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Out of the Love for the Truth: the Ninety-Five Theses

Martin Luther, at present, is a priest of the Catholic Church. He walks to the All Saints' Church of Wittenberg and hangs a notice on the door. It begins as follows...

Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place.

What follows are 95 ideas that the Reverend is willing to debate with his fellow Catholics. It seems like an esoteric inquiry into Church doctrine but down the centuries it will pound the Catholic Church over and over again. It has become traditional to think of Martin Luther as stepping purposefully to the door and pounding a nail into it to hang his notice of defiance. Perhaps it really happened that way, but the notice itself is simply challenging the local intellectuals to a debate. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
To this point, I've avoided referring to the Church as "Catholic" because despite disagreement amongst Church factions, they all want a single catholic (meaning universal) church. However, I don't care how much self-effacing rhetoric he uses to preface his remarks, it is clear that Rev. Martin Luther isn't backing down. There are errors in any organization run by man but Pope Leo the 10th has been acting like a Medici baron, attacking his enemies and collecting lands and riches. Most of the cardinals act the same way. The Church has moved well beyond any temporary breech for the sake of expediency. They have been selling the papacy for 30 coins of silver, so to speak. It will get better, but not before it gets much, much worse.[4]

Alex Shrugged notes (optional, as always): I'm Jewish so a Christian me asked how I could be writing about Rev. Martin Luther. I replied, "Very carefully." Christians are interested in Martin Luther from a religious aspect, so I do my best to remain neutral. Unfortunately, his words will be used by the Nazis to justify the oppression of the Jews. In the long run, though, the Reformation will be better for everyone including the Jews. For that I am grateful.

How the Ottoman Turks Came to Control the Levant *

Selim the Grim is the current sultan of the Ottoman Turks. He follows Sunni Islam which means he follows the Sunnah or "traditional practices" of the Prophet Muhammad. (For those keeping score: this means that Selim the Grim is definitely NOT a "Twelver".) Selim has accused the sultan of Egypt [5] (who is also a Sunni) of harboring a "Twelver".[6] Twelvers believe that the Twelfth Imam (with Jesus helping out) will bring about the redemption of Islam and the resurrection of the dead. When the smoke clears, the Ottomans are in possession of the Levant, a region that includes present day Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria... and sometimes Iraq, Egypt and Turkey. The Ottomans will remain in control of the area into the early 20th century. [7] [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm not sure I want to have an opinion on this but here we go. My best personal experiences with Muslims have been with Sunni Muslims. However, about a mile from my home is a Shia mosque. My kids used to play soccer with some of their kids and my wife and I have had one couple to our home. No one got massacred. Nevertheless, in 1517, the Jews of Hebron were murdered by Sunni Muslims... probably during the looting. Many Jews escaped to Beirut and the Shia Muslims ran for the hills. I'm not asking for an apology. It is difficult enough for people to get along without asking them to apologize for the actions of their great, great, great, great grandfathers. Accounting for the actions of the present-day is a big enough job.[11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1517, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. The Ninety-Five Theses (English translation). Wikisource (1517). Retrieved on 10 February 2015.
  2. The Ninety-Five Theses - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015.
  3. All Saints' Church, Wittenberg - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015. “On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the doors of All Saints' Church, which is commonly viewed to be a catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.”
  4. Matthew 26:14-16 NIV - Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus. BibleGateway.com. Retrieved on 10 February 2015. “14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”
  5. Tuman bay II - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015.
  6. Ismail I - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015.
  7. Selim I (Selim the Grim) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015.
  8. Levant - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015. “The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in Southwest Asia south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and in the east, the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia. The Levant does not include Anatolia (although at times Cilicia may be included), the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. The Sinai Peninsula is sometimes included, though more considered an intermediate, peripheral or marginal area forming a land bridge between the Levant and northern Egypt.”
  9. Twelver - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015. “The term Twelver refers to its adherents' belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imams, and their belief that the Mahdi will be the returned Twelfth Imam who disappeared and is believed by Twelvers to be in occultation.”
  10. Mahdi - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015. “In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi ('guided one') is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years (according to differing interpretations) before the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyamah / literally, the Day of Resurrection) and will rid the world of evil.”
  11. Hebron-Background. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2015). Retrieved on 10 February 2015. “The Ottoman Turks' conquest of the city in 1517 was marked by a violent pogrom which included many deaths, rapes, and the plundering of Jewish homes. The surviving Jews fled to Beirut and did not return until 1533.”

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