Partial Chronology of Martin Luther
1483 - Luther is born in Eisleben on November 10
and baptized the following day. He is the
eldest of what history believes to be eight
children born to his parents, Johannes
"Hans" Ludher and Margarethe Ludher nee
1484 - Luther's parents move to Mansfeld when
he is around six months old. This is where they will raise all of their children and remain for the rest of their lives.
1490 - Martin is sent to school in Eisenach.
1496 - 97 Martin attends school in Magdeburg for one year.
1501 - Martin goes to the University of Erfurt.
1505 - Martin vows to become a monk on July 2
while traveling through the village of Stotternheim. He enters the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt and takes holy orders.
1506 - Martin meets Johannas von Staupitz.
1507 - Martin is ordained and performs his first Mass with his parents and others in attendance.
1508 - In the fall, Staupitz sends Luther to Wittenberg for a year.
1509 - While at Wittenberg, Martin receives his
bachelor's degree in the Bible.
1510 - 11 Martin makes walking pilgrimage to
1511 - Staupitz transfers him to Wittenberg
monastery, where he will remain throughout his life.
1512 - Under a pear tree, Staupitz persuades
Luther to study for his doctorate. Luther earns his doctorate.
1513 - 17 Luther lectures on Psalms, Romans,
Galatians, and Hebrews, laying the exegetical foundation for all that lies ahead.
1517 - Luther posts his Ninety-five Theses
(traditionally on October 31) and mails a letter and the theses to Archbishop Albrecht at Magdeburg.
In the end, what Luther did was not merely to open a door in which people were free to rebel against their leaders but to open a door in which people were obliged by God to take responsibility for themselves and free to help those around them who could not help themselves. No longer could we complain that we were forced to accept the poor spiritual or governmental leadership of those in authority over us. On the contrary, we now had not only the freedom but the responsibility to take these things into our own hands, trusting only in God. So what Luther did was usher the West into its maturity. What this further did - as Luther foresaw and passionately hoped - was encourage people to depend the more on God, to deepen their relationship with him personally, and to increase their knowledge of his Scriptures; else how could they justify their dissent? This was how Luther had done it. He knew there was no substitute for this and that it was far better that someone try to understand God and truth with the possibility of getting some things wrong than to depend on others to understand these things. Freedom with God, with the possibility of growth and death, was better than the safe fetters of childhood.
Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World
by Eric Metaxas