Adding to and Taking From Perfection

13th to 16th Centuries

(a)      All green  passages refer to objections made by "protesters" (protestants) to the changes in doctrine and methods
(this includes translations of the Bible into the local common language)

(b)       All blue passages refer to the INTRODUCTION or the formal ORDAINING
of a particular change in doctrine from the 1st century.

(c)       All red passages refer to persecutions for protesting.

(d)       All brown centered poetry are familiar hymns
written during time of persecution.
                        13th Century

To get his kingdom back, King John of England, gave in to the pope in 1213, gave him all the land in England, and became his puppet.  

About this time, Pope Innocent III declared that incense be used in exorcisms.  

                                                       INTRODUCED INCENSE IN EXORCISMS  

In 1215, the church officially decreed that the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper became the actual body and blood of Jesus.  They also
declared everyone should receive communion at least once a year.  Also they approved having a crucifix (cross with Jesus on it) on table of
Lord's Supper.  

                                                  ORDAINED BREAD & WINE ACTUALLY JESUS  

                                    ORDAINED LORD'S SUPPER TO BE TAKEN AT LEAST YEARLY  

                                     INTRODUCED CRUCIFIX ON COMMUNION TABLE (ALTAR)  
                                                                  NOT WIDELY ACCEPTED  

A group of people in southern France, the Albenses, denied Jesus' virgin birth, were celibates, and did not take the New Testament
 Rather than try to teach them better, Pope Innocent, between 1209 and 1218 massacred men, women, children and elderly until
he had annihilated them.  Indulgences were allowed for the anyone joining the pope's troops to carry out the slaughter.  

In 1230 during the time of Pope Gregory IX, canonization of certain Christians by declaring them saints was officially adopted by the
Roman Church.

                                                      ORDAINED CANONIZATION OF SAINTS  

In 1245 the idea of purgatory was introduced as a way to get people to pay indulgences to get their loved ones out of purgatory and into

                                                                   INTRODUCED PURGATORY  
                                                                    NOT WIDELY ACCEPTED  

In 1274, the church insisted that believers must not only be baptized, but they must be confirmed with laying on of a bishop's hands to
receive Holy Spirit ("confirmation")  

                                           ORDAINED HOLY SPIRIT BE IMPARTED TO THE BAPTIZED  

At this time, also, the church decided to Anglicize and transliteration of the Greek word "Presbyter" or Elder in the Bible and call
presbyters/elders priests.  

                                                    ORDAINED THAT PRESBYTERS ARE PRIESTS  

ITALIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  During this century, the Waldenses escaped to Italy.  There they translated the Bible into
the language of the Italian people.  

DUTCH/NETHERLANDS TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  During this century, several translations of the Bible into the common
language of the people in the Netherlands came into being, names of translators unknown.  

Late in this century, King Edward I of England, called the Model Parliament where representatives of the people ruled and recommended
to the monarch what he should do.  About that same time, Dominican John of Paris announced that the authority of the church did not rest
on its head alone but on every member through representatives.  But people were afraid to agree with him in public and take the chance of
losing their souls.  Things were not bad enough yet.  

In 1299, Pope Innocent III declared that it was a sin to study the Bible alone without interpretation by the Roman Church.  

                                        ORDAINED IT A SIN TO STUDY BIBLE WITHOUT CLERGY

                         14th Century

In 1303, King Philip IV of France assembled the first Estates General, representatives of the church, royalty, and commoners.  This was
more food for thought on how to rule the church at a time when the pope was taking advantage of the members.  

Pope Boniface VIII tried unsuccessfully to make the clergy tax exempt in England and France.  After several other run-ins, King Philip IV
of France had Pope Boniface captured by his men in 1303.  The pope died a month later.  

The next pope, Benedict XI was poisoned after nine months in office.  The next pope was a Frenchman and friend of King Philip
consented to being crowned pope in France to heal relationships between the two rulers.   

Because the political climate in Rome was anti-papal, Benedict settled on the Rhone River in Avignon, France, and the papacy stayed there
for 70 years.  The next six popes were also French.  During this time there was a great deal of graft on the papal staff, even to paying to see
the pope, and putting the pope's relatives in church office.  The papacy grew more and more wealthy.  

Further, to finance personal luxuries, Pope John XXII demanded a tithe of all clerical income, received the first year's income from new
officials, claimed for himself the house and goods of deceased bishops, demanded love offerings from the people, rented out papal land,
claimed the income of any church office that was vacant, and a tax of one penny per household in more than a dozen European countries.

MIDDLE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE:  In the middle of this century, John Purvey and Nicholas of Hereford translated
the Bible into the language of the common person.  However, they did not get much circulation.   

During this time, Marsilius of Padua and William of Ockham publicly resurrected the idea of Conciliarism - the church being run by councils
who represented the people.  They claimed the bishop and papal system was not founded by Christ but developed through time.  But this
was not a good time to speak against the pope.  

In 1343, the church made an official decree that indulges must be paid for punishment of sins.  


In 1367, Pope Urban V ordered the papal palace in Rome repaired, then returned to Rome.  In 1378 Italian Pope Urban VI was elected
under threat of insurrection by the Italians.  Then the French cardinals declared his papacy invalid and elected Clement VII, a Frenchman, a
pope.  Europe now chose sides and excommunications and massacres were perpetuated for both.  From now on for many years, the
people would be divided between the pope in Rome and the pope In Avignon, France.  

What made it more glaring is that they were about evenly divided ~ two popes in the north (Europe), and a third in the south ~ Turkey.   

The chaos in church leadership and insistence on paying indulgences were the "last straws thAT broke the camel's back" for many.  For
years people had been thinking there had to be a better way.  Now they felt forced to not only think about it, but perhaps try to do
something about it.  But they needed a leader.  

GERMAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1366, the Bible was translated literally word for word from the Latin into the common
language of the people in Germany.  It was this Bible that, a century later, would be the first one reproduced on a printing press.  

By this time, the idea that the pope and cardinals should answer to a general council of representatives was being taught also by Henry of
Langenstein and Konrad of Gelnhausen in Germany.  

When the laity in Bohemia tried to form such a council, Pope Gregory XI heard about it and banished everyone involved, then put
additional religious restraints on the people.  

At this time John Wyclif, wrote, "They blaspheme who extol the pope above all that is called God."  He trained preachers who traveled all
over England preaching in the people's language, reading directly from the Gospels and Epistles, and teaching the Ten Commandments and
other basic tenets of the Bible.  

Soon after, Wyclif denied that the bread and wine became the actually body and blood of Jesus, and he declared the pope was the
Antichrist.  He also declared that only elders and deacons were to be officers in the church that Jesus established.  He also said that the
elders were the same as presbyters, priests, and bishops.  By 1380 he was saying that all Christians were priests.    

"He condemned the cult of the saints, relics, and pilgrimages.  He repudiated indulgences and masses for the dead, although he retained
belief in purgatory." [1]

 In 1380 John Wyclif translated the Bible into English from the Latin version,
almost word for word.  His was successful.   

His followers, the "Lollards" used his New Testament to preach everywhere they went.  In 1382 papal decrees were enacted against him
and the Council of Constance formally condemned 267 of his tenets.  Years after he died, representatives of the pope exhumed his bones,
burned them, and threw his ashes into a river.  

Wyclif was later called "The Morning Star of the Reformation." He died in 1384.  

Some time during this century, someone wrote this hymn that would be set to music three centuries later:

Jesus Christ is risen today, Al-le-lu-ia!
Our triumphant holy day, Al-le-l-ia!
Who did once upon the cross, Al-le-lu-ia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Al-le-lu-ia!

In the mean time, in 1393, the University of Paris formally sent a letter to King Charles VI of France saying they would form a general
council to get control of the church if both popes did not resign immediately.  Of course, neither pope gave up their power.  Just before the
end of the century, theologians at the University of Paris called for King Charles to withdraw his support of the pope in Avignon, France.  

ANGLO-NORMAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  This translation was done in part, but never completed.  The Anglo-Normans
were of Viking descent and lived mostly in the northern part of France.

                          15th Century

This could be called the bloody century, except it will not stop here.  The blood of Christians just trying to follow the New Testament will
continue until the movement finally escapes to America some 300 years later.  

Two years after Wyclif's death, King Richard of England married the sister of the King of Bohemia.  With such ties, many from Bohemia
studied at Oxford in England, then returned to the University of Prague, taking Wyclif's ideas of reform with them.   

When John Huss entered the University of Prague, he saw Wyclif's writings and rewrote them for his own use.  He was ordained a priest in

Appointed preacher of a Prague chapel, Huss's sermons were both in Latin and Czech.  He condemned church corruptions, said Christ
and not Peter was the foundation of the church, and also taught moral reform to his people.  

In 1401, the King of England ordered that all of Wyclif's followers, called Lollards, be burned as heretics.  William Santree of Smithfield
was the first to be burned.  In 1419, Sir John Oldcastle, was sentenced burned.  In 1473, Thomas Granter was burned at the stake outside
London.  In 1499, Badram was burned in Norwich.  

RUMANIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1405, Nicodim translated the Four gospels into the language of the common
people.  They were located east of the Black Sea near Russia.

In 1410, Pope Alexander V in Avignon, France, prohibited preaching in private chapels and for Wyclif's books to be burned.  But Huss
continued to preach, supported by his king, queen, university and the citizens of Prague in Czechoslovakia.  

In the mean time, in Italy, a council was called to meet at Pisa to solve the problem of two of the three popes - the two being in Europe.  
Protected by King Charles VI of France 1000 churchmen and other interested people including ambassadors from England, Poland,
France, Portugal, Bohemia, Sicily and smaller areas assembled.   

This Council summoned both popes, but they refused to come.  So the council deposed them and elected a fourth pope - Alexander V!  
But Pope Alexander V died less than a year later.  So the council elected another pope - John XXIII.  He, with his army, took over Rome,
driving out Pope Gregory, but only temporarily.  

When John XXIII took over as pope in Avignon, France, in 1410, he began selling indulgences to raise money for a crusade against
Naples, Huss attacked the pope.  Two years later Pope John excommunicated Huss.  

Pope John XXIII was so bad, that some 200 maidens, nuns and married women fell victims to his passions; he violated nuns and virgins; he
lived in adultery and was guilty of sodomy, sold cardinal offices to children of wealthy families, and denied both heaven and hell.  

Angered, the Council met again, but this time in Constance, Switzerland.  About 20,000 attended.  There they had the support of even
more world leaders including the pope in Rome.  The Council took Pope John prisoner for defying them.  The pope at Avignon, France
exiled himself to a mountain in Spain.    

Oddly, in 1415 while the Council of Constance was meeting to depose various popes and appoint their own, it summoned Huss to come
and speak about the papacy.  They wanted papal reform, but did not want to get rid of the papacy completely.  So when Huss arrived, he
was imprisoned.  When the King of Bohemia objected, he was told promises were not binding to heretics.  

Finally Europe was back to having one pope - Gregory XII.  Shortly after, Gregory resigned, and shortly after that he died.  The church
was, for the next two years, without any pope!  

Then two days after forcing Pope Gregory to resign as pope, the council ordered Huss to be burned at the stake.  When chained, Huss
declared, "My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a harder chain than this for my sake, and why then should I be ashamed of this rusty

When the kindling was piled up to his neck, he was asked to abdicate his teachings.  He replied, "I never preached any doctrine of an evil
tendency; and what I taught with my lips I now seal with my blood."  When the fire was started he sang a hymn "with so loud and cheerful a
voice that he was heard through all the cracklings of the combustibles, and the noise of the Multitude." [2]  

The following year, Huss's friend, Jerome of Prague in Bohemia, was similarly martyred.  Going to the place of execution he sang hymns.  
When he arrived, he prayed, then embraced the stake.  When the executioner started to set fire to the kindling behind him, he said, "Come
here, and kindle it before my eyes; for if I had been afraid of it, I had not come to this place."  While the fire burned, he sang hymns.  The
last thing he said was, "This soul in flames I offer Christ, to Thee."  [3]  

In 1418, the officials of the Church of Rome decided that anyone partaking of the Lord's Supper was required to fast at least one hour
beforehand, eliminating both food and water.

                                                 ORDAINED FASTING BEFORE LORD'S SUPPER  

In 1418, inspired by Huss, John de Trocznow " Zisca" of Bohemia formed an army of 40,000 to defend his country on behalf of religious
freedom.  But his emperor died and another was opposed to such freedom, so fought Zisca's army.  Yet, in 1421 Zisca destroyed all the
monasteries.  The following year, Zisca, a nickname for one-eyed, was struck in the other eye with an arrow.  But he continued to lead his
army blind.   

This "holy war" was bad for both sides to participate in; but at least they fought as equals on the battlefield rather than toward defenceless

After showing his superiority over the armies of Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, he turned to actual Reformation.  He forbade all prayers for
the dead, images, sacerdotal vestments, fasts and festivals.    

He was offered the crown of Bohemia but refused it.  He died of plague in 1424 and the former king regained power.  

Persecution of the Reformers raged.  Thereupon, some of the Reformers went to the senate allowing such persecution and speared them.   

Pope Martin V then declared for the entire Bohemian race to be exterminated, offering to everyone in Germany and nearby kingdoms full
remission of all sins if they killed even one Bohemian Protestant.  

A merchant of Prague, who openly admired John Huss and his doctrines, was arrested in Silesia and sentenced to execution.  As his legs
were bound with ropes to be dragged through the streets, he was given one last chance to recant.  He replied, "I glory in the very thoughts
of dying for the sake of Christ."  Thereupon he was dragged through the city and burned at the stake.  

The Prince Ferdinand of the Rhine sent his own troops throughout Bohemia to get rid of the Protestants.  He had a "hanging court."   But
often the Protestants were not afforded even that.  Later he was made emperor.

They killed an aged minister in his bed, robbed and murdered another, and shot a third while he was preaching at church.  A schoolmaster
they stripped naked, beat, and then stoned.  Another Protestant was forced to watch his daughters raped, then tortured to death.  A
minister and his wife were tied together and burned.  Another minister was hung on a cross beam and broiled to death.  Another minister
was covered alternately with ice and burning coals until he died.  Some instances cannot be printed here because of its hideousness.  

Another minister they spit on, sent through the gauntlet, beat him with twigs, fists, ropes, wires, cudgels.  They tied him upside down until
the blood came out of his mouth and nose.  They hung him by his right arm until it was dislocated and then set it.  They repeated it with his
left arm.  Burning papers were placed between his fingers and toes.  He was tormented with red-hot pinchers and put on the rack.  They
pulled out his fingernails and toenails.  They slit his ears and nose, dragged him through the streets, and pulled out his teeth.  Boiling lead
was poured on his fingers and toes.  He endured other things that are not repeatable here.  One such torture killed him.  

Twenty royal Protestant sympathizers were sentenced to death in Prague, most of them tortured briefly and then beheaded.  "The prisoners
left the castle with as much cheerfulness as if they had been going to an agreeable entertainment, instead of a Violent death."         

This is what some of them said before their deaths:  

LORD SCHILIK, AGE 50:  "I have God's favor, which is sufficient to inspire any one with courage: the fear of death does not trouble
me."  LORD VISCOUNT WINCESLAUS, AGE 70:  "The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away....the greater honor now
attends ye, a crown of martyrdom is your portion."  LORD HARANT:  "Almighty God!  Forgive them, for they know not what they do."  
LORD HENRY OTTO:  "I feel my spirits revived; God be praised for affording me such comfort."  

EARL OF RUGENIA:  "I am better pleased at the sentence of death, than if the emperor had given me life; for I find that it pleases God to
have his truth defended, not by our swords, but by our blood.  I shall now be speedily with Christ."  SIR GASPAR KAPLITZ, AGE 86:  
"God reserved me until these years to be a spectacle to the world, and a sacrifice to himself....I will ask pardon of God, whom I have
frequently offended; but not of the emperor, to whom I never gave any offence."  DIONYSIUS SERVIUS, AGE 56:  "They may destroy
my body, but cannot injure my soul that I commend to my Redeemer."  TOBIAS STEFFICK:  "I have received during the whole course of
my life, many favors from God; ought I not therefore cheerfully to take one bitter cup, when He thinks proper to present it?"    

CHRISTOPHER CHOBER:  "I come in the name of God, to die for His glory; I have fought the good fight, and finished my course; so,
executioner, do your office."  JOHN SHULTIS:  "The righteous seem to die in the eyes of fools, but they only go to rest.  Lord Jesus!  
....Behold I am come; look on me, pity me, pardon my sins, and receive my soul."  MAXIMILIAN HOSTIALICK:  "Lord, thou lettest
Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation."  JOHN KUTNAUR:  [To a priest
trying to get him to recant]  "Your superstitious faith I abhor, it leads to perdition, and I wish for no other arms against the terrors of death
than a good conscience."  SIMEON SUSSICKEY:  "Every moment delays me from entering into the Kingdom of Christ."  [4]  

Around 1430, Nicholas of Cusa wrote that the pope was not infallible, but the church was; therefore, whenever the church was
represented by the Council, the Council's decisions were infallible.  The pope was just one member of the Council, therefore only got one

In 1436, the Council of Constance, condemned clergy who had mistresses, changed parts of the liturgy, abolished some of the taxes to the
pope, made new regulations for electing the pope.    

Also, in an act of conciliation, during this time they allowed the followers of Huss to rejoin their reformed Catholic church.  

However, the same year many of Huss's followers merged with some Waldensians from Moravia to form the United Brethren, or
sometimes called the Moravian Brethren.  

In 1438 King Charles VII of France called his own Council that declared the pope could not decide on use of non-church property and
they could nullify any French church nominee of the pope.

Also another all-church Council was called in Basle, Italy. Among other things, Pope Eugenius was deposed; but he refused to step down.  
They named Felix V as their pope, so once again the church had two popes for the next nine years.  Felix's followers were in Switzerland,
Austria, Bavaria, and Paris.  France and Germany refused to choose sides.  

But the Council made a serious mistake when it began granting indulgences in order to raise money to support itself.  Therefore, most
people - including French and Germans - went back to supporting the Pope Eugenius in Rome.  After that, support for any Council began a
fast decline and by 1449 the Conciliary Movement was over.  

BIBLE BEGAN TO BE PRINTED WITH MOVABLE TYPE.  At this time there were 33 translations of the Bible into various

Beginning with Pope Nicholas V in 1447, attention was diverted to rediscovery of classical Rome and trying to recreate it.  Nicholas added
new wings onto the Vatican Palace and began the Vatican library.   

His successor Calixtus III appointed two nephews as cardinals, one was only age 25.  His successor Pius II openly bragged on his
methods to seduce women.  He had at least two illegitimate children.  His successor Paul II had many concubines in the papal palace.  He
also started the papal publishing house.         

ITALIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1471, Nixccolo Malermi translated the Bible into Italian from the Latin translation.  It
was printed in Venice.  

CZECH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1475, the Bible was translated into the Czech language from the Latin, and printed with
the new printing press.  

FINNISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  M. Agricola translated the New Testament from the original Greek in the common
language of his people.  

Pope Sixtus IV, made at least six of his nephews cardinals, and gave another nephew four bishoprics and cardinal all at the same time.  He
gave Giovanni de Medici (later Leo X) a church office at age 7, made him an abbot at age 8, and two more by the age of 12.  Sixtus also
built the Sistine Chapel in 1483.   

In 1476, the church decided that the righteous dead could never leave purgatory and move on to heaven because they had not paid the
penalty for their sins.  Therefore, relatives of the dead were required to pay indulgences to get their loved ones out of purgatory.  

                                               ORDAINED INDULGENCES TO LEAVE PURGATORY

In 1477, the Roman church decided that Mary was the Spiritual Mother of all mankind.  

                                             ORDAINED MARY SPIRITUAL MOTHER OF MANKIND  

DUTCH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  That same year, the Delfth Bible was translated from Latin into the language of the common
people, but it was only the Old Testament.        

ITALIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Bonifacio Ferrer made the Catalan translation from the Latin translation.  It was later
destroyed in the inquisition in 1498.  Only a few fragments remain today.  

Pope Innocent VIII had 16 children by various married women which he openly acknowledged and which he put into church offices.  
Previous popes had called their children nieces and nephews.  He made his son by a previous marriage, Giovanni, a cardinal at age 12.   

With building projects and supporting family members in church offices there was a need for more money.  More and more church offices
were sold to the highest bidder.  Pope Innocent pawned the papal triple tiara to line his pockets.  A ring of cardinals forged papal decrees
to sell on the market for hefty sums.  

At Innocent's death, Alexander VI, who had tried unsuccessfully to be made pope previously, succeeded this time by offering the most
money.  As cardinal he had several mistresses, one of whom bore him four children.   

In 1489 he took a 13-year-old as a mistress and she bore him two more sons.  He made her brother a cardinal and one of his sons a
cardinal at age 18.  Selling church office got so bad that the French threatened him.  So Pope Alexander went to the Turkish sultan, a
Moslem, for assistance.   

In 1480, in reaction to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholics entered into their own reformation, carried out by the Inquisitions as to just
how converted people were to be true Catholics.  The most infamous one was the Spanish Inquisition.  It was about this time that Spanish
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella financed Columbus who thereupon discovered America.

Around 1494, a monk named Girolamo Savonarola began preaching about morals of both the people and the church leaders.  Pope
Alexander VI unsuccessfully tried to shut his meddling up by offering him a cardinal position.  The following year Alexander ordered him to
stop preaching.  By 1497 Savonarola was boldly attacked corruption in the church, so Alexander excommunicated him.  The latter retorted
that Alexander was not only a false pope, but not even a Christian.  

The next year some of his political enemies had him arrested.  He was tortured 14 separate times, and later hung with two of his followers.  

In 1495, the church introduced use of the rosary beads in prayer, each one representing one "Hail Mary" or whatever was designated.   

                                                                         INTRODUCED ROSARY  
                                                                       NOT WIDELY ACCEPTED  

Also about this time, choirs were introduced into the church.  They had to be men, and always were monks.  

                                                                         INTRODUCED CHOIRS  

In the mean time, Pope Alexander's son by an earlier mistress was being groomed to be the next pope, but he was murdered in 1497.  So
the son of his youngest mistress made friends with the French who helped him grab land in northern Italy from other church office holders in
the family.  Once, for diversion, he turned some criminals loose in a courtyard of the Vatican and shot them from a window.  But, when his
father died, rather than be appointed pope, he became a mercenary soldier in Spain.  

CZECH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  About this time, John Huss translated the Bible into the language of his people.  Actually he
revised earlier Czech versions and modernized the antiquated language.  

SLAVONIC TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1499, Gennadius gathered together translations of various books of the Bible into
one volume.  They had all been translated from the Hebrew, Greek and Latin.

                          16th Century

Because of the edict of King Edward III of England a century earlier, persecution of Lollards, followers of Wyclif, continued.  In 1506
William Tilfrey was burned at the stake at Amersham, and Father Roberts with just an accusation was burned at buckingham.  In 1507
Thomas Norris was burned for telling others of the Gospel.  

In 1508, Lawrence Guale was burned at Salisbury for denying the real presence of Jesus in the bread and wine.  A pious woman at
Chippen Sudburne was burned.  In 1511, William Succling and John Bannister were burned in Smithfield.  In 1517 John Brown at Ashford
was burned, first his feet to the bone, then the rest of him.  Richard Hunn was killed in "Lollard's Tower" in the palace of Lambeth.  

Pope Julius II had his own armies which he often personally led into France or Spain to retake lands formerly owned by the church.  He
also sponsored Michelangelo and laid the cornerstone for the new St. Peter's cathedral.  In 1509 he marched on Venice and then northern
Italy where the French were.  

His successor was Leo X had been made an archbishop at 8, a cardinal at 13, and held 27 different church offices before he was 13.  He
appointed cardinals as young as age 7.  He and his cardinals vied with royalty throughout Europe for the luxury of their palaces and

In 1516, Dutchman Desiderius Erasmus, after spending years studying the writings of the apostles and early church fathers, printed for
popular access a parallel New Testament in Greek and Latin.  He dedicated it to Pope Leo X.

However, later Erasmus challenged the superstition of saints' relics, pilgrimages, and empty rituals.  Although he believed in quiet study of
the Scripture, he never broke from the Roman Church.  

By now, most of the clergy were taking their pay, but not showing up for work.  Some even held more than one position and got paid for
all of them.  Many of the upper clergy were just sons of noblemen who needed a job, so were made bishop.  Many of the parish priests
were simply peasants who were willing to work for a penance even though they could not read enough Latin to do a complete Mass.  In
Germany, only about seven percent of the parishes had a resident priest.  

In 1517, Pope Leo X needed more money to build St. Peter's basilica in Rome and the German archbishop needed enough money to
repay himself for what it cost to buy his position.  The two agreed on a special papal indulgence that would give the purchaser complete
forgiveness of sins.   

Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses on the castle church door in Wittenberg, the university bulletin board, challenging primarily the
Roman Church's entire system of salvation.  He also admitted that some of John Huss' views were correct.

In 1520, Pope Leo condemned 41 Lutheran errors and condemned Luther as a heretic.    

Luther kept emphasizing the priesthood of all believers, and wrote:  

"The Babylonian Captivity of the Church," wherein he attacked the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, declaring there were only two
sacraments - baptism and the Lord's Supper.  He also preached and wrote that, even though "faith without works is dead," quoting Jesus'
brother James, we are "saved by grace", quoting the apostle Paul.  

When Luther was pressured by Emperor Charles V of Germany to recant, he said his views were faithful to the Holy Scriptures and he
would not recant.  However, Prince Frederick of Saxony supported and protected him.  Living relatively quiet, he ended his celibacy in
1525 and married a former nun, Katie.  They had six children.  

Gradually the Scandinavian kings of Denmark, Sweden and Norway adopted Luther's positions, as well as many German princes.  In
1529, when Emperor Charles in Germany tried to remove religious privileges of those agreeing with Luther, they protested.  Thus began the

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1522, William Tyndale began releasing his translation of the Bible from the original
Greek rather than the Latin as his English predecessors had done.  He did all of the New Testament.  Part of the Old Testament he never
finished.  He released the entire New Testament in 1526.  

Under the century-old edict of the King of England, more Lollards ~ followers of Wyclif ~ were persecuted.  In 1518 John Stilincen was
burned at the stake in Smithfield.  In 1519, Thomas Mann was burned at London, Robert Celin for speaking against image worship and
pilgrimages was also burned.  Also, James Brewster of Colchester was burned, Christopher was burned at Newbury were burned that
same year.  Then Robert Silks of Coventry was burned alive.  

Meanwhile, in Switzerland in 1517, Ulrich Zwingli, a priest who had difficulty keeping his celibate vows, began studying the scriptures more
and more.    

Zwingli began expository preaching, meaning that he chose a topic and exposed all the facts on it he could from the scriptures.  He realized
the church of the New Testament was not the church of his day.  The following year he attacked a local papal indulgence seller.  At this
time he also learned of Luther and his beliefs.  

Challenged by the orthodox Roman Catholics, Zwingli took the matter to the town council of Zurich.  They agreed to let him continue to
preach the gospel and the scriptures.  His teachings were so strong that the last Catholic Mass was held in Zurich in 1525.  Protestant
communion services took their place, but four times a year.  

