Western Civilization 2 lesson 5

What were the Ninety-Five Theses about? What was the basic message of Luther’s complaint?

In 1517, Martin Luther released his 95 theses to the world, and more importantly, to the Catholic Church. The 95 Theses are a set of documents that points out everything Luther found wrong with the practices of the Church and the Pope in the 16th century. Everything from infant baptism to monasticism made Luther’s list, but the focus of the Theses was on the sale of indulgences. (Indulgences are defined as the forgiveness of eternal sin for a soul in purgatory through the act of paying the Clergy.) When Luther published the 95 Theses, he meant for someone to step up to debate with him but he only ended up wounding the Clergy’s inflated sense of self-importance. However, he still gained an incredible amount of followers when he tacked that piece of paper onto the Church door in Wittenberg. Martin Luther never would have anticipated how he would change the world with his 95 theses.

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