The Lollard use of the Bible as the main authority of Christian faith also gave them justification for criticising some of the practices of the Church.
Its head is Christ. Of the 24 propositions attributed to Wycliffe without mentioning his name, ten were declared heretical and fourteen erroneous. The alternative, "Wycliffite", is generally accepted to be a more neutral term covering those of similar opinions, but having an academic background.
Among the propositions which Wycliffe, at the direction of the government, worked out for parliament was one which speaks out distinctly against the exhaustion of England by the Curia. His last work, the Opus evangelicum, the last part of which he named in characteristic fashion "Of Antichrist", remained uncompleted.
He then appealed — not to the pope nor to the ecclesiastical authorities of the land, but to the king. It seems he was designated purely as a theologian, and so considered himself, since a noted Scripture scholar was required alongside of those learned in civil and canon law.
At Oxford the vice chancellor, following papal directions, confined the Reformer for some time in Black Hall, from which Wycliffe was released on threats from his friends; the vice-chancellor was himself confined in the same place because of his treatment of Wycliffe.
He wrote his 33 conclusions in Latin and English. The masses, some of the nobility, and his former protector, John of Gaunt, rallied to him. This did not mean theology in its modern sense, but knowledge of the Bible.
It was forbidden from that time to hold these opinions or to advance them in sermons or in academic discussions. They considered praying to saints and honoring of their images to be a form of idolatry. One must regard as a true pope one who in teaching and life most nearly follows Jesus Christ and Saint Peter.
To accomplish this the help of the State was necessary; but the commons rejected the bill. All persons disregarding this order were to be subject to prosecution. Between anda large Lollardic compilation known as the Floretum was produced and widely circulated, as well as the Bible translation, and this suggests that money and organization were available.
He considered that the example of Edward I should be borne in mind by the government of his time; but that the aim should be a reformation of the entire ecclesiastical establishment. Anne Hudson has written that a form of sola scriptura underpinned Wycliffite beliefs, but distinguished it from the more radical ideology that anything not permitted by scripture is forbidden.
His last work, the Opus evangelicum, the last part of which he named in characteristic fashion "Of Antichrist", remained uncompleted.
His was the first execution of a layman in England for the crime of heresy. The initial rise of Lollardy depended upon gentry, such as Sir Thomas Latimer and Sir John Montague, taking the scholarly arguments of Wycliffe and his followers out into the world of everyday politics. More significant was his interest in Bible study, which he pursued after becoming bachelor in theology.
It seems he had a reputation as a patriot and reformer; this suggests the answer to the question how he came to his reformatory ideas. The citadel of the reformatory movement was Oxford, where Wycliffe's most active helpers were; these were laid under the ban and summoned to recant, and Nicholas of Hereford went to Rome to appeal.
There still exist about manuscripts, complete or partial, containing the translation in its revised form.
The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!
Icons were also seen as dangerous since many seemed to be worshiping the icons more than God. The chancellor of the University of Oxford had some of the declarations pronounced heretical. From him comes the translation of the New Testamentwhich was smoother, clearer, and more readable than the rendering of the Old Testament by his friend Nicholas of Hereford.The Lollards were followers of Wycliffe, at first composed of Wycliffe's supporters at Oxford and the royal court, but soon the movement spread and became a strong popular movement.
It was blamed (perhaps unfairly) for some of the anticlerical aspects of the Peasant's Revolt. Despite being regarded as heretical by many influential people, the pre-Protestant Christian movement Lollardy built up a strong network of supporters in the years before This article explores the reasons for its popularity.
John Wycliffe’s leadership John Wycliffe’s radical outlook on religious matters appealed to many as a response to existing concerns about the Church.
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Sven Fristedt, The Wycliff Bible Stockholm 53C. Lindberg StN 42 70 Mss & versions of Wycliffite bibleAnne Hudson MAE 40 71 A Lollard Sermon CycleAnne Hudson RES 22 71 A Lollard Quire [with knight & clerk discussing q. of Lordship]Peggy Ann Knapp Spec.
46 71 Wycliff as bible translatorAnne Hudson NQ 20 73 Contrib. to a bibliog. of Wycliffite writings. A form of compounding in Old English, Old Nourse, and Germanic poetry. In this poetic device, the poet creates a new compound word or phrase to describe an object or activity.Download