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Wycliffe, John

(Wiclif; Wyclif; 1320–84). “Doctor evangelicus.” 1. B. of noble parentage near Richmond, Yorkshire, Eng.; connected with Oxford U. as student or teacher most of his life; parish priest, last at Lutterworth, a small market town in Leicestershire near Birmingham.

2. Wycliffe's repeated opposition to the pope's meddling in Eng. affairs of state and ch. and his other anti-Roman activities caused his citation before ecclesiastical tribunals, which, however, failed to silence him. Besides preaching himself, he trained and sent out itinerant preachers; also issued numerous Lat. treatises and many Eng. tracts against Roman errors. With aid of Nicholas* of Hereford, one of his pupils, he translated Bible from Lat. Vulgate and issued complete Eng. Bible. See also Bible Versions, L 1; Purvey, John.

3. His attack on transubstantiation* aroused bitter controversy with mendicant* friars. At times he seems to teach the Luth. doctrine of the Lord's Supper, and then again speaks of the bread and wine as being “Christ's body and blood figuratively and spiritually.” Considered the 2 sacraments real means of grace, but seemed to believe that an unbelieving priest could not administer them effectively. Confirmation and extreme unction were to him mere human institutions. Termed enforced auricular confession “a sacrament of the devil” and denounced purgatory as a blasphemous swindle. Although he taught that Christ is the only Mediator bet. God and man, and delighted to dwell on the love of Christ, he ascribed a certain degree of meritoriousness to the good works of a Christian. Upheld separation of ch. and state and taught that the ch. is the cong. of the elect. Considered enforced celibacy immoral and apparently also thought it unscriptural “that ecclesiastical men should have temporal possessions.” Maintained that Christ is only Head of ch. and that pope is Antichrist, yet never left RC Ch. Excommunicated 1415 by the Council of Constance*; bones burned and ashes thrown into the Swift 1428.

J. Stacy, John Wyclif and Reform (Philadelphia, 1964).

Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc..

Organized 1934; goal: to make Bible available to all tribes.


Term used to describe adherence to principles and doctrines of J. Wycliffe.* See also Lollards, 2.

Wyneken, Friedrich Conrad Dietrich

(May 13, 1810–May 4, 1876). B. Verden, Hannover, Ger.; father was Luth. pastor; educ. Göttingen and Halle; as tutor of young nobleman traveled in Fr. and It.; rector of Lat. school at Bremervörde. Influenced to Biblical faith by Pastor Hanfstengel at Leesum near Bremen, F. A. Tholuck,* and others. Arrived Baltimore 1838; assisted J. Haesbert; sent W by ex. bd. of Miss. Soc. of Pennsylvania* Ministerium; pastor Friedheim and Ft. Wayne, Indiana; also traveling miss. NW Ohio, S Michigan, and N Indiana with undaunted courage in face of many hardships.

Failing health and the desire to obtain help, both men and money, for the cause of Lutheranism in Am. took him to Ger. 1841. His celebrated Notruf (“The Distress of the Ger. Luths. in N. Am.”) and his lectures in Nürnberg, Erlangen, Dresden, Leipzig, and elsewhere gained the support of such influential men as J. K. W. Löhe,* L. A. Petri,* and K. G. v. Raumer* and stimulated not only W. Sihler,* F. J. C. Lochner,* F. A. Craemer,* G. E. C. F. Sievers,* and others to come to Am. but also caused colonies of people to emigrate with them. This plus the generous work of the Miss. Soc. of Stade, the Löhe Nothelfer, and the Soc. for N. Am. in Dresden resulted in such developments as the Franconian settlements in Michigan with their missions among the Indians and the coming of young men for work in the Midwest with the subsequent est. of a practical sem. at Ft. Wayne, all of which is accountable to the energetic and enthusiastic efforts of Wyneken.

In 1845 he was called to St. Paul's in Baltimore. Taking a firm stand against unionism, indifference, and the lodge, he emphasized confessionalism. He severed his connections with the General* Syn. for confessional reasons and, having in Ft. Wayne made the acquaintance of the Saxons in Missouri through the Lutheraner, took keen interest in the early deliberations which resulted in the organization of the Mo. Syn., being present at the Cleveland meeting where preliminary plans were drawn up. He joined Syn. at its 2d conv. and was elected its 2d pres. 1850, having previously been called to serve Old Trinity Cong. in St. Louis. The yr. after his election he and C. F. W. Walther* were sent to Ger. to adjust doctrinal differences which had arisen between Löhe and the Mo. Syn.. During his early presidency the syn., because of rapid growth, was divided into 4 dists. and the heated Buffalo-Missouri controversy came to a head. With the burdens of office his health became impaired and he was granted a leave of absence by his cong.. In 1859 he settled near Ft. Wayne, devoting full time to the presidency. He discharged his duties with vigor and enthusiasm, visiting as many as 60 congs. in 1 yr., stressing at convs. and visitations the necessity of doctrinal purity and a sound program of Christian educ., the importance of a sanctified Christian life, and the need for ceaseless warfare against sectarianism, lodges, worldliness, and indifference. The character of the Mo. Syn. is to a high degree the result of his influence.

In 1864, owing to increasing age and bodily infirmities, he was relieved of the presidency; took charge of Trinity Ch. in Cleveland, latterly as assistant to his son; retired 1875. EJS

W. A. Baepler, A Century of Grace (St. Louis, 1947); Ebenezer, ed. W. H. T. Dau (St. Louis, 1922); G. E. Hageman, “Friedrich Konrad Dietrich Wyneken,” Men and Missions, ed. L. Fuerbringer, III (St. Louis, 1926); J. C. W. Lindemann, article on Wyneken in Amerikanischer Kalender für Deutsche Lutheraner, 1877; C. Mauelshagen, American Lutheranism Surrenders to Forces of Conservatism (Athens, Georgia, 1936); Moving Frontiers, ed. C. S. Meyer (St. Louis, 1964).

Wyneken, Henry C.

(December 13, 1844–June 21, 1899). Son of F. C. D. Wyneken*; b. Ft. Wayne, Indiana; educ. Conc. Coll. and Sem.; instructor in institute of F. A. Brunn* at Steeden, Ger.; assistant to his father (later, first pastor) and principal Trinity Luth. School, Cleveland, Ohio; prof. exegesis, homiletics, catechetics, and other branches at Conc. Sem., Springfield, Illinois, 1876; retired 1890 on account of ill health; served 2 small churches near Springfield; founder of Negro mission in Springfield. Rev. Altenburger Bibelwerk.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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