12 Memorable Quotes From Martin Luther's 95 Theses

Expand | Collapse
German theologian Martin Luther

This year marks 500 years since German monk Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to a church door in the German city of Wittenberg, sparking the Protestant Reformation.

On Sunday, Oct. 29, churches across the nation celebrate Reformation Sunday in honor of the anniversary of Luther's action.

Luther's theses, or points of debate, argued against various practices of the Roman Catholic Church and addressed matters regarding salvation and works.

A big focus was on the indulgences, a common practice at the time which involved giving something, oftentimes money, to the Church in return for receiving forgiveness.

Here are 12 memorable statements from one of the most important and history-changing documents in western civilization.

German theologian and religious reformer Martin Luther

"The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons."

 

(Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)Plastic statuettes of 16th-century Protestant reformer Martin Luther, which are part of the art installation "Martin Luther - I'm standing here" by German artist Ottmar Hoerl, are pictured in the main square in Wittenberg, eastern Germany, August 11, 2010.

"God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest."

 

"The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to the canons themselves, nothing should be imposed on the dying."

 

 

(Photo: YouTube)

"Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers."

 

(Photo: Peace Missionary Baptist Church)Volunteers at Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina package about 10,000 meals to go to the needy in developing countries.

"Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences."

 

"Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God's wrath."

 

REUTERS/Brian Snyder"Maranatha" means "the Lord is coming"

"The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God."

 

(Photo: Reuters)Pope Francis I swings an incense burner to bless a statue of the Virgin Mary, Vatican, May 11, 2014.

"To consider papal indulgences so great that they could absolve a man even if he had done the impossible and had violated the mother of God is madness."

 

(Photo: Reuters/Max Rossi)A view shows faithful gathering in St. Peter's Square as Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at the Vatican March 29, 2015.

"Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church?"

 

(Photo:Reuters/Paul Hanna)Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican is silhouetted during sunset in Rome, March 11, 2013.

"Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?"

 

(Photo: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini)Saint Peter's Basilica is pictured at the Vatican March 7, 2013.

"What greater blessing could come to the church than if the pope were to bestow these remissions and blessings on every believer a hundred times a day, as he now does but once?"

 

(Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)Plastic statuettes of 16th-century Protestant reformer Martin Luther, which are part of the art installation 'Martin Luther - I'm standing here' by German artist Ottmar Hoerl, are pictured in the main square in Wittenberg, eastern Germany, August 11, 2010. The installation of 800 one-metre high figurines, based on a statue of Martin Luther on the town square and intended to replace it while it is being renovated. Hoerl's creation has created some controversy, with some Protestant theologians saying the statuettes, make a mockery of Luther's achievements.

"To repress these very sharp arguments of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies and to make Christians unhappy."

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook