John Wycliffe

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John Wycliffe
Statue of Wycliffe at Lutherdenkmal, Worms

John Wycliffe (lived from about 1320 to 1384 in England)[1] was an English theologian. He was one of the first to translate the Christian Bible into common English.[2] A missions agency bearing his name (Wycliffe Bible Translators) continues translating the scriptures into languages around the world.

Wycliffe wrote that papal claims of temporal power had no foundation in the scriptures and that the scriptures alone should be the standard of Christian belief and practice. See Sola scriptura.

John Wycliffe’s family lived in a lower social class, which meant they did not live in great wealth, but they were not poor either. Later, after Wycliffe had grown up, he attended Oxford University where he earned an arts degree. He became a professor in 1360 at Balliol College, at Oxford. He lived at Oxford for a large portion of his life, and worked as a rector (a member of the clergy) at local churches.

Wycliffe encouraged the Church to benefit the sinners of the world by living a life of poverty, but not everyone agreed with his thoughts and ideas. In some of late writings, he wrote that the Bible was the authority of the Christian religion, not of the church. In 1382 Wycliffe’s followers also helped him translate the Bible. Early members of the Christian churches called him the first great reformer.[3][4][5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Surname is also spelled Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wycliffe, Wicliffe, or Wickliffe.
  2. Partridge A.C. 1973. English biblical translations. London: Andre Deutsch, The English Bible to Wyclif, 19–32. ISBN 0-233-96129-1
  3. Stockdale, Nancy. "John Wycliffe." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
  4. "John Wycliffe." Historic World Leaders. Gale, 1994. Biography In Context. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
  5. Williams, Peter W. "Wycliffe, John." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.

Other websites[change | change source]