Celebrating Reformation Day at TheHolidayZone.com

Reformation Day Vocabulary Guide
It should be noted that most of the words below have multiple meanings, depending upon their usage. In this context, they have been defined as they are most likely to be used in discussions of Reformation Day and/or the Protestant Reformation.

authority (noun)
(1) a fact, statement, or text used to support a position
The reformers believed that the Bible -- not tradition -- should be the Christian's final authority on matters of faith and conduct.

(2) the power to command, to require obedience, and to enforce laws
The Protestant reformers rejected the authority of the Pope.

Catholicism (noun)
the faith and doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church
During the Middle Ages, Catholocism spread throughout Europe.

commemorate (verb)
to mark with a ceremony or observation
Reformation Day commemorates Martin Luther's posting of his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31st, 1517.

dispute (noun; verb)
Martin Luther did not intend to start a public dispute with the Church.
The children disputed who won the game.

doctrine (noun)
a system of belief; something considered true
Martin Luther disagreed with the doctrine of the Medieval Roman Catholic Church.

excommunicate (verb)
to strip an individual of church membership
Luther was excommunicated after he refused to recant his
95 Theses

faith (noun)
confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing
The reformers taught that salvation came "through faith alone in Christ alone."

forgiveness (noun)
the act of granting relief from punishment
Luther and other reformers that God alone could grant people forgiveness for their sins.

heretic (noun)
one who dissents from established religious dogma
Three years after he posted his 95 Theses, Martin Luther was excommunicated and branded a heretic.

indulgence (noun)
a document offering remission of all or part of the punishment due for wrongs committed
Pope Pius V banned the sale of indulgences in 1567.

martyr (noun; verb)
a person who sacrifices their life rather than renounce faith or principle
John Huss became a martyr on July 6, 1415.
John Huss was martyred for his faith on July 6, 1415.

monk (noun)
a man who is a member of a religious order
At the time he penned his 95 Theses, Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk.

protest (noun, verb)
to object or express disapproval
Thousands of activists gathered in Washington D.C. for an anti-war protest.
Martin Luther protested the church's selling of indulgences.

Protestantism (noun)
a branch of Christianity that embraces Reformation principles and denies the authority of the pope
Protestantism began as a reaction to medival Roman Catholic doctrine and practices.

Pope (noun)
The earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The current pope is Pope Benedict XVI.

recant (verb)
to publicly "take back" what one previously said; to confess that one was in error
"Unless I am convinced by Scripture or clear reasoning that I am in error – for popes and councils have often erred and contradicted themselves – I cannot recant, for I am subject to the Scriptures I have quoted; my conscience is captive to the Word of God." (Martin Luther before the Diet of Worms)

reform (verb)
to make better or improve; to remove faults
Initially, Luther wanted to reform the Roman Catholic Church.

religion (noun)
devotion to religious faith and observance
The first ammendment of the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

salvation (noun)
deliverance from the power and results of sin
The reformers taught that salvation came "through faith alone in Christ alone."

simony (noun)
the practice of selling church offices and pardons (The term derives its name from the Biblical account of Simon Magus, a sorcer who tried to buy spiritual power from the Apostle Peter [Acts 8:9-24].)
Dante described those who engaged in simony as "robbers" who "prostitute the things of God ... for gold and silver."

sin (noun; verb)
an action that violates religious or moral law; wrong doing
Luther and other reformers that God alone could grant people forgiveness for their sins.
The Bible says that all people have sinned.

theology (noun)
the study of God and God's relation to the world
Martin Luther was a professor of theology.

tradition (noun)
a belief or custom handed down from one generation to the next
Christmas trees, Christmas stockings, and Santa Claus are holiday traditions.

view (noun; verb)
The reformers disagreed with the Church's views on salvation.
Most historians view Luther's nailing his 95 Theses on the doors of the Castle Church as the official start of the Protestant Reformation.

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