A Man Ahead of His Time
John Wycliffe lived almost 200 years before the Reformation, but his beliefs and teachings closely match those of Luther, Calvin and other reformers. As a man ahead of his time, historians have called Wycliffe the "Morning star of the Reformation."
Born in the 1300s, Wycliffe criticized abuses and false teachings in the Church. In 1382 he translated an English Bible—the first complete European translation done in nearly 1,000 years. The Lollards, itinerant preachers he sent throughout England, inspired a spiritual revolution.
But the Lollardy movement was short-lived. The Church expelled Wycliffe from his teaching position at Oxford, and 44 years after he died, the Pope ordered his bones exhumed and burned. Intense persecution stamped out his followers and teachings. It would be hundreds of years before men like Martin Luther resurrected the reforms of which Wycliffe dreamed.
Pictures posted with permission from Christian History magazine.
Learn more about the beginning of Wycliffe Bible Translators and the history of Bible translation.