To combat abuses in the church of his day, Martin Luther drafted nearly a hundred propositions for public debate. The young German monk posted these "theses" on the church door in Wittenberg, an action that helped to give birth to the Reformation.
Nearly everyone has heard of the Ninety-Five Theses, but few have read it. "This is such a crucial text," writes editor Stephen J. Nichols, "that it deserves to be read widely." He has written an illuminating introduction and many explanatory notes (conveniently located on facing pages), putting Luther's classic statement in everyone's reach.
"Martin Luther has left a legacy that continues to enrich the church through his writings ...," writes Nichols. "All of this may be traced back to the last day in October 1517 and the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door."
Martin Luther (1483-1546) was born in Germany and is famous for his protest, The Ninety-five Theses, which he nailed to the door of the castle church of Wittenberg. The son of middle-class parents, Luther left his comfortable life to become a monk. Luther's own spiritual awakening was sparked by his study of the Greek text of Paul's letter to the Romans, which challenged him with the statement, "The just shall live by faith." His study and teaching of the Greek text of the New Testament represent the beginnings of modern textual study, and his widely disseminated writings sparked the Protestant Reformation in Europe.