John Wycliffe and the First English Bible

John Wycliffe is known as the Morning Star of the Protestant Reformation.

Wycliffe is the first person to translate the Bible into English. The basis for his work was Jerome’s Latin Vulgate.

Wycliffe was born in 1324. He joined Oxford College at a very young age and eventually received a Doctorate and also became a Roman Catholic Priest. However, somewhere around 1375, Wycliffe led in a conflict between Oxford College and the Roman Catholic Church over the doctrine of transubstantiation (the turning of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus). Then he would become a leader in England’s fights against the Roman Catholic Church. The Church would bring him to ecclesiastical trial several times.

Wycliffe began translating the Bible in 1378 A.D. He completed the New Testament in 1380 A.D. and the complete Bible in 1382 A.D. Making a single copy of Wycliffe’s Bible took ten months and a month’s pay was needed to buy one.

Wycliffe died in 1384. The Roman Catholic Church had his bones dug up in 1428 and burned as a heretic because his teachings caused them such problems.

See this link for an audio presentation:

John Wycliffe, the Morning Star of the Reformation



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