John Wycliffe

JOHN WYCLIFFE
JOHN WYCLIFFE
PART OF THE GOSPELS FROM THE WYCLIFFE BIBLE
PART OF THE GOSPELS FROM THE WYCLIFFE BIBLE
"JOHN WYCLIFFE READING HIS TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE TO JOHN OF GAUNT" AS PAINTED IN 1861 BY FORD MADOX BROWN
"JOHN WYCLIFFE READING HIS TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE TO JOHN OF GAUNT" AS PAINTED IN 1861 BY FORD MADOX BROWN
THE WYCLIFFE BIBLE OF 1382 ON DISPLAY
THE WYCLIFFE BIBLE OF 1382 ON DISPLAY
JOHN WYCLIFFE PREACHING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OF ENGLAND
JOHN WYCLIFFE PREACHING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OF ENGLAND
ONE PAGE FROM THE JOHN WYCLIFFE BIBLE IN OLDE ENGLISH
ONE PAGE FROM THE JOHN WYCLIFFE BIBLE IN OLDE ENGLISH
THE BONES OF JOHN WYCLIFFE ARE DUG UP AND BURNED 40 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH (ILLUSTRATION FROM FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS 1563)
THE BONES OF JOHN WYCLIFFE ARE DUG UP AND BURNED 40 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH (ILLUSTRATION FROM FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS 1563)

JOHN WYCLIFFE

John Wycliffe (1330-1384) is the “Morning Star of the Reformation.” He railed against the wealth of the Church, rejected papal supremacy, and denied the doctrine of transubstantiation of the Eucharist. He was burned as a heretic, but only posthumously.

Wycliffe argued that any authority church leaders have must be based on their moral authority, so the decrees of an immoral pope carried no weight at all. He said that Christ was the head of the worldwide Church, not the Bishop of Rome. In the end, he concluded that the papacy was the anti-Christ.

Wycliffe challenged the idea that the Roman Catholic Church was the final authority over the life and beliefs of Christians. Rome held that only it could interpret the Bible correctly, but Wycliffe rejected this notion. He and his followers translated the Bible into English so that people could hear the truth of the Scriptures for themselves. Wycliffe said to the Church in Rome, “Condemn the Word of God in any language as heresy and you call God a heretic.”

John Wycliffe was educated in scholastic philosophy, civil law, the canon of the Church, and was acquainted with every branch of learning. Even his enemies knew him to be a wise man who was fervently pious, remarkably talented, thirsty for knowledge, and a sound scholar. Wycliffe studied the Word of God and became an expert of the Scriptures.

Like many reformers to come, Wycliffe did not set out to oppose Rome. But the more he studied the more he discerned that the papacy was in error about the teachings of the Bible. He came to believe that Rome had forsaken the Word of God for human tradition. Wycliffe abhorred the fact that Rome had banished the Scriptures, and he demanded that the Bible be restored to the people and its authority be once again established in the Church.

John Wycliffe was a great preacher and teacher, and his daily life was a demonstration of the truths he preached. His knowledge of the Scriptures, forceful reasoning, and purity of behavior, in addition to his unbending courage made him esteemed to the people of England.

Wycliffe was a keen detector of error. While serving as chaplain to the king, he took a bold stand against the payment of tribute claimed by the pope from the English monarch. The king and the nobles united in denying the pontiff’s claim to temporal authority and refused to pay the tribute.

The pope had bestowed upon friars (holy brothers) the power to hear confessions and grant pardons. The friars spent their time in luxury and pleasure, while leading the superstitious multitudes to believe that religious duty sufficient to secure them a place in heaven was comprised in acknowledging the pope’s supremacy, adoring the saints, and giving gifts to the friars.

Wycliffe became a professor of theology at Oxford, and there preached the Word of God in the halls of the university. He was known there as the “Gospel doctor.” Wycliffe taught that only an earnest, reverent study of the Scriptures would bring the mind of a believer in direct contact with the infinite mind.

But the greatest work of his life was to be the translation of the Scriptures into the English language. Though weighed down with infirmities, and threatened with prison or the stake, Wycliffe completed the first English translation of the Bible ever made.

