Building the Bible

Early Translations and Transcriptions

What did Wycliffe do to address this conflict?

In 1382, Wycliffe translated the Latin Vulgate Bible into English (some scholars think Wycliffe had no part in the translation, some think he translated a little of it, some think he translated all of it). At any rate, this was the first complete English translation of the Bible. It became known as the Wycliffe Bible. The Church forbade English translations, thus many copies of the Wycliffe Bible were destroyed. However, enough copies survived that the English translation gained a foothold among not just the learned, upper class, but among the common people.

The pope disliked Wycliffe immensely. Four decades after Wycliffe died, the pope declared Wycliffe a heretic and had his body exhumed and burned. Wycliffe was a man ahead of his time. Church reform did come about, but did not begin in earnest for another two hundred years. That is why Wycliffe is known as the Morning Star of the Reformation.


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