GKE1 Task 2
Western Governors University
Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Saxony, now Germany, in 1483 and died in 1546. (Martin Luther and the 95 Theses. 2013) During his 63 years of life he set in motion many changes that would take place in the world. His two most significant changes were his key role in the Protestant Revolution and the translation of the Bible into German, which later was translated into English, thus making it available for all to read.
Luther was originally attending school at the University of Erfurt and training to become a lawyer when he was caught in a severe thunderstorm and, after nearly being struck by lightning, pledged ...view middle of the document...
These writings were rapidly distributed around Germany and became the basis of many people questioning the Catholic Church and its leaders. Eventually, Luther became so bold as to call the Pope of the time the “Antichrist” which eventually led Luther’s excommunication from the Catholic Church in 1521. (Martin Luther and the 95 Theses. 2013)
The Protestant Revolution led way for many different Christian religions as it branched throughout Europe. People such as John Calvin and King Henry VIII continued molding and changing the idea of Christianity and breaking off from the Catholic Church until it no longer wielded as much power over Europe as it once did.
Luther’s translation of the New Testament into German in 1522, with the Old Testament following shortly after in 1534 (Martin Luther, n.d.) led to the Bible being available for reading by anyone who possessed that skill. This was a very large change from earlier when only the priests and those higher in the Catholic Church could read it and pass on what they wanted their congregations to hear. This changed the course of history by putting the Bible into the individual’s hands and letting them interpret what it said.
Luther learned through his studies of the Bible and believed that it was intended “as a lamp to the believer’s path” (Wilson, 2007) and that as many people should have access to read it for themselves and that the individual should be able to choose their own path to salvation. The individual was given the power that previously resided with only those in power in the Catholic Church.
Within a few years of this being published, lay people were coming up with their own interpretations and were writing their own devotionals and pamphlets. (Wilson, 2007) With the individual making their own discoveries they could challenge the long held belief of the castes and everyone being in their “proper” place on the totem pole. Suddenly, the peasant was on equal footing with the priest and thus, the church began losing some of its power. When the Bible was translated into English by Tyndale in 1525-1526 (Martin Luther, n.d.) it paved the way for further insights and eventually gave all of Europe’s inhabitant’s access to the Bible.
One could say that Luther and his bold statements and actions led to the beginning of democracy and eventually the founding of Christianity as we know it today. While it is well documented that Luther never set out to bring down the Catholic Church, his actions did eventually lead to its fall from the ultimate power. This makes Martin Luther’s role in the Protestant Revolution and his translation of the Bible his most significant contributions.
Martin Luther King, Jr. brought many changes to the United States in his short life. The two biggest contributions that he made to the United States were his introduction of peaceful protestation and the great role he played in the fight against discrimination. Not just racial, but all types of...