Since printing was still unknown, it was a slow and wearisome labor to copy the Bible so that it could be multiplied. Great interest arose to obtain his English translation, and many copyists were engaged in order to supply the demand. Soon Wycliffe’s Bible found its way into the homes of people.

Wycliffe taught that salvation was only through faith in Christ, not through any earthly institutions, and that no human beings, including the pope, were infallible. Only the Scriptures were infallible. For his efforts he was brought to trial three times by the Church. At the hearings, his words pierced the hearts of those present. He said, “With whom think you are ye contending? With an old man on the brink of the grave? No! With Truth—Truth which is stronger than you, and will overcome you.”

John Wycliffe redefined the Church as the congregation of the predestined rather than an institution governed by the pope. God himself was the first cause and the only cause of predestination to salvation as well as of damnation, with man playing a purely passive part in both. It was only for the predestined that Christ had come into the world, only to them had Christ addressed his message, and only from them that God accepted intercessory prayer. Only the truly predestined were exempt from damnation, regardless of how much they had sinned, and the reprobate could not be saved.

The opponents of Wycliffe quoted 1Timothy 2:4: God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. They regarded the doctrine of predestination to be arbitrary, and unworthy of either God or man.

Wycliffe was obliged to acknowledge the primary component of salvation lay in coming to Christ through imitation—hearing the words of the Gospel and obeying them in deeds. He wrote, “For who will be saved unless he has imitated Christ in His virtue? Every action of Christ is an instruction to us.”

The papists failed to work their will with Wycliffe during his life, and their hatred could not be satisfied while his body rest quietly in the grave. More than forty years after his death, his bones were exhumed and publicly burned.

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Comments 82 comments

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Great work James, my friend. This great master was telling the truth.


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

Great hub Sir Ya'acoov.

The pope is a joke on a rope!!!

He has no authority over anyone unless they submit to it.

His "office" is an illusion of delusion that leads to a false conclusion by the infusion of a whore and a donkey.

Sadly, the church is full of such men today who sit in a seat mounted atop a throne of steaming horse turds.

~Shalom


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

This is indeed another excellent work, very well-written. Truly Wycliffe's courage is a great inspiration to us. May we be as courageous as Wycliffe in upholding the Word of God as the supreme authority. Thank you for sharing it, I find it very inspiring.


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Thanks for this, James. I never heard of Wycliffe before. It seems he was a man not afraid to speak his mind. Great Hub.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 6 years ago from Central Texas

Exceptional subject and well done Hub, James. I enjoyed gaining insight into Wycliffe -- knew who he was in relation to translating the bible but was not aware of his history as a teacher and scholar. Thanks! Best, Sis


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

Great to know of John Wycliffe.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Another beautiful learning hub, I've missed so many I am glad you're still doing them.

One question: are you saying he changed his mind about predestination? I have a hard time understanding that, but I believe that it must be a mixture of both our decisions and God's plans for us. I think ultimately we are free to choose, but God knows our hearts and he has made his plans accordingly.

Could you write about that or include a link to another hub you might have written about it? Or maybe I'll get to it one of these days, although I'm probably not qualified to do that one yet :-)


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

Never knew of the history of Wycliffe. Have known of people, who have worked in ministry, with the Wycliffe Bible Translators. Appreciate, knowing more about this man! Thank you James:)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Vladimir Uhri! Thank you my faithful friend. I appreciate you being my first visitor on this Hub. I was working on a Hub about Christian History in the 14th Century and more of it was about John Wycliffe than anybody else by far, so I decided he deserved his own space.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Interesting read full of great historical info! Good job, James!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

A very interesting hub indeed and thank you. Now this man really is the truth. It just showed what fanatics they were and still are to exhume a body after 40 years and burn it. Even today they will not allow to show the true bible. They will not allow to let people know what the Holy Mary said to the children in Fatima. They said two of the prophecy after it happened and there is a third one which they will not say. They have no right. I fully agree with John Wycliffe and admire him for his intellegence and courage. Thank you again for a great article.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

James,

Wycliffe sounds like the father of the Evangelical movement. Many of his thoughts are identical to evangelicals.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

James-

Interesting hub and well written as always.

