Warfield wrote this outstanding article which appeared in The Princeton Theological Review. Once again Warfield found himself standing in opposition to the opinions of many in his day who were very critical of the 95 Theses of Luther.
November 5, What were the 95 Theses? According to historic legend, Martin Luther posted a document on the door of the Wittenberg Church on the 31st October ; a document later referred to as the 95 Theses. This document was questioning rather than accusatory, seeking to inform the Archbishop of Mainz that the selling of indulgences had become corrupt, with the sellers seeking solely to line their own pockets.
It is important, however, to recognise that this was not the action of a man wanting to break away from the Catholic Church. When writing the Ninety-five theses significance Theses, Luther simply intended to bring reform to the centre of the agenda for the Church Council once again; it cannot be stressed enough that he wanted to reform, rather than abandon, the Church.
Nonetheless, the 95 Theses were undoubtedly provocative, leading to debates across the German Lands about what it meant to be a true Christian, with some historians considering the document to be the start of the lengthy process of the Reformation.
But why did Luther write them? Why did Luther write the 95 Theses? The 95 Theses were largely written to oppose the selling of indulgences to the people in order to reduce the time their loved one spent in purgatory. The indulgences trade was authorised by the Archbishop of Mainz and Madgeburg, who was deeply in debt due to his purchase of the bishopric of Mainz.
In exchange for a cut of the profits, the Archbishop permitted Johann Tetzel to sell a series of indulgences to the poor. It was during this time that the indulgence trade was growing.
His outrage at this is evident from the 86th thesis: It is interesting to note that Luther also sent a copy of his 95 Theses directly to Archbishop Albrecht von Brandenburg.
It appears that he legitimately believed that the Archbishop was not aware of the corruption inherent in the indulgence trade led by Tetzel.
This is something which can be considered important later on, for it indicates that Luther did not consider the Church hierarchy redundant at this point.
Why were the 95 Theses significant? Despite the pressure upon Luther to immediately recant his position, he did not. This in part led to the Leipzig debate in summer with Johann Eck. This debate forced Luther to clarify some of his theories and doctrinal stances against the representative of the Catholic Church.
The debate focused largely on doctrine; in fact, the debate regarding indulgences was only briefly mentioned in the discussions between the two men. Why was this therefore not the primary purpose of the debate?
In the debate he was forced to conclude that Church Councils had the potential to be erroneous in their judgements. Yet it is important to bear in mind that, had the pope offered a reconciliation, Luther would have returned to the doctrine of the established Church.
An interesting point to consider about the aftermath of the 95 Theses is the attitude of the Catholic Church. It immediately sought to identify Luther as someone who had strayed from the true way and was therefore a heretic; it refused to recognise that Luther had valid complaints which were shared by many across Western Christendom.
The 95 Theses could have been taken at face value and used as an avenue to reform, as Luther intended. Instead, the papal hierarchy sought to discredit Luther, and keep to the status quo. What made the 95 Theses significant? A document written in Latin and posted on a door like most other academic debates, it does not seem obvious when considering the 95 Theses alone to see just how they became as significant as they did.
A major explanation for its significance was the rise of print culture during the sixteenth century. Following the creation of the printing press, printed books and pamphlets could be produced more cheaply than ever before.Ninety-five theses definition, the theses of Luther against the sale of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church, posted by him on the door of a church in Wittenberg, October 31, See more.
THE NINETY-FIVE THESES IN THEIR THEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE Benjamin B Warfield In , at the th anniversary of the Reformation, Benjamin B. Warfield wrote this outstanding article which appeared in The Princeton Theological Review.
The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences is a list of propositions for an academic disputation written in by Martin Luther, professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg, Germany, that started the Reformation, a schism in the Catholic Church which profoundly changed Europe.
Oct 29, · Watch video · Popular legend has it that on October 31, Luther defiantly nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church. What made the 95 Theses significant? A document written in Latin and posted on a door like most other academic debates, it does not seem obvious when considering the 95 Theses alone to see just how they became as significant as they did.
Ninety-five theses definition, the theses of Luther against the sale of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church, posted by him on the door of a .