John WycliffeTheologian / Translator
Born: c. 1324
Died: 31 December 1384
Birthplace: Hipswell, England
Best known as: Church reformer who translated the Bible into English
John Wycliffe (sometimes Wyclif) was a scholar at Oxford who wrote on philosophy and theology. In the 1370s he was condemned for errors and heresies by Popes Gregory XI and Urban VI, but his popularity in England allowed him to escape arrest and persecution by the Church. In 1380 Wyclif claimed that transubstantiation was not supported by the Bible; he was condemned at Oxford as a heretic and forced to retire. After his retirement he continued to write and is credited with initiating the first full English translation of the Bible. His followers, called Lollards, are considered forerunners to the Protestant Reformation.
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