Luther remarked, "I hated that word, 'the righteousness of God,' by which I had been taught according to the custom and use of all teachers ... [that] God is righteous and punishes the unrighteous sinner." The young Luther could not live by faith because he was not righteous—and he knew it.
In the sixteenth century, the world was divided about Martin Luther. One Catholic thought Martin Luther was a "demon in the appearance of a man." Another who first questioned Luther's theology later declared, "He alone is right!"
Luther's legacy is immense and cannot be adequately summarized. Every Protestant Reformer—like Calvin, Zwingli, Knox, and Cranmer—and every Protestant stream—Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist—were inspired by Luther in one way or another. On a larger canvas, his reform unleashed forces that ended the Middle Ages and ushered in the modern era.
Nonetheless, his lasting accomplishments also mounted: the translation of the Bible into German (which remains a literary and biblical hallmark); the writing of the hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"; and publishing his and , which have guided not just Lutherans but many others since.
It has been said that in most libraries, books by and about Martin Luther occupy more shelves than those concerned with any other figure except Jesus of Nazareth. Though difficult to verify, one can understand why it is likely to be true.
He married a runaway nun, Katharina von Bora, which scandalized many. (For Luther, the shock was waking up in the morning with "pigtails on the pillow next to me.")
King Papers Project, ‘‘The Student Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Summary Statement on Research,’’ Journal of American History 78 (June 1991): 23–31.
Schilling, Second Reader’s Report, 26 February 1955, in Papers .
Carson et al., ‘‘Martin Luther King, Jr., as Scholar: A Reexamination of His Theological Writings,’’ Journal of American History 78 (June 1991): 93–105.
Luther questioned the church's trafficking in indulgences and called for a public debate of 95 theses he had written. Instead, his spread across Germany as a call to reform, and the issue quickly became not indulgences but the authority of the church: Did the pope have the right to issue indulgences?
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Recent scholarship by the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project of the has revealed that as a student at Crozer and Boston, King frequently appropriated the words of other writers without proper attribution. Volumes I and II of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. have demonstrated that while his bibliographies contained the authors and books that he drew on in his own compositions, his papers often lacked the footnotes and quotation marks that identified his use of these sources in his text. His habit of plagiarizing others’ work, intentionally or not, can be found in the various drafts of his dissertation. King borrowed from several secondary sources without proper citation, including a dissertation written by fellow Crozer student Jack Boozer for DeWolf three years earlier, and a review of Tillich’s Systematic Theology written by one of King’s former professors.
The mission of Martin Luther College is to train a corps of Christian witnesses who are qualified to meet the ministry needs of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.