Chronology of Martin Luther's Life


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Martin Luther


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1483 - Born at Eisleben, Germany, November 10

1484 - Parents, Hans and Margaretha Luder, move family to Mansfield, where Hans works in copper mines

1492 - Attends school in Mansfield

1497 - Attends school in Magdeburg

1498 - Attends school in Eisenach

1501 - Enters University of Erfurt

1502 - Receives B.A. at Erfurt

1505 - Earns M.A. at Erfurt; begins law studies; in thunderstorm on July 2, vows to become a monk; enters Order of Augustinian Hermits

1507 - Ordained and celebrates first Mass

1509 - Receives bachelor of Bible

1510 - Visits Rome

1511 - Transferred to Augustinian house at Wittenberg

1512 - Becomes doctor of theology

1513 - Begins lecturing on the Psalms

1515 - Begins lecturing on Romans; appointed district vicar over ten monasteries

1516 - Begins lecturing on Galatians

1517 - Begins lecturing on Hebrews; on October 31, posts 95 Theses on indulgences

1518 - At meeting of Augustinians in Heidelberg, defends his theology; in October, appears before Cardinal Cajetan at Augsburg, but refuses to recant; in December, his prince, Frederick the Wise, refuses to hand him over to Rome.

1519 - Understands the "righteousness of God" as "passive righteousness with which God justifies us by faith" [some scholars date this discovery earlier]; in July, debates Professor John Eck at Leipzig and denies supreme authority of popes and councils

1520 - Papal bull Exsurge Domine gives Luther 60 days to recant or be excommunicated; writes his 3 seminal treatises, To the Christian Nobility, On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, The Freedom of a Christian; burns papal bull and books of canon law

1521 - Excommunicated by the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem; at Diet of Worms in April, on trial before Emperor Charles V and other leaders of church and state, he refuses to recant writings; an edict (in May) condemns him as heretic and outlaw; after the Diet of Worms, he is "kidnapped" by Frederick the Wise, and hidden at Wartburg Castle; begins translating the New Testament

1522 - in March, comes out of hiding and returns to Wittenberg, helping to reestablish order there; finishes New Testament translation, first published in September

1525 - Writes Against the Heavenly Prophets, contending against Andreas Karlstadt and Thomas Müntzer; marries Katherine von Bora in June; writes Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes, criticizing the Peasants' Revolt; writes Bondage of the Will against Erasmus

1526 - Writes German Mass; becomes a father (son Hans); begins writing against Zwingli's views on the Lord's Supper;

1527 - Fights sickness and intense depression; plague strikes Wittenberg; writes "A Mighty Fortress is our God"; daughter Elizabeth born; continues to write against Zwingli

1528 - Writes Great Confession Concerning Christ's Supper; grieves over Elizabeth's death; visits churches

1529 - Attends Marburg Colloquy with Zwingli and Southern Germans, but no agreement is reached on the Lord's Supper; publishes Large Catechism and Small Catechism; daughter Magdalena born

1530 - Luther, as outlaw cannot attend Diet of Augsburg, held in attempt to end religious division in the Holy Roman Empire; Philipp Melanchthon, Luther's co-worker, presents the Augsburg Confession, a statement of Lutheran beliefs

1531 - Begins lecturing on Galatians; son Martin, born

1532 - Writes On Infiltrating and Clandestine Preachers; is given the Augustinian Cloister for his home

1533 - Son Paul is born

1534 - Publishes complete German Bible; daughter Margaret born

1536 - Agrees to Wittenberg Concord on the Lord's Supper, in attempt to resolve differences with other reformers, but Zwinglians do not accept it; writes Smalcald Articles to prepare for upcoming ecumenical council

1538 - Writes against the Jews in Against the Sabbatarians

1539 - Writes On the Councils and the Church

1542 - drafts his will ; daughter Magdalena dies

1545 - Writes Against the Papacy at Rome, an Institution of the Devil

1546 - Dies in Eisleben, February 18

1552 - Katherine Von Bora dies