How sad there is still such 'ugly' divisiveness and comment about the Pope,a man of God,who has much to suffer-the smoke of satan!

The Bible ,the Word of God with the Holy Eucharist ,is central to Catholic teaching and belief.However ,the KJV is seen as a 'reformed' version of the true Bible.

Apropos Fatima-Pope John Paul 2 was very clear on this issue,he discerned that it would be unwise to broadcast these details to the world, to prevent ,as far as possible,the enemies of the church manipulating the information-in their own interest-to the detriment of Christianity!-not just Catholicism.

These enemies are hard at work destroying all that Christ stood for-you are aware of this.

I sometimes wonder what genius will discover the ultimate true church.

I believe ,the combined wealth of the Christian churches in the US today ,exceeds that of the Vatican.


partisan patriot 6 years ago

James

Another great historical lesson; you are doing a great job educating the masses that are willing to read.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Hi James, Great hub... have you read 'The Torch of the Testimony' by John M Kennedy? - just curious.

Glad to see you writing, I hope everything is coming back together for you.

John


Pastor_Walt profile image

Pastor_Walt 6 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

A very well done hub. Interesting and informative. God bless you!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

quietnessandtrust--- Thank you! Steaming horse turds!? Now there is a visual I won't soon forget. :D

"He has no authority over anyone unless they submit to it."

This sentence of yours is absolutely true.

I appreciate this visit and your comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

cristina327--- You are welcome. Thank you for the wonderful accolades. Wycliffe was indeed quite courageous. No doubt about that. I am pleased to have provided inspiration.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

suziecat7--- You are welcome and thank you for the compliment and visit. Wycliffe must be one of the most important men of history that few know about.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Angela Blair--- Thank you for your kind words. And you are most welcome, Sis. I am glad you enjoyed it.

James


J D Murrah profile image

J D Murrah 6 years ago from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas

James,

A wonderful hub. I am glad to see that the lives of such men are continuing to make an impact. Men of such stature need more attention and study. Their lives can continue to inspire and encourage us. Thank you for doing the research and putting it together.


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

Enjoyed this very well written and informative. I love learning history.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

This was a very good article about Wycliff. Isn't it pathetic that they burned his bones after 40 years. He certainly made an important impact on the church. I am so glad you wrote this hub. It is excellent.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

H P Roychoudhury--- I'm sure glad you came by to read of John Wycliffe. Thank you very much for visiting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Alexander Mark--- Hello, my friend from the world of aviation. Thank you for your nice compliments. It does appear that Wycliffe softened his stance on predestination later in his life or at least qualified it somewhat. I have touched on predestination several times in my series on the "History of Christianity." The first time I did was in the Hub by that very title, which includes a section on St Augustine.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

heart4theword--- You're welcome. Thank you for expressing your appreciation of my work. I'm glad you mentioned Wycliffe Bible Translators as I also know people who have worked there and I have visited their center in Orlando several times. It is fascinating and needful work that they do.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Ann Nonymous--- Thank you for visiting my Hub and for leaving your gracious compliments for me.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Hello, hello,--- You are quite welcome. I must confess complete ignorance about this Fatima thing. I'll have to look into that. This is the first I have heard anything about it. I admire John Wycliffe immensely. I am glad you found my article to be interesting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom Whitworth--- I agree with you. He was surely the father of the Reformation, or the forerunner. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

itakins--- Thank you for coming by and leaving your gracious compliments.

Yes, I agree with you that the divisiveness is ugly. It is fading somewhat though in modern times. There is a strong ecumenical movement afoot. In particular, Evangelicals and Catholics have realized that they have much common ground and believe in many of the same things regarding the degradations of modern society.

The thing all of us should realize, is that the fight against the papacy was largely because of the kind of men who were the popes in those days. This is a rouges gallery, by and large. I'm going to get into that more in the Hub I am publishing tonight about the history of the Church in the 14th Century. In other words, this tragic internecine war might not have ever taken place had the last two popes, or men like them, been in the seat in those days, meaning John Paul and Benedict. Both of these popes are widely admired by Evangelicals and most Christians around the world. We can hardly compare their wonderful characters with the popes of the 14th Century--sometimes two and three of them at the same time.

