John Wycliffe Biography
Born In: Hipswell, United Kingdom
John Wycliffe was a 14th-century scholastic philosopher, theologian, biblical translator, reformer, priest, and educator from England. A prominent critic of the privileged status of the clergy and its members’ affinity for pomp and luxury, he was a leading dissident within the Roman Catholic priesthood and is regarded as a crucial predecessor to Protestantism. He also served as a seminary professor at the University of Oxford. An ardent advocate of translating the Bible into the vernacular, he finished translating the Christian holy book from the Vulgate into Middle English in 1382. The translation, which was co-authored by several of his associates, has since come to be known as the Wycliffe’s Bible. Wycliffe developed a following, the Lollards, who, following his example, preached predestination, iconoclasm, and the notion of caesaropapism, while critiquing the veneration of saints, the sacraments, requiem masses, transubstantiation, monasticism, and the very notion of the papacy. This movement was often considered as a predecessor of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century and beyond. As a result, Wycliffe was depicted as the evening star of scholasticism and as the morning star of the English Reformation.