Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18,1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. His teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran]] and Protestant]] traditions, as well as the course of Western civilization. Luther's hymns, including his best-known "A Mighty Fortress is Our God", inspired the development of congregational singing within Christianity.[2] His marriage on June 13, 1525, to Katharina von Bora reintroduced the practice of clerical marriage within many Christian traditions.[3]

Martin Luther's translation of the Bible furthered the development of a standard version of the German language and added several principles to the art of translation. His translation significantly influenced the English King James Version of the Bible. Due to the recently developed printing press, his writings were widely read, influencing many subsequent Protestant Reformers and thinkers, giving rise to diversifying Protestant traditions in Europe and elsewhere. Today, nearly seventy million Christians belong to Lutheran churches worldwide, with some four hundred million Protestant Christians tracing their history back to Luther's reforming work.



  1. Ewald Plass, "Monasticism", in What Luther Says: An Anthology (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), 2:964.
  2. "The last and greatest reform of all [in music] was in congregational song. In the Middle Ages the liturgy was almost entirely restricted to the celebrant and the choir. The congregation joined in a few responses in the vernacular. Luther so developed this element that he may be considered the father of congregational song." from Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: a Life of Martin Luther (New York: Penguin, 1995), 269; Martin Luther, Luther: Hymns, Ballads, Chants, Truth (4 compact disks)(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2005).
  3. "If he could not reform all Christendom, at any rate he could and did establish the protestant parsonage" from Bainton, 223.

Select BibliographyEdit

For the works of Luther himself, see List of books by Martin Luther
For books and films about Martin Luther, see List of books and films about Martin Luther

External linksEdit

Original writings of Luther and contemporaries

Online information on Luther and his work

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