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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Martin Luther's Theses

Did you ever read all of the 95 theses? I admit I hadn't. I knew what they were but I'd never actually read them in depth. Wow! No wonder they shook the world!
I watched a documentary a while back about Martin Luther and his Theses. In 1517 he published the results of his study with a sincere desire to reform the Catholic Church. Of course, we know that didn't happen and he had to confront the politics of the Catholic priesthood of his time in a number of trials. They were called other things, but basically Luther was on trial and required to defend his theses. He tried for the next four years to present his teaching in the venue of the Church, but in 1520 he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X. His t
preaching became the basis of the Lutheran movement. You might want to check out the Wikipedia post on him.

Although the Lord gave him wonderful insight into the Word, if we read the theses we can see clearly the lingering effect of Catholic teachings. Yet, the core of the theses condemns the Catholic church on many fronts. When I read them I was amazed at his audacity. He truly had to be empowered by God to take the step he did and stand so firmly behind his leading. I was moved by his statements on several points. We have heard these theses preached on in the Church of God for many years without knowing exactly what they say. Take time to go and read them all. They are a little hard to understand in some instances, but you will be blessed by putting in the time to work your way through them. I copied them all off onto a document and did a bit of paraphrasing so I could track the thoughts easier. It was a fantastic study and a real blessing.

Even more than all that, he was responsible for the initiation of translating the Word of God into a language the common people could read. Today there are bibles everywhere. You can buy inexpensive ones in WalMart or Target. You can get better quality in a bookstore or a really fine leather-bound copy in a Bible bookstore. We have literally dozens of translations of varying quality and veracity. It is difficult for us to imagine that once it was not available anywhere. The available copies were kept carefully safe in the libraries of the Catholic Church and the few intellectual elites who could read the Latin or original languages. Luther saw the need for everyman to be able to read the Word of God in his own language and translated the first testament into German.

"His translation of the Bible into the language of the people (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, causing a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation into English of the King James Bible" (wikipedia)

If you have never studied the life of Martin Luther I encourage you to do so. Keep in mind his time and background when you find inconsistencies to the Light we have today. Consider the giant step he took on faith. You will be blessed.

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