What has the Reformation given us?

Martin Luther © 2017 Simon Peter Sutherland

Martin Luther © 2017 Simon Peter Sutherland

On the evening of the anniversary of the Reformation, I attended an exhibition, debate and discussion at John Rylands Library.

The night began appropriately with the printing of indulgences (on an antique printing press) accompanied with music and an exhibition of artefacts and books from the reformation era. These artefacts included original handwritten and printed indulgences. A Tyndale New Testament and The practice of prelates and Luther on Galatians.

A summery toward the end of the evening focused upon what the reformation has given us today. Where would our world be if not for the Reformation?

This question is a good one and one that could possibly provide a never ending list. However, I have listed a few of the things I think are the direct results the Reformation has given the people of Britain and things inspired by the Reformation and the Theology and principles. These are things that we can be thankful for;

  • The New Testament published in the original Greek
  • The Bible in English
  • The Apocrypha in English
  • Chapters and verses of the New Testament
  • The old and modern English language
  • The Bible in multiple languages
  • The freedom to read the Bible for ourselves
  • The freedom to interpret the Bible
  • The liberty to believe
  • Hymnbooks
  • Music
  • Independent Churches & Congregations
  • Seats in Churches
  • The priesthood of all believers
  • Religious liberty
  • Freedom of speech
  • Puritan history
  • Democracy
  • Free education
  • The bank of England
  • The Wesleyan revivals
  • Novels
  • The abolition of the slave trade
  • Chetham’s Library, Manchester
  • John Rylands Library
  • Ongoing Bible translation

The list could go on…


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  1. #1 by wigglyhashashin7777 on January 10, 2018 - 7:11 AM

    Um you do realize that the “liberty to believe” did not exist in your protestant reformation. John Calvin, Martin Luther and Queen Liz I all had no problems with killing people for their religion.

    Also are you that guy who claimed that John Wycliffe believed in Sola Fide?

    • #2 by simon peter sutherland on January 10, 2018 - 10:22 AM

      Hello, thank you for your comments.

      I am aware that Calvin, Luther and Queen Elizabeth 1 were involved in executions, but the perspective I am talking about is not as narrow in scope as what you are refuting. There were more people involved in the reformation than Calvin (Geneva) Luther (Germany) Elizabeth 1 (England).

      John Calvin was a boy when Luther kick started the reformation. Elizabeth 1 was not even born at that point.

      The reformation in England was a process, which was drawing to a close towards the end of the Elizabethan era, Puritans tried to revive it but failed and left England for America. The reformation was not exclusive to Calvin or Luther. William Tyndale’s New Testament (1526/1534) and the challenges he made is the starting point I have as my proof that liberty began in the English reformation with his challenging of obligation to believe what Church leaders said. When Tyndale published his first New Testament in English, Elizabeth 1 was not even born.

      As for your question: “Also are you that guy who claimed that John Wycliffe believed in Sola Fide?” My answer is; I don’t know? I have wrote that but I do not know what “guy” you are referring to. There are many scholars who have claimed the same thing. If we let Wycliffe’s own words inform us what he believed then we will see what he believed.

      Quote: “Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for salvation, and that without faith it is impossible to please God; that the merit of Christ is able, by itself, to redeem all mankind from hell, and that this sufficiency is to be understood without any other cause concurring.” John Wycliffe

      Quote: “Trust wholly in Christ, rely altogether on His suffering, beware of seeking to be justified in any other way than by His righteousness. Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for salvation”. John Wycliffe (The Writings of the Reverend and learned John Wycliff, D.D. The religious tract society, London. 1847. Page 41.)

  2. #3 by wigglyhashashin7777 on January 10, 2018 - 9:33 PM

    I found a website making the claim Wycliffe believed in Sola Fide. I think it might have been yours. If he did why didn’t it kick information esque levels of controversy?

    • #4 by simon peter sutherland on January 11, 2018 - 11:06 AM

      Wycliffe’s beliefs did cause huge controversy. He taught the distinct authority of the Bible, later formulated as Sola Scriptura. He attacked monasticism, transubstantiation. Church wealth (the prosperity gospel of his day). Popery, indulgences, praying to saints, purgatory, clerical celibacy, and exclusivity to the Latin Vulgate. Wycliffe taught, that all people should have the Bible in their own language. Sound familiar?

      King Richard 11 ordered Wycliffe removed from Oxford and all who preached or taught as Wycliffe be imprisoned.

      He translated the New Testament into English at Ludgershall and Lutterworth, which has been believed through history to have been translated by him, though recent scholarship has claimed a plurality of translator’s. I’ve been to Ludgershall and Lutterworth where this work was done. It was published in 1388, but because the printing press was not yet used in Europe, hand written copies were made, but were expensive and rare and mostly destroyed. By the 15th century, few copies survived. Today, original copies are extremely rare, I have only handled one handwritten copy. But it is printed widely now, in modern spelling.

      He stood trial at old St. Paul’s Cathedral and after his death, he was condemned a heretic and his body exhumed and burned.

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