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William married Alana Felbrigg (born De Felbrigg). Alana was born in 1390, in Breisworth Manor, Suffolk, England. They had 2 children: Richard Tyndale and one other child.The said William married Alice Hunt of the farm called Hunt’s Court at North ibley, and since they had a son also called William, this gave rise to the belief that this could be William the translator, and North Nibley the place of his birth.His final words, spoken “at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice”, were reported as “Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes.” The traditional date of commemoration is 6 October, but records of Tyndale’s imprisonment suggest that the actual date of his execution might have been some weeks earlier.

William Tyndale
Born c. 1494 Melksham Court, Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire, England
Died c. 6 October 1536 (aged 42) near Vilvoorde, Duchy of Brabant, Habsburg Netherlands in the Holy Roman Empire
Nationality English
Alma mater Magdalen Hall, Oxford University of Cambridge

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William Tyndale is known in History as being a pioneer who went against law, risking his life at the time in order to translate the Bible. At the time in England translating any part of the Holy Book into English would result in the person doing so being executed in horrific fashion, being burned at the stake in front of a huge crowd. Heresy was an incredibly serious religious crime during the Tudor period, and it’s for this burning that Queen’s like Bloody Mary get their nicknames and reputations.
William Tyndale was educated at Oxford University and dreamed to bring the word of the Bible which was written in Latin to everyone in England. He realised that to do this in England was too dangerous, so he moved to Europe and completed his task in Germany. These Bibles were then printed in Germany and Belgium and smuggled back to England, however if anyone was found in England with one of these they could be killed for being a heretic. There were attempts to get Tyndale to return to England so he could face charges of religious crimes, but he never returned home.
However it was in Europe that he would be betrayed. He was handed over to one of Europe’s leading heretic hunters, and for this was placed on trial in Belgium after being held in prison at Vilvoorde Castle for 16 months. He was sentenced to death, and was to be strangled then burned at the stake. His execution was carried out in brutal fashion in front of a huge crowd.
Today Tyndale is considered a pioneer and a scholar who pushed the boundaries of religion and law to bring the word of the Bible to the people of England. He was even voted the 26th Greatest Britain in a BBC Poll.
So join us today as we look at ‘The Horrific Execution Of William Tyndale.’
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William Tyndale (1494 -1536) – Wotton Heritage Centre

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William Tyndale – Wikipedia

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William Tyndale | Biography, Bible, Death, & Facts | Britannica

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William Tyndale

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Who was William Tyndale married to?

The said William married Alice Hunt of the farm called Hunt’s Court at North ibley, and since they had a son also called William, this gave rise to the belief that this could be William the translator, and North Nibley the place of his birth.

What race was William Tyndale?

William Tyndale
Born c. 1494 Melksham Court, Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire, England
Died c. 6 October 1536 (aged 42) near Vilvoorde, Duchy of Brabant, Habsburg Netherlands in the Holy Roman Empire
Nationality English
Alma mater Magdalen Hall, Oxford University of Cambridge

What were William Tyndale last words?

His final words, spoken “at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice”, were reported as “Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes.” The traditional date of commemoration is 6 October, but records of Tyndale’s imprisonment suggest that the actual date of his execution might have been some weeks earlier.

Why was the Catholic Church mad at William Tyndale?

Tyndale objected to the Catholic Church’s control of scripture in Latin and the prohibition against an English translation. His work formed the basis of all other English translations of the Bible up through the modern era.

When did William Tyndale get married?

William Henry Tyndale, 1784 – 1826

Matthew was born in December 1752, in Easby, England, United Kingdom. Sarah was born in 1752, in Darlington, Durham, England. Mary Ridsdale married William Tindall on month day 1805, at marriage place.

Which king killed Tyndale?

In May 1536, Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, was convicted of adultery and beheaded. Five months later, accused heretic and English Bible translator William Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake.

Who burned the original Bible?

In A.D. 301-304, the Roman Emperor Diocletian burned thousands of copies of the Bible, commanded that all Bibles be destroyed and decreed that any home with a Bible in it should be burned.

Who burned the Bible?

The book burning was organized by Pastor Greg Locke, who has endorsed QAnon conspiracy theories and denies the existence of COVID-19. At a right-wing Christian book burning event held last week in Tennessee, a gay man and his husband threw a Bible into the flames while repeatedly chanting “HAIL SATAN.”

