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Martin Luther

November 10, 1483 -- February 18, 1546

Born in Eisleben, Germany, Martin Luther was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Luther vigorously objected to the corrupt practice of selling indulgences. Acting on this belief, he wrote the “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” also known as “The 95 Theses”. His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds—was to spark the Protestant Reformation.

Thanks to Luther's translation of the Bible, it became possible for German-speaking people to stop relying on church authorities and instead read the Bible for themselves.

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