Ninety Five Theses Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Ninety Five Theses?
The Ninety Five Theses, written by Martin Luther in 1517, were a set of propositions which challenged the Catholic Church’s practice of selling indulgences. Indulgences were payments made to the Church for absolution from sins. This was seen as a way for people to buy their way into heaven. Luther argued that this practice was contrary to scripture and should be abolished.Luther’s Ninety Five Theses questioned the validity of papal authority and called on church reformers to abolish many ecclesiastical abuses such as simony (the sale of spiritual benefits), clerical celibacy, and monastic life as well as an end to indulgences. He also urged Christians to focus less on worldly goods and more on spiritual matters, writing Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ willed that His whole life be one of poverty; so too must we live poor lives if we are truly his disciples. Ultimately these Ninety-Five Theses sparked what would become known as the Protestant Reformation a period in which major changes occurred within the structure of Christianity due largely in part to Luther’s initiatives. These changes included a new understanding regarding salvation through faith alone rather than works, questioning papal power over religious doctrine, and greater emphasis placed upon individual interpretation when it came to scriptures. In short, Martin Luther’s Ninety Five Theses sparked a turning point not only within Christianity but within western culture at large by challenging long held beliefs about religion and ushering in important reforms.