Encouragement pushes Martin

25 WEEKS BEFORE REFORMATION SUNDAY

After the trip to Rome, Martin Luther returned to Wittenberg to resume his teaching duties. There, on October 19, 1512, the University appointed him Doctor of Theology, a position that senior members of the faculty had encouraged him to pursue.

One such individual, for example, was Johann von Staupitz, dean of theology and a renowned scholar of the Bible, who also counseled the young monk on many occasions. Luther later remarked that “if it had not been for Dr. Staupitz, I would have sunk in hell.”

Encouraged to seek new meanings in Scripture, Luther greatly expanded his knowledge of the Bible. He began with a series of lectures on the Psalms. In these ancient writings, he discovered fresh insight into how they prophesized the coming of Christ.

His work at the University was demanding, at times exhausting. At the same time, his tasks proved critical in helping him rethink basic doctrines and practices of the medieval church.

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