About the Book
Non-Fiction, Historical Theology
August 8, 2017
In 1517, an unknown Augustinian monk, informed by his growing belief
that salvation is by faith alone, published and distributed a stark
criticism of papal abuses in the Catholic Church. In doing so, Martin
Luther lit the spark for what would become the Protestant Reformation.
What became known as the “95 Theses” was a series of statements
expressing concern with corruption within the church, primarily the
selling of “indulgences” to the people as a means of releasing them from
acts of penitence.
For the five hundredth anniversary of Luther’s revolutionary writing,
This volume combines each thesis with an excerpt from one of his later
works to provide a convenient way to understand the ideas and concepts
that became the seeds of the Protestant Reformation.
Print out a fun Luther mask here.
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author
Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a German monk, priest, professor of
theology, and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly
disputed the sale of indulgences, the church’s practice of selling
pieces of paper that guaranteed freedom from God’s punishment for sin.
In 1517, Luther directly confronted this and other papal abuses by
publishing his “95 Theses.” In 1534, Luther published a complete
translation of the Bible into German.
Guest Post from Whitaker House Publishing
In 1517, a thriving new industry was
sweeping northern Germany. Begun a few centuries earlier, its
reappearance in the 16th century was perhaps the cleverest abuse of
church power to date. Church officials strapped for cash decided to
offer remission from the punishment for sins, or “indulgence,” to German
believers in return for a commensurate amount of money. The slick
church salesmanship of indulgences incensed one young priest, who
believed that faithful Christians were being manipulated and the Word of
God misinterpreted. He wrote a pamphlet comprised of 95 claims that he
hoped would inspire scholarly debate. Titled Disputation of Dr. Martin Luther Concerning Penitence and Indulgences, it went down in history as “The 95 Theses.”
Most historians believe that Martin
Luther did not intend to spark a public debate. It was written in Latin,
the language of scholars, and pinned to the door of the Wittenberg
Castle Church which served as a “bulletin board” of sorts, where Luther
knew fellow theologians would see it and perhaps engage in a discussion
on the topic.
Luther’s pamphlet, however, was not
another piece of paper flapping in the wind. Someone translated into
German, and distributed it to the public with the help of a recent
invention—the printing press. Luther tried to retrieve his work, but the
damage was done. Within weeks, the debate that began in Wittenberg
spread throughout Germany, and within months, all of Europe.
Five hundred years later, Whitaker
House presents each of Luther’s 95 Theses paired with an excerpt from
his many writings. Not every excerpt directly relates to the
accompanying thesis, but we endeavored to select passages in which
Luther was expounding on the same subject. Where further explanation was
thought necessary to contextualize his words, a footnote is included.
We hope you find 95: The Ideas That Changed the World an
accessible and fascinating look into the ideas of this groundbreaking
priest who stood up for God’s Word, the grace of the gospel—and made
To celebrate the tour, Whitaker House is giving away
Grand Prize: 95: The Ideas That Birthed
the Reformation by Martin Luther, KJVER Sword Study Bible/Personal Size
Large Print-Burgundy Genuine Leather ($60 value), Whitaker House/Anchor
First Place: 95: The Ideas That Birthed the Reformation by Martin
Luther, “This is The Day” ceramic mug from Christian Arts Gifts,
Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book
Second Place: 95: The Ideas That Birthed the Reformation by Martin Luther, Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book!!