More interesting was the visit to the museum where more background was given on the history of it all. In the last decades the church has been restorded but lost most of its worshippers. Nowadays Wittenberg and particularly the Schlosskirche continue to face an uphill struggle to be more than a touristic hotspot. Nevertheless they should not raise expectations that bear no accord with reality.
letter cover appropriate
If the intent of the visit is not spiritual but to learn more about Luther than it could prove very helpful. Wonderful church with all the historic significance of the reformation. The 95 thesis are engraved on the door although it is not the original door which was destroyed in a fire. The atmosphere is wonderful with he pulpit that Martin Luther preached from and his grave, not to be missed.
BBC World Service - Witness History, Martin Luther's 95 Theses
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Filter reviews. Traveler rating. Excellent Very good Average Poor Terrible 6. Traveler type. Time of year. Language All languages. All languages. English German Portuguese More languages. Danish Italian They also, according to Luther, discouraged Christians from giving to the poor and performing other acts of mercy, believing that indulgence certificates were more spiritually valuable.
Martin Luthers 95 Theses
Though Luther claimed that his positions on indulgences accorded with those of the Pope , the Theses challenge a 14th-century papal bull stating that the pope could use the treasury of merit and the good deeds of past saints to forgive temporal punishment for sins. The Theses are framed as propositions to be argued in debate rather than necessarily representing Luther's opinions, but Luther later clarified his views in the Explanations of the Disputation Concerning the Value of Indulgences.
Luther sent the Theses enclosed with a letter to Albert of Brandenburg , Archbishop of Mainz , on 31 October , a date now considered the start of the Reformation and commemorated annually as Reformation Day. Luther may have also posted the Theses on the door of All Saints' Church and other churches in Wittenberg, in accordance with University custom, on 31 October or in mid-November. The Theses were quickly reprinted, translated, and distributed throughout Germany and Europe. They initiated a pamphlet war with the indulgence preacher Johann Tetzel , which spread Luther's fame even further.
Luther's ecclesiastical superiors had him tried for heresy , which culminated in his excommunication in Though the Theses were the start of the Reformation, Luther did not consider indulgences to be as important as other theological matters which would divide the church, such as justification by faith alone and the bondage of the will. His breakthrough on these issues would come later, and he did not see the writing of the Theses as the point at which his beliefs diverged from those of the Roman Catholic Church.
Martin Luther , professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg and town preacher,  wrote the Ninety-five Theses against the contemporary practice of the church with respect to indulgences.
Luther's posting of the 95 Theses - did it actually happen?
In the Roman Catholic Church, practically the only Christian church in Western Europe at the time, indulgences are part of the economy of salvation. In this system, when Christians sin and confess , they are forgiven and no longer stand to receive eternal punishment in hell, but may still be liable to temporal punishment. By an indulgence which may be understood in the sense of "kindness" , this temporal punishment could be lessened.
Popes are empowered to grant plenary indulgences, which provide complete satisfaction for any remaining temporal punishment due to sins, and these were purchased on behalf of people believed to be in purgatory. This led to the popular saying, "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs".
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Theologians at the University of Paris had criticized this saying late in the 15th century. Jan Hus and his followers had advocated a more severe system of penance, in which indulgences were not available. Rulers often sought to receive a portion of the proceeds or prohibited indulgences altogether, as Duke George did in Luther's Electoral Saxony. In , Pope Leo X granted a plenary indulgence intended to finance the construction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. All other indulgence preaching was to cease for the eight years in which it was offered.
Indulgence preachers were given strict instructions on how the indulgence was to be preached, and they were much more laudatory of the indulgence than those of earlier indulgences. Luther also had experience with the indulgences connected to All Saints' Church, Wittenberg. After hearing what Tetzel had said about indulgences in his sermons, Luther began to study the issue more carefully, and contacted experts on the subject. He preached about indulgences several times in , explaining that true repentance was better than purchasing an indulgence.
A truly repentant sinner would also not seek an indulgence, because they loved God's righteousness and desired the inward punishment of their sin. It is a cautious and searching examination of the subject. The iconic first thesis states, "When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, 'Repent,' he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. The pope can only announce God's forgiveness of the guilt of sin in his name. Theses 14—16 discuss the idea that the punishment of purgatory can be likened to the fear and despair felt by dying people.
He denies that the pope has any power over people in purgatory in theses 25 and In theses 27—29, he attacks the idea that as soon as payment is made, the payer's loved one is released from purgatory. He sees it as encouraging sinful greed, and says it is impossible to be certain because only God has ultimate power in forgiving punishments in purgatory. Theses 30—34 deal with the false certainty Luther believed the indulgence preachers offered Christians.
Learning About Luther
Since no one knows whether a person is truly repentant, a letter assuring a person of his forgiveness is dangerous. In theses 35 and 36, he attacks the idea that an indulgence makes repentance unnecessary. This leads to the conclusion that the truly repentant person, who alone may benefit from the indulgence, has already received the only benefit the indulgence provides.
Truly repentant Christians have already, according to Luther, been forgiven of the penalty as well as the guilt of sin. Theses 39 and 40 argue that indulgences make true repentance more difficult.