FRENCH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1523, Jacques Lefevre translated the New Testament from Latin to the language of the
common people.  In 1530 he released the Old Testament.  He was Catholic.

In 1524 in France, John Clark, an Albigense, nailed an announcement to the church door calling the pope Antichrist.  As a result he was
repeatedly whipped and then branded on the forehead.  Going to another city, he destroyed some images, for which he had his right and
nose cut off.  During further torture he sang the 150th Psalm forbidding idolatry.  Then he was thrown into a fire and burned.  

Another French Albigense from Malda said that Mass was a denial of the death and passion of Christ and was burned by slow fire.  John
de Cadurco who also preached reformation in the church, was also burned at the stake.  

To escape persecution in France, many Waldense Protestants fled to Italy and settled in the valleys of Piedmont.  But they refused to make
offerings for the dead in purgatory, did not go to Mass, did not confess their sins to the priest.  Thus, the persecution began there.

At Turin, one man had his bowels taken out and put in a basin for him to look at until he died.  At Revel, Catelin Girard was burned at the
stake, but not before he declared, "When it is in the power of a man to eat and digest this solid stone, the religion for which I am about to
suffer shall have an end, and not before."  [5]  

After a brief period of peace, another persecution arose in the same area when the Waldenses decided to preach the Gospel in public.  
Those captured were either skinned or burned alive.  

GERMAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Martin Luther translated the New Testament from the original Greek and published it in
1526.  In 1534 he translated the Old Testament from the original Hebrew.  

In 1526, Felix Mantz was thrown into prison in Switzerland for his beliefs in baptism.  On January 5, 1527, he was taken onto a boat,
bound, and thrown into a river and drowned.  A hymn he wrote while awaiting his fate is in part as follows:

With rapture I will sing,
Grateful to God for breath,
The strong, almighty King
Who saves my soul from death....

Michael Sattler, was imprisoned in Strasburg, Switzerland, May 21, 1527.  His tongue was torn out, his body tortured with hot tongs, then
he was burned to death.
 But before his death, he penned this hymn in part:

Of such a man fear not the will,
The body only he can kill.

That same year in Munich, Germany, George Wagner was sentenced to be burned at the stake for his beliefs in
 Before his execution, he wrote this hymn, in part:

We praise our Father, God;
To him hosannas bring.

Carius Binder, who had been baptized and identified himself with the "Brethren," wrote this:

With all our hearts we thank Thee,
Thou holy One and true.

Then on October 25, he and 38 others who believed in baptism were shut up in a house that was set on fire, and
they all perished in the flames.  

Leonhart Schiemer was baptized, then preached in Austria and Bavaria.  He penned this hymn:

Thine holy place they have destroyed, Tine altars overthrown,
And reaching forth their bloody hands, have foully slain thine own.
And we alone, thy little flock ~ the few who still remain ~
Are exiles wandering through the land, in sorrow and in pain.

We wander in the forests dark, with dogs upon our track;
And like the captive, silent lamb, men bring us, prisoners, back.
They point to us amid the throng, and with their taunts offend;
And long to let the sharpened axe on heretics descend.

In Tyrol, Bavaria, he was arrested and sentenced to death.  On January 14, 1528, he was beheaded and burned.  

In 1526, Hans Schlaffer in Germany had discontinued his priesthood and been baptized by immersion.  He then
preached to others his opposition to infant baptism saying it was never commanded in the scriptures.
following year he was arrested.  He penned this hymn in part:

But Jesus Christ has died, and satisfied
The guilt that was mine own.

Early the following year he and 20 others of like faith were beheaded at Schwatz.  

John Leopold, a tailor in Augsburg, was arrested for his beliefs in baptism.  He wrote this hymn:

My God, thee will I praise
When my last hour shall come,
And the my voice I'll raise
Within the heavenly home.
O Lord, most merciful and king,
Now strengthen my weak faith,
And give me peace of mind.

On April 25, 1528, he was executed for his beliefs.  

Hans Hut was baptized in Augsburg, Germany, and associated with the Brethren.  He preached in Silesia, Moravia
and Austria.
 He was imprisoned in Augsburg and there wrote this hymn:

He points us to his holy word,
His Testament, in which the Lord
Appears our nature wearing....
Beneath his feet grim death hath trod,
With truth himself arraying,
His mighty power displaying,
And all our ears allaying.

King James V of Scotland died, leaving a six-month-old daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots.  While a child, the
Catholics ruled, so Mary had been raised Catholic.   

Patrick Hamilton announced before the archbishop of St. Andrews that he disapproved of pilgrimages, purgatory,
prayers to saints and for the dead.
 Even while being burned at the stake, friars called out, "Turn, thou heretic;
call upon our Lady."  He replied to one of them, "Wicked man, God forgive thee."  In February 1528, he became
Scotland's first Protestant martyr.  A monk, Henry Forest, was murdered because he thought this was too harsh.  

DANISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Christiern Pedersen translated the New Testament from two
different Latin versions and Luther's German version into the language of his people.  

SWISS TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Put together by Huldreich Zwingli, it was called the Zurcher Bibel.  
The New Testament was translated into the language of the common people from Luther's German translation in
1529.  Later the Old Testament was completed.

In 1529 a Protestant preacher was executed and war threatened between the Protestants and Catholics.  That
same year, Luther and Zwingli met and agreed on all of their beliefs except the Lord's Supper.  Luther continued
to insist the bread and wine became Jesus' physical body, while Zwingli said it was just a memorial.  In 1531 war
did break out between the Catholics and Protestants, and Zwingli with his troops were killed.  

