I The word of the Lord endures forever.' Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you." 1Pe 1:25 NKJV
In the fourteenth century, there was not a single copy of the Bible in English! It was available only in Latin, the language of the clergy, and those were chained to the podiums of the cathedrals. Then a prominent professor of divinity at Oxford University said, "This is not right. People should be able to read the Bible in their own language." Church leaders branded him a heretic and an instrument of the devil. Like Noah who pounded the nails into the ark while people ridiculed and scorned him, John Wycliffe began translating the Scriptures as a flood of persecution emerged around him. When he finally completed his translation of the Scriptures, he wrote this in the flyleaf of the first copy of the English Scriptures: "This Bible is translated and shall make possible a government of the people, by the people, and for the people." Five hundred years later, President Abraham Lincoln borrowed that statement for his famous Gettysburg Address.
Thirty years after Wycliffe died, he was again proclaimed a heretic. Consequently, his body was exhumed, and his bones were burned to dust, and his ashes cast into a river. A contemporary historian describes the scene like this: "Thus this brook hath conveyed his ashes into (the river) Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the ocean. And thus ashes...are the emblem of his doctrine…now..dispersed the world over." Hence Peter writes, "'The word of the Lord endures forever.' Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached unto you."Support the show