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I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.

Thursday
May 25, 2017

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Random Person of the Day: Martin Luther

Martin Luther

Martin Luther

Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 - February 18, 1546) was a German monk, theologian, and church reformer. He is sometimes considered to be the founder of Protestantism.

Luther's theology challenged the authority of the papacy by holding that the Bible is the sole source of religious authority and that all baptized Christians are a general priesthood. According to Luther, salvation was attainable only by faith in Jesus as the Messiah, a faith unmediated by the church. These ideas helped to inspire the Protestant Reformation and changed the course of Western civilization.

Luther's translation of the Bible into the German vernacular, making it more accessible to ordinary people, had a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. The translation also furthered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation of the English King James Bible. His hymns inspired the development of congregational singing within Christianity. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage within Protestantism.

Much scholarly debate has concentrated on Luther's writings about the Jews. His statements that Jews' homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed were revived and used in propaganda by the Nazis in 1933 - 45. As a result of this and his revolutionary theological views, his legacy remains controversial.

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