Texas Tech University


Publication Date: 1731

English theologian and reformer. Called The Morning Star of the Reformation, Wyclif (or Wycliffe) was one of the earliest antagonists of papal encroachments on secular power. He felt that all Christians should have access to the Bible in the vernacular, and he instigated the first complete English translation, which was probably done by his followers. In addition to resisting the growth of the secular power of the papacy, Wyclif condemned monasticism and attacked the foundations of medieval orthodoxy in his denial of the dogma of transubstantiation, from which the priesthood derived the basis of power. He taught that all ecclesiastical and secular authority is derived from God and is forfeited when one is in a state of mortal sin.

Wyclif was neither the translator nor concerned with the translation of either of the two translations labeled with his name. Nicolas of Hereford made the first version as far as Baruch 3:20; who was responsible for the remainder is not known. The second version, a couple years after 1380, has been ascribed to John Purvey, a follower of Wyclif. The 1380 Bible was the first complete English version, being a word-for-word translation of the Vulgate into a Midland dialect. The complete Wyclif's Bible remained unprinted until 1850, when the monumental edition of both versions was published by Forshall and Madden.” #0369

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