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The Ninety-Five Theses of Martin Luther Research Assignemnt (Essay Sample)


8. Summarize the major points of Luther's Ninety-Five Theses (be sure to incorporate the actual text into your discussion). What are indulgences? What are Luther's particular criticisms of the pope? Why did they have such a strong appeal in Germany? Why were some Catholics dissatisfied with some church policies? Why do historians claim that the Reformation began with Luther's Ninety-Five Theses?


The Ninety-Five Theses of Martin Luther
The Ninety-Five Theses of Martin Luther
Martin Luther, a German priest, presented some of the revolutionary ideas that later served as the catalyst that led to the Protestant church breaking away from the Catholic church in the early eighties. Martin Luther wrote 95 theses to express his concerns about the corruption within the Catholic Church. His ideas called for reforms within the Catholic Church as he challenged the church to change their mind on this matter (Cotter, 2009).
Despite the fact that “The Ninety-Five Theses" was written earlier by Martin Luther, it contains the basis for his further theological concepts, including criticism of the church's authority abuse, selling indulgence, and distortion of religion. Because of specificities of German economic and political state, Luther's ideas became extremely appealing and served a moving force in the Reformation (Cotter, 2009).
What are indulgences?
According to the Catholic Church, indulgence had great value because it assured those who bought it complete forgiveness of sins, participation in God's grace and freedom from purgatory (Buchheim, 1883). An indulgence can be partial or complete cutback of punishment of our sins that is granted by the Catholic Church. Indulgence is an inducement to perform good works of mercy demanded by the Lord as part of the condition to attain salvation (Buchheim, 1883).
The Catholic Church believed that someone with indulgence ticket would be absolved from all sins and punishment and would be permitted to exchange any vows for an agreeable good work. Indulgence provided full remission to the departed souls in purgatory (Buchheim, 1883). The person who sold these certificates was a Dominican monk named John Tetzel, who claimed that Red Cross printed on the indulgence certificate represented the cross of Christ (Buchheim, 1883).
Indulgences were given by executive papal order, including a written permission (Buchheim, 1883). During the eleventh century, it became mandatory to issue indulgences to volunteers who took part in church crusades, their sins were forgiven for participating in religious activities. At one point, indulgence was granted to pilgrims who visited holy shrines in Rome during jubilee year that is after every hundred years (Buchheim, 1883).
Summary of the major points of Luther's Ninety-Five Theses
One of the major concerns expressed by Martin Luther was on indulgences; he opposed the idea of church officials selling indulgences to people as a way of releasing them from penitence for their wrongful deeds (Cotter, 2009).In summary, Martin advocated for true repentance; he stated that papal indulges does not necessarily remove guilt (Cotter, 2009).
He cautioned people to be aware that the pope can only remove certain penalties that he imposed; therefore, he did not have any jurisdiction over purgatory (Cotter, 2009). In his statement, he referred to Christ stating, “‘whatsoever I have bound in heaven you may loose on earth (Sloan, 2015).' Martin Luther questioned indulgences stating the fact that, if the pope had the power to release people from purgatory, he should also abolish purgatory by releasing everyone. For the sake of holy love, the pope needs to empty the place (Cotter, 2009).
Martin Luther particular criticism of the p

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