Life and Times of Saint Martin Luther

Last updated on April 5, 2005.

Oct. 31 is the 488 anniversary of the greatest event since the founding of Christianity.

The 4 greatest events of the past 1000 years were:

Invention of printing by Gutenberg in 1455
Discovery of the New World by John Cabot in 1494
The Reformation of Saint Martin Luther in 1517
Fall of the Papal States in 1870

Saint Martin Luther (1483-1546).


Gutenberg Printing Press. God's Gift to Luther.

Gutenberg Printing Press. God's gift to Saint Martin to enable him to throw lots of ink at the devil!!

Just 30 years before the birth of Luther, Johann Gutenberg invented printing from movable type—the greatest discovery in the history of the world. It enabled Saint Martin to throw a lot of ink at the devil!!

The Reason for the Reformation!!

Around 60 A.D., the Apostle Paul gave one of the greatest prophecies in the entire Bible. He predicted a great falling away or apostasy from Christianity before the end of the world. This was not to be a falling away into atheism or agnosticism but a corruption of the true Gospel by the Man of Sin sitting in the Temple of God. This wolf in sheep's clothing; a Lamb with the mouth of a Dragon; would sit in the Temple of God and call himself God. In the New Testament, the Temple of God always refers to Christ's true Congregation. St. Paul said:

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
And now ye know what withholdeth (restrains) that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be da
mned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness"(II Thess. chapter 2).

No one can deny the fulfillment of this great prophecy of the Bible and that the Papacy has been around since the time of Pope Constantine and is STRONG DELUSION indeed!!

The Word of God and the believers in Christ were hindering the manifestation of the Man of Sin!!

According to the Apostle Paul, the believers KNEW perfectly well what was withholding or restraining the manifestation of the Man of Sin. It was no mystery to them. Jesus had already told them that they were the LIGHT of the world and the SALT of the earth (Matt. ch. 5).

By the time of Saint Martin Luther, the Bible was a RARE book. The only "bible" available was the corrupt Latin Vulgate version which included corrupt words like priest, charity, church, etc. etc.

By the time of the Reformation, true Christianity was almost extinct after the long dark night of the Dark Ages. The Congregations founded by St. Patrick and St. Columba were virtually non existent along with the Waldensians; Albigensians; Wycliffites, Hussites and Nestorians etc. etc.

Age long Inquisitions had virtually destroyed the Temple of God and the Papacy had her foot firmly planted on the Old World . . . and was about to corrupt the entire New World . . . when the Son of God rescued His Congregation by raising up a humble miner's son to rebuild the ruined edifice and bring down the Man of Sin.

Birth of Saint Martin Luther at Eisleben, Germany

Birth place of Martin Luther

Birth-place of Saint Martin Luther - (the third house on right-hand side).


The great Dr. Luther was  born in the town of Eisleben, Germany, on November 10, 1483. His parents were John and Margaret Luther. Inside the house is this inscription:

In this house Dr. Martin Luther was born, the 10th of November 1483. God's Word is Luther's lore; which abides for evermore.

Boyhood of Saint Martin Luther

The Luther's were very poor and young Martin (like St. Columba), was gifted with a great voice. Many times he literally had to sing for his supper!! An angel of mercy Frau Ursula Cotta often shared the family meal with him.

Luther house in Eisenach

Luther grew up in this house in Eisenach, Germany.

Luther as a boy by Prof. Lindenschmidt.

Luther as a boy by Prof. Lindenschmidt.

The Luther's were very poor and young Martin (like St. Columba), was gifted with a great voice. Many times he literally had to sing for his supper!! An angel of mercy Frau Ursula Cotta often shared the family meal with him.

Less than 10 years after the birth of Luther, a New World was discovered by John Cabot. God knew that Luther's Reformation would be mightily assailed by Satan in Europe so He had a new Continent prepared for the Reformed Christians.

Saint Martin Luther discovered the Bible!!

Luther's discovery of the Bible

Luther's discovery of the Bible.


