What was the world's first translation of the Bible to English?
When the Bible was first written,
the Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew, while it was the Greek language
that comprised most of the New Testament. In order to get it into a version that
English-speaking people could enjoy, it first had to be translated. And the
first person to do that was John Wycliffe, also sometimes spelled Wycliff and
John Wycliffe felt that he had to translate the
Bible into English after he became so enraged by the church’s teachings of
religion. Wycliffe didn’t agree with the church’s teachings, and thought that
people should be able to read and interpret the Bible for themselves. Wycliffe
first translated the Bible from the Latin Vulgate, which was the only Biblical
source that he possessed. Then he employed the help of his followers, called
Lollards, as well as his assistant Purvey and some of his other faithful
followers to copy and distribute the manuscript.
The Pope heard about Wycliffe’s translation and he,
as head of the church, was severely displeased. So much so in fact, that 44
after Wycliffe’s death, he ordered that the man’s bones be dug up and burned.
The ashes were then scattered into the river.