I know nothing about anybody called Fatima. You raised an interesting question about the wealth of Protestant churches today and I can't answer it intelligently. I do believe that someday the Church will be one again, probably through some great compromises (or amalgamation) of theologies.


Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon

James,

This was fabulous writing and research! I especially enjoyed the quote you included: "with whom to you think you are contending? With an old man on the brink of the grave?" No, they were contending with Truth, and that Truth is now in the common languages of hundreds of peoples all over the world. Thank you for honoring the work of this great man.

Jane


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

Thank you for yet another great hub that can only come from a great mind. I enjoyed both this hub and graphics.

Forever His,


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

partisan patriot--- It is very gratifying to read your gracious compliments. Thank you. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

aguasilver--- Hey John. Thank you. I had not heard of that book but I just now read three reviews of it and I am going to get myself a copy as it sounds fascinating. Thank you very much for that tip. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Pastor_Walt--- Your comments mean a lot coming as they do from a man of the cloth. Thank you very much for reading it and giving it your stamp of approval. I appreciate the affirmation.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

J D Murrah--- You are welcome and thank you for taking the time to read my Hub and leave your warm words.

"Men of such stature need more attention and study."

Amen!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

JannyC--- I love history. It is surely my favorite subject. Many times it is presented in a dry and boring way but I do my best to avoid that pitfall. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Pamela99--- Thank you for your kind compliments.

"Isn't it pathetic that they burned his bones after 40 years."

You can say that again. :D


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

What a great and and courageous man to challenge the teachings of the world power of the Catholic church. You said that he was the first to translate the bible, was that before even the King James version? Just curious. Thanks.


caretakerray profile image

caretakerray 6 years ago from Michigan U.S.A.

James A Watkins:

Awesome! thanx for another great hub! :)

caretakerray


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Jane Grey--- It is always a pleasure to receive Lady Jane, my learned writer friend. I sincerely appreciate your laudations. And you are quite welcome, too. Thank you. :-)

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

RevLady--- You are surely welcome, my lady. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my little humble Hub. Thank you for letting me know that you did.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

lisadpreston--- Oh yes, this was a couple hundred years before the King James Version. John Wycliffe was a courageous, spirit led, genius. Thank you for your comments and you are welcome. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

caretakerray--- Hey Ray! You are quite welcome. Thank you for the kind compliments. :-)

James


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

Thanks for a wonderful piece of history/ So well done again. I must agree with you that some of the early popes were a nightmare. Wan't there a whole family called the Bourgeoise? Not sure if that is correct spelling, but I seem to remember some of them would give Cailgula a run for his money.......


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Dim Flaxenwick--- You are surely welcome. You are close on that name. I can't do a search right now from this screen on this little laptop I borrowed but there were a few families that provided popes for a while and one of the prominent ones did start with a "B." Thank you for reading my Hub. I appreciate the compliment.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

The Borges,I do believe were the great providers of popes!

James ,I do appreciate you are referring to long ago in this hub.However,while I should probably walk away and keep quiet,there have been many very holy popes.Pope John Paul perhaps opened up the Vatican to the world and had enormous charisma-likewise Pope Benedict,who is different,but a truly good man who is largely responsible for the cleansing of paedophiles from the church.

It's not good to see comments -like above- about the pope.I don't believe Catholics would get away with such talk about other church leaders-perhaps that would be regarded as discriminatory,if we did.

Interestingly,the Irish Evangelical church are advising people to vote yes in a forthcoming civil unions bill-!


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

James, thank you for another quite educational hub. Wycliffe rand a bell for some reading I've done in the past but you filled the subject very thoroughly. I had to laugh about Pope on a rope, sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit and punch line. A 40 year vindictive grudge, that's pretty amazing to dig up the dead and burn the bones, I wonder what they thought that accomplished other than proving they were about a 15 watt on the brightness scale and they will probably burn at a 1,000 watt on their second death.:D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

itakins--- That's it! The Borges, It was on the tip of my tongue but my synapses just don't fire like they used to. :-)

Thank you for that assistance. I agree with you that many popes have been holy men. The 14th Century was surely not their shining hour--and that is where we are in the story. The story of Christianity is dominated by the Catholic Church and the Reformation. I felt it important to show here the beginnings of the Reformation, though it didn't happen yet.