Who wrote the first Bible in English?

The first complete English-language version of the Bible dates from 1382 and was credited to John Wycliffe and his followers.

Who’s the oldest person in the Bible?

In the Bible

According to the Bible, Methuselah died the year of the flood but the Bible does not record whether he died during or prior to the flood. He was also the oldest of all the figures mentioned in the Bible.

Who Wrote the Bible?

Even after nearly 2,000 years of its existence, and centuries of investigation by biblical scholars, we still don’t know with certainty who wrote its various texts, when they were written or under what circumstances.

Who translated Bible to English?

Great Britons: William Tyndale – The Man Who Translated the Bible Into English. William Tyndale was an English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known for his translation of the Bible into English.

Who translated the Catholic Bible into English?

The first person to translate the entire Bible into English and circulate it was the 14th century Oxford scholar, John Wycliffe. In response to his translating, both Pope Gregory XI and Pope Urban VI condemned him for errors and heresies.

How accurate is Tyndale Bible?

Based on 18 sampled passages from those portions of the Bible that Tyndale translated, we conclude that for the New Testament Tyndale’s contribution is about 84 per cent of the text, while in the Old Testament about 76 per cent of his words have been retained.

What was wrong with the Tyndale Bible?

Tyndale’s translations were condemned in England by Catholic authorities, where his work was banned and copies burned. Catholic officials, prominently Thomas More, charged that he had purposely mistranslated the ancient texts in order to promote anti-clericalism and heretical views.

Who burned the original Bible?

In A.D. 301-304, the Roman Emperor Diocletian burned thousands of copies of the Bible, commanded that all Bibles be destroyed and decreed that any home with a Bible in it should be burned.

Who was the first person to translate the Bible into English?

The first complete English-language version of the Bible dates from 1382 and was credited to John Wycliffe and his followers.

Did William Tyndale believe in the Trinity?

Tyndale’s theology stressed the importance of the covenant from the perspective of the persons of the trinity. For Tyndale, the divine fatherhood of God and the elect as his children points to a new form of Christian community and a new creation.

What did John Calvin Do?

John Calvin is known for his influential Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), which was the first systematic theological treatise of the reform movement. He stressed the doctrine of predestination, and his interpretations of Christian teachings, known as Calvinism, are characteristic of Reformed churches.

His Life and the English Bible by Dawn Waring

There is no precise evidence as to when William Tyndale (some- times known as Hutchins) was born, but a few facts about his family in id-Gloucestershire and according to the egister of the University of Oxford, where n his late teens he took his degrees, his irth is believed to have been in 1494. As o his place of birth, this remains a mystery hough it is thought that he was born with- n a few miles of Dursley, west of which lies tinchcombe where, in the early 1500s, a ichard Tyndale inherited Melksham Court rom a relative, Talbot Hochyns. Richard ad two sons, Thomas and William, who nherited jointly the property, on Richard’s eath. The said William married Alice Hunt of the farm called Hunt’s Court at North ibley, and since they had a son also called William, this gave rise to the belief that this could be William the translator, and North Nibley the place of his birth. However, the Hunt’s Court William is known to have been alive in the 1540s, years after William the translator’s death. Wherever he was born, William is believed to have been baptised in the church in North Nibley, and that as a young boy, he received his early education and grounding in Latin at the Grammar School at Wotton-under-Edge, founded in 1384 by the Dowager Lady Berkeley.

The name Tyndale suggests a northern origin, from the Tyne region of Northumberland, a letter dated 1663 from a descendant of William’s brother, Edward, claiming that the family grew from a Tyndale who came from the north during the Wars of the Roses (1455 -1485) settling in Gloucestershire where he changed his name to Hutchins for reasons of safety, only revealing his true name to his children on his deathbed. Just north of Stinchcombe lies Slimbridge where it is recorded that Edward Tyndale was granted the lease of a manor house at Hurst Farm in 1529. He was a powerful man in Gloucestershire having been appointed receiver of rents for the Berkley Es- tates, later holding by grant from the Abbot of Tewkesbury, the Manor of Pull in Worcester, and that of Burnet in the county of Somerset. Thus at one time or another he had responsibilities in the three counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Somerset. His Will, proved in London in 1546, showed him to have been a man of wealth and substance. Another brother, John Tyndale, resident in London, organised the production of woollen cloth in Gloucestershire and its sale in London, and also traded in leather, the bi- product of wool. By 1522, the Tyndale family had risen to positions of real wealth and power so that the notion that William came from humble origins but dared to challenge the great and powerful in London, is untrue.

