Martin Luther

Martin Luther

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  • Soon after Luther’s birth, his family moved from Eisleben to the small town of Mansfeld, 10 miles to the northwest. His father, Hans Luther, who prospered in the local copper-refining business, became a town councillor of Mansfeld in 1492.
  • The University of Erfurt, was one of the best German universities at this time. This is most likely the reason Luther's father chose this university for his son. During Luther's time, before one could study a specific field (Law, Medicine, Theology), you had to learn the 7 Liberal Arts. Luther did this, received his Baccaleureat in 1502 and then received his Master's degree in 1505. His father hoped that the law studies would go as well, and that his son would soon have a good position in a law practice somewhere.
  • According to legend it was during a terrible storm that Luther decided to become a monk. He did not change his mind when his friends and father tried to convince the successful student to continue his law studies. He entered the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt in 1505 and took his monk's vow in 1506. The life of a monk during Luther's time was hard, and consisted of fasting, prayer and work. A monk's day began at 3 am with the first hourly prayers. This time molded Luther, above all he found a close relationship to the Bible which characterized his later life and work.
  • After recieving his doctorate in Theology in 1512, Luther took a position as Theology Professor at the Wittenberg University 'Leucorea'. He gave lectures over the Psalms, Letter to the Romans, Letter to the Galatians, and Letter to the Hebrews. This time is characterised by Luther's grappling with religious understanding. His decisive religious enlightenment is said to have come during his intensive study of the Letter to the Romans during which time he realized that people receive justice through the grace of God, not through good works: "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "The one who is righteous will live by faith."
  • Luther set off on his last trip on January 17, 1546, to his birthplace Eisleben (only in German). Although he was drawn with illness, he went to settle a dispute among the Mansfeld Counts. The negotiations endedsuccessfully.
  • Luther did not have the energy to return to Wittenberg. He died on February 18, 1546 in Eisleben. On his death bed, he prayed "Into your hands, I command my spirit. You have saved me, Father, you faithful God."
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