Martin Luther

RTR-author-1024x1024_0001_3 - martin luther in etching style

“A Christian is free and independent in every respect, a bond servant to none. A Christian is a dutiful servant in every respect, owing a duty to everyone.”
– Luther

b. 1483 CE – d. 1546 CE

Martin Luther was a German monk and theologian whose unflinching critique of the Roman Catholic Church and passionate challenges to its authority led him to become the father of the Protestant Reformation.

Thanks to the printing press, Luther’s ideas were more easily and quickly disseminated than those of religious reformers who came before him. What began as an academic, theologic questioning of the church’s unpopular practice of selling indulgences as a means for salvation evolved into rejection of Catholic theology and eventually a religious and political revolution within all of Europe.

Because of his convictions, Luther also sought to make Christian scripture more accessible to the everyday person and produced a translation of the New Testament in the German language. This contributed to the standardization of the German language and set a new precedent that opened the doors for the Bible to become accessible in a variety of vernacular languages (not just Latin). Luther’s emphasis on the importance of the Bible, the centrality of grace and church community (as opposed to church authority) continue to have a lasting influence within Protestant Christianity.