The 95 Theses

October 31, 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses—the start of the Protestant Reformation! In the sixteenth century, the sale of indulgences by the church had become common practice.

People believed that buying an indulgence could supplement the sacrament of penance and assure them a right standing before God. Martin Luther, a German priest and professor of theology at Wittenberg, came to believe otherwise. His list of propositions for debate within the church on the efficacy of indulgences—known as “Luther’s 95 Theses”—set off a firestorm of debate.

Further, he believed if people actually read the Bible in their own language, they could read the truth for themselves. He was excommunicated. When ordered to recant, he refused: “My conscience is bound in the word of God. I cannot and will not recant!”

Share

More Book Minute Features

October 14, 2019

Eisenhower's Inaugural Verses

President Dwight Eisenhower was born on this day in 1890. Shortly before his first inauguration in 1953, the president-elect asked Billy Graham to sug...
October 07, 2019

Fanny Crosby: Prolific Blind Hymn Writer

Fanny Crosby, though blind from a very young age, became a prolific hymn writer. Fanny Crosby was 15 when she was enrolled at the newly founded New Y...
September 30, 2019

Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address

The Battle of Gettysburg in July, 1863, was an attack by Confederate troops on the North — on their own soil! General Lee’s plan was to win, thereby d...