Approximately 1325, John Wycliffe and his followers called Lollards, translated the Latin Vulgate into the fledgling English language. Although the Latin text had some corruption, the work of Wycliffe was a major step in bringing about the word of God into English. English in the twelfth century was a developing language and struggling to gain standardization. It was not unusual to cross a stream and find a Saxon dialect unknown to those on the other side. Nevertheless, Wycliffe’s work was monumental: the word of God was now out of the Roman domain and into the hands of the common man in England.

Wycliffe insisted the the Latin was of no value locked up by the Roman clergy; as a result, the Roman Catholic Church pronounced him a heretic. The hatred was so caustic they called him “the devil’s instrument” “church’s enemy” “people’s confusion” schisms’ broacher” “heretic’s idol” “hypocrite’s mirror” “hatred’s sower” “lies’ forger” “flatteries’ sink” and many more.

The Roman Catholic Church hated him so much that they eventually dug up his bones, burned them, and scattered his ashes in the Thames River. Years later, one commented, that although his ashes were strewn in the Thames, his influence like his ashes rode the Thames into the sea and spread the word of God over all oceans of the world and touched every continent.