In 1506, at the tender age of twelve, William went up to Oxford Univer- sity where he was registered as William Hyphens, residing at Magdalene Hall. The registers record that he took his BA degree on 4th July 1512, in the same year becoming a sub deacon. He was created MA on 2nd July 1515 at which point he was able to study theology. Between 1517 and 1521, Wil- liam was at Cambridge University where he studied Divinity and Greek and became acquainted with the work of the Dutch philosopher, Desideratum Erasmus, who was lecturer there, though it is unlikely that he met Erasmus, who was away during his time there. He might even have begun his study of Erasmus’s Greek Testament at that time. On leaving Cambridge, William returned to Gloucestershire where he became tutor to the children of Sir John Walsh, who, it is recorded in 1522, had considerable wealth in goods and lands over a wide area in Gloucestershire.

It is not known when William became a priest, only that he did, records confirming that he and his brother, John, were ordained to minor orders. Wil- liam began to make a name for himself as a preacher, especially at St. Aus- tin’s Green, now known as College Green, in Bristol. Although his text came from the Latin Bible, his sermons were in English. At about this time, 1522, it is believed that he obtained an illegally imported copy of Martin Luther’s German Bible, which further fuelled his determination to translate the Bible into English. Like Luther, he condemned the Church and its preachers for the use of the Latin Scriptures to suit their purposes and in his “Obedience of the Christian Man”, published in October 1528, he said “they tell you that the scripture ought not to be in the mother tongue, but it is only because they fear the light, and desire to lead you blindfold and in captivity………but if the curates will not teach the Gospel, the layman must have the scripture, and read it for himself, taking God for his teacher”. At a confrontation with a learned member of the clergy who in defence of the church asserted that “we had better be without God’s laws than the Pope’s” William responded “I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plough to know more of the scriptures than thou dost”.

In 1523 William left for London to seek permission to translate the Bible into English. He sought the help of Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall, a well-known classicist who had worked, together with Erasmus, on a New Greek testament. The Bishop, however, was suspicious of William’s theology and un- comfortable with the idea of the Bible in the vernacular, and although in 1362, English had become the official language in Parliament and the Law Courts, the Church at this time forbad any English translation of the Scriptures.

William preached and worked on his translation in London for some time, relying on the financial help and board of a cloth merchant, Humphrey Monmouth. In the Spring of 1524, in the knowledge that his hoped-for print- ing in England was forbidden, he left for Hamburg, travelling on to Wit- tenberg where his name was entered in the matriculation registers of Wit- tenberg University and where, it is believed, he met Martin Luther. Here he worked on his translation of the New Testament, completing it in 1525. It was not until 1526 that a full edition of the New Testament was printed at Worms, an imperial free city then in the process of adopting Lutheranism. More copies were soon printed in Amsterdam. The book was smuggled into England and Scotland, most probably in bales of cloth and other goods, and was condemned by Bishop Tunstall who issued warnings to book sellers and had copies burned in public. Cardinal Wolsey condemned William as a heretic, and he was first mentioned in open court as a heretic in 1529. William remained in Antwerp for a period before going into hiding in Hamburg at around the same year, 1529. There he revised his New Testament and began translation of the Old Testament.

In England, with the growing threat of Protestantism to the established Church, the Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, fanatical in his pursuit and execution of so-called heretics (his letters published at the time condemning in vitriolic terms both Martin Luther and William Tyndale), saw to it that five of William’s supporters were burned at the stake. Before he became Chan-cellor in 1529, there had been few burnings of heretics in England. He soon put a stop to that, and it is said that at his property in Chelsea, there were stocks and a whipping tree used for the extraction of confessions of heresy. His writings express his joy at condemning his victims not only to the “short fire” but to the everlasting fires of hell.

