Today in Christian History

October 6

October 6, 1536: English reformer William Tyndale, who translated and published the first mechanically-printed New Testament in the English language (against the law at the time) is strangled to death. His body is then burned at the stake (see issue 16: William Tyndale).

October 6, 1552: Matteo Ricci, the first Roman Catholic missionary to China, is born in Macareta, Italy. Other missionaries criticized his complete adoption of Chinese customs and alliance with Confucianism (which he believed merely a civil cult, unlike Buddhism and Taoism).

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December 11, 1475: Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici, who would become Pope Leo X, is born in Florence, Italy. He is best known for his sale of indulgences to help rebuild St. Peter’s Basillica, a practice opposed by Martin Luther in his famous 95 Theses. The dispute between Leo and Luther over indulgences would culminate in Luther’s excommunication by papal bull in 1521, ushering in the Protestant Reformation. Leo died later that same year. Though Leo lived lavishly and was known for political ...

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