I love John Paul and greatly admire Benedict. I have several books by both of them in my private library. Some people write inflammatory words about the popes. As you know, I welcome all comments. I try to simply research and report the historical record.

I'm sure you know that many prominent Protestants are also heavily criticized, from the Puritans to Jimmy Swaggert to Jerry Falwell to Pat Robertson. I'll save my personal ire for the Episcopalians. :D


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

"Wycliffe argued that any authority church leaders have must be based on their moral authority, so the decrees of an immoral pope carried no weight at all. He said that Christ was the head of the worldwide Church, not the Bishop of Rome."

This might be a good rule of thinking for analyzing religion today.


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Thank you for writing this. It is so great to know that even back in those times there was a Religious Leader with a conscience. I do not profess to have much knowledge of the bible but I do whole heartedly believe in what Wycliff professes. He was a man way before his time. We owe the free thinkers before us a debt of gratitude that we may enjoy the freedom that we do today.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

50 Caliber--- You are truly welcome, my friend. Thank you for reading my piece and leaving your fine comments. I didn't even get the pope on a rope line. I don't know what it means. I do know that to dig up somebody's bones 40 years later and hold a public burning does not smack of true Christian behavior. Maybe that's just me. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

HealthyHanna--- I certainly claim no moral authority for myself as I have none. I just love to read, particularly but not only about this subject. And I am excited to share some of the most interesting discoveries I make along the way.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Tammy Lochmann--- You are welcome. We do owe a great debt to those who came before--Protestants and Catholics. Both groups have contributed immensely to our understanding of God and Scripture. The Holy Spirit has never stopped providing illumination. Thank you for reading my work. Your comments are excellent. I enjoyed reading them.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

Great histoy here, and great writing! John Wycliffe was truly a blessing - he's one of my heroes. Martin Luther is looked on as the beginning of the Reformation, but John Wycliffe did so much to prepare the way.


Allan McGregor profile image

Allan McGregor 6 years ago from South Lanarkshire

A very concise and interesting hub about one of the fathers of the Reformation because, as Rose West says, Reformation neither began nor ended with Martin Luther. Wycliffe was just one of a long line of estimable men and women of God who recognised a truth later encapsulated in the famous words of a devout English Roman Catholic peer, Lord Acton who, in a letter to Bishop Mandel Creighton concerning the then pope's promulgation of the doctrine of 'Papal Infallability' in 1870 responded thus: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority."


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Rose West--- You are so right. Wycliffe did much to prepare the way. He is one of my heroes, too. Thank you for coming and commenting. I hope things are beautiful out there in paradise. :-)


Hxprof 6 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

Good piece James. Wycliff was no doubt used by God to reveal the Truth that the Catholic Church had been hiding from the people-the sheep they were to shepherd. Imagine how many people died back then without a relationship with Christ because of the foulness of the Church.

This wasn't just 14th century nonsense-it had been going on for some time already. God has strong words for those leaders who're supposed to lead His sheep into the maturity of Christ, but instead leave them depending upon THEM rather than being able to stand on their own two feet of faith.

You commented that there likely will be a move to unite the churches. I agree, and it's unfortunate. The kinds of compromises that will be made will almost certainly taint the Truth for the sake of unity and thus lead more Christians into deception.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

James A. Watkins, This is a Fantastic presentation Professor! It has never ceased to amaze me the turbulent history that has gone on around the Scriptures. It is one of the reason why there is a continuing saga as to who has power and authority! This has been an excellent expose!