Luther had a near miss with lightening and almost got killed. That is why he decided to become a monk. By forsaking the world and hiding himself in a monastery the monk believed that he was serving God. He soon learned that the thick walls do not keep out the lusts which burn within. 

He was deeply troubled that all his fasts, whippings, vigils, penances etc., etc. were unavailing in giving him peace within.

One day he accidentally discovered the Bible in an old dusty attic in the monastery.

The corrupt Jerome version of the Bible was locked up in the Latin tongue which only scholars could understand. Fortunately, Martin excelled in the study of Latin . . . and Greek.


Saint Martin Luther was appointed Professor of Theology in 1508

Saint Martin was such brilliant student that he soon surpassed all the others in zeal and learning. He was appointed professor of Theology in 1508.

Augustinian monastery

Augustinian Monastery.

Luther was appointed Professor of Theology at this Augustinain Monastery at Wittenberg, in the fall of 1508.  

Saint Martin Luther visited Rome!!

The young and naive monk visited the city of Rome 1510. Imagine his shock when he found out that holy Rome was actually unholy Rome:

Pantheon at Rome

The Pantheon at Rome.


Luther made a visit to the unholy city in 1510. While climbing Pilate's Staircase on his knees to do penance for his sins he heard a voice like thunder say:

"The just shall live by faith"

At that time the new Cathedral of St. Peter's was under construction and money was desperately needed. This is what started the Indulgences scandal. Luther said later about his visit to Rome:

"I myself" he declares, "have heard people say openly in the streets of Rome, "If there be a hell, Rome is built on it."

"Salvation for sale" sparked the blessed Reformation!!

That the free gift of God should be bought and sold like a commodity in the marketplace aroused the ire of Saint Martin Luther. Indulgence seller Tetzel would approach a town and beat loudly on a DRUM to summons the people. Then he would proceed to offer his license to sin for money. When Luther heard of his approach to Wittenberg he said: :

"I'll put a hole in his drum."

Big business! A typical market day scene in Germany before the Reformation.

Big business! A typical market day scene in Germany before the Reformation.

License to sin. Copy of the infamous Indulgence by Tetzel.

License to sin. Copy of the infamous Indulgence by Tetzel.

The Sale of Indulgences was started by Pope Alexander Borgia in the year 1500.

The keys are actually the keys of the SAFE or the STRONG BOX.

This is what sparked the Reformation. The Pope desperately needed money to build St. Peter's in Rome. Forgiveness of sins was offered for a price —murder, adultery, lying, theft, swearing etc., etc. You could even buy forgiveness for future sins. . . . Salvation was bought  and sold like any common marketplace commodity. That the Gift of God could be treated so contemptuously was the last straw for Luther. 

Handwriting on the door

Handwriting on the door. Oct. 31, 1517.



Pope Leo X

Pope Leo X. (1513 - 1521).

Leo thundered at Saint Martin and ordered him to appear at Rome with 60 days!!

The Burning of Babylon commences!!

Roman Emperor Leo X., roared at Luther and sent him a Bull of Excommunication ordering him to appear at Rome within 60 days to recant . . . or face a fiery death.

The burning of Babylon commences.

The burning of Babylon commences.


Flames consume the Papal Bull of Excommunication. Luther ignored this Papal thunder and on Dec. 10, 1520, outside the gates of Wittenberg, he burnt the Papal Bull;, the Decretals of Clement VI., the Summa Angelica, the Chrysposus of Dr. Eck etc., etc.

By this brave act Luther formally excommunicated the Pope. Since that fateful day, the fire of God's wrath has never ceased to consume Babylon the Great.

Elector Frederick the "Wise" protected Saint Martin Luther

Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony.

  Frederick the "Wise", Elector of Saxony, was the founder of the University of Wittenberg. He protected Saint Martin Luther Luther from the wrath of the Pope. Read his famous dream on the night before Oct. 31.