Ludwig Hetzer was baptized in 1523 and preached in various locations until exiled, so moved on.  He also
translated the Old Testament into German.  Among several hymns written by him was this:

Fret not thyself, O pious heart,
Though evil men surround thee.

Finally in Bischolszell, Switzerland, he was arrested and sentenced to death.  On February 3, 1529, he was

George Blaurock, a former monk, was baptized in 1525 and associated with the Brethren.  Amidst his preaching, he
wrote this hymn:

Daily renew us and make us steadfast in persecution.
Leave us not, thy children, from now on to the end.
Extend to us thy fatherly hand, that we may finish our course.

In Tyrol, Switzerland, he was arrested, and burned at the stake in 1529.

In reaction to the martyrdoms, that year, Urich Zwigli, a great Christian reform leader of Switzerland, wrote
this hymn:

Lord, we cry to you for help.  Only you can heal our pain.
Out of deep distress we call.  Help us, Lord, send peace again.

These martyrdoms did not go unnoticed in Germany.  At that time, Martin Luther wrote this hymn, trying to give

A mighty fortress is our God, a Bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

And tho this world, with evil filled, should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, God hath willed His truth to triumph thru us.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever!

In 1530, this hymn appeared among the Bohemian Brethren:

Now God be with us, for the night is closing;
The light and darkness are of His disposing,
And 'neath His shadow here to rest, we yield us,
For He will shield us.

But still the persecutions continued by the mainline Roman church.  In 1531, Martin Maler and six others were
arrested in Schwabia, Germany, for preaching the Word, especially about baptism.  While there, Maler wrote this
hymn in part:

In deep distress I cry to thee;
My prayer, O God, attend.

He was put on the rack and refused to recant.  Thereupon he was executed.  

Englishman, William Tyndale, tried to publish the New Testament into the common English of the people, but the
Catholic Bishop of London refused to allow it.  So he went to the Continent where he printed his first edition in
1526.  He spent the next decade trying to get his Bible to as many people as possible.  But he was finally arrested
and burned at the stake in Brussels, Belgium, October 1536.  

In 1531 King Henry VIII, through an act of Parliament, officially separated England from the Church in Rome.  
Now, as head of the church, he could annul his 15-year marriage to his brother's widow, claiming it had been
incestuous because she was his sister-in-law.  Besides, Catherine only gave him one daughter, Mary.  He then
married again, and Anne Boleyn bore him a girl, Elizabeth.  

King Henry stopped all payments of money to the church at Rome and took them himself, and appointed all
bishops.  In 1535, anyone who disagreed was executed.  The following year, frustrated that he still did not have a
son, he drummed up charges of adultery on his current wife, had her executed, and married Jane Seymour who
gave him a son, Edward.  

The year after he permitted William Tyndale to be executed, he allowed an English translation of the Bible be
openly available to the people.  By 1541 every parish was ordered to have an English Bible available for people to
read.  Through the years as he changed his theological thinking, those who believed the opposite were executed.  

DUTCH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1532 Luther's German Bible was translated into Dutch.  

ITALIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  That same year, Antonio Brucioli translated the Bible into the
language of the common people, using Erasmus' Latin version for the New Testament, and Pagninus' Latin version
for the Old Testament.  

HUNGARIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1533, the Pauline Epistles were translated from the Latin
into the language of the common people.  

GERMAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1534 J. Dietenberger translated the Bible into the language of
the people from the Latin.  He also used Emser's New Testament and Luther's Old Testament.  He was a Catholic.   

FRENCH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1534, Olivetan translated the Bible into the language of his
people from the Hebrew, Erasmus' Latin version, and Lefevre's New Testament.  

FRENCH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1535, Olivetan translated the Bible into the language of his
people from the Hebrew, Latin, and Lefevre's New Testament in French.  

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  That same year, Miles Coverdale translated the Bible into the
language of the common people.  Although German, he was hired by a German Lutheran merchant to do so because
he did business in English.  Copies of it were installed in many churches in England, and Queen Anne Boleyn had one
in her chamber.  

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Two years later in 1537, this Bible authorized by English monarchy,
was a translation of Munster's Latin version of 1535 in the Old Testament and Erasmus' Latin version in the New
Testament, the Swiss-German Zurich Bible, Luther's German Bible, and Tyndale's English version.  Also much of it
was lifted out of Coverdale's Bible.  It became the direct ancestor of the Authorized Version, also known as the
King James Version.  

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1539, The Great Bible was translated into English and later
edited by Coverdale.  By royal injunction it was to be installed in every church.  It was printed in Paris and nearly
finished when the French inquisition intervened.  Coverdale and his publisher fled with the types and printed
sheets, and completed the printing in London in April 1539.  

WALDENSES TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  Although the Waldenses had had the New Testament and part
of the Old printed in their language, they wanted the complete Bible.  They furnished a Swiss printer with the
entire Old and New Testament who accommodated them.

The Waldenses, the most powerful of the "heretics" to refused to cooperate with the mainline Roman church, drew
more and more converts, especially now with more translations of the Bible in the hands of the common people.    

When further threatened by the pope, the Waldenses sent a message which in part said that they valued the King
of kings, Jesus, who reigns in heaven, more than any earthly ruler, and their souls were more precious than their

Thereupon a minister, Jeffery Varnagle, was burned at the stake.  Others were hanged, drowned, stabbed,
pierced, thrown off cliffs, burned, crucified upside down, threw to mad dogs, or racked them to death.  Those who
could, escaped to the caves in the Alps.  

