“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,
|Language:||English, Spanish, French|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Register to download]|
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.
Christianity: A global history. Penguin UK, , He is stating that the kind of repentance Christ speaks of, that produces lasting fruit and change, cannot be equated to or fulfilled by the sacrament of penance. He also highlights how ridiculous it is to think that indulgences paid by the living can affect those that have already died and their length of time in purgatory.
There appears to be an ambivalent struggle within Luther to personally reconcile his loyalty to the Church and his loyalty to his biblical convictions.
Deep down, Luther would have known that the pope was fully cognisant of his own decrees. Is Is his apparent swing between allegiance and protest symptomatic of an internal conflict? Or is it a clever, diplomatic ploy to draw out religious moderates, intellectuals and common folk who may rally behind his cause? Given some of his reflections in later life see To the Christian Reader - , I suggest a combination of both.
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.
Philadelphia: A. 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. The horror of souls in purgatory should grow less and love ought to increase. It seems unproven, either by reason or Scripture, that they are outside the state of merit, that is to say, of increasing love. Again, it seems unproven that they, or at least that all of them, are certain or assured of their own salvation, though we may be quite certain of it.
Therefore by "full remission of all penalties" the pope means not actually "of all," but only of those imposed by himself. Therefore those preachers of indulgences who say that by the pope's indulgences a man is freed from every penalty and saved are in error; Indeed he cannot pass on to souls in purgatory any penalty which canon law declares should be paid in this life. If it is at all possible to grant to anyone the remission of all penalties whatsoever, it is certain that this remission could be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.
Therefore it must be the case that the greater part of the people are deceived by that indiscriminate and highsounding promise of release from penalty. The power which the pope has, in general, over purgatory, is just like the power which any bishop or curate has, in particular, within his own diocese or parish. The pope does well when he grants remission to souls [in purgatory], not by the power of the keys which he does not possess , but by way of intercession. There is no divine authority for preaching that so soon as the penny jingles into the money-box, the soul flies out [of purgatory].
It is certain that when the penny jingles into the money-box, gain and avarice can be increased, but the result of the intercession of the Church is in the power of God alone. Who knows whether all the souls in purgatory wish to be bought out of it, as in the legend of Sts. Severinus and Paschal. No one is sure that his own contrition is sincere; much less that he has attained full remission.
The man who sincerely downloads indulgences is as rare as the man that is truly penitent; that is, such men are most rare. They will be condemned eternally, together with their teachers, who believe themselves sure of their salvation because they have letters of pardon. Men must be on their guard against those who say that the pope's pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to Him; For these "graces of pardon" concern only the penalties of sacramental satisfaction, and these are appointed by man.
It is not according to Christian doctrine to preach and teach that contrition is not necessary for those who intend to download souls out of purgatory or to download confessional licenses. 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.