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The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power & Efficacy of Indulgences

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,116 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews

The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of
, commonly known as The Ninety-Five Theses,
were written by Martin Luther in 1517 and are widely regarded as the primary
catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Luther used these theses to display his
displeasure with some of the Church's clergy's abuses, most notably the sale of
indulgences; this ultimately g

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Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 1517)
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poorvi cowkur
Aug 14, 2016 poorvi cowkur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Martin Luther's 95 thesis was an outspoken opposition against the immoral activities of the Catholic Church. These were times when the Church was steeped in corruption and when innocent people's faith was exploited for money hoarding, all in the name of religion.The corruption of the Church merits a book of itself and I suggest you do some research of your own on the subject and my recommendation would be the 'Vicar Of Christ' by Walter F. Murphy, which is an amazing work on the history of the C ...more
Apr 05, 2010 §-- rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
My thoughts on this are far too extensive for a review. But briefly, let me just say that Luther here is logical, rational, and correct mostly. As I recall, the Pope only had a problem with about 40 or so of the theses. It's a shame that a document which seems to have had such good intentions could be the start of something so ugly, so brutal as the long slide into relativism in the greatest civilization of all, the West. Luther is one of the five most influential humans of the second Christian ...more
Sep 10, 2013 Fed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the statements that Martin included in his 95 affirmations puts it all in perspective; it is unbelievable the state of degradation in which the Catholic Church had fallen during those years. Clearly, from the statements that Martin wrote on his theses, the Catholic Church had become a business where salvation was a matter of money and power, and the Pope along with the entire clergy were corrupted. In fact, the C. Church, by playing on the ignorance of people, started requesting “gifts” ...more
Luther’s initial theses cut at an important tool of papal power—the papal indulgences. The church had the monopoly on the commodity of forgiveness, and its sale via indulgences was a significant source of revenue for the papacy. Luther marshals reasons against the legitimacy of indulgences by stressing the exclusivity of God’s ability to forgive (Theses 5, 6). The pope is not only powerless to forgive, Luther argued, but he is also powerless to grant assurance via letters of pardon, even though ...more

Martin Luther's 95 Theses was a hydrogen bomb hurled straight at the Papacy. Written right at the time that the Gutenberg printing press was enabling the massive dissemination of dangerous ideas, this short but incendiary argument against the abuses of the Church and its cynical hucksterism turned a minor theologian that Pope Leo once casually dismissed as a drunken German into a lightning rod revolutionary whose excommunication was guaranteed.

When Luther wrote it, the Church was spending the mo
Skylar Burris
I suppose it was about time I finally read this. Short, interesting, and to the point. (It did have to fit on a door, after all.) I was surprised to find that, although Luther was concerned with indulgence dealers swindling people out of their money, he was even more concerned with ordinary Christians believing they could get off so easily: “True contrition seeks and loves penalties, but liberal pardons only relax penalties and cause them to be hated…Christians are to be exhorted that they be di ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Shawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Concise little 12-page booklet containing Luther's 95 bullet-points preaching against particular facets of the catholic church. Namely, paying money to the church to not only absolve you of your sins, but also to give the pope certain powers such as the ability to reduce your time spent in purgatory.
It should be noted that the pope as well as the church used this scam as a fund-raiser to renovate St. Peter's Basilica.
Truth be told, this read is only so-so for me, but I posthumously give Luther a
KC McCauley
Mar 24, 2009 KC McCauley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
Many know of Luther's 95 Theses, but few have read them. I decided to read them and I was shocked at how bold he was! Through this book, I learned about the history as to why Luther posted his theses and the impact that it made. He was remarkably bold.

These are some of my favorite: 3, 23, 24, 27, 28, 32, 43, 44, 45, 53, 54, 62, 86

My favorite:

Thesis 62

The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God.
Dec 15, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite frankly, should be read to help form your own view on what you believe.

