What impact does Martin Luther have on our lives today?What impact does Martin Luther have on our lives today?

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Luther's example is still relevant for many of us today. If you attend a bible-based church, for instance, then the freedom with which you interpret Scripture is largely thanks to the revolution in biblical exegesis unleashed by Luther. Prior to the Reformation most ordinary people didn't have access to the Bible, even those who could read. And even if you did gain access to a Bible it was only because the Catholic Church said that you could. What's more, it would be written in Latin, not your native language (or vernacular, to use the more technical term).

Luther firmly believed that Holy Scripture should be freely available to every believing Christian, and written in a language they could understand. This led to a huge explosion in the number of people reading the Bible. Now that they had the Bible in their own hands and in their own language, Christians could gain a deeper, fuller understanding of God's Word.

Today, thanks to Luther's contributions to religious history, there is an astonishing variety of different Bibles in existence, translated into almost every conceivable language. Christians now enjoy the freedom to have a closer, more direct relationship with God, one based upon the assiduous study of his Word, and not through the mediation of human institutions.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Martin Luther has an impact on our lives today. One impact is that the Bible is printed in many languages. The Roman Catholic Church only allowed the Bible to be printed in Latin. By printing the Bible in other languages, more people would be able to read and understand it. It also makes the prayers more meaningful to those who are praying.

Martin Luther also encouraged all people to study the Bible. Translating the Bible into different languages helped accomplish this. Martin Luther stressed the importance of individual people learning about the Bible and studying it. He didn't believe the Roman Catholic Church should control what people would know about the Bible. Today there are over nine hundred translations of the New Testament. People have Bibles in their homes and in their offices. The Bible is no longer found only in churches or in the hands of the elite.

To some the degree, the idea of religious tolerance that many people enjoy today is related to what Martin Luther believed and to what he hoped to accomplish. He wanted people to read and to interpret the Bible, to ask questions, and to challenge what had been practiced by the Roman Catholic Church. These goals eventually translated into the concept of religious freedom that many people enjoy today.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This depends very greatly on what religion you belong to and how religious you are.

If you are not a religious person and you live in the US, you could argue that Luther has had very little influence on your life.  However, if you are a religious person and a Christian, Luther has had an impact on your life.  Before Luther, there was essentially only one Christian church, at least in Western Europe.  The Catholic Church had a monopoly on the Christian faith.  If you are a Protestant, your sect would not exist without Luther.

Whether you are Protestant or Catholic, Luther's ideas have influenced your religion.  Before Luther, it was essentially unheard of for people to read the Bible on their own.  Religious people relied on the Church to tell them what to do and what to think.  Nowadays, people in all major Christian sects are encouraged to read the Bible and to have a personal relationship with God.  This is something that is very different from the way things were before the Reformation.

So, if you are a religious Christian today, your life has been changed by Luther because his ideas have had a huge impact on religious thinking in Western Civilization.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I agree with the post above, but I would also like to note that Luther had an impact on everyone's religious freedom. If it was just Jews, Christians and Muslims fighting each other, that would not be personal to many people. Luther created sects within the Christian church, where people could have different religions and something in common.