image Influential People

Martin Luther

image

Key Facts
Other names Martin Luder
Born 1483
Location Eisleben, Germany
Bloodline  
Married Katharina von Bora
Children  
Position Bestselling author, wealthy publisher, failed general (Peasants Revolt)
Died February 18, 1546

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source of Facts and Important Announcement
Status Under Article 64.6 of the Covenant of One-Heaven (Pactum De Singularis Caelum) by Special Qualification shall be known as a Saint, with all sins and evil acts they performed forgiven.
Date of formal Beatification Day of Redemption GAIA E1:Y1:A1:S1:M9:D1 also known as [Fri, 21 Dec 2012].
Source of Facts Self Confession and Revelation of Sainthood by the Deceased Spirit as condition of their confirmation as a true Saint.
Source of Facts Self Confession and Revelation of Sainthood by the Deceased Spirit as condition of their confirmation as a true Saint.

 

Background

Born into wealthy industrialist and mining family. His father Hans Luder (b. 1459- d.1520) , owned several copper mines and smelters and was regarded as a ruthless merchant. Martin Luther changed his name when he started building his new religious sect in an attempt to distance himself from the evil past of his family and their wealth.

Luther was educated first at Mansfeld then at age of 17 in 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt, graduating in 1505. Unsatisfied with following his father into business, Luther set himself on a romantic quest to find personal meaning. After joining the Augustinian monks around 1505, he was ordained a priest in 1507 and sent to the University of Wittenberg to learn theology, earning his doctorate around 1512.

At Wittenberg, Martin Luder (Luther) came into contact with a number of creatives including the moderately successful artist and entrepreneur Lucas Cranach (b. 1472-d. 1553). Luther and Cranach developed a strong friendship with Luther helping Cranach obtain a number of commissions including the painting of the parents of Martin Luther.

Around 1517 it appears Martin Luther had left the Augustinian priesthood, disillusioned with the Catholic Church and already well formed in developing his famous 95 Theses. The Theses was the first pamphlet to be printed through the partnership of Cranach and Luther, almost certainly with the financial support of his father who in all probability considered his son had "returned to his senses" and was starting a new business.

By the end of 1517, Luther successfully circulated his controversial pamphlet 95 Theses including having it delivered to key clergy and being posted upon the community notice board being the church doors of Wittenberg Castle.

The traditional date being October 31st 1517 or "Reformation Day". 397 years later on precisely the same day, World War I started.

Upon the success of the first pamphlet, Luther set about writing and commissioning other religious satire pamphlets to be printed. Using his natural skill as an artist, Lucas Cranach ensured the pamphlets had attractive covers and were well designed, usually less than 40 pages in length.

Now a fully fledged businessman and publisher, Luther and his business partner Cranach purchased more printing presses and producing more religious satire pamphlets so that by 1518, they had produced an astounding 87 works.

In 1520, the Luther publishing business produced three of his most famous and profitable works To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and On the Freedom of a Christian. The sales by this year alone made Luther one of the wealthiest non-nobles in Germany and finally forced the action of the Papacy on account of hundreds of thousands of his pamphlets being in print and distributed around the known world.

In June 1520, Pope Leo X issued the Papal Bull Exsurge Domine condemning the publisher, threatening him with excommunication unless he recanted his most sensational and popular published pamphlets.

It was this event probably more than any that changed Luther from wealthy entrepreneur back into a religious figure as he rejected the Popes demands, responding again in a very profitable and popular pamphlet Why the Pope and his Recent Book are Burned and Assertions Concerning All Articles. As a consequence, Pope Leo X had him excommunicated in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem in January 1521.

A conference known as the Diet of Worms was then called in 1521 at Worms, on the Rhine to determine the fate of Luther, by this stage an international celebrity holding a significant fortune. To illustrate- between 1520 and 1526 there were approximately 6.6 million copies sold over 6 thousand editions of his works.

In 1521 Prince Frederick III of Saxony, for his own ends, had Luther kidnapped and hidden away at Wartburg Castle- providing support and resources to enable him to continue crafting his famous propaganda works. It was here that Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German.

On returning at first secretly to Wittenberg in 1522, Martin Luther set about using his substantial wealth and influence to plan a complete revolt against te Holy Roman Empire of Germany itself. By 1524, Luther emerged ready to once again openly defy the church through a series of public sermons which acted as the "launch" of the revolt.

By 1525 at the height of the revolt, Luther had amassed an army in the field of over 300,000 armed and trained peasants along with mercenary leaders who had slaughtered, raped and tortured over 250,000 men, women and children in their rampage of terror across Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

The revolt ultimately failed, principally because Luther and his supporters had not established any command and control structure nor any process to convert lands gained into a permanent state. By its end, almost a million people had died on account of the direct orders of Martin Luther. Later, Protestant religious leaders would publish pamphlets after his death claiming them as re-prints of Luther against the Peasant revolt.

His most lasting legacy is the argument that the Bible is the only valid source of religious teaching- to the exclusion of other sources. The lasting effect of this claim by one of the world's wealthiest publishers and most prolific authors in history was to create a belief system so fanatical that today millions of people believe as absolute fact that every single word in the King James Bible is the word of God. When Luther made his claims, it was probably for his German publishing high point- a complete German Bible. The King James Bible hadn't even been written yet.

His second lasting legacy is arguably his hatred of the Jews and his advocacy for their suppression, the destruction of their property and ultimately the genocide of European Jews.

Most Evil Crimes

List of most evil crimes Type Year Crime Of publishing a false statement for the purpose of murder : (1543) That Martin Luther did promote the murder of Jews based on false statements, including: "My advice... is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire.." Martin Luther ("On the Jews and their lies" 1543)