We have this in our country, I googled it but didnt find something like this, just found that Martin Luther had something to do with Indulgence. So is it true or is just some nice writing and good enough relation to Martin Luther?

Rough Translation:

In medieval times, priests sold pieces of heaven to people for a hundred coins, and people bought them.

A wise man was frustrated that people were buying them so he found a solution.

He went to a priest and asked, "How much is all of hell?

The priest looked surprised and asked, "Hell?"

"Yes," he said.

The priest without hesitation said: "Fifty coins."

The man gave him the coins and took the certificate.

He went and put it in town square, and said: "I have bought all of hell and I won't let any of you in."

This man was Martin Luther.

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    Can you please provide some sort of citation as to where you found this? – Logan Baxter Feb 15 '18 at 20:30
  • This sounds like satire to me. Martin Luther was definitely opposed to the use of indulgences, at least the way they were being promoted. I would certainly like to know the source of this story, and whether a reasonable answer can be given. – disciple Feb 16 '18 at 19:41
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    For a background on the actual history of Luther's response to indulgences, see courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his101/web/37luther.htm . For a story Luther told about Tetzel (a seller of indulgences), see christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/60328/… – disciple Feb 16 '18 at 19:56
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    @Nemexia You say this is a story from your country. Which country is that, please? – davidlol Feb 17 '18 at 11:50

You can search catholic.com for episodes discussing Luther. Dr. David Anders I think has also discussed him; you might search his shows on EWTN.

I recall in one show a guest expert comments that Luther was such a bad theologian that he once asked, "If the Church has an infinite storehouse of indulgences due to the infinite merits of Jesus' Passion, why not just spend them to keep everyone out of hell?" i.e., he did not understand the role of free will in individuals' salvation, or that indulgences are a remission of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven, not a means to salvation.

Given this conversation, it appears to me this story is pious Lutheran satire from his disciples who thought he was correct in his rhetoric, rather than recognize that Luther was an incompetent theologian.

More literally and directly: No, no one can validly commit simony to buy hell. So no, there is no truth to this story.

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    It would be better if you could write your answers without insulting people. Considering indulgences have been offered for the dead it doesn't seem like free will can be required. – curiousdannii Jun 16 at 23:52
  • I clarified my answer a minute or so ago by adding a definition of indulgences -- they are to expedite purgatory, not to retrieve from hell. So Luther's question was predicated on multiple misunderstandings. Where did I insult people? Stating the fact that Luther was an incompetent theologian is not an insult (by definition, "disrespect or scornful abuse"). – Internet User Jun 16 at 23:58
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    Thinking someone was wrong does not equate with them being incompetent. And do you have evidence that indulgences were so clearly defined at the time he may have said things like this? Don't forget that the counter-reformation and Council of Trent introduced a lot of clarity. Ludwig von Pastor said that Tetzel taught that "nothing but an offering of money was required to gain the indulgence for the dead, without there being any question of contrition or confession" (Wikipedia). – curiousdannii Jun 17 at 0:02

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