The Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation was a new movement, essentially created by Martin Luther. There were several reformers before Martin Luther, but Martin Luther made the Reformation a force to be reckoned with. He did this by nailing his 95 theses on the door of the church of Wittenberg.

The Protestant Reformation has been called other things, like the Reformation or the Reformation Movement. I shall say a brief summary of each Reformer and what they contributed to the Reformation. I’ll start with the Reformers before Martin Luther.


John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe was the first person who was helping the Reformation movement although back then he didn’t know it, because the Protestant Reformation didn’t exist yet. Wycliffe translated the Bible into English, which is now known as the Wycliffe Bible. As with most of the Reformers, he was declared a heretic by the Catholic Church, because they said he was opposing God and after that the Church burns the Reformers at the stake. This is what happened to Wycliffe.

John Huss

John Huss is a Bohemian reformer, which means he was born in the Czech Republic. He was influenced heavily by Wycliffe and Huss fought against the heresies of the Bohemian Church. Huss was captured during his travels and put on trial, but Huss refused to recant his teachings. So he was burned at the stake on July 6th, 1415.

Gerhard Groote

Gerhard Groote is the last important reformer before Martin Luther. Gerhard Groote was born in 1340 in the Netherlands. He set up schools for orphans to learn theology. Many reformers after him came from these schools. Gerhard Groote didn’t die like most reformers, because he didn’t directly oppose the church. He created the opposition. Instead, he died when the Black Plague entered his town for the third time. His schools lasted about 150 years after his death. I go more in-depth with my blog post solely on him. So if you want to learn more go to this link:

Martin Luther

As I touched earlier in the blog post. Luther was the one who kickstarted the Reformation. The reason that Luther wrote the 95 theses is that he was against the church selling indulgences and other things done by the church during this time. Luther was called by the Diet of Worms, where he was excommunicated and declared a heretic. He went into hiding for a few years and when the outrage had subsided, he married and had 6 children. Martin Luther even organized a Protestant church. He also translated the Bible into German. Luther died in 1546.


There have been many more reformers like Desiderius Erasmus, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin and William Tyndale. But there are too many to state all of them so I will do only do William Tyndale.


William Tyndale

William Tyndale is an English reformer just like John Wycliffe. He translated the bible again into English, only he first asked for permission from the Bishop of London in 1523. The bishop refused and he had to translate the Bible in secret. When the New Testament emerged the English church wasn’t happy and they started searching for him. Tyndale was betrayed by one of his colleagues and captured, while he was working on translating the Old Testament. Tyndale was burned at the stake on October 6th, 1536.

The Counter-Reformation

The Catholic Church opposed the Protestant Reformation the whole way through. This is why they created the Counter-Reformation. Which was, as indicated in the name a reformation supposed to stop the Protestant Reformation. The Counter-reformation tried hard, but after the Protestant Reformation had gained enough steam it was unstoppable. Europe even fought wars over this called the European Wars of Religion, which were ended in 1648 when the treaty of Westphalia.