Martin Luther (1483–1546) was a German-Catholic-Augustinian monk and professor of theology who became a major figure in the Protestant Reformation, founding the Lutheran Church. "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God," said Martin Luther.
In 1501, Martin Luther entered the University of Erfurt, which he later described as a beerhouse and whorehouse. Luther received his master's degree in 1505. In accordance with his father's wishes, Luther enrolled in law school at the same university that year but dropped out almost immediately, believing that law represented uncertainty. Philosophy proved to be unsatisfying, offering assurance about the use of reason but none about loving God, which to Luther was more important. Reason could not lead men to God, he felt, and he thereafter developed a love-hate relationship with Aristotle over the latter's emphasis on reason. For Luther, reason could be used to question men and institutions, but not God. Humans could learn about God only through divine revelation, Luther believed, and Scripture therefore became increasingly important to him. Luther later attributed his decision to an event: on 2 July 1505, he was returning to university on horseback after a trip home. During a thunderstorm, a lightning bolt struck near him. Later telling his father he was terrified of death and divine judgment, he cried out, "Help! Saint Anna, I will become a monk!" Luther came to view his cry for help as a vow he could never break. Luther left law school, sold his books, and entered a closed Augustinian friary on 17 July 1505. His father was furious over what he saw as a waste of Luther's education. In 1508 Luther began to teach theology at the University of Wittenberg.
Martin Luther was originally sympathetic to Jewish resistance to the Catholic Church. However, Luther expected the Jews to convert to his "purified" Lutheran Christianity; when they did not, Luther turned violently against the Jews. The following are excerpts from Martin Luther's 65,000-word anti-Semitic rant On the Jews and Their Lies (1543):
1. Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them.
2. Moreover, the Jews are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury. Thus they live from day to day, together with wife and child, by theft and robbery, as arch-thieves and robbers, in the most impenitent security.
3. First, that their Jewish synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hell-fire. That would demonstrate to God our serious resolve and be evidence to all the world that it was in ignorance that we tolerated such houses, in which the Jews have reviled God, our dear Creator and Father, and his Son most shamefully up till now but that we have now given them their due reward.
On the Jews and Their Lies became a landmark work in German anti-Semitism, and it was held in high esteem by the Nazis. Not surprisingly, this is one of the tenets today's Christians don't like to discuss. Luther's sola fide contradicts the Bible verses of James 2:14-26, Psalm 62:12, Jeremiah 17:10, Matthew 16:27, Matthew 25:41-46, and Revelation 20:12-13. Luther suffered from chronic constipation and believed he received theological insights while seated on the toilet. Being full of fecal matter may have been due to a diet of worms (pun intended). Christians hate Jews for murdering and rejecting Jesus Christ (Matthew 27:21-26).