Reformation Propaganda

Reformation Propaganda

Happy Reformation Day! Today marks the 500 year anniversary of the date that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. This action touched off a spiral of events that led to the Protestant Reformation – a movement that placed a renewed emphasis on the Bible and God’s grace to the world through Jesus Christ.

To celebrate, I’ve provided some reformation propaganda for your perusal and enjoyment. It comes from the book The Passional of Christ and Antichrist by Lucas Cranach. The book is designed to show the contrast between Christ’s humble way of life and the Pope worldly lifestyle. While the text is in German, I’ve provided a short description of each picture, taken from the Martin Luther museum in Wittenburg.

Christ 1

Christ suffers in captivity the ignominy of the Crown of Thorns.

Pope 1

The Pope has himself crowned and homage paid to him like a worldly ruler.

Christ 2

Christ washes and kisses his disciples’ feet.

Pope 2

The Pope has the Emperor, a king and a prince kiss his feet.

Christ 3

Christ prays and preaches amongst simple people, the sick, and cripples.

Pope 3

The Pope watches a jousting tournament from a tribune.

Christ 4

To the Pharisees, Christ rejected all external eating rules, such as the washing of hands.

Pope 4

In an outward ceremony, clerics pray to the Pope, while he blesses them.

Want more reformation history? Click here to take a digital tour of Wittenberg!