“THE NINETY-FIVE THESES”. Martin Luther. - 1 -. “The Ninety Five Theses” — the common title to his. “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”. Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at. The 95 Theses of Martin Luther (eBook). pdf, epub, mobi. Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the power and efficacy of Indulgences. October 31,
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anniversary of the publication of the ninety-five theses "on the power and efficacy of indulgences" to be defended publicly by Dr. Martin Luther. 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, " Martin Luther's Treatise on Indulgences" (PDF). Theological Studies. 28 (3): – Document Originally entitled, "Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of 4 Indulgences", the Ninety-Five Theses were written in October.
Luther takes aim at the greed of the Church, reminding them of their responsibility to nurture and care for their flock and not to manipulate them in order to finance St Peters. When I took up this matter against Indulgences, I was so full and drunken, yea, so besotted in papal doctrine that, out of my great zeal, I would have been ready to do murder -- at least, I would have been glad to see and help that murder should be done - on all who would not be obedient and subject to the pope, even to his smallest word.
Luther, Dr. Reed, Henry Eyster Jacobs, et Al. Holman Company, , Vol. Luther was able to harness and highlight the abuses of the religious establishment, making them a widespread controversy in places of both power and poverty. His 95 Theses gave voice to those without one. One one hand, he affirms the legitimacy and importance of the office of the papacy and the role of indulgences but on on the other hand he intends seeks expose perverse practice and preaching of paid indulgences.
In effect, he is calling on the Church to defend its position and nail their true colours to the mast. Luther cared greatly for the Church and what it stood for. His document, along with subsequent ones, was not intended to fracture the church or undermine the importance of the papal office.
Others, however, would achieve this end. Over time, Luther would in some respects, support greater reform. Bibliography Bettenson, Henry, and Maunder, Chris eds.
Documents of the Christian church: Oxford University Press. Penguin UK. Gonzalez, Justo L.
Abingdon Press, Tomlin, Graham. Lion Books. Related Papers. Luthers 95 Theses Document Study. By Colin Battersby. By Victor Christianto. By Yaphase Ya. Re-visioning Reformation Today! By Roy Lazar. Martin Luther Seminar Paper. By Juan Meza Alvarez. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer.
Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? Click here to sign up. Help Center Find new research papers in: Every truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without letters of pardon.
Every true Christian, whether living or dead, has part in all the blessings of Christ and the Church; and this is granted him by God, even without letters of pardon.
Nevertheless, the remission and participation [in the blessings of the Church] which are granted by the pope are in no way to be despised, for as I have said, they are the declaration of divine remission. It is most difficult, even for the very best theologians, to commend to the people the abundance of pardons while at the same time encouraging true contrition.
True contrition seeks and loves penalties, but generous pardons only relax penalties and cause them to be hated, or at least, furnish an occasion [for hating them].
Papal pardons should be preached with caution, lest people falsely think they are preferable to other good works of love. Christians should be taught that the pope does not intend the download of pardons to be compared in any way to works of mercy.
Christians should be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better work than downloading pardons; Because love grows by works of love, and a man becomes a better man; but by pardons he does not grow better, only escapes penalty.
Christians should be taught that he who sees a person in need, and passes him by, and then downloads pardons, downloads not the indulgences of the pope, but the indignation of God. Christians should be taught that unless they have more than they need, they are bound to keep what is necessary for their own families, and should by no means squander it on pardons.
Christians are to be taught that the downloading of pardons is a voluntary matter, and not a legal requirement. Christians should be taught that in granting pardons the pope needs and desires their devout prayer for him more than the money they bring. Christians are to be taught that the pope's pardons are useful only if they do not put their trust in them; but altogether harmful, if they lose their fear of God because of them.
Christians should be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the pardon-preachers, he would rather that St.
Peter's church be reduced to ashes than be built up with the skin, flesh and bones of his sheep. Christians should be taught that it would be the pope's wish, as it is his duty, to give of his own money, even though the church of St.
Peter might have to be sold, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of pardons cajole money. The assurance of salvation by letters of pardon is useless, even though the commissary, or indeed even though the pope himself, were to stake his soul upon it.
They are enemies of Christ and of the pope, who forbid the Word of God to be preached at all in some Churches, in order that pardons may be preached in others. Injury is done the word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or a longer time is spent on pardons than on this word. It must be the intention of the pope that if pardons, which are a very small thing, are celebrated with one bell, with single processions and ceremonies, then the Gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
The "treasures of the Church," out of which the pope grants indulgences, are not sufficiently spoken of or known among the people of Christ.
That they are not temporal treasures is certainly evident, for many of the vendors do not grant such treasures freely, but only collect them. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the Saints, for even without the pope, these always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outward man.
Lawrence said that the treasures of the Church were the Church's poor, but he used the term in accordance with the custom of his own time. Without rashness we say that the keys of the Church are that treasure, given by Christ's merit; For it is clear that the power of the pope is of itself sufficient for the remission of penalties and of reserved cases, But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last.
On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first. Therefore the treasures of the Gospel are nets with which they formerly desired to fish for men of wealth. Now, the treasures of the indulgences are nets with which they fish for the wealth of men.
The indulgences which the preachers cry as the "greatest graces" are in fact truly such only when they promote financial gain. Yet they are in truth the very smallest graces compared with the grace of God and the piety of the Cross. Bishops and curates are bound to receive the commissaries of papal pardons, with all reverence.
But they are under greater obligation to watch closely and listen carefully lest these men preach their own imaginings instead of the commission of the pope.
He who speaks against the validity of apostolic pardons, let him be anathema and accursed! But he who guards against the lust and license of the pardon-preachers, let him be blessed!
The pope justly thunders against those who, by any means, contrive the injury of the traffic in pardons. But much more does he intend to thunder against those who use the pretext of pardons to contrive the injury of holy love and truth.
It is folly to think that the papal pardons are so powerful that they could absolve a man even if he had committed an impossible sin and violated the Mother of God. We say, on the contrary, that the papal pardons are not able to remove the very least of venial sins, so far as its guilt is concerned. It is said that even St.
Peter, if he were now Pope, could not bestow greater graces; this is blasphemy against St. Peter and against the pope. We say, on the contrary, that even the present pope, and any pope at all, has greater graces at his disposal; specifically, the Gospel, powers, gifts of healing, etc.
To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal arms, which is set up [by the preachers of indulgences], is of equal worth with the Cross of Christ, is blasphemy. The bishops, curates and theologians who permit such assertions to be spread among the people will be held accountable for it.
This unbridled preaching of pardons makes it difficult even for learned men to defend the respect due the pope from false accusations, or even from the astute criticisms of the laity; For example: -- "Why does not the pope empty purgatory, for the sake of holy love and of the dire need of the souls that are there, if he can redeem an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a Church? The former reasons would be most just; the latter is most trivial. Again: -- "Why do funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said?