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10 Lesser-Known Reformation Figures You Need to Remember on Martin Luther's 500th Anniversary

A bronze statue of an old man reading the Bible.

Tuesday marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. While Martin Luther deserves special recognition on this Reformation Day, the Protestant Reformation involved many more great pastors and thinkers. It would be unfair to them to focus all attention on Luther.

Below is PJ Media's list of ten lesser-known but vitally important Reformation figures. There are hundreds of men and women who led the charge to return to a Bible-based Christianity following the five "Solas" (Sola Fide or Faith Alone, Sola Scriptura or the Bible Alone, Sola Gratia or Grace Alone, Sola Christe or Christ Alone, and Soli Deo Gloria or to the Glory of God Alone).

(For more resources beyond this list, check out Foxe's Book of Martyrs or Desiring God's powerful tour de force through 31 different Reformation figures entitled "Here We Stand.")

The ten below are listed in chronological order, from the date of their birth.

1. John Wycliffe (1320-1384).

A bronze statue of an old man reading the Bible. A statue of John Wycliffe translating the Bible, as part of the Luther Monument in Worms, Germany. Released into public domain by Immanuel Giel.

This Oxford professor led a translation of the Bible into English, which he completed in 1384. He personally translated the gospels (and perhaps the rest of the New Testament), while his associates translated the Old Testament.

Wycliffe attacked the privileged status, the luxury, and the pomp of the Roman Catholic clergy, who were particularly powerful in England. His followers, the Lollards, taught predestination and iconoclasm, attacking the veneration of the saint, sacraments, requiem masses, transubstantiation, monasticism, and the very existence of the Papacy.

Notably, the Council of Constance condemned Wycliffe as a heretic in 1415. They banned his writings, burned his books, and later dug up his corpse and burned it.

Wycliffe has been hailed as the "Morning Star of the Reformation," and his translation of the Bible is the inspiration for Wycliffe Bible Translators, an international ministry spreading the Word of God.