John Wycliffe was the first to translate the complete Bible into the English language in the 1380’s.
John Wycliffe wrote the following:
Holy Scripture is the preeminent authority for every Christian, and the rule of faith.
Forasmuch as the Bible contains all that is necessary for salvation–it is necessary for all men, not for priests alone. It alone is the supreme law that is to rule the Church . . . without human traditions and statutes.
Christ and His Apostles taught the people in the language best known to them. Therefore, the doctrine should not only be in Latin but in the common tongue. The laity ought to understand the faith and, as doctrines of our faith are in the Scriptures, believers should have the Scriptures in a language which they fully understand.
The Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury wrote the following:
“That pestilent and most wretched John Wycliffe, of damnable memory, a child of the old devil, and himself a child or pupil of Antichrist… crowned his wickedness by translating the Scriptures into the mother tongue!”
N.B. The Roman Catholic Council of Constance declared Wycliffe to be a heretic, and decreed that Wycliffe’s works should be burned. In 1428, under the direction of Pope Martin V–Wycliffe’s corpse was exhumed and burned.