Who was called the “Morning Star of the Protestant Reformation”?
"John Wycliffe lived in the fourteenth century, dying in 1384. . . . Some have called him the 'Morning Star of the Reformation' because he openly taught many of the things that Luther himself taught in the sixteenth century, 200–300 years later." — Roger Olson
Which cultural movement played the most significant role in instigating the Reformation?
Jennifer Powell McNutt explains: "One cannot explore the emergence of the Protestant Reformation without talking about the contribution of Renaissance humanism—what I like to call 'the tie that binds.' As one scholar declared famously, 'No humanism, no Reformation.' Today, scholars concede that humanism alone did not instigate the Protestant Reformation. Nevertheless, there is no denying that it played a significant role in the emergence and expansion of the Protestant Reformation throughout Europe."
The first of Luther’s 95 Theses was a Bible translation criticism.
This one's true! Luther specifically addressed the Vulgate's rendering of Matthew 4:17, arguing that Jesus was teaching his hearers to repent, not to do penance.
In the 95 Theses, Martin Luther was the first to condemn the Catholic Church’s commercialization of selling indulgences.
The practice of selling indulgences had been criticized since at least the Fourth Lateran Council, over 300 years prior to the 95 Theses. Furthermore, this wasn't the first time Luther condemned the practice—and he wasn't advocating ending the practice of indulgences, just reforming them.
In what ways did Renaissance humanism prepare the way for the Reformation?
One of the biggest impacts of Renaissance humanism was the idea of ad fontes, a Latin phrase meaning "to the sources." People were returning to all things original—the Bible's original languages (Greek and Hebrew), the Church fathers, and even the Bible itself.
How old was John Calvin when he wrote the first edition of his Institutes of Christian Religion?
Would you believe Calvin was only 27 when he published the first edition of Institutes? Shocking, but true.
How long did it take for the 95 Theses to circulate in Germany?
Johannes Gutenberg's printing press helped new publications catch on quickly. That's why it only took two weeks for Luther's 95 Theses to make their way throughout Germany.
What brought Ulrich Zwingli to believe the doctrine of Christ alone?
It was a poem from Desiderius Erasmus. Zwingli wrote, "I shall not withhold from you, dear brethren in Christ Jesus, how it was I arrived at the firm conviction that we need no other mediator than Christ, and that none but Christ alone can mediate between God and man. Eight or nine years ago I read a poem of Erasmus, of Rotterdam, on the Lord Jesus, wherein Jesus complains that men do not seek all good from him, who is the source of all good, the Savior, Refuge, and Treasure of the soul. Whereupon I reflected, 'If that is so, why then do we seek help from any creature?'"
Luther was excited to translate the 95 Theses into German.
Luther wrote the 95 Theses in Latin, the language of the Catholic Church. Luther didn't intend for the Theses to be published in German, and they were translated into German without his permission. The Reformer's "concerns originally intended for the attention of the scholars and clergy of the Church became fodder for the masses."
Why did Calvin write the first edition of his Institutes?
It's all of them. Jesse Myers writes, "Calvin boldly included an address to the king of France in this first (very slim) edition of the Institutes. He hoped to provide a statement of the beliefs of the persecuted French Protestants, which would refute the misunderstandings and untruths that were being spread about them and prove his case that the Reformers were legitimate heirs of the Church fathers."