Reformation Timeline


German Reformation

Luther from 1500-1536

Luther Visits Rome


Luther connected the abuses of the Church in the Germanic lands to the authority of the Church (Papacy). The papal authorities were taxing the German lands and using the money for their own projects.

95 Theses Posted

October 31, 1517

These theses protested the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel. He believed that indulgences taught that salvation was through works. Luther said that salvation was only through faith. This challenges Leo X's authority over salvation

Luther Condemned as Heretic

December 1517

Archbishop Albrecht of Hohoenzollern declared Luther's beliefs heretical.

Luther called to Diet of Augsburg

October 1518

Luther is called to defend his beliefs. He refuses. This is his spiritual defense in front of churchman.
1) Authority of Scripture
2) Salvation through faith alone
3) Priesthood of Believers

Luther Publishes Three Works


Address to Nobility of the German Nation- Calls for princes to become reformed
Babylonian Captivity of the Church- attacked sacramental system & clergy can marry
On the Freedom of the Christian Man- Salvation through faith

Diet of Worms

January 28, 1521 - May 25, 1521

Charles V, HRE, calls on Luther to recant his beliefs. Luther refuses.

Edict of Worms

May 25, 1521

Charles V calls for the capture of Luther and and end to teaching his beliefs. Luther is saved by Frederick III of Saxony protecting him.

Translation of NT

September 1522

While hidden in the Wartburg, Luther translated the NT into German. All literate people in Germany could now read scriptures.

Translation of OT


Luther translated the OT into German.

English Reformation

Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I

Zwingli's Reformation

Zwingli in Zurich

Zwingli Becomes People's Priest in Zurich

Dec. 11, 1518

He is chosen priest even though accused of sexual immorality.

Zwingli Rejects Reform of the Church


Zwingli felt the Catholic Church could not be reformed. Instead a new church was needed.

Lenten Fast Broken (Affair of Sausages)

March 1522

Zwingli said that there was no need for fast in order to gain salvation. He therefore ate sausages during Lent.

Abolition of Mass

1523 - April 13, 1525

Zwingli requested the abolition in 1523, but it didn't occur until 1525. The people were less radical than Zwingli. Mass was a Catholic tradition which included the sacrament of communion.

Debate over 67 Articles

October 26, 1523

67 Articles responded to the bishops anger over Zwingli's rejection of priestly celibacy. He rejected the authority of the bishops and so did the city.

Marburg Colloquy

October 1529

Protestants in Swizerland (Zwingli) and German Lands (Luther) tried to agree in order to have common cause against the Catholic Church. Zwingli and Luther could not agree about the Eucharist.

Civil War in Swiss Cantons


Catholic and Protestant Cantons in Switzerland begin to fight.

Zwingli Killed at Battle of Kappel

October 11, 1531

Zwingli is killed and his body is mutilated and burned. The Reformation in Switzerland is continued by John Calvin.