In 1517, Martin Luther was to do something, albeit by accident, that was to change the face of the world as it was then known in Western Europe, and introduce the German Reformation – write the ’95 Theses’.

Luther had been troubled for a number of years by his faith and this was made worse when in 1517 John Tetzel was empowered by the pope to sell an indulgence to pay for the restoration of buildings in Rome, primarily St. Peter’s. Luther believed that the people of Wittenburg, Saxony, were being conned into believing that they had been forgiven for their sins and that this simply was not happening. This whole episode was symptomatic of what any referred to as the “rotteness” of the Church.

In response to this action by Tetzel, Luther wrote a pamphlet called “The 95 Theses” which was an obvious criticism of indulgences. The pamphlet contained ninety five points that he felt should be argued at an academic level – they were not for general public discussion.

There are two reasons for thinking this:

The pamphlet was written in Latin which was the traditional language of the scholar then and beyond the understanding of most people including the rich and even members of the European royal families some of whom were not literate in their own language let alone Latin !

The pamphlet was not released to the general public to read but it was pinned to the church door in Wittenburg fo