Also in 1534 in Edinburgh, Scotland, David Stratton and Norman Gourlay were burned at the stake.  A former
dean of the Roman Church, Thomas Forret, was also burned.  Also burned to death were Killor and Beverage, a
priest named Duncan Simson, and Robert Forrester.  

About this time, Pope Paul III ascended the church throne and ordered the Waldenses persecuted anew.  The
following hymns (in part) appeared in the Genevan Psalter:

Out of the depths I cry, Lord.  O Lord, please hear my call.
Let your ears be attentive; I beg for mercy, Lord.
O Lord, the enemy pursues me;
My life lies broken where I've fallen.
Let God arise and by his might
Put all his enemies to flight
With shame and consternation.
For when the Lord God shall appear,
He will consume, afar and near,
With fire and desolation.

In 1539 in Scotland, the archbishop condemned Jerome Russell and Alexander Kennedy (who was 18 years old) to
be burned alive.  On the way to their execution, Russell said, "The pain that we are to suffer is short, and shall be
light; but our joy and consolation shall never have end....Death cannot hurt us, for it is already destroyed by Him,
for whose sake we are now going to suffer."  


One of their first was Bartholomew Hector, a bookseller of Turin, Italy, who was burned at the stake.  

And in 1540, a man named Kugelmann wrote this hymn:

Do not be silent, Lord God;
The wicked speak against my life....
You see, my Lord, how fearful, ow spent I am,
Like mere debris.  Tormentors mock my frailty.

HUNGARIAN TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1541, J. Erdosi translated the New Testament from the
original Greek into the language of the common people.  

Some Protestant Waldenses escaped to Venice, Italy, which, for some time, had left them alone in peace.  But in
1542, persecution began there too.    

This hymn appeared in the Genevan Psalter that year:

Pain and distress o'erwhelm me, I cry all night for mercy,
My bed is wet with tears, my eyes can weep no longer;
My enemies seem stronger, my awful foes ad fears.

Anthony Ricetti was sentenced to be drowned.  His son begged him to become a Catholic instead, but his father
replied, "A good Christian is bound to relinquish not only good and children, but life itself, for the glory of his
Redeemer: therefore I am resolved to sacrifice everything in this transitory world, for the sake of salvation in a
world that will last to eternity" (Fox's Book of Martyrs, pg. 101).  The hierarchy offered to pay off the mortgage
on his estate if he became Catholic, but he still refused.  A few days later he was executed.  

Francis Spinola had written against claiming the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper were the actual body and
blood of Christ.  He was imprisoned and executed.  "He went to meet death with the utmost serenity, seemed to
wish for dissolution, and declaring that the prolongation of his life did but tend to retard that real happiness
which could only be expected in the world to come."  

Wolfgang Scuch, John Huglin, both ministers, and Leonard Keyser, a student, were burned at the stake.  George
Carpenter, a Bavarian, was hanged. [6]

SPANISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE:  In 1543, Enzinas Dryander translated the New Testament from the
original Greek in the common language of his people.  

About that same time, persecution arose in the Netherlands.  The widow Wendelinuta was imprisoned.  When a
friend visited to tell her to at least keep her beliefs a secret, she replied, "You know not what you say; for with
the heart we believe to righteousness, but with the tongue confession is made unto salvation."  Soon after she was
strangled and burned at the stake.  

Two Protestant ministers were burned at Colen.  Nicholas in Antwerp was tied in a sack and drowned.  Pistorius
was burned at the stake.  Seventeen Protestants, including their minister, were beheaded in another Dutch village.  

George Scherter, a minister of Salzburg, was beheaded and then burned.  Percinal in Louviana was murdered in
prison.  Justus Insparg was beheaded for having Luther's sermons in his possession.  

Giles Tilleman of Brussels was imprisoned and turned down a chance to escape in order to save punishment of his
guards.  When led to the stake he requested that most of the firewood be given to the poor.  "A small quantity will
suffice to consume me."


[1].  North, James B., From Pentecost to the Present, College Press, Joplin, MO, 1983, pg. 247  

[2].  Forbush, William B., editor,
Fox's Book of Martyrs, Zondervan Publishing House, 1968, pg. 143  

[3].  Fox, pg. 146  

[4].  Fox, pg. 154ff

[5].  Fox, pg. 94

[6].  Fox, pg. 102


D'Aubigne, J. H. Merle, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, The Religious Tract Society,
London, 1846  

The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1971  

Encyclopedia Britannica, William Benton Publisher, Chicago, 1966  

Forbush, William B., Editor,
Fox's Book of Martyrs, Zondervan  Publishing House, Grand Rapids, 1926  

Goold, G. P., Editor,
Bede Historical Works:  Ecclesiastical  History of the English Nation, Vol. I and II  

Keyes, Nelson B.,
Story of the Bible World, Reader's Digest Assn,  Pleasantville, NY, 1962  

Lightfoot, J.B., Editor,
The Apostolic Fathers, Baker Book House,  Grand Rapids, 1965  

McDonald, William J., Editor,
The New Catholic Encyclopedia,  McGraw-Hill, Chicago, 1962  

North, James B.,
From Pentecost to the Present, College Press Publishing, Joplin, Mo., 1983  

Simon, Edith,
Great Ages of Man:  The Reformation, Time-Life Books, NY, 1968  

Burrage, Henry S.,
[Ana]Baptist Hymn Writers and their Hymns, Brown Thurston & Co., Portland, Maine, 1889  

Wells, H. G.,
The Outline of History, Garden City Books, NY, 1961