Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence
In Catholic theology, an indulgence is the full or partial remission of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven. The indulgence is granted by the Catholic Church after the sinner has confessed and received absolution...

 salesman Johann Tetzel
Johann Tetzel
Johann Tetzel was a German Dominican preacher known for selling indulgences.-Life:Tetzel was born in Pirna, Saxony, and studied theology and philosophy at the university of his native city...

 with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

 in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 at the Diet of Worms
Diet of Worms
The Diet of Worms 1521 was a diet that took place in Worms, Germany, and is most memorable for the Edict of Worms , which addressed Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation.It was conducted from 28 January to 25 May 1521, with Emperor Charles V presiding.Other Imperial diets at...

 in 1521 resulted in his excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

 by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, this takes the burden of active prosecution of a criminal from the authorities. Instead, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute...

 by the Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 as redeemer from sin.

1512    Martin Luther becomes a doctor of theology (''Doctor in Biblia'').

1512    Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg.

1517    Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

1520    Pope Leo X threatens to excommunicate Martin Luther in papal bull ''Exsurge Domine''.

1520    Martin Luther burns his copy of the papal bull ''Exsurge Domine'' outside Wittenberg's Elster Gate.

1521    Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther in the papal bull ''Decet Romanum Pontificem''.

1521    Martin Luther's first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the empire.

1521    Martin Luther speaks to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.

1521    The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

1525    Martin Luther marries Katharina von Bora, against the celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests and nuns.


When we are inclined to boast of our position [as Christians] we should remember that we are but Gentiles, while the Jews are of the lineage of Christ. We are aliens and in-laws; they are blood relatives, cousins, and brothers of our Lord. Therefore, if one is to boast of flesh and blood the Jews are actually nearer to Christ than we are.

That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew Luther's Works, American Edition (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1962), Volume 45, Page 201