John Wycliffe is so right when; “He said that Christ was the head of the worldwide Church,” This is a bone of contention for many! Christ is the Head of His Church! This is why it is so important to know the Word for yourself! Human tradition should never supersede the Word of God! Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your traditions...” Matthew 15

You have brought out some excellent points in this presentation! “Wycliffe taught that salvation was only through faith in Christ, not through any earthly institutions, and that no human beings, including the pope, were infallible. Only the Scriptures were infallible.” This is so on POINT! If we could just camp here this could settle a lot of disputes…. Only the “Scriptures are infallible!”

“It is so disconcerting and shameful to think of how maliciously vengeful it was to dishonor Wycliffe's burial like that… Where is the Love of God in that? This was so inspiring! It is so good to know that man does not have a HEAVEN nor a hell he can put you in. I am staying with Jesus ALL the WAY! Praise GOD! Powerful lessons here!

Thank you as always for sharing my brother. “Your gift will make room for you” God has truly gifted you in perceptively sharing the History of His Church! In His love & Blessings!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

John Wycliffe--- I knew Lord Acton said those famous words but this is the first time I have heard it had anything to do with the pope. How interesting. Thank you for the education. You always bring a lot to the table. Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate the visitation.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Hxprof--- Thank you. Your comments are wise and knowledgeable, as per usual. If the worldwide Church were to come back together--an outcome Christ seemed to command--it doesn't have to be compromise in a bad way necessarily. Unity is commanded. I think mariology, papal infallibility, praying to the dead and for the dead, would obviously have to go. It seems impossible but with God at the wheel, all things are possible.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans--- Thank you so much for the laudations! You always lift me up by inspiring and encouraging me greatly.

Who has power and authority. You made a great point there. That is exactly what the big todo was about. Wycliffe was right that Christ is the head of the Church. The desecration of Wycliffe's body can in no way be described as an act of love. Christian love.

You are so welcome. Thank you for coming to see me and for your words full of grace.


rls8994 profile image

rls8994 6 years ago from Mississippi

After 40 years they exhumed and burned his bones publicly.....wow, I guess they did stilll have a little hatred for him, huh! I did not know the history of Wycliffe. He was a very courageous man. I enjoyed reading this.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

rls8994--- I am so glad you enjoyed reading this piece. Yes, that was pure hated. Wycliffe was surely courageous. Thanks for the comments.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

'Unity is commanded. I think mariology, papal infallibility, praying to the dead and for the dead, would obviously have to go. It seems impossible but with God at the wheel, all things are possible.'

Unity-I'm all for unity-but one cannot help notice that these terms are uncompromisingly anti Catholic.

Alive in Christ-Not praying to dead people.

The 'dead' in this respect are damned.

Praying for the dead-A holy and blessed thing to do.

As for Hx Prof comments-we stand very firmly on our own two feet of faith,for instance ,I can discern for myself without help fom priest or pope that bigotry comes from the evil one.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

itakins--- I'm sorry. That did come off as one-sided but not intentionally. My point was what it would take in my opinion for the Protestant churches to be grafted back into the Catholic Church, making the whole worldwide church the Catholic Church. Now if I had been thinking of the Catholics deciding to join the Protestant Church I would say "It would require the Episcopalians to get off that homosexual priest idea and gay outreach month, the main-line denominations would have to change their web sites and get off that pro-choice stance (pro-death of the innocent babies under the protection of their very mother's wombs), the charismatics might have to tone it down a bit, the fringe denominations would have to eliminate that "the pope is the anti-Christ sitting at the great harlot Babylon (Rome)" rhetoric.

I did not mean to imply the compromise would be all one way. Any compromise involves give and take from everybody. Maybe this paragraph provides some balance. I guess I was thinking that while there is no way Protestants would go for the items I listed, since they aren't actually in the Bible (purgatory should be added), if these items were modified I see no other obstacle to the Protestants coming home, so to speak.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

James Sir-

You have almost redeemed yourself-almost:)


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James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

itakins--- Whew! Thank you. I value your friendship. :-)


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

In search for the truth and because of his love for wisdom and being an intelligent person, they burned HIM, THE CHURCH is challenged at this time as well, He is an inspiration to many and for those who search the truth, Thank you for this article Sir James, I learned a lot from it, The courage of the man is exemplary!! Now we know that to burn a man after forty years is just a coward act and not Christ like, Happy weekend, Maita


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James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

prettydarkhorse--- You are welcome, Maita. What a joy it is to see you. A coward act, yes. Christ-like, no. You have a great weekend yourself. Wycliffe is truly an inspiration.


