5 Popular Martin Luther Myths You Believe In

  1. Luther was a simple monk

Over the centuries, Luther’s biographers have created the image of him being a simple monk who suddenly found the Bible and, out of desperation and uncertainty, published the Ninety-Five Theses. It creates a sweet story about an uneducated poor boy facing a wealthy establishment, but it was a little different.

Luther was a very learned professor of theology. He was well trained in philosophy and had an extremely deep knowledge of the Bible. He knew what he was doing and what to expect after October 31, 1517.

  1. Luther personally nailed the Ninety-five Theses at the door at Wittenberg

A picture of a monk nailing a list with his theses to the door of the castle chapel in Wittenberg can look incredibly impressive, emotional and artistic! This scene stands out in the books and films about Luther, but unfortunately this story is a myth.

There is no evidence that he did it, and Luther himself never mentioned that he himself published the Ninety-five Theses, let alone nail them to this door. Even if he wanted to nail them himself, Luther would not have been allowed to do so. So, for example, in most schools and churches today, you cannot simply post your posters and other messages on the bulletin board until you ask the secretary for permission.

It was the same at Wittenberg. The overseer of the university was responsible for posting messages to this chapel – essentially on a public notice board. However, Luther wrote Ninety-five Theses, but was most likely posted by a janitor or caretaker. And perhaps using glue rather than nails.

  1. Luther said, “On that I stand.”

When you visit Wittenberg today, you can buy a pair of socks that will have the words “On that I stand!” Printed on them. This sends us back to 1521, when Luther stood before Emperor Charles V and refused to recant his words and beliefs. It is widely believed that Luther then said: “On this I stand, and I cannot do otherwise! God help me. Amen”.

The problem is that we only find these words in later versions of the recordings of this moment. They were most likely inserted to reinforce Luther’s message. While this sounds spectacular (especially for current sock sellers), it is, unfortunately, also a myth.

  1. Luther was the first to translate the Bible into German

Perhaps Luther’s greatest achievement was Luther’s Bible. In a very short period of time, hiding in the Wartburg, he translated the New Testament, and then the Old Testament. However, it is a myth that Luther was the first to ever translate the Bible into German.

In fact, when he began his work, there were at least eighteen German translations of the entire Bible. Such was the quality and success of Luther’s translation, however, that the remaining eighteen translations were soon forgotten.

  1. Luther said something about planting a tree

The most popular and often quoted phrase of Luther: “Even if I knew that Christ will return tomorrow, I will still plant an apple tree.” These are great words of trust, action, and expectation, but Luther never spoke them.

Many years ago, the German Luther Society promised an award to someone who could prove that Luther actually made this claim. The award never found its hero. This is a wonderful expression, but it has not been proven that Luther actually said it.

Author: Herman Selderhuis (Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography),

Source: 5 популярных мифов о Мартине Лютере, в которые вы верите – ВО СВЕТЕ (inlight.news)


Martin and Katharina Luther. History of the Reformation Family

On June 13, 1525, Martin Luther, a former monk, the initiator of the Reformation, who forever changed the .....

Luther’s Jewish Problem

Nuremberg, 1946 In 1946, Julius Streicher was on trial for his life. He had published the antisemitic newspaper Der Stürmer, and .....

Ulrich Zwingli – The man who reformed Switzerland and argued with Luther

On October 11, 1531 Ulrich Zwingli, the great reformer who changed Switzerland forever, died. He belonged to the .....

Tormented with horrible thoughts

I have heard another say: "I am tormented with horrible thoughts. Wherever I go, blasphemies steal in upon .....

Found Faithful at Christmas

When the angel came to Mary what was Mary doing? This is the question asked by Martin Luther .....

The Long, Forgotten Reformation in France. A brief history of the Huguenots

ABSTRACT: The Reformation disrupted the religious status quo of early sixteenth-century Europe when multitudes embraced the teachings of Martin .....

Joy to the (Grieving) World

If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, the span of holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year’s .....

The Madness and Irrationality of Antisemitism

For more than three decades, I have stated that not only is antisemitism the world’s longest and most .....

What Christians Should Know About Halloween

Editors’ note: For a more detailed retelling of Halloween’s history, see the longer version of this article that .....

Start Giving Before You Inherit

Millennials may inherit over $68 trillion from previous generations by 2030. According to Newsweek, some experts believe this .....