In 1534 William moved to Antwerp to take refuge at the English House that had been given to English merchants by the city governors to encour- age trade, and where he was protected by the freedom from arbitrary ar- rest extended to its inhabitants. He was betrayed by a young man he had befriended, Henry Philips, who, short of money, was bribed by a person or persons unknown, but believed to have been the Bishop of London, Bishop Stokesley, Sir Thomas More or both, to discover his whereabouts. He was arrested and held in the Castle of Vilvoorde near Brussels. He was tried on a charge of heresy in August 1536 and was condemned to death, having been publicly degraded (stripped of his priesthood) beforehand. On about 6th Oc- tober he is said to have been strangled to death at the stake and his body burned (an eye witness recorded, however, that the executioner bungled the strangulation, and William was, in fact, burnt alive). His last words were reported to have been “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes”.

Unlike Erasmus and Luther who translated from the Latin Vulgate, Tyn- dale, an astonishingly gifted linguist, fluent in German, Italian, French, Spanish and importantly, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, translated his New Testament and Pentateuch from the Greek and Hebrew versions of the Bible. The latter two were more suited to his purpose, allowing more freedom of expression and his aim was to write in the plain English he grew up with in Gloucestershire, so that all, of whatever standing, would be able to read and under- stand the Scriptures. With his training in rhetoric at Oxford, and his acute sense of rhythm and poetry, he produced phrases of great beauty, many of which are in common use today, such as “twinkling of an eye”, “a law unto themselves”, “the powers that be”, “the salt of the earth”, “the signs of the times”, “the spirit is willing”, and “gave up the ghost”, to name but a few – not to mention the Lord’s Prayer which has come to us from Tyndale’s trans- lation. Scholars believe that he contributed more to the English language than did Shakespeare.

William Tyndale gave us our English Bible. Within four years of his death three English translations of the Bible were published in England. After Tyndale’s arrest, a friend and colleague, Miles Coverdale, completed his Old Testament, his being the first complete bible to be printed. This was followed by what’s known as the “Matthew Bible”, Matthew being the pseudonym of John Rogers whose version, mostly comprised of Tyndale’s work, was published in 1537. And most significantly, at the behest of the King, Henry VIII, the Great Bible in English was printed for distribution to the churches in 1539. Bible scholars have concluded that in the King James Authorised version, which we have today, 83% of the New Testament and 76% of the Old Testament texts are Tyndale’s.

Tyndale Monument

Some three hundred years after William Tyndale’s death, and in the belief that he was born in North Nibley, the Tyndale Monument was erected on Nibley Knoll overlooking the village and the Vale of Berkeley. The foundation stone was laid on 29th May 1863 by the Hon. Colonel Berkeley and was finally inaugurated by the Earl of Ducie on 6th November 1866. A fitting memorial to a truly extraordinary son of Gloucestershire.

References:

David Daniell – ‘William Tyndale – a Biography’ (Yale University Press – 1994)

Brian Moynahan – ‘Book of Fire – William Tyndale, Thomas More and the Bloody Birth of the English Bible’ – (2nd Edition, Abacus 2010)

Timeline – History of the English Bible.

William Tyndale

English biblical scholar, translator, and revolutionary (1494–1536)

“Tyndale” redirects here. For the English family, see Tyndall . For other uses, see Tyndale (disambiguation)

William Tyndale ( ;[1] sometimes spelled Tynsdale, Tindall, Tindill, Tyndall; c. 1494 – c. 6 October 1536) was an English biblical scholar and linguist who became a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known as a translator of the Bible into English, and was influenced by the works of prominent Protestant Reformers such as Martin Luther.

Luther’s translation of the Christian Bible into German appeared in 1522. Tyndale’s translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, the first English translation to take advantage of the printing press, the first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation, and the first English translation to use Jehovah (“Iehouah”) as God’s name as preferred by English Protestant Reformers.[a] It was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony both of the Catholic Church and of those laws of England maintaining the church’s position. The work of Tyndale continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world and eventually across the British Empire.

Tyndale’s translation of the Bible was used for subsequent English translations, including the Great Bible and the Bishops’ Bible, authorized by the Church of England. In 1611, after seven years of work, the 47 scholars who produced the King James Version[3] drew extensively from Tyndale’s original work and other translations that descended from his. One estimate suggests that the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale’s words and the Old Testament 76%.

