Biography of John Whycliffe

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JOHN WHYCLIFFE

John Wycliffe was born in 1329 and he died in 1384, he was an English religious reformer, teacher at Oxford University, and Bible translator, was one of the shining lights who lived during the Dark Ages. Wycliffe did not accept the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. He believed that salvation does not depend on church membership, that Christians need no priest to stand between them and God and that the Bible, not a priest or a church or a pope, is the authority for the believer to follow in every matter. Because Wycliffe realized that the people need the Bible in their own language to read and study for themselves, he initiated the translation of the complete Bible into English.

He and his followers, the Lollards were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, after Wycliffe death the pope ordered his remains to be dug up and burned. Wycliffe started from the basic premise which would later inspire the Protestants, namely that the Bible was superior to the papacy, to priests, and to any human institution. Wycliffe also argued that everything was literally "owned" by God - not simply all material objects, but also all offices and positions. Thus, when someone failed to use their office properly, they no longer deserved to retain it. This, then, was the position that most of the church was in and Wycliffe believed that most of those who held church offices needed to be replaced with more spiritual and less corrupt people. Another doctrine of Wycliffe's which would later be taken up by Protestants was that of transubstantiation. Like other reformers, Wycliffe believed that Christ's presence in the Eucharist was spiritual rather than physical - thus, the Eucharist is more symbolic than literal. The Church condemned Wycliffe as a heretic in 1380 and again in 1382. The Bible he created, the first literal translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible into English, was more a work of his followers than him but tradition still tends to attribute...
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