Saint Martin Luther at Worms

City of Worms

City of Worms.


Site of the famous Diet of Worms held in 1521. Here Luther defended his writings before the Emperor Charles and all the dignitaries of the Empire. Here he made his timeless reply when asked if he would recant his writings:

I cannot submit my faith either to the Pope or to the Councils, because it is clear as day they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture . . . I can and will not retract . . . Here I stand . . . I can do no other. So help me God, Amen!!

During Luther's stay at Worms, the Spanish soldiers of Emperor Charles made no small commotion. They were especially interested in finding and destroying all copies of Luther's book: The Babylonian Captivity of the Congregation!!

Babylonian Captivity of the Congregation!!

Cover of the book: Babylonian Captivity of the Church by Martin Luther.


The Babylonian Captivity of the Congregation written by Saint Martin Luther in 1520. In that book he compared the previous 1000 years of Roman domination of the Christian Congregation to the 70 year Babylonian Captivity of the Jews in Babylon.

Of course he did recognize that the end of the Captivity was at hand and that the countdown to the Second Coming of Christ had begun.

Satan knew the signs of the times however. When Saint Martin was at Worms defending his writings; the Spanish soldiers went from house to house confiscating and burning copies of the book.


Emperor Charles V fights the Reformation . . . and is defeated!!

Emperor Charles V.

Emperor Charles V. (1500-1558).

  Emperor Charles V., ruler of the first of the 4 world Empires. His sceptre swayed over the largest Empire in the history of the world. Luther's sword was sharper than his. Luther told him that if he fought God's Reformation he would lose everything. . . . He died a bitter and defeated man.

Saint Martin Luther translates the Bible into German

Luther was put under the Ban of the Empire. His friends, fearing for his safety, kidnapped him and carried him off to the Wartburg Castle.

Luther carried off  to the Wartburg.

Luther carried off  to the Wartburg.


Under the assumed name of Junker Geoge, Saint Martin began to translate the New Testament from Greek to German.

This he accomplished in the remarkable time of only a few weeks.

Trouble in Wittenberg caused him to leave the castle and return home where he later finished the translation of the Old Testament.

Saint Martin Luther threw an inkwell at the devil!!

Luther's study at the Wartburg.

Luther's study at the Wartburg.


This is where the famous incident with the inkwell took place. Luther had just begun his memorable translation of the Bible into German.

Satan saw the handwriting on the wall and was furious. His demons gave him no rest day or night. . . . At last Luther took his inkwell and threw it at the devil! The mark is still to be seen on the wall. God's Word translated into German gave the devil a fatal wound.


German translation was the best in the world!!

The German translation of the Holy Scriptures was the best and most accurate translation since the Latin Italic version of 150 A.D. All the other version are copies of that masterpiece.

Luther's study at Wittenberg

Luther's study at Wittenberg

  In 1522, Saint Martin returned to Wittenberg. This is where he completed his extraordinary translation of the Bible. The King James Bible is 75 per cent the work of English Reformer William Tyndale. Tyndale visited Luther here and Tyndale copied a lot from Luther. Even the notes on the margin of Tyndale's Bible are exactly the same as Luther's translation. He also had a tremendous influence on the Spanish translation as most educated Spaniards spoke German.

It's no fun to be a nun!!

Young girls were enticed to enter the convent thinking that they could escape from the corrupt world and become brides of Christ. Imagine their horror when they discovered that they were required to become priests' lovers and bear their children. Of course escape was impossible and many died horrible deaths within the gloomy walls of the convent.

The blessed Reformation ended that nightmare in England and Germany.

Luther's wife ex-nun Katharina von Bora as a bride.

Luther's wife ex-nun Saint Katharina von Bora as a bride.


Saint Martin was very reluctant to marry because of his precarious existence as an outlaw under the Ban of the Empire. Any day he expected to be arrested and burned alive.

He found husbands for all the rescued nuns except Saint Katharina. Saint Katharina would have no husband except Saint Martin and so they were united in holy matrimony.

