November 10, 1483

Martin Luther born in Eisleben, Germany, son of Han Luder/Luther and Margarethe Lindemann Luder/Luther. He was baptized the next day, St. Martin’s Day and thus given the name Martin.


Martin Luther becomes an Augustinian monk despite his father’s disapproval.



Martin Luther is ordained as a Catholic priest at the RC Cathedral in Erfurt. (left)

October 31, 1517

October 31, 1517

Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of Whittenberg Cathedral

1518-1520 Woodcut by Lucas Cranach is dated 1520

April 26, 1518

Heidelberg Disposition – Martin Luther debated at Heidelberg on human depravity and bondage of the will. Woodcut by Lucas Cranach is dated 1520.

1521 – “Papal Bull”

January 3, 1521

January 3, 1521 – Pope issues “Papal Bull”, official document excommunicating Luther

Martin Luther was excommunicated by Roman Catholic Pope.


January 28, 1521-May 25, 1521

Diet of Worms



Martin Luther translates the New Testament into German from the original Greek and Hebrew while hiding out in a castle tower provided by Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony.


April 7, 1523

Katerina Von Bora, future wife of Martin Luther, and other nuns arrived in Whittenberg after escaping from a convent.

1524 – 1525 – Map of areas of the Holy Roman Empire (Germany) affected by the Peasant’s Revolt.

1524 -1525 – woodcut of The Peasant’s Revolt shows common farmers taking up farm implements to fight their battles by Johannes Stumpf in 1548 in Chronik

Peasant’s Revolt in Germany went too far in getting rid of normal church activities and structures. Churches were burned, monastaries were burned and statues and stained glass were destroyed. Many of the medieval monastaries, abbeys and convents were closed permanently. Luther did not approve of these iconoclasts, as he simply wanted to reform the Church, not destroy it.


June 13, 1525

Wedding of former priest Martin Luther and former nun Katerina Von Bora in Whittenberg



Diet of Speyer – Holy Roman Empire censors books it doesn’t want published in an effort to stop the spread of the ideas of Luther and other reformers, and retain control of the churches.



Martin Luther writes the hymn “A Mighty Fortress”, a powerful hymn about God as our protector, which was written simply enough for the congregation to join in the singing. It is Martin Luther’s most famous hymn.



Martin Luther published his  Confession Concerning the Lord’s Supper, proclaiming Jesus Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist.



Martin Luther published Large Catechism in April and Small Catechism in May.


June 25, 1530

Augburg Confessions presented to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor by the Electors of Germany who agree with Luther

1530 – Zwingli portrait by Lucas Cranach, a friend of Martin Luther

October 11, 1531 – Battle of Kappel – woodcut

Ulrich Zwingli, a comtemporary of Luther dies in Battle of Kappel in Switzerland and is replaced by John Calvin as leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. Zwingli and Calvin unfortunately, did not believe Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist

1534 – original copy of Martin Luther’s translation of the Holy Scriptures

1534 – Title page of Holy Scripture (Heilige Scrifft) translation by Martin Luther

Martin Luther published his translation of the Holy Bible into German, and it soon became the most influential German translation, helping to codify the German language.

October 6, 1536

October 6, 1536

William Tynsdale burned at the stake in England for translating the Holy Bible into English against the wishes of King Henry the VIII.



In 1536, Martin Luther wrote the Smalcald Articles and presented them for adoption in 1537. Woodcut is from the studio of Lucas Cranach, and author is MS. Dated 1536.



Martin Luther passes away in Eisleben, Germany while visiting, at the age of 63 years old.

September 25, 1555

Peace of Augsburg signed in Augsburg, Germany between Charles V and the Electors, which decreed that the religion of each realm was determined by the religion of the ruler.


June 25, 1580

Book of Concord published on 50th Anniversary of the Augsburg Confessions.

For a more detailed Timeline of the Reformation, please see A Reformation Timeline from