On what was more than likely an ordinary day 500 years ago, Luther nailed his 95 theses, written in Latin, to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. He intended them to be read only by church theologians.
Without Luther’s permission, someone took the 95 theses and translated them into German and printed them. Luther’s ideas went viral, spreading like wildfire throughout the whole of Germany, causing a tremendous stir within the church and with the common people.
WHO WAS THE UNKNOWN PERSON WHO TRANSLATED AND DISTRIBUTED THE 95 THESES?
“Ordinary people didn’t know their Bible because they didn’t have Bibles,” says Dr. Kendall, an admirer of Luther’s and a student of Luther’s life and ministry. “The Roman Catholic Church did not want you to have Bibles. They just told you what the Bible said. Your faith [was] whatever the church believed. For Luther, it was deeper than that.”
In 1520, Luther stood trial before the German emperor, Frederick the Wise, and Cardinal Catejan, and was asked to recant his words. He didn’t, and while awaiting a possible execution, Luther was “kidnapped” by a group of friends, who took him to Wartburg, where he spent 10 months translating the Bible into the common German language.
“Martin Luther began to teach the Bible, and it really began to turn things upside down,” Dr. Kendall says. “People had never heard the Bible explained to them the way he did. They came in droves to hear him preach. And now, 500 years later, people have Bibles, but they don’t read them.”
Extract from article by Steve Strang in Charisma Magazine