Luther 500 Years Ago Part II

By | October 20, 2021

6: Lust in ban

But the papacy continued to press against Luther, and in 1521 he was declared a heretic and lustful by the pope in Rome. It was thus ready to start a process to burn him on the fire, and the parliament in Worms , in the spring of 1521, was to be the final settlement with the rebel.

But even this time he refused to say the redemptive word “revoca”, ie withdraw what he had said and written. Instead, he made one of the most famous statements in European history: “Here I stand and can do nothing else. God help me, amen! ” Thus the emperor declared him an outlaw , and all who would now be able to kill him.

But Fredrik the Wise was once again the most cunning. When Luther was on his way from Worms, the prince had some of his men abducted, and he was taken to the prince’s castle Wartburg near Eisenach. There he was safe and could continue his work in silence.

During his stay at Wartburg, Martin Luther performed a work that had enormous significance for the church and for German culture . He translated the New Testament from Greek to German – a huge work , which was done in just 11 weeks. The work became one of the most important written in German.

7: The Peasant Uprising

While Luther is at Wartburg, dramatic things happen among his followers. Some of them perceive the revolt against the papacy as a settlement with the entire existing society. Students loot the houses of the men of the church, and monks leave the monasteries in large numbers.

Luther is terrified of what is happening, but the rebels do not listen to him. He leaves Wartburg and takes up the fight against the rebels. He declares that the death penalty is necessary to maintain the order of society.

The Peasant Uprising (1524) was led by Luther’s former student Thomas Müntzer . The peasant army goes berserk in southern Germany – burning and looting and killing on foot. In May 1525, the army grew to about 10,000 men, and a decisive battle ensued at Frankenhausen (today in the state of Thuringia.) In this battle, the forces of those in power are clearly superior, and the peasants are slaughtered to the last man.

8: A new church arises

The Peasant War was a hard blow for Luther, and he was accused of falling behind his own followers. At the same time, the papacy was cruel to those who supported him. The Lutheran Bible was banned, and both publishers and readers were severely punished. Everything has become different than he wanted.

He wanted to change the papal church, but now realizes that the breach is a fact and that a new church has emerged in Europe. Many of the German princes have already joined Protestantism, and more and more are joining. At the same time, Luther’s writings are being distributed in huge numbers, and the Bible is reaching out to ordinary believers on a scale never before seen in history. The rapid spread is well helped by the fact that the art of printing was invented and constantly improved at the end of the 15th century.

Luther himself astonished his followers when he gave up celibacy and married the former nun Katharina von Bora and had several children. But even though he was a living legend, the last years of his life became a sad time with major health problems. He died of a heart attack in 1546 in Eisleben – 63 years old.

9: A controversial man who changed Europe

Martin Luther was in every way a man of strife , with a courage that is difficult to grasp. And in retrospect, according to USPRIVATESCHOOLSFINDER, most Europeans probably agree that his rebellion was fair and just. But in one area he has been strongly condemned : the view of the Jews .

Some of Luther’s writings about the Jews are appalling anti-Semitism . This is especially true of the book “On the Jews and Their Lies.” Here Luther encourages people to burn synagogues and Jewish schools. These calls have done irreparable damage , and they were used by the Hitler regime before and during World War II.

Nevertheless, there is reason to recall that Luther’s anti-Semitic writings were on a different plane than what people perceive today. There was no Jewish population in Wittenberg in his day, and he based his view of the Jews on what he read in the Old Testament .

Luther’s writings about the Jews are an important reason why he is controversial among today’s Germans. Many believe that he was “bourgeois, fanatical and intolerant”, although he is hailed worldwide as “a great German and European”.

Few Europeans have created greater change on our continent than Martin Luther. His spiritual revolution divided Europe and led to bloody religious wars. But it was also a tremendous encouragement to millions of people. Forgiveness of sins was no longer dependent on having money to buy indulgences. Salvation now became more dependent on God’s grace and how strong and firm one was in the faith.

The Lutheran Bible was of enormous importance for the development of a common German written language , which contributed greatly to a national awareness among the Germans. The translation into German in itself meant a strong popularization – people could now acquire the texts of the Bible themselves without having to be communicated solely by an exalted clergy.

The Reformation (see facts) has also been highlighted as an important part of the reason for the rise of capitalism . The German sociologist Max Weber writes in his book The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism that “the capitalist spirit springs from a Protestant ethic of duty.” In the increased reading of the Bible, there was also a strong emphasis on the need for and importance of education and training .

Martin Luther was also one of history’s greatest hymn writers . Most famous is the so-called Reformation anthem, “Our God he is so firm a castle”. The hymns are now known throughout the world, and they have contributed greatly to bringing the Church and religion closer to the people .

Martin Luther is a hated man in the history of the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, his rebellion has led to much positive for the papacy. To meet Luther’s Reformation, it launched a so-called ” counter-reformation ” – a religious and cultural offensive in which some of history’s foremost artists contributed. This was a renewal that has been of great benefit to the Catholic Church.

500 years ago Luther