John Wycliffe Commemorated on December 31st

John Wycliffe is commemorated on December 31st

John Wycliffe was born about 1330 in North Yorkshire and became an influential theologian, lay preacher, university teacher at Oxford and translator. He died in 1384. He was an important dissident during the 14th century and his followers were known as Lollards who preached anticlerical and biblically-centred reforms and were a forerunner of the Protestant Reformation. He was one of the earliest opponents of papal authority over secular power.   Wycliffe preached three doctrines that the Roman Catholic Church recognized as major threats. Firstly he said that the individual’s interpretation of the Bible was the best guide to a moral life, as opposed to the Church’s emphasis on receiving its sacraments as the only way to salvation. Secondly he insisted that holiness of an individual was more important than his official role; that is, a truly pious person was morally superior to a wicked ordained cleric. Wycliffe challenged the privileged status of the clergy, which was central to their powerful role in England. Finally he attacked the luxurious and exorbitant luxury and pomp of the churches and their ceremonies

Wycliffe was also an early advocate for translation of the Bible into the everyday language as opposed to Latin. He completed his translation directly from the Vulgate or Latin version into   English in the year 1382. This is now known as Wycliffe's Bible. It is probable that he personally translated the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and it is possible he translated the entire New Testament, while his associates translated the Old Testament