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In the theses the papal prerogative in this matter was not denied, though by implication papal policy was criticized.The spiritual, inward character of the Christian faith was stressed.
Not at any time did they imply that divine forgiveness could be bought or sold or that they availed for those who were impenitent or unconfessed.
But during the Middle Ages, as papal financial difficulties grew more complicated, they were resorted to very often, and abuses grew common.
Staupitz called upon Luther to succeed him as the university's professor of the Bible, a post he held for the rest of his life.
In preparation for his university lectures in 1513, especially on the letters of Paul, Luther resolved his turmoil.
A counterthesis was prepared by a Dominican theologian and defended before a Dominican audience at Frankfurt in January 1518.
When Luther realized the extensive interest his tentative theses had aroused, he prepared a long Latin manuscript with explanations of his Ninety-five Theses, published in the autumn of 1518.Further misunderstanding developed after Pope Sixtus IV extended indulgences to souls in purgatory.The often outrageous statements of indulgence sellers were a matter of protest among theologians.The sale of this indulgence was forbidden in Wittenberg by the elector Frederick III the Wise, who preferred that the faithful should make their offerings at his own great collection of relics, exhibited in the Church of All Saints.Nevertheless, Wittenberg church members went to Tetzel, who was preaching nearby, and they showed the pardons for their sins received from him to Luther.Upon his return he completed the work for his theological doctorate and became a professor at Wittenberg.This period was the beginning of the intimacy between Luther and John von Staupitz, whose influence led Luther to say in 1531, "I have received everything from Staupitz." For Luther these years were times of profound spiritual and physical torment.From 1516 on, as a consequence of his new convictions, Luther felt compelled to protest the dispensation of indulgences (see indulgenceindulgence,in the Roman Catholic Church, the pardon of temporal punishment due for sin.It is to be distinguished from absolution and the forgiveness of guilt.Luther was educated at the cathedral school at Eisenach and at the Univ. In 1505 he completed his master's examination and began the study of law.Several months later, after what seems to have been a sudden religious experience, he entered a monastery of the Augustinian friars at Erfurt.