Over 500 Years Since Martin Luther’s 95 Theses Ignited Reformation

More than 500 years ago, in 1517, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses was written. It attacked the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences,” or what we might call “selling salvation passes for money.” Martin Luther was a Pastor who, among numerous other 16th century Priests and Pastors, began to criticize the Catholic Church that they served.

Luther believed in two ideas; that the Bible was the center of all religious authority and that humans reached salvation only through their faith and not their deeds. His criticisms were stated in a document, titled “95 Theses”, which ultimately ignited the Protestant Reformation. On October 31, 1519, Luther boldly posted the “95 Theses” on the door of the quaint Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther hoped initially that the Catholic church would repent and see the error of their ways but instead, Luther was forced into hiding during the Reformation because his life was in constant jeopardy.

The Castle Church, Luther’s hiding places, homes of Dietrich Bonhoffer, John Calvin, the Anabaptists, the famous Wartburg Castle (where Luther was imprisoned), Coburg Fortress, Augustinian Monastery, Johann Sebastian Bach’s church, and Merneptah Stele, the earliest known writings that mention Israel as a nation, located in the Berlin Museum and more are highlighted on our European Reformation tours which focus on the lives of the great reformers and seeing the places in Europe where they lived and served.