A copy of Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian Man (1528), which some claim or interpret to argue that the king of a country should be the head of that country’s church rather than the Pope, came to the hands of King Henry VIII, providing a rationalization for breaking the Church in England from the Catholic Church in 1534. In 1530, Tyndale wrote The Practice of Prelates, opposing Henry’s annulment of his own marriage on the grounds that it contravened scripture. Fleeing England, Tyndale sought refuge in the Flemish territory of the Catholic Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1535, Tyndale was arrested, and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde (Fulford) outside Brussels for over a year. In 1536, he was convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation, after which his body was burnt at the stake. His dying prayer was that the King of England’s eyes would be opened; this seemed to find its fulfillment just one year later with Henry’s authorization of the Matthew Bible, which was largely Tyndale’s work, with missing sections translated by John Rogers and Myles Coverdale.

In 2002, Tyndale was placed 26th in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.[11]

Background [ edit ]

Partial English translations had been made from the 7th century onwards, but the religious foment caused by Wycliffe’s Bible in the late 14th century led to the death penalty for anyone found guilty of unlicensed possession of an English translation of the Bible, although translations were available in all other major European languages. Tyndale worked during a renaissance of scholarship, which saw the publication of Johann Reuchlin’s Hebrew grammar in 1506. Greek texts became available to the European scholarly community for the first time in centuries, as it welcomed Greek-speaking scholars, philosophers, intellectuals, and texts following the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Notably, Erasmus compiled, edited, and published the Greek scriptures of the Christian Bible in 1516.

Life [ edit ]

Tyndale was born around 1494[b] in Melksham Court, Stinchcombe, a village near Dursley, Gloucestershire. The Tyndale family also went by the name Hychyns (Hitchins), and it was as William Hychyns that Tyndale was enrolled at Magdalen Hall, Oxford. Tyndale’s family had moved to Gloucestershire at some point in the 15th century, probably as a result of the Wars of the Roses. The family originated from Northumberland via East Anglia. Tyndale’s brother Edward was receiver to the lands of Lord Berkeley, as attested to in a letter by Bishop Stokesley of London.

Portrait of William Tyndale (1836)

Tyndale is recorded in two genealogies[15][16] as having been the brother of Sir William Tyndale of Deane, Northumberland, and Hockwold, Norfolk, who was knighted at the marriage of Arthur, Prince of Wales to Catherine of Aragon. Tyndale’s family was thus descended from Baron Adam de Tyndale, a tenant-in-chief of Henry I. William Tyndale’s niece Margaret Tyndale was married to Protestant martyr Rowland Taylor, burnt during the Marian Persecutions.

At Oxford [ edit ]

Tyndale began a Bachelor of Arts degree at Magdalen Hall (later Hertford College) of Oxford University in 1506 and received his B.A. in 1512, the same year becoming a subdeacon. He was made Master of Arts in July 1515 and was held to be a man of virtuous disposition, leading an unblemished life.[incomplete short citation] The M.A. allowed him to start studying theology, but the official course did not include the systematic study of scripture. As Tyndale later complained:

They have ordained that no man shall look on the Scripture until he is modeled in heathen learning eight or nine years and armed with false principles, with which he is clean shut out of the understanding of the Scripture.[citation needed]

He was a gifted linguist and became fluent over the years in French, Greek, Hebrew, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, in addition to English. Between 1517 and 1521, he went to the University of Cambridge. Erasmus had been the leading teacher of Greek there from August 1511 to January 1512, but not during Tyndale’s time at the university.

Tyndale became chaplain at the home of Sir John Walsh at Little Sodbury in Gloucestershire and tutor to his children around 1521. His opinions proved controversial to fellow clergymen, and the next year he was summoned before John Bell, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester, although no formal charges were laid at the time.[incomplete short citation] After the meeting with Bell and other church leaders, Tyndale, according to John Foxe, had an argument with a “learned but blasphemous clergyman”, who allegedly asserted: “We had better be without God’s laws than the Pope’s”, to which Tyndale responded: “I defy the Pope and all his laws; and if God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost!”

