“Martin Luther (1483-1546) broke from the Church of Rome and started the German part of the Protestant Reformation. He had what he thought was a sudden revelation which convinced him that faith alone justifies without works (“By faith alone!”). He went on to deny the mediating role of the Church (excluding any sacraments besides Baptism and Eucharist) and of the priesthood (“By grace alone!” “Priesthood of all believers”). He also contended that individual believers could find out by themselves the message of salvation in the revealed Word of God without need of official teachers or Church traditions. He also taught that “Sacred Scripture is its own interpreter,” meaning that if you could not understand any passage of the Bible, the best way to uncover its meaning is to look in other parts to clarify its meaning: Scripture as a whole illumines all its parts (“By Scripture alone!”),” (Frederick Lawrence, Philosophers and Theologians, Boston College).
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