Luther rescued this beautiful flower from the gloomy, concealed life of a convent because he knew that it was no fun to be a nun. She became his wife in 1525; was a real helper in the work of the Reformation, and became a joyful mother of 4 children.

Saint Martin Luther was a latter day Nehemiah!!

In the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament, Nehemiah was the prophet who led the Jews back from Babylon to Jerusalem. Nehemiah re-built the ruined Temple and re-established the worship of JEHOVAH after the Babylonian Captivity.

Luther preaching by Schnorr.

Saint Martin preaching the Word by German artist Schorr.


Luther is known as the "Prince of Preachers." He knew how to keep the hell bound spellbound. His sermons alone total over 100 volumes. Luther was another Nehemiah who rebuilt the Jewish Temple after the Babylonian Captivity. The two men are almost carbon copies of each other. You can read about him in the Old Testament. Nehemiah punched one of the Jews in the face because he refused to leave his heathen wife. Luther never punched anybody . . . but he sure laid the Papacy low with his preaching and pen!!

Luther threw plenty of ink at the devil. During his brief lifetime as a Reformer; he published over 100 volumes and thousands of sermons. His translation of the Old Testament into German was a Homer task.

Saint Martin Luther's last words!!

Luther's home going was on the morning of February 18, 1546. These are his last words:

"Standing over Luther's tomb, you recall the story of his death at Eisleben. He had arrived there on the 28th of January, 1546, and although very unwell, he took part in the conferences which ensued up to the 17th of February. He also preached four times, and revised the ecclesiastical regulations for the territory of Mansfeld. On the 17th he was so ill that the Counts entreated him not to quit his house. At supper, on the same day, he spoke a great deal about his approaching death; and some one having asked him whether we should recognise one another in the next world, he said he thought we should. "I feel very weak," he exclaimed, "and my pains are worse than ever. If I could manage to sleep for half an hour, I think it would do me good." He did fall asleep, and remained in gentle slumber for an hour and a half. On awaking about eleven he asked, "What! are you still there? Will you not go and rest yourselves?" On their replying that they would remain, he began to cry with fervour, "‘Into Thy hands I commend my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth’ Pray, all of you, dear friends, for the Gospel of our Lord; pray that its reign may extend, for the Council of Trent and the Pope menace it round about." He then slumbered about an hour.

When he awoke, he remarked, "I feel very ill. I think I shall remain here at Eisleben, here—where I was born." He walked almost the room, and then lay down, and had a number of clothes and cushions placed over him to produce perspiration; but they had not the desired effect. "O my Father!" he went on to pray, "Thou, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ; Thou, the source of all consolation, I thank Thee for having revealed unto me Thy well-beloved Son, in whom I believe; whom I have preached and acknowledged, and made known; whom I have loved and celebrated, and whom the Pope and the impious persecute. I commend my soul to Thee, O my Lord Jesus Christ I am about to quit this terrestrial body, I am about to be removed from this life; but I know that I shall abide eternally with Thee. ‘Into thy hands I commend my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.’"His eyes closed, and he fell back in a swoon. When he revived, Jonas said to him, "Reverend father, do you die firm in the faith you have taught?" He opened his eyes, looked fixedly, and replied, "Yes." Soon after, those nearest saw him grow paler and paler; he became cold; his breathing seemed more and more faint; at length, heaving one deep sigh, Martin Luther expired."

Saint Martin Luther final resting place in Wittenberg, Germany

Town Hall and Stadt Kirche, Wittenberg.



This the final resting place of Saint Martin Luther until that soon coming great Resurrection Morning.

Will you be joining him???

Battle Hymn of the Reformation.

Vital Link

Elector Frederick the Wise's famous dream on the night before the handwriting on the door.


Stoughton, John, D.D, Homes and Haunts of Luther, London, 1883

Wylie, J.A. LLD., History of Protestantism, in 3 volumes. Thymme & Jervis, London, 1920.

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