How did religion/ views on religion begin to change after the publication of Martin Luther's 95 Theses?

1 Answer
Feb 20, 2017

The publication of the Martin Luther's 95 theses by the printing press spread the ideas of the reformation to the general population of Germany and then most of Europe.


The idea of individual salvation by faith was not unique to Martin Luther. But before Luther these ideas were able to be stamped out and suppressed. One of the reasons that before Luther the ideas of salvation by faith was suppressed was that copies of the Bible in the common languages had to be handwritten. Luther's ideas were spread by the printing press and could not be suppressed or destroyed.

Luther's ideas of course were found in the Bible but in Europe the Bible was available only in Latin. For the most part it was the Catholic priests that could read Latin and tell the people what was in the Bible.

Previous reformers had translated the Bible for the common people before Luther. The Waldensians in southern France has translated the Bible into provincial French. Pope Innocent III called for a Crusade against them, declared them heretics and destroyed all the copies of their Bible that were found. Wycliff in England and John Hus in Czech meet similar fates.

Martin Luther's was not the first challenge to the power of the Catholic Church but it was the first successful challenge. The idea of individual responsibility for salvation changed the religious views of Europe.