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Who is the sole founder of Protestant Reformation?

The sole founder of the Protestantism is Martin Luther, who was a priest, german professor of theology founded the Protestantism in October 31, 1517

How did Protestant Reformation start?

Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the Catholic view on indulgences as he understood it to be, that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

What are the teachings of Martin Luther?

Luther taught that salvation and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God’s grace through the believer’s faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the Pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. He also taught he bible alone (Sola Scriptura) and Faith alone (Sola Fide)

Who are the followers of Martin Luther?
The followers of Martin Luther are called the Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.

His Translation of the Bible

Luther translated the bible into German. The Martin Luther Bible translation begun at the Wartburg castle, where he was held prisoner by Frederick the Wise of Saxony for his own safety from May, 1521 to April, 1522.
With eleven months on his hands and nothing to do, Luther studied and wrote intensely. He completed a translation of the New Testament from the original Greek in a mere four months between November of 1521 and March of 1522. After his release, he extensively revised it with the help of the learned Philip Melancthon, his friend and co-worker throughout the time of the Reformation.

The New Testament was released September 21, 1522, and a second edition was produced the same December. Luther went immediately to work on the Old Testament, producing the Pentateuch in 1523 and the Psalms in 1524. By then he had acquired an entire committee that met once per week. Even Jewish rabbis were consulted [an important point, as Luther is a noted antisemitist].

In 1534, a complete version of the Bible, with Apocrypha, was released. They referred to the Apocrypha as “books not equal to the Holy Scriptures, yet good and useful to read.” Even the Roman Catholic Church had not yet canonized the Apocrypha—that happened at the Council of Trent in 1546.

The Consequences of the Reformation

Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, began an attack on the Indulgence and various evils he saw present in the Church. Maximilian, a declared enemy of the Pope, “far from opposing the first attacks of Luther against indulgences, was pleased with his spirit and acuteness, declares that he deserves protection, and treats his adversaries with contempt and ridicule.” Maximilian will recommend Luther to his second in command— Frederick, Elector of Saxony— with these words: “there might come a time when he would be needed.” “There was little seeming need for this recommendation, for Frederick was already [Luther’s] patron and protector, and he had already openly taken sides in his favor, by prohibiting [the Dominican Friar] Tetzel from preaching the indulgence within the boundaries of Saxony.”

On November 1, 1517, Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the Church door in Wittenburg, “appealing with much tact to the passions of the German people, and to their old-time prejudices against the Holy See on the subject of money.” The Revolt was on.

The Reformation dwindled down into a mere affair of groveling avarice and of worldly ambition on the part of the princes; and Luther, the arch-reformer, the bold adversary of the Pope, and the vaunted champion of liberty, sinks down into the position of a mere crouching and subservient tool of rapacious and unprincipled men, who sought only their own interests, and who wished to lord it over their subjects with supreme power in Church and in State! In casting off the yoke of Rome, the German people had another riveted on their necks, which was infinitely more galling; and they have had to bear it ever since!

Luther preserved certain features of the Mass to avoid exciting opposition among the common people, but he gave private instructions to his ministers to change the intention of the words of consecration, henceforth pronounced merely by way of narration. Luther avowed, “If I succeed in doing away with the Mass, I have completely conquered the Pope.”

From 1525, Protestantism emanated from Saxony to incorporate the districts of Hesse (in 1527), Nassau (1528), Prussia (1525), Brandenberg (1539), Brunswick (1545), Mecklenburg (1548), and parts of Wurtemberg in the south (1545). By Luther’s death in 1546, most of the north German states became Lutheran, and his teachings were being introduced into the otherwise Catholic south.

After 1530, this conglomeration of state churches had no official doctrine. The Augsburg Confession attempted to codify in 21 articles an official Lutheran creed. This, however, did not stop the numberless differences of opinion in doctrine that soon developed among the various rebel churches. Every new Protestant sect had its own ideas about what Christ taught. Fewer and fewer agreed with Luther as time went on, and by 1546, Luther had essentially become the last Lutheran.

The German Revolt spread its way south into Switzerland under the form of Zwinglianism (named after Ulric Zwingli, an apostate priest) in the 1520s. Zwinglianism was a more radical type of Protestantism than Luther’s in that Zwingli manifested a much more rationalist spirit verging on Pantheism: “Everything is in God, everything which exists is God, and nothing exists which is not God.” In addition, Zwingli was a great inconoclast.

In 1521 Zurich, the city council protected Zwingli from Church authorities and allowed him to preach his poison to the populace. By 1525, after the city council had given their official approval to Zwingli, all external signs of Catholicity were destroyed. The Mass had been replaced with a “purer form of worship — the altar disappeared, some plain tables, covered with the sacramental bread and wine, occupied their places, and a crowd of eager communicants was gathered around them.”

The Swiss revolution became more radical and was more thorough than the German. Like the German, however, “its progress was everywhere signalized by dissensions, civil commotions, rapine, violence, and bloodshed. And like the German, it was also indebted for its permanent establishment to the interposition of the civil authorities. Without this, neither revolution would have had either consistency or permanency.”

In 1535, the Revolution made itself known in Geneva, chiefly through the intrigues of Berne. As a result, the Catholic churches were seized, after having been first sacrilegiously defaced and desecrated; the Catholic clergy were hunted down and forced to flee the city; nearly half of the populace was compelled to emigrate in order to secure to themselves peace and freedom of conscience, and after they left, their property was confiscated and they were disenfranchised in punishment for having dared to leave the city. By 1536, the Reformation was established in Geneva by the great council and enforced by the swords and bayonets of the army.

Five years later, John Calvin (1509-1564), an apostate priest, entered the city and began consolidating the Calvinist system. This system absorbed Zwinglianism and realized an ideal of a community of predestined elites. Calvinism built upon the existing Lutheranism — justification by faith alone, the denial of sanctifying grace, the bible is the sole rule of faith. Add to this list Calvin’s absolute predestination — independent of a man’s actions, he is predestined to heaven or to hell. There is no free will.

Like Lutheranism, the Calvinist doctrine practically identified Church and State as one entity; however, unlike the Lutherans, the Calvinists advocated the Church’s dominance over the State, i.e. a theocracy, where one entity governed things both spiritual and temporal. Some historians mistakenly point out that this arrangement is what the Catholic Church teaches. They seem to forget that the Roman Church recognizes two distinct bodies endowed with authority, and not a single organization.

Calvin’s theocratic claims were based on “an intense individualism deriving from the certainty of election and the duty of the individual Christian to co-operate in realizing the divine purpose against a sinful and hostile world.” (Source:

The result of the Reformation still continues up to the modern day. Different movements, different beliefs and different Practices arises.

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Ave Maria vos omnes!

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