Author of the painting: Lucas Cranach the Elder

Eisleben, Holy Roman Empire, November 10, 1483-Eisleben, Holy Roman Empire, February 18, 1546

Martin Luther was a German theologian whose writings based the Protestant Reform movement in Europe during the sixteenth century. He was ordained in 1507 and earned a doctorate in theology in 1512. Later, he began teaching at the University of Wittenberg.

He was a devout Catholic, but his visit to the city of Rome made ​​him see the corruption of the Church and felt horrified, especially by the custom of the clergy of selling indulgences. Thanks to the preparation of a conference on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Luther became convinced that salvation came only through faith.

Statue of Luther in Berlin

Statue of Luther in Berlin

On October 31, 1517, he nailed to the door of the chapel of the college his “95 Theses”, containing a critique of the use of indulgences and papal abuses. He attacked the papacy by declaring that the Pope had no authority to interpret Scripture. The fact spread rapidly throughout Europe and Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther. At the Diet of Worms, an assembly, he was declared a heretic.

Luther had to hide in the castle of Wartburg, where he immersed himself in translating the Bible into German, allowing its reading by ordinary people. Later he began to organize a new Lutheran church, which had numerous followers.

Martin Luther is a controversial figure because it led to a break in the Roman Catholic Church and the germination of new variants of Christianity, and initiated the Reform movement. His translation of the Bible contributed to the spread of the German language and influenced other later translations.