Tyndale left for London in 1523 to seek permission to translate the Bible into English. He requested help from Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall, a well-known classicist who had praised Erasmus after working together with him on a Greek New Testament. The bishop, however, declined to extend his patronage, telling Tyndale that he had no room for him in his household.[23] Tyndale preached and studied “at his book” in London for some time, relying on the help of cloth merchants Humphrey Monmouth. During this time, he lectured widely, including at St Dunstan-in-the-West at Fleet Street in London.

In Europe [ edit ]

The beginning of the Gospel of John , from Tyndale’s 1525 translation of the New Testament.

Tyndale left England for continental Europe, perhaps at Hamburg, in the spring of 1524, possibly traveling on to Wittenberg. There is an entry in the matriculation registers of the University of Wittenberg of the name “Guillelmus Daltici ex Anglia”, and this has been taken to be a Latinisation of “William Tyndale from England”. He began translating the New Testament at this time, possibly in Wittenberg, completing it in 1525 with assistance from Observant Friar William Roy.

In 1525, the publication of the work by Peter Quentell in Cologne was interrupted by the impact of anti-Lutheranism. A full edition of the New Testament was produced in 1526 by printer Peter Schöffer the Younger in Worms, a free imperial city then in the process of adopting Lutheranism. More copies were soon printed in Antwerp. It was smuggled from continental Europe into England and Scotland. The translation was condemned in October 1526 by Bishop Tunstall, who issued warnings to booksellers and had copies burned in public. Marius notes that the “spectacle of the scriptures being put to the torch… provoked controversy even amongst the faithful.” Cardinal Wolsey condemned Tyndale as a heretic, first stated in open court in January 1529.[incomplete short citation]

From an entry in George Spalatin’s diary for 11 August 1526, Tyndale remained at Worms for about a year. It is not clear exactly when he moved to Antwerp. Here he stayed at the house of Thomas Poyntz. The colophon to Tyndale’s translation of Genesis and the title pages of several pamphlets from this time purported to have been printed by Hans Lufft at Marburg, but this is a false address. Lufft, the printer of Luther’s books, never had a printing press at Marburg.[28]

Following the hostile reception of his work by Tunstall, Wolsey, and Thomas More in England, Tyndale retreated into hiding in Hamburg and continued working. He revised his New Testament and began translating the Old Testament and writing various treatises.

Opposition to Henry VIII’s annulment [ edit ]

In 1530, he wrote The Practice of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII’s planned annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in favor of Anne Boleyn, because it was unscriptural and that it was a plot by Cardinal Wolsey to get Henry entangled in the papal courts of Pope Clement VII. The king’s wrath was aimed at Tyndale. Henry asked Emperor Charles V to have the writer apprehended and returned to England under the terms of the Treaty of Cambrai; however, the emperor responded that formal evidence was required before extradition. Tyndale developed his case in An Answer unto Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue.

Betrayal and death [ edit ]

Eventually, Tyndale was betrayed by Henry Phillips to authorities representing the Holy Roman Empire.[35] He was seized in Antwerp in 1535, and held in the castle of Vilvoorde (Filford) near Brussels. Some suspect that Phillips was hired by Bishop Stokesley to gain Tyndale’s confidence and then betray him.

He was tried on a charge of heresy in 1536 and was found guilty and condemned to be burned to death, despite Thomas Cromwell’s intercession on his behalf. Tyndale “was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned”. His final words, spoken “at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice”, were reported as “Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes.” The traditional date of commemoration is 6 October, but records of Tyndale’s imprisonment suggest that the actual date of his execution might have been some weeks earlier.[40] Foxe gives 6 October as the date of commemoration (left-hand date column), but gives no date of death (right-hand date column). Biographer David Daniell states his date of death only as “one of the first days of October 1536”.

Within four years, four English translations of the Bible were published in England at the king’s behest,[c] including Henry’s official Great Bible. All were based on Tyndale’s work.

Theological views [ edit ]

Tyndale seems to have come out of the Lollard tradition, which was strong in Gloucestershire. Tyndale denounced the practice of prayer to saints. He also rejected the then-orthodox view that the scriptures could be interpreted only by approved clergy.[43] While his views were influenced by Luther, Tyndale also deliberately distanced himself from the German reformer on several key theological points, adopting a symbolical interpretation of the Lord’s Supper in opposition to Luther’s doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.[44]

Printed works [ edit ]

Although best known for his translation of the Bible, Tyndale was also an active writer and translator. As well as his focus on how religion should be lived, he had a focus on political issues.

