The Morning Star of the Reformation
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John Wycliffe (c. 1320–1384) was an English theologian, scholar, philosopher, and a preacher, but is best remembered for beginning the first translation of the Bible into English. Wycliffe believed that the Church’s authority was second to Scripture, and that God’s Word ought to be translated into the common language of the people. He asserts, “Englishmen learn Christ’s law best in English. Moses heard God’s law in his own tongue; so did Christ’s apostles.” This philosophy fueled Wycliffe’s translation work. He and a team of translators produced the Wycliffe Bible, which became the cornerstone of the King James Version hundreds of years later.
Because of his theological and eccumenical views, Wycliffe is often called “the morning star of the Reformation,” and is even referred to as a “medieval protestant.” He rejected transubstantiation, and had a distinctly Reformed view of the Church, the sufficiency of Scripture, and of election.
“God gives His grace to whomever He wishes, and has predestined each individual, an eternity before birth, to be lost or saved through all eternity. Good works do not win salvation, but they indicate that he who does them has received divine grace and is one.”
The work of John Wycliffe has inspired thousands of theologians and translators over the centuries, and will continue to influence coming generations. Now you can access several volumes of Wycliffe’s writings and read his biographies in Logos Bible Software.