By Cornelius J. Dyck
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Extra info for An Introduction to Mennonite History: A Popular History of the Anabaptists and the Mennonites
2 Numerous attempts to link the Anabaptists historically with the Waldensians have failed, but through them the spiritual soil was being prepared for the events of the sixteenth century. John Wyclif (d. " Wyclif, a professor at Oxford University, became a reformer only in the last decade of his life. He had long believed that the church should be poor as were the apostles and that Christ had given it authority over spiritual matters only. When he met representatives of the pope at Bruges in 1374 and found that they did not agree with him, he gave up all hope of reform through councils and clergy.
The humanists added spiritual depth to the church by stressing the inward and personal dimension of faith, where the reformers were often forced to quarrel over doctrine or external church issues. Yet all of the major reformers had a humanist education and were scholars in their own right. Luther wrote much more than Erasmus, but at a given point each of the reformers became deeply and personally involved in the life and problems of the church. The Lutheran Reformation The Lutheran Reformation centered in Wittenberg, Germany, where Martin Luther was professor of theology at the university from 1512 until his death in 1546.
He defended his faith before Emperor Charles and had to flee for safety to Wartburg castle, where he translated the Greek New Testament into German because he wanted every German, including every simple plowboy, to be able to read the Bible. Later he translated the Old Testament also. After his return to Wittenberg under the protection of Duke Frederick the Wise, he sent teachers and ministers to the churches to help the clergy. " Opposition to Luther's work did not come only from Rome. Among his own friends were those who disagreed with him, as we saw in Erasmus.
An Introduction to Mennonite History: A Popular History of the Anabaptists and the Mennonites by Cornelius J. Dyck