January 16 or 17, 1517 ?

Luther preaches a sermon on Luke 19:8. Taking his stand, Zacchaeus said unto the Lord ...  As early as the eleventh century, specific, limited indulgences were almost always connected to celebrations of the anniversary of a church’s dedication. These festivals would have always included preaching on the appointed gospel: the story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19. This sermon by…

January 1517

Johannes von Staupitz publishes the Little Book Concerning Predestination, based on sermons he preached in Nuremberg in Advent, 1516. Quotation: You find difficulty in believing that the Almighty knew from all eternity who should be saved, whether they were already dead, alive, or as yet unborn. Now, all must admit this, for He knows all…

January 1517

Luther continues his series of sermons on the Ten Commandments, begun on July 2, 1516, Quotation: Exodus 20:2: "I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not", etc. God is called He who is able to do all things, and to do all that is asked, as the heathen seek everything from their idols. But we have…

December 31, 1516

Luther writes to George  Spalatin to answer a question about veneration and invocation of the saints. Spalatin raised this question in response to Corollary II of the third thesis in the disputation for Bernhard on Sep 25, 1516 (and here; see also WA 1:150f): Since everything that is believed through Christ is possible, it is superstitious,…

December 21, 1516 (St. Thomas’ Day)

Luther preaches on the text: “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork” [Ps. 19:1]. This sermon contains perhaps Luther’s first detailed exposition of what would come to be known as his “theology of the cross.” Quotation: The gospel is nothing other than the proclamation of the works of…

December 4, 1516

Martin Luther's first publication is printed. Titled (by Luther) A Spiritually Noble Little Book about the right way to distinguish and understand what the old and new man is, who is a child of Adam and a child of God, and how Adam must die in us and Christ arise, it comprises a brief preface by Luther…

October 27, 1516

Luther begins his first series of lectures on Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. These lectures will continue, typically two days a week, through March 13, 1517. Using the notes for these lectures as a basis, but with significant revisions and expansions on some points, Luther will prepare a printed version of his exposition and publish it…

October 26, 1516

Luther writes to John Lang, the prior of the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt. Luther describes his daily routine, noting the size of his correspondence, his duties in the monastery and as a district vicar, and his academic responsibilities. He mentions briefly the situation in the Wittenberg monastery and in the plague-infested city. In the last paragraphs (not quoted…

October 19, 1516

Luther writes to George Spalatin, explaining his disagreement with Erasmus's theology. Quotation: What disturbs me about Erasmus, that highly learned man, is this, dear Spalatin: in the explanation of the Apostle [Paul], he understands the righteousness originating in works or in the Law, or “our own righteousness” (as the Apostle calls it [1]) as referring to…

October 14, 1516

To Jodok Mörlin (ca. 1490–1550), the Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wittenberg, and his wife Anna (née Hausknecht), is born a son, Maximilian (d. Apr 20, 1584). Maximilian initially trained to be a tailor, but later studied at Wittenberg University and came under the influence of Martin Luther and especially Philipp Melanchthon. From 1539,…