Selected events in Martin Luther's life

4. Life-timeline.jpg

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Selected events in Martin Luther's life


Luther, Martin, 1483-1546


Timeline of events in Martin Luther's life, from birth to death.


University of Arizona Libraries


University of Arizona Libraries




Permission to use must be obtained from the University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections.









Timeline Image Item Type Metadata


1483 - Birth of Martin Luther: Martin Luther born in Eisleben, Saxony to Hans Luder and Margarethe Lindemann.
1501 - Martin Luther Studies Law at the University of Erfurt
1505 - Luther Caught in Storm, Vows to Become a Monk if St. Anne Saves Him 
1505 - Monk in Erfurt Monastery, Luther Joins the Augustinian Order 
1507 - Luther Celebrates His First Mass on May 2
1508 - Begins Study of Theology at Wittenberg University
1510 - Luther Walks to Rome, a Distance of Around 1,000 Miles, On Church Business 
1512 - Doctor of Theology in Wittenberg
1517 - Luther Preaches Against the Selling of Indulgences
1517 - 95 Theses Nailed to Church Door and Mailed to Archbishop of Mainz: 
Luther sent the Theses enclosed with a letter to Albert of Brandenburg, the Archbishop of Mainz. This date considered the start of the Protestant Reformation. 
1518 - Charged with Heresy in Rome
1519 - Leipzig Debate: 
Martin Luther debates Johann Eck, denying papal supremacy. Luther argues that scripture alone is the basis for Christian faith and doctrine (sola scriptura).
1521 - Luther Excommunicated by Pope Leo X Bull “Decet Romanum Pontificem”
1521 - Luther Exiled to the Wartburg: 
Declared vogelfrei (a wanted man), by Imperial ban, Luther is brought under the protection of Frederick the Wise in a provincial stronghold. Luther goes by the name "Junker Jörg" or "Squire George". While living in the castle he translates the New Testament from Greek into German.
1521 - Diet of Worms: Luther summoned before Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on charges of heresy.
1522 - German Bible: Luther finishes German translation of the New Testament at Wartburg Castle. 
1522 - Luther returns to Wittenberg: 
Luther advocates for several social and religious reforms, including education for all, and encourages people to write music and hymns for church services.
1524 - Luther Relinquishes his Religious Habit
1525 - Luther Marries Katharina von Bora: 
Katharina, an ex-nun, nurtured Luther’s rich home life and gave birth to six children. 
1525 - Luther Holds First German Mass: 
Considered the first Protestant service. 
1529 - Marburg Colloquy: Luther debates with Ulrigh Zwingli about the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. 
1530 - Diet of Augsburg: Lutheran Princes and two imperial free cities present the Confessio Augustana on Luthern Theology to Charles V, but he refuses it. 
1530 - Publication of Confessio Augustana: Edited by Luther's friend and associate Philipp Melanchthon, these twenty-eight articles described the Lutheran beliefs and practices, and becomes their cornerstone of faith. 
1533 - Publication of Klug's Songbook: Includes "A mighty Fortress is our God", Luther's best-loved hymn. 
1537 - Luther Presents the Schmalkaldic Articles: Meeting of the Schmalkaldic League of rulers and theologians in Schmalkalden, Germany. Luther presents his Articles of Faith, a stricter Protestant confession and summary of Lutheran doctrine. 
1540s - Luther’s Health Suffers from Repeated Serious Sicknesses
1546 - Death of Luther: Luther dies at age 62 in Eisleben, Germany. His body is carried to Lutherstandt Wittenberg and he is buried in the Castle Church.