John Wycliffe

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John Wycliffe also spelled Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wicliffe, Wickliffe; lived between 1320 – December 1384. He was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher at Oxford in England, who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century.

His followers were known as Lollards[1] which preached reforms. The Lollard movement was persecuted by the government and established an orthodox church. Wycliffe called them "The Morning Star of the Reformation".

Wycliffe was also an early advocate for translation of the Bible into the common language. Wycliffe's Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English that were made under the direction of, or at the might of, John Wycliffe. They appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395.

While there are at least two versions the most common work was probably done by his secretary John Purvey. They were handwritten at first and the first printing did not come until 1456. A more popular second copy and General prologue came from Purvey in 1495-1496.


"This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People." is attributed to the General Prologue to the John Wycliffe Bible translation of 1384, as quoted in Lincoln at Gettysburg : An Address (1906) by Clark Ezra Carr, p. 75. [1]

The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations By Robert Andrews, page 89, item 16 gives us this same reference.


== Footnotes ==
  1. ...the term Lollard, which had always a heretical implication, was not applied to the Beghards till the beginning of the fourteenth century, when they had fallen seriously into disrepute. "Lollard" was applied to Wycliffe's followers and poor priests from the resemblance of their wandering life, and doubtful orthodoxy, to those of the Beghards or Lollards of the Netherlands (one of whom had been burned, as a " Lollard," as early as 1322), and whose existence as a band of "wandering and hypocritical fellows^" had been noticed in Brabant as early as 1309. These societies of devout lay people, living without monastic rule, were disliked by the regular religious, not onl};' on account of their dubious orthodox}^ but as rival associations:" CAMBRIDGE STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL LIFE AND THOUGHT Edited by G. G. Coulton, M.A, Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge and University Lecturer in English THE LOLLARD BIBLE

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