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Claudia Gutierrez

History 1110 (10:00 a.m. 10:50 a.m.)


Document Analysis Essay

Martin Luther, Freedom of a Christian (1520)


In Martin Luthers Freedom of a Christian, he expresses many different views in which
he questions Christianity. Martin Luther was a German monk who attempted to reform the
Catholic Church with different viewpoints, questioning the religion itself. The tract was based on
Luther questioning the church, religion, and viewpoints which caused an uproar about the belief
of Christianity.
Martin Luthers tract was written in Germany in November of 1520. The tract was
originally intended for Pope Leo X and written in Latin. The tract was expressing Luthers view
on Christianity where he stated that the only thing that a Christian needed was faith in Christ and
that erased all sins. This tract caused an uproar, not only within the church, but with anyone who
believed in the Christian faith. Because it caused them to question their own faith and bring up
new questions towards their beliefs.
Luther attacked the church, questioning church authority, clerical celibacy, and the
sacraments. Luther believed that people who have not experienced great strength do not
understand God himself. Luther believes that one cannot write about faith or even begin to
understand it if they have not experienced hard trials. Even if they do experience it, one cannot
fully comprehend it because it is never ending, so there will be no end to speaking about it. This
belief caused Luther to state that Literalists and subtile disputants have not even understood
what they have written where he believes that the beliefs the church states are not accurate
because they have not experienced true faith. Luther also states that faith must come from within
and that a man will grow and became a new spiritual man of good if he experiences faith. Luther
states It does not help the soul if the body is adorned with the sacred robes of priests, or dwells
in sacred places, or is occupied with sacred duties or fasts... Luther is attacking the church and
implying that all the things that the Christian faith does is not going to benefit them when they go

to heaven. Luther believes that all that will save humans is having faith in Christ. Luther says
that the only thing that is necessary for Christian life is righteousness and freedom, Luther uses
quotes from the bible to support his understandings, such as I am the resurrection and the life;
he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live John 8 [:36] He uses this example to
show that all that is needed for Christianity is faith and not following what the church states.
Luther states The soul can do anything without anything except the word of God He is saying
that without the word of God the soul is incapable of doing anything, and since the word of God
talks about faith and how it can save you, then it favors Luthers beliefs.
Luthers tract reveals that the society in which it was created was not a society in which
people could come and question it if they wanted to or not. Luthers beliefs caused a controversy
within Christianity and within the people and what they chose to believe in. Luther must have
caused a reform within the Christian church and within its followers.
Martin Luthers tract was a very broad topic, but he expressed his ideas and challenged
the church and its faith on how to react towards someone attacking the religion. Luther may have
even impacted on what people today now believe in. Although Luther attacked the church, he
was certain about having his beliefs heard and was sure that all one needed to get into heaven
was to have faith in the lord himself.