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Did Martin Luther Start The Reformation?

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Kath Senior answered
He was certainly important in the early evens that led to the Reformation. Luther in Germany, like many others, turned away from the traditional Catholic church and started to preach what he saw as the true way God should be worshipped. He took particular issue with the Catholic doctrine that the church and its priests and heirarchy were the only way to God. Luther looked at the scriptures and saw there was no such teaching there, and that God could work through ordinary people without the need for a church. He was opposed to the wealth of the church and the belief that salvation could be 'paid for'.

On October 31 1517, Luther posted his 95 theses against these and other doctrines to the door of the Cathedral in Wittenberg – whether he actually did this, or just posted them to his immediate bishop is still debated, but the important thing seems to have been that the theses could be published and distributed – in German – for anyone who could read to read.

The invention of the printing press about 60 years earlier was a fortuitous event – without the printing press, there may not have been a reformation, or certainly not one sparked off by Martin Luther. In fact, there is some debate amongst scholars whether there was a single reformation that can be described as The Reformation. There was a general change in doctrine, with people becoming less favourable to the old Catholic doctrines in many countries in Europe between about 1510 and 1540.

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