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This week in Christian history: John Wycliffe dies, Charles Finney begins preaching career

John Wycliffe dies – December 31, 1384

John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe (circa 1330 - 1384), philosopher and theologian who oversaw what is believed to be the first translation of the Bible into English. |

This week marks the anniversary of when English theologian and philosopher John Wycliffe, who oversaw an early translation of the Bible into English, died after suffering a stroke.

Considered a forerunner of the Protestant Reformation, Wycliffe was known for his criticism of the Catholic Church, as well as directing the translation of the Bible into the English language.

“From August 1380 until the summer of 1381, Wycliffe was in his rooms at Queen’s College, busy with his plans for a translation of the Bible and an order of Poor Preachers who would take Bible truth to the people,” noted Britannica.

"There were two translations made at his instigation, one more idiomatic than the other. The most likely explanation of his considerable toil is that the Bible became a necessity in his theories to replace the discredited authority of the church and to make the law of God available to every man who could read.”

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