Johannes Gutenberg could not have known that his moveable type would contribute to the spread of the Reformation. His printing presses printed not only Luther’s 95 Theses but also the indulgences that caused the 95 theses to be written.

Gutenberg’s invention of the moveable type press made the mass production of books a reality that would change the world. Gutenberg printed a Latin Bible that contained 42 lines of Scripture per page. This “42-line Bible” is known as the Gutenberg Bible. Gutenberg got caught up in legal battles and he never really bounced back financially from losing his press. Eventually he set up another printing press and continued to print. In 1465, he was recognized for his invention.

Gutenberg died 15 years before Luther was born, but the stage was set for the coming battle between Luther and the Roman Catholic Church. The reformation has often been called the war of pamphlets. And Luther utilized this new technology well and the message of the Reformation was spread around the world.

Reformation – the War of Pamphlets

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