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The Founders XXXX to XXXX
The Reformationists from XXXX to XXXX
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John Foxe, an Oxford Scholar, created the Book of Martyrs. In telling the high price paid for the Word of God, it would impact the English people forever. Foxe was caught up with the ideas of the Reformation, and as Bloody Queen Mary took power, he fled to Protestant Europe. Risking his life, he worked publishing the most important books of the Reformers. He was inspired by ideas that would become the foundation for the Book of Martyrs. Foxe’s challenge was to change Protestant executions from that of “heretics” and “dissidents” to “heroes” and “martyrs for the cause”. In doing so, it showed how her people now had the chance to embrace the true Reformed church. With the Protestant Queen Elizabeth taking power, Foxe returned to write the martyrs’ stories in English from early Christianity to the reigns of the Tudors. His brilliant graphics ensured a largely illiterate population could understand the message they were trying to convey. In 1570, the queen’s privy council ordered copies of Foxe’s book to be distributed to parish churches across the country. As the Book of Martyrs was chained to lecterns across England, it joined the English Bible and the reintroduced Book of Common Prayer that formed the backbone of the English reformation.
He defined the three pillars for Protestant England; Scripture, Reason, and Tradition. Thomas Cranmer was plucked from obscurity to become one of the most powerful men in England. As he compiled arguments for King Henry the Eight’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon, his discovery that the monarch not the pope should be the judge of what was or what was not God’s will delighted King Henry the 8th. Like Tyndale months earlier, the newly minted Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer wanted an English Bible that replaced the flawed Latin Vulgate. With his 10 assigned bishops failing to deliver a translation, Cranmer secretly relied on Tyndale’s Bible changing only a few of the most explosive passages. Three years after Tyndale’s death, this great Bible would be placed in every Anglican church. Under King Henry the 8th, pope centered ceremonies and houses of ritualized prayers were dismantled. Cranmer began creating a Book of Common Prayers and set a goal for Latin Masses to be held in English so the Bible could touch the heart of the people. To the very Catholic king Henry, this would be heresy. It took his death, and 9 year old Protestant King Edward to take power before Cranmer could push the nation Protestant. Bloody revolts and sieges followed. After young King Edward died of tuberculosis, Queen Mary Tudor reinstated Catholicism and slaughtered Protestant reformers. Cranmer was taken to the Tower of London, and executed for the dream he believed in, within a decade Tyndale’s Bible and Cranmer’s Book of Prayers and Foxes Book of Martyrs would be in every Anglican church and define the soul of a nation for over 400 years.