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

You bring to light the great sacrifices great people make that make life more wonderful for us. John Wycliffe, seems to have made it possible for us Americans to read the words of God in English. His heart was in the right place for all souls. Thank you for bringing a person to life that contributed so much to humanity. God Bless You.


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James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

stars439--- I do believe his heart was in the right place, and he did contribute much to humanity. You are welcome. Thank you for reading and commenting on my article. It's always great to hear from you.


Diana Jackson 6 years ago

This is a very interesting story and is not to be laughed at, what if this was you then u would not be laughing.


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James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Diana Jackson— Well, I am certainly not laughing. John Wycliffe is a hero to me. I'm glad you came by and left your remarks.


dejahoo profile image

dejahoo 5 years ago from Georgetown, TX

Thanks for the great article. Seems like we have to keep learning things over and over as they just get lost over time. Opposition to such entrenched leaders has always been dangerous and still is today. I'm starting to read the De Vinci Code and never saw the movie but that is fiction, right?


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James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

dejahoo— You are quite welcome. Yes, The da Vinci Code is fabulously ficticious. Dan Brown says so himself but amazingly millions of people take is as truth. Lots of folks believe what they want to believe I suppose.

I agree with your excellent comments. Thank you for visiting and welcome to the Hub Pages Community!


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Great article - many people don't know who Wycliffe and Hus were, even Protestants don't always know who they were.


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James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

John Sarkis— Thank you! I am well steeped in the History of the Christian Faith. I ought to be; this Hub is one of 40 in a series of that history, in preparation for which I studied a dozen large books and took copious notes. :D


Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

I may be right, I may be wrong, I won't know until the final day. I don't believe that Jesus set out to build his own church. He said that the way to God was through Him. He did not, to my kowledge, say we had to build churches or temples to get reach God. He did say to build his church upon a rock, because the Jewish religion was shifting in so many different directions as if it was built on sands that constantly shift. Jesus was born a Jew, raised and educated in the Jewish tradition. Even in his final days in the flesh, people called him Rabbi, Gallilean, and yes, Messiah, but never Christian. His followers were not called his followers, but the followers of John the Baptist. Yes I am a Christian, yes I have gladly accepted him into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I follow him through faith, not a building, that was tried in Babel, or a statue, that was tried in the wilderness. The only way to God is through faith. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong, I don't know. God will be the one to tell me, though.

Thank you for your excellent hub. It was very inspiring. I hope someday I will be able to be as great a writer.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Hubertsvoice— Welcome to the HubPages Community. I have made myself a note to come over soon and check out your writings.

Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. I appreciate your excellent comments. And you are welcome.

You are surely right that Jesus was never called a Christian. He couldn't be unless He was a follower of himself. As you mentioned, He did talk about "building His Church."

In the end, as you say, we will know all about these questions. Until then, we will only see through the glass darkly and do the best we can.

I am well pleased to meet another Brother. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. No structure is required. It is not bad to belong to a community of Believers, though. That does bring some benefits.


mattmilamii profile image

mattmilamii 2 years ago from Chicago - Be A Blessing... Become A Hand Of God

Dear James,

Once again you've managed to extract some gems for thought.

“Condemn the Word of God in any language as heresy and you call God a heretic.”

Excuse me, but isn't that another way of saying... blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Wycliffe struck a nerve and correctly labeled it.

“With whom think you are ye contending? With an old man on the brink of the grave? No! With Truth—Truth which is stronger than you, and will overcome you.”

The burning of Wycliffe's bones was only the first sign of how hard the nerve was hit. The Bible, in all its many English versions, along with the personal intimacy of scripture, enjoyed by all who seek it, is evidence of how the truth... God's Truth... did overcome indeed.

A reading well enjoyed,

Blessings


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James A Watkins 7 months ago from Chicago Author

mattmilamii~ Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. You have the spirit of discernment. God Bless You!

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