Today’s guest post comes to us from Timothy J. Wengert for LivingLutheran.com.
As we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Living Lutheran is exploring 500 of its unique aspects, continuing the series this month with 50 Reformation things you may not know about Martin Luther.
This list is not meant as an all-encompassing compendium of everything essential to the Reformation and its theology, but rather as a glimpse of the variety of ways the movement that Luther sparked in 1517 would influence the history of the world.
- Martin Luther did not think of himself as a reformer of the church. He felt that that job belonged only to Jesus Christ; Luther was merely a John the Baptist, pointing to the Lamb of God.
- Luther was not exactly from peasant stock. His father—whose father was a farmer—ended up a well-to-do mine owner, and his mother’s family, the Lindemanns, included a mayor of Eisenach, Thuringia, in Germany.
- The 95 Theses may or may not have been posted on the University of Wittenberg’s “bulletin board” (the Castle Church door) on October 31, 1517—but they were posted in the mail to the Archbishop of Mainz, Albrecht von Brandenburg.
- Luther’s chief complaint in the 95 Theses was bad preaching and how it undermined the listeners’ faith in God.
- In the 16th century, Luther would’ve posted a university notice like the 95 Theses with wax or paste, not hammer and nails. The depiction of Luther hammering the Theses first appeared in 1717.
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