IT's also an important historical piece.
Doutor Branco
Jan 01, 2015 Doutor Branco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lidos-em-2015
A masterpiece of the Christian faith!
Valentin Eni
¶ Docendi sunt Christiani. quod si Papa nosset exactiones venialium predicatorum mallet Basilicam s(ancti) Petri in cineres ire: quam edificari. cute carne et ossibus ouium suarum.

¶ Docendi sunt Christiani. quod Papa sicut debet ita vellet. etiam vendita (si opus sit) Basilicam s(ancti) Petri: de suis pecunijs dare illis: a quorum plurimis quidam contionatores veniarum pecuniam eliciunt.

Îmi plac în mod special aceste două teze. Pentru că Legea e făcută pentru oameni, nu oamenii pentru L
Short and actually interesting, more so than I expected. Of course, most of it is not so relevant, as very few are getting swindled out of all of their money by indulgence dealers nowadays, but it had some points that one can definitely see would have been radical declarations to the papacy of the time. It's also short, accessible and to the point.

Some of Martin's word choices were just funny, eg. Thesis 27: "They preach mad who say that so soon as the penny jingles into the money-box, the soul
Nov 06, 2015 Brendan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it ages ago, figured it should be on ye olde read list.
Still, lot's of outdated terms aside, the idea that you should just be a decent person and you just can't buy your way into decency. Good and evil are really terms of a bygone age. you can have a real sh**-stain of a person who can make the world a much better with money, or developing technologies, or medicines. So, in that respect Luther be damned. But on a personal level, his words still speak true.

