What Were The 95 Thesis Title Page For Dissertation
Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better.Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.However, Luther phrased his criticism to suggest that the pope might be ignorant of the abuses and at any rate should be given the benefit of the doubt.It provided Leo a graceful exit from the indulgences campaign if he wished to take it. Luther’s Ninety-five Theses hit a nerve in the depths of the authority structure of the medieval church.The Roman Catholic Church claimed it had been placed in charge of a “treasury of merits” of all of the good deeds that saints had done (not to mention the deeds of Christ, who made the treasury infinitely deep). This much needs to be understood to make sense of Luther’s Ninety-five Theses: the selling of indulgences for full remission of sins intersected perfectly with the long, intense struggle Luther himself had experienced over the issues of salvation and assurance.For those trapped by their own sinfulness, the church could write a certificate transferring to the sinner some of the merits of the saints. At this point of collision between one man’s gospel hope and the church’s denial of that hope the Ninety-five Theses can be properly understood.Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ’s people, “The cross, the cross,” where there is no cross. Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells. And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.
In later years he called the pope “the Antichrist” and burned his writings, but here his tone is merely cautionary, hoping the pope will come to his senses.
At the same time, the church became more and more uncomfortable with the radical Luther and, in the following decades, the spark that he made grew into a flame of reformation that spread across Europe.
Luther was ordered by the church to recant in 1520 and was eventually exiled in 1521.
That fact combined with the intended audience and largely academic tone of the writing indicates Luther didn’t write the document for mass consumption. Regardless, it was translated into the common Germanic language of Saxony and was reportedly posted on the door of the Schlosskirche (the Castle Church of Wittenberg) on October 31, 1517.
Luther’s Ninety-five Theses focuses on three main issues: selling forgiveness (via indulgences) to build a cathedral, the pope’s claimed power to distribute forgiveness, and the damage indulgences caused to grieving sinners.
But you might be surprised to learn that the Ninety-five Theses, even though this document that sparked the Reformation, was not about these issues.