The Reformation was composed of people like the famous Reformer John Calvin; people who simply suggested that the Church make some reforms in its organization. For this, many were persecuted.
It officially began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg. These theses were simple arguments asking that some of the practices in the Church be changed, like indulgences.
Indulgences were a slip of paper that the pope sold that was supposed to let you skip your time in Purgatory. They were only, of course, a method of the pope for raising money.
The pope ordered Luther to recant his teachings, but Luther refused unless they could show him from the scriptures that he was wrong.
A few individuals, like Desiderius Erasmus, could not actively take part in it, but their hearts were with the ones that could.
The 5 Solae is a sum-up list of the ideas of the Reformers.
- Sola scriptura, by scripture alone.
- Sola fide, by faith alone.
- Sola gratia, by grace alone.
- Sola Christus, through Christ alone.
- Sola Deo Gloria, to God alone be the glory.
The Reformers translated the Bible, for they believed that every man should read the Holy Scriptures for himself, not just through the mouth of a pastor.
These men believed that they were in the right, and many died for their cause. Little did they know that this movement would change the future of Europe.