DBQ: Causes of the Protestant Reformation

Decent Essays

There are approximately eight hundred million Protestant Christians currently in the world with it being the second largest Christian domination (Fairchild). However, there are over a billion followers of the Roman Catholic faith and it currently stands as the Christian domination with the most followers (Fairchild). If it were not for the German monk, Martin Luther, most Christians would have been Roman Catholic in the present. Martin Luther is famous for “95 Theses” that critiqued the practices and beliefs of the Catholic Church and it was written on Halloween Day, 1517 (Ellis and Esler 423-427). Other people agreed with him and shared their perceptions, which led to the birth of the Protestant Reformation (Ellis and Esler 423-427). In the documents written by people who either supported or were against the Protestant Reformation, the main idea of them is that the Catholic Church supported the idea of paying indulgences and competing with others for power. Martin Luther argued that indulgences could not allow a Christian to be saved from punishment in his “95 Theses.” An indulgence was a lessening of a soul would have to spend in purgatory. People of the Middle Ages paid for these in order to go to Heaven, and this did not make sense to Martin Luther. He then read and interpreted the Bible and found nothing about paying indulgences. His twenty-first thesis states, “Thus those preachers of indulgences are in error who say that by the indulgences of the Pope a man is freed

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