Also, "And thus be confident of ent
May 02, 2015 Wade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church-history
This little book presents the 95 theses with brief commentary on many, but not all, of the theses… Nichols comments on the theses that are a bit less clear and often comments on sections when there is a section all on the same theme. Nichols’ comments are very helpful in explaining the theses as well as providing the historical background to the theses. There is also an introduction that provides a helpful, brief biography on Luther and a really great overview of the historical setting of the Ro ...more
Oct 20, 2011 Mmiller400m rated it liked it
Read this on which is a fantastic site by the way. You should probably do a little bit of research on Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation before reading this to get a bit of background on what he's talking about. The main theme is that he is calling out the catholics of the day and the pope for their practices of selling salvation and forgiving sin. Reading through the list, I can just feel myself transported back to the early 16th century and see a crowd gather round ...more
I'm currently reading a biography about Martin Luther, and finally realized I couldn't continue without actually reading Luther's 95 Theses. I don't feel that I can "rate" these arguments. But I will say, that, Luther was a BOLD man. I also was surprised to see that he defends the Pope. He assumes the Pope's innocence and even opposition against all the usury in the sale of indulgences. But he also states that the Pope has no power to grant pardons, other than to confirm or reaffirm to the belie ...more
Mahmoud Haggui
Aug 21, 2013 Mahmoud Haggui rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses in 1517 as a protest against the selling of indulgences. After he sent a copy of the theses to Albert of Mainz (who sent a copy to Pope Leo), Luther continued to write, elaborating on the issues raised. "Who does not honor a penny shall not become master of any florins". said Luther. he is one of the great reformers that history has ever witnessed.
Apr 18, 2009 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: omg
Has footnotes and short intro explaining that these theses marked just the beginning of the Reformation. Luther was still quasi-Catholic, believing in indulgences and the sacrament of penance, just that it had gone too far. He did not yet believe in justification by faith alone, but that we must also suffer (works). I didn't know that, so valued the notes. Yay, a quick read!
Ruth Baker
Mar 11, 2014 Ruth Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an Anglican, I thought I better read this! I was really interested that Luther has a real emphasis in this doc about Christians buying their way out of repentance - not so much not taking it seriously so much as being wilfully led astray by the church into thinking that salvation could be bought, thereby keeping them from true contrition and repentance
Mar 04, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Christians in the Protestant stream.
Shelves: christianity
In terms of historical significance, this work gets five stars. But in terms of impact with current reading, not hugely significant, as I don't struggle with the Vatican's 16th century exploitation of indulgences. I do appreciate Luther's stand on this issue and the tremendous ripple effects. I highly recommend reading this short, accessible, work.
Danny Bennett
One of the most famous documents in Christian history is Luther's 95 Theses. This document does not deal with major theological issues but more with the greed and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church. You can also tell the Luther is still holding out hope for the pope to realize the abuses that are occuring in his own church.
Jim Lander
Worth reading. What Luther wrote will surprise you. I now see why the Pope was so upset by Luther's writings. The language is a bit dificult. So, the read is slow. A good book for a good protestant or historian. I like it a lot, but rated it with only three stars because the translation from the German is so poor.
Sep 29, 2015 Leonardo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teología
Las cosas que proponía el tipo no eran ninguna locura, o no lo parecieron a mis ojos. La Iglesia fue adoptando de a poco (y en la contrareforma) sus ideas, con lo que visto desde hoy da la impresión de no ser cosas que tendría que haber provocado una ruptura sino más bien, una lista de "obviedades".
Caleb Evans
Jul 09, 2013 Caleb Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 95 theses was written while Martin Luther was still a Catholic priest, so it still is very Catholic in theology & language. It still has amazing points that should be read by all, but with a discerning heart. This was the first step of the Reformation and will be a classic for all times.
Royce Ratterman
Feb 07, 2016 Royce Ratterman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Most books are rated related to their usefulness and contributions to my research.
Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast.
Read for personal research
- found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.
Apr 29, 2013 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basically you could separate the theses into about 3 categories... still interesting. It's hard to believe how historically significant this thirty minute read was. I do also feel that I should read it again, but I have several other books on my shelf I've been waiting to get to!
Dec 25, 2013 Rebekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why Martin Luther was excommunicated because of the "95 Theses". It was very controversial to question the authority of The Church and its priests, and that is exactly what he was doing. He was telling the people to "question authority".
Zack Mollhagen
It will benefit whomever reads this to brush up on the history of The 95 Theses. It's truly remarkable to realize the audacity Martin Luther had while writing these critiques of the Catholic church. It literally changed the course of history.
Eddie Taylor
Jan 31, 2012 Eddie Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and quick read. Clearly evident why Martin Luther got into trouble with the Church at the time. He turned them on their heads! Grateful to God for men like Luther who choose to do what is right in the eyes of God.
Christopher  Waugh
Aug 06, 2016 Christopher Waugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
In prep for Reformation Day, I decided to read through it again. Luther doesn't articulate central Reformation doctrine (sola fide, etc.) here-- and won't for another two years. But his boldness and clarity are readily apparent.
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  • Selected Writings
  • The Protestant Reformation
  • Reformation Thought
  • Magna Carta
  • On The Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres
  • Evangelical Theology: An Introduction
  • Selected Philosophical Writings
  • The Shorter Catechism with scripture proofs
  • Christian Apologetics
  • Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
  • The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century
  • The Major Works (World's Classics)
  • The Nature of Doctrine
  • Contending for Our All: Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen  (The Swans Are Not Silent, #4)
  • Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions: And Advice to Young Converts
  • Luther the Reformer: The Story of the Man and His Career
  • Baptist Confession of Faith 1689: Or the Second London Confession with Scripture Proofs (Revised)
  • The Journal of John Woolman
Martin Luther was a German monk, theologian, university professor and church reformer whose ideas inspired the Protestant Reformation and changed the course of Western civilization.

Luther's theology challenged the authority of the papacy by holding that the Bible is the only infallible source of religious authority and that all baptized Christians under Jesus are a spiritual priesthood. According
More about Martin Luther...

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“Here I stand, I can do no other, God help me. Amen!” 21 likes
“Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.” 0 likes
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