The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences [a] is a list of propositions for an academic disputation written in by Martin Luther , professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg , Germany. Retrospectively considered to signal the birth of Protestantism , this document advances Luther's positions against what he saw as the abuse of the practice of clergy selling plenary indulgences , which were certificates believed to reduce the temporal punishment in purgatory for sins committed by the purchasers or their loved ones. In the Theses , Luther claimed that the repentance required by Christ in order for sins to be forgiven involves only inner contrition, and that sacramental confession is unnecessary. He argued that indulgences led Christians to avoid true repentance and sorrow for sin, believing that they could forgo it by obtaining an indulgence. These indulgences, according to Luther, discouraged Christians from giving to the poor and performing other acts of mercy, which he attributed to a belief that indulgence certificates were more spiritually valuable despite the fact that indulgences were granted for such actions.
Luther had been troubled for a number of years by his faith and this was made worse when in John Tetzel was empowered by the pope to sell an indulgence to pay for the restoration of buildings in Rome, primarily St. Luther believed that the people of Wittenburg, Saxony, were being conned into believing that they had been forgiven for their sins and that this simply was not happening. The pamphlet contained ninety five points that he felt should be argued at an academic level — they were not for general public discussion. There are two reasons for thinking this:. The pamphlet was written in Latin which was the traditional language of the scholar then and beyond the understanding of most people including the rich and even members of the European royal families some of whom were not literate in their own language let alone Latin! The pamphlet was not released to the general public to read but it was pinned to the church door in Wittenburg for other scholars to read and to discuss in preparation for a full discussion at a later date. This was the traditional manner for a scholar to bring attention to his work to other academics to allow for a full discussion.
The door functioned as a bulletin board for various announcements related to academic and church affairs. The theses were written in Latin and printed on a folio sheet by the printer John Gruenenberg, one of the many entrepreneurs in the new print medium first used in Germany about Some copies of the theses were sent to friends and church officials, but the disputation never took place. Albert of Brandenburg, archbishop of Mainz, sent the theses to some theologians whose judgment moved him to send a copy to Rome and demand action against Luther. He had become front-page news.
Click to see full answer. People also ask, what were the 3 main ideas of Martin Luther? Terms in this set 6 Luther's main ideal 1. Salvation by faith alone. Luther's main ideal 2.