Do you know any one who read the 95 thesis from Wittenberg that Luther posted.?

Do you know where to read the 95 thesis by Luther or who read it?
Only 1 issue was buying a indulgence!?

He also had the issue of corruption in the clergy and papistry.

Where to read them?
They can be found on the internet. Here is one resource:

Who has read them?
Lots of people. I read them several years ago.

Only 1 issue was indulgence?
Okay, but the word indulgence occurs in at least 40 of the 95 theses, and seems to be implied in many other theses. It seems to be the main issue, and the other issues (money, greed, false claims about forgiveness) were related to indulgence.

What would you like to discuss?


Right, just indulgences! Not “all that Protestantism jettisoned”. I read the Theses myself as one who had been agnostic but had just accepted that Christ had become the fulfillment of the OT prophecies, one w/ nascent Catholic Faith, whom Lutherans were trying to evangelize. I wasn’t going to just take people’s word for anything.

Since I’m a pedant, :wink: :laughing: I started asking, “So if indulgences were the problem, why then aren’t Lutherans the same as they were as 16th-c. Catholics minus indulgences, or minus just the sale of them?” Why in this somewhat large, very Lutheran city does only 1 Lutheran church have a patron saint & is only 1 named after a feast day? Why does only 1 have statues? Why did I not find any using incense? Where are the prayers to saints? With what authority was anything changed anyway? :grin:

Catholic (or at least very un-Protestant) things Protestants prob. don’t want to admit that Luther admits:

  • Eighty-nine theses are given w/o Scriptural citations, disproving Sola Scriptura (but the un-Catholic things are presented w/ no support, as if we already have Protestant mindsets).
  • #2: Penance is still a sacrament.
  • #9. The Holy Spirit is at work through the Pope.
  • #10, et al.: Purgagory exists. (I’m a Byzantine though. We don’t know anything about that except that my priest says it’s not a state of torture & that…)
  • #26: It is good to pray for the departed.
  • #29: The Lives of the Saints are true.
  • #31: It is possible (albeit rare) to buy true indulgences!? :exploding_head: (Don’t actually know anything about indulgences. Not compatible w/ Byzantine theology. Just think it’s funny how much is conceded here, how much Luther admits Catholics are right!)
  • #38: “[P]apal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are…the proclamation of the divine remission.”
  • #48: Protestants should pray for the Pope.
  • #50: Christians are the sheep of the Pope, making him the Pastor of all.
  • #55: Ceremonies & processions are necessary.
  • #58: The merits of the saints benefit us.
  • #61,78: The Pope has real power. (In the Bible, the power, a.k.a. authority, is exousia.)
  • #70: Evidence of his real authority.
  • #73: Wrong for Luther himself to be doing this very interference.
  • #75: St Mary is ever-virgin & the Mother of God.
  • #76: Some sins are venial, making some mortal.
  • #77,78,81: St Peter is, yes, a saint, & blasphemy’s being possible against a saint & the Pope means they’re sacred & due reverence.

They were thesis statements, essentially proposals for a debate topic, not theological treatises. Plus, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura grew out of Rome’s response of upholding tradition over scripture.

Lutherans have always considered Confession and Absolution as a sacrament in the loose sense of the word.

Luther was not attempting to attack the Pope in his theses, he was defending the Pope and calling upon the Pope to correct abusive practices he had heard about in the selling of indulgences.

Luther’s detractors, attacking him on his position regarding indulgences caused him to have to study the scriptures particularly regarding issues surrounding justification. Luther’s doctrine was not fully developed in 1517, he was a faithful Catholic pastor and professor. This rightfully was questioned on the basis of scripture later in the Reformation.

I will stop there because this could go on and on, but you get you my point. I think you have a great misunderstanding of the nature of the 95 Theses and seem to think the Reformation was fully developed by 1517. No one knowledgeable of the Reformation is claiming that. The 95 Theses were the catalyst that sparked the Reformation, not the end product.

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I read them when I was in high school.

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Can we go through them one by one? or 10 at a time?

I’m curious about them but don’t think I have the discipline to actually read them.

If you read through them what you will find is that Luther is responding to the impressions that his parishioners who were purchasing the indulgences had, based on the promises being espoused by Johann Tetzel and those working under him. Also, again, I would not look at these as a comprehensive theological treatise, but as topics for academic debate. What they did was spark a firestorm of controversy because someone had the nerve to say that on a doctrinal level these practices are sketchy and abusive.


I don’t have a problem discussing them if you like. I would suggest picking one or a few that you have questions about, and posting them. We can then talk about why Luther in 1517 was taking issue with them.

Exactly. In some ways , it seems odd that the posting of the 95 Theses became “Reformation Day”. From a Lutheran perspective, the the presentation of the Augsburg Confession is a far more important moment

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As others have said, the 95 Theses are not a systematic theology. Luther is calling for an academic debate on these issues. His theological differences with the Catholic Church are not very developed here, and he’s clearly still working within the broad parameters of Catholic doctrine. However, the differences sharpen as Luther works out the broader implications of his core insights related to sola fide and sola scriptura.

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That’s amazing @TheLittleLady :slight_smile:

This was really interesting @Greta.Elisif

It is in the public domain. You can read it anywhere for free. Project Gutenberg would be where I assume you can find it. I’ve read it.

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Do I know anyone who read the 95 thesis that Luther posted?

I don’t know anyone who was alive in 1517, much less someone who was alive then in Wittenburg.

Not really, they are historical documents, same as reading the Federalist Papers, etc.

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I read them in college. When I taught World History in 10th grade, I would have my students read an excerpt (not the whole thing) that was modified to help them understand it better. This was when we covered the Protestant Reformation.

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Happy cake day @ltwin :slight_smile:

Very true.

I read it (kind of hard to be involved in religious debates and discussion otherwise), I found it less than convincing.

Most of the theses are only one sentence long. It’s not really something that takes much discipline to read.

Anyway, they can be found here:

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