his is the essay for the 14th week of the 7th Grade Ron Paul Curriculum. It’s about John Wycliffe
In this blog post, I shall be showing you how John Wycliffe started the Reformation movement.
John Wycliffe was born in 1320 in a village near Yorkshire. Earned a bachelor’s degree in theology at Oxford University. He moved to Lutterworth in 1374 after where he lived there the rest of his life. John Wycliffe worked as a professor at Oxford.
The thing that he is most remembered for is that he is the first promoter of the Reformation. He is even known as “The Morning Star of the Reformation”. He is also remembered for debating a lot with the church about the current practices the church used.
He debated about the pope’s authority over the church. John Wycliffe thought that only apostle’s and scriptures had authority over the church. He thought indulgences was bribery and that public confession shouldn’t be practiced because it wasn’t taught in the bible.
For this John Wycliffe became hated by the church and eventually the pope arranged a meeting between the pope and John Wycliffe in London to discuss John Wycliffe’s charges of heresy. A bit after the meeting started everyone in the meeting started fighting. After the fight, the pope charged John Wycliffe 5 bulls, but didn’t excommunicate him due to his popularity with the people.
Wycliffe’s most memorable work is translating the Bible into another language. Wycliffe thought that everybody should be able to read the bible. Before this, the Bible had only been in Latin. This hadn’t been done before because the church thought that if the common people were able to read the bible they would ruin it. Wycliffe started writing the bible anyway with his friend John Purvey. Wycliffe and his friend completed the Bible in 1382. He died in 1384 due to a stroke, two years later, but he didn’t die without a legacy.
His followers, the Lollards spread his teachings and his works. By all this spreading Wycliffe’s ideas became the norm. John Wycliffe didn’t die as a martyr unlike many later reformers would.
But 31 years after his death the Council of Constance declared him a heretic and they burned his works. The council also dug his bones up and burnt them.Then they put the ashes into the river Swift. The Lollards had to go into hiding after this.
Because this his message continued to spread, kept him remembered for several hundred years and became the norm.