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John Wycliffe

Birthdate: 1320
Date of death: 31. December 1384

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John Wycliffe , an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, Biblical translator, reformer, English priest, and a seminary professor at the University of Oxford, became an influential dissident within the Roman Catholic priesthood during the 14th century and is considered an important predecessor to Protestantism.

Wycliffe attacked the privileged status of the clergy, which bolstered their powerful role in England. He then attacked the luxury and pomp of local parishes and their ceremonies.Wycliffe also advocated translation of the Bible into the vernacular. In 1382 he completed a translation directly from the Vulgate into Middle English - a version now known as Wycliffe's Bible. It is probable that he personally translated the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and it is possible he translated the entire New Testament, while his associates translated the Old Testament. Wycliffe's Bible appears to have been completed by 1384, additional updated versions being done by Wycliffe's assistant John Purvey and others in 1388 and 1395.

Wycliffe's followers, known as Lollards, followed his lead in advocating predestination, iconoclasm, and the notion of caesaropapism, while attacking the veneration of saints, the sacraments, requiem masses, transubstantiation, monasticism, and the very existence of the Papacy.

Beginning in the 16th century, the Lollard movement was regarded as the precursor to the Protestant Reformation. Wycliffe was accordingly characterised as the evening star of scholasticism and as the morning star of the English Reformation. Wycliffe's writings in Latin greatly influenced the philosophy and teaching of the Czech reformer Jan Hus , whose execution in 1415 sparked a revolt and led to the Hussite Wars

of 1419-1434.

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Quotes John Wycliffe

„I believe that in the end the truth will conquer.“

—  John Wycliffe
Statement to the Duke of Lancaster (1381), as quoted in Champions of the Right (1885) by Edward Gilliat, p. 135 Variant: I believe that in the end truth will conquer. As quoted in Great Voices of the Reformation : An Anthology (1952) by Harry Emerson Fosdick, p. 37

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„This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.“

—  John Wycliffe
General Prologue to the Bible translation of 1384, as quoted in Lincoln at Gettysburg : An Address (1906) by Clark Ezra Carr, p. 75;

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