Over a thousand years later, Martin Luther, a German Augustinian religious monk and Roman Catholic priest at Wittenberg appeared. He was a bible scholar, so that biblical influences dominated him and his followers. The epistles of Paul showed that righteousness was a gift that was not earned. Faith alone, not works or even indulgences to be used in purgatory, was necessary for salvation. In 1517, he posted his printed objections, since half a century earlier the printing press had been invented. He translated and published the New Testament in German, so that people could read the Bible themselves. This led to the Protestant Reformation, which actually maintained many of the medieval Catholic practices. The Counter Reformation resulted in the Roman Catholic Council of Trent. Instead of just accepting being excommunicated, these protesters formed their own community in northern Germany and Scandinavia. Other groups also broke off from the Roman Catholic Church.
The Augustinian priest, Martin Luther (1483-1546) was one of the first to point out that Scripture alone, without the Church interpretation was enough. With the invention of the printing press in the late 15th century and the growth of the new vernacular languages, printing and translating the Bible was an important element in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Sermons on Bible readings took on a new importance. The printed Bible book also became an icon. There were immediate difficulties within this reform movement over the question of the clear meaning of Scripture. Each group and even each individual within the group began to interpret Scripture as they saw fit.