Martin Luther was born in a wealthy family since his father Hans Luther was a prosperous businessman in the copper refining industry. Luther began his education in a Latin school and later he earned his baccalaureate and master’s degrees from the University of Erfurt. He was sharp in school, and that is how he earned his nickname The Philosopher. His studies involved liberal arts, and after receiving his master’s degree, he was eligible to pursue a graduate course in one of the three higher disciplines which are medicine, theology, and law (Hillerbrand). Just as his father wished, Luther decided to pursue law, but less than six weeks after his decision he changed his mind and decided to pursue theology.
His father Hans Luther was disappointed and said, “May it not prove an illusion and deception.” However, Martin Luther explained the reason he made the decision. He was so scared about a violent thunderstorm that he promised to become a monk if he survived the storm. After surviving the storm, he kept his word despite making the promise under duress (Hillerbrand). As a monk, he was involved in prayer and fasting and other ascetic practices. He was successful as a monk and made great accomplishments. He took a doctorate in the Bible and became a professor where he taught at Wittenberg University. He talked about having faith and humility and gave various teachings related to the two.
Luther disagreed with several teachings of the Roman Catholic and disputed their view about indulgences. As Hillerbrand stated, “He dispatched a copy of the Ninety-five Theses to Tetzel’s superior, Archbishop Albert of Mainz, along with a request that Albert put a stop to Tetzel’s extravagant preaching; he also sent copies to a number of friends.” He disagreed with the authority of the pope stating that any authority regarding the church should be from God and guided by the Bible. He was also able to translate the Bible to German vernacular which had an impact on the art of translation (Hillerbrand). He was also able to come up with hymns that are used in the Protestant churches. These achievements among others show the transition of Luther from being a sinner to serving God.
Hillerbrand Hans J. “Martin Luther. German Religious Leader.” Britannica, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Luther