridion. Luther's hymns served as an inspiration for music writers in the day.

The Soul After Death 

In contrast to the views of John Calvin and Philipp Melancholy, throughout his life, Martin Luther maintained that it was not a false doctrine to believe that a Christian's soul sleeps after it is separated from the body at death.  Accordingly, he disputed traditional interpretations of some Bible passages, such as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  He affirmed the continuity of one's identity beyond death.  Lessing had earlier reached the same conclusion in his analysis of Lutheran orthodoxy on this issue.

Martin Luther's Final Years

For years, Luther had been ill, with Ménière's disease, vertigo, dizziness, fainting, tinnitus, and a cataract in one eye. He started experiencing arthritis, kidney and bladder stones, and an ear infection that ruptured his ear drum in 1536. 

In December 1544, he began to feel the effects of angina. He was irritable and even harsher in his writings and comments because of his poor physical health. Three days before his passing, on February 15, 1546, he preached his final sermon in Eisleben, the town where he was born. 

Count Al-Brecht of Mansfeld, who took over the industry, put their way of life in danger. All four Mansfeld counts‚ÄĒAlbrecht, Philip, John George, and Gerhard‚ÄĒwere involved in the ensuing controversy. Luther traveled to Mansfeld twice in late 1545 to take part in the settlement talks; a third trip was required in early 1546 for the talks to be concluded. The negotiations were successfully concluded on February 17, 1546.¬†

He felt pain in his chest. He awoke with more chest pain at one in the morning on February 18 and was given hot towels to warm him up. He thanked God for making his Son, whom he had believed in, known to him. He was 62 years old when he passed away in Eisleben, the city of his birth, shortly after losing his ability to speak due to an apoplectic stroke. 

In front of the pulpit in Wittenberg's Schlosskirche, he was laid to rest. His friends, Philipp Melanchthon and Johannes Bugenhagen conducted the funeral. A year later, troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, a rival of Luther's, entered the town, but Charles gave them instructions not to disturb the grave. 

Later, a piece of paper with Luther's final words was discovered. Virgil's Bucolics can only be understood by someone who has been a shepherd for five years. Except for someone who has been a farmer for five years, no one can comprehend Virgil's Georgics. Cicero's Letters can only be understood by someone who has spent twenty years immersed in the affairs of a notable state. 

We are aware that unless a person has led churches for 100 years alongside prophets like Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles, they cannot have sufficiently embraced the Holy Writers. Rather than challenging the divine Aeneid's path, be respectful of it. 

All Saints' Church also houses the grave of Philipp Melanchthon, a fellow proponent of the Protestant Reformation and contemporary of Martin Luther.

Continuity of Luther's Work and Celebration of His Life

Luther effectively disseminated his ideas by using Johannes Gutenberg's printing press. To reach a wider audience, he changed the language of his writing from Latin to German. Luther's writings made up one-fifth of all materials printed in Germany between 1500 and 1530. The dissemination of the Protestant Reformation in the 1530s and 1540s depended heavily on printed representations of Luther that emphasized his imposing stature. 

A stark contrast to the ascetic lifestyle of the medieval religious orders, his large body also made it clear to the viewer that he did not abstain from drinking. The woodcuts by Hans Brosamer, Lucas the Elder, and Lucas the Younger are among the works from this era. 

Luther's Monument in Eisenach, Germany, The Lutheran Calendar of Saints, and the Episcopal Calendar of Saints both include a celebration of MartinLuther on February 18. He is honored on October 31 in the Church of England's Calendar of Saints. 

Following Luther's death, various branches of Protestantism have varying degrees of reverence for him, from not mentioning him at all to honoring him in a manner that is almost identical to how Lutherans do. Luther has never been known to be condemned by non-Lutheran Protestants themselves. Local memorials honor the places that Martin Luther visited during his lifetime, both inside and outside of Germany. 

Two towns in Saxony-Anhalt have the names Lutherstadt Eisleb-en and Lutherstadt Wittenberg as their official names. Even though Mansfeld is occasionally referred to as Mansfeld-Lutherstadt, the state has not decided to add the Lutherstadt suffix to its official name. 

The publication of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 is commemorated on Reformation Day, which has historical significance in the following European countries: The German states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Schleswig-Holstein, and Hamburg observe it as a public holiday. A vote on introducing it is still pending in two additional states. 

Slovenia observes it because the Protestant Reformation made a significant cultural impact there. Protestant workers in Austria have the right to take time off of work to attend a church service, and children are permitted to skip school on that particular day.  Reformation Day is observed in Switzerland on the first Sunday following October 31.  Most Lutheran churches in the United States observe Reformation Day on October 31 each year.

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