Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483 in northern Germany, within the Holy Roman Empire to an upper class peasant family (they owned land).His father, Hans, was an independent farmer and miner. Although Hans never got an education himself, he valued it so much so that he forced it upon his at son (he wanted him to go for law school). Hans did not like the church, he believed that religion clouds the mind. Whenever Martin did something deemed wrong he would be beat to a pulp by his father. Martins mother Margaret was an orthodox catholic so her views of religion differed from Hans’. She would verbally harass her son telling him he is an awful person and should/will be damned to hell. This led martin to confess his sins seven to eight times a day. Martin’s view of G-d as he once said was, “I hated G-d. I view G-d as a gigantic ogre”, and who could blame him! Besides from the maltreatment from his family he received it at school as well. Every time he did something deemed wrong by the headmaster, he would be flogged (head dunked in water).
In the year 1501 at the age of 18 Martin Luther had the unique opportunity to attend the University of Erfurt. The reason why it was considered a unique opportunity was because during this time period not only were people poor but they were illiterate, hence secondary education would not have even been an option had they had the money to attend. At the university he was an obsessive student, always wanting to do better than before. While in the library one day he discovered two books hidden away covered in dust and cobwebs which most likely intrigued him further. The two books were, William Ockham’s The History of the Church which discussed the abuses of the church particularly during the time of the crusades. What were the abuses? The church killed innocent people and committed genocide. And the other was the written work of John Huss. After reading Huss’ writing Luther asks “why a man who was so Christian be burned at the stake”. This confuses Luther and he begins to doubt G-d, the church, and religion even more than he used to.
After graduating the university in 1505, Luther begins to walk home and gets caught in a terrible thunderstorm. A bolt of lightning hit so close to his feet that he fell to his knees on the ground and made a promise to G-d that if he makes it out of this storm alive he will become a monk. Surely enough, the sky clears and he returns home with the news that he is going to become a monk. His father believes that he is being stupid but Luther is staying to his word.
He joins an Augustinian Monastery, known for their strictness, and lived a monks life. As a monk he was the “monkest” of all monks. He went to the extremes even mutilated himself with a cats tail so he could feel the pain of Christ. Headmaster Abbot Staupitz saw this and began to worry for Luther’s sake. He called him in and told him to read two books, the writings of St. Paul and Confessions by St. Augustine. In...