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Born in 1483, Martin Luther was a Catholic priest, monk, and professor of theology, as well as the prime figure in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Although there is no reason to suspect that he intended to separate from the Roman Catholic Church, he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X at the Diet of Worms, when he refused to retract his writings disputing the claim that indulgences could purchase freedom from God's punishment for sin. His translation of of the Bible from the Latin to the vernacular made the Bible more accessible to regular Christians, and his teachings influenced the writing of an English translation, the King James Bible, as well as the development of the Lutheran Church, of which he was not a member.



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