Legacy [ edit ]

Impact on the English language [ edit ]

In translating the Bible, Tyndale introduced new words into the English language; many were subsequently used in the King James Bible, such as Passover (as the name for the Jewish holiday, Pesach or Pesah) and scapegoat. Coinage of the word atonement (a concatenation of the words ‘At One’ to describe Christ’s work of restoring a good relationship—a reconciliation—between God and people)[47] is also sometimes ascribed to Tyndale. However, the word was probably in use by at least 1513, before Tyndale’s translation.[50][51] Similarly, sometimes Tyndale is said to have coined the term mercy seat. While it is true that Tyndale introduced the word into English, mercy seat is more accurately a translation of Luther’s German Gnadenstuhl.

As well as individual words, Tyndale also coined such familiar phrases as:

my brother’s keeper

knock and it shall be opened unto you

a moment in time

fashion not yourselves to the world

seek and ye shall find

ask and it shall be given you

judge not that ye be not judged

the word of God which liveth and lasteth forever

let there be light

the powers that be

the salt of the earth

a law unto themselves

it came to pass

the signs of the times

filthy lucre

the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (which is like Luther’s translation of Matthew 26,41: der Geist ist willig, aber das Fleisch ist schwach ; Wycliffe for example translated it with: for the spirit is ready, but the flesh is sick .)

(which is like Luther’s translation of Matthew 26,41: ; Wycliffe for example translated it with: .) live, move and have our being

Controversy over new words and phrases [ edit ]

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church did not approve of some of the words and phrases introduced by Tyndale, such as “overseer”, where it would have been understood as “bishop”, “elder” for “priest”, and “love” rather than “charity”. Tyndale, citing Erasmus, contended that the Greek New Testament did not support the traditional readings. More controversially, Tyndale translated the Greek ekklesia (Greek: εκκλησία), (literally “called out ones”[54] ) as “congregation” rather than “church”.[incomplete short citation] It has been asserted this translation choice “was a direct threat to the Church’s ancient – but so Tyndale here made clear, non-scriptural – claim to be the body of Christ on earth. To change these words was to strip the Church hierarchy of its pretensions to be Christ’s terrestrial representative, and to award this honor to individual worshipers who made up each congregation.”[incomplete short citation]

Tyndale was accused of translation errors. Thomas More commented that searching for errors in the Tyndale Bible was similar to searching for water in the sea and charged Tyndale’s translation of The Obedience of a Christian Man with having about a thousand false translations. Bishop Tunstall of London declared that there were upwards of 2,000 errors in Tyndale’s Bible, having already in 1523 denied Tyndale the permission required under the Constitutions of Oxford (1409), which were still in force, to translate the Bible into English. In response to allegations of inaccuracies in his translation in the New Testament, Tyndale in the Prologue to his 1525 translation wrote that he never intentionally altered or misrepresented any of the Bible but that he had sought to “interpret the sense of the scripture and the meaning of the spirit.”[incomplete short citation]

While translating, Tyndale followed Erasmus’s 1522 Greek edition of the New Testament. In his preface to his 1534 New Testament (“WT unto the Reader”), he not only goes into some detail about the Greek tenses but also points out that there is often a Hebrew idiom underlying the Greek.[57] The Tyndale Society adduces much further evidence to show that his translations were made directly from the original Hebrew and Greek sources he had at his disposal. For example, the Prolegomena in Mombert’s William Tyndale’s Five Books of Moses show that Tyndale’s Pentateuch is a translation of the Hebrew original. His translation also drew on the Latin Vulgate and Luther’s 1521 September Testament.[incomplete short citation]

Of the first (1526) edition of Tyndale’s New Testament, only three copies survive. The only complete copy is part of the Bible Collection of Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart. The copy of the British Library is almost complete, lacking only the title page and list of contents. Another rarity is Tyndale’s Pentateuch, of which only nine remain.

Impact on English Bibles [ edit ]

The translators of the Revised Standard Version in the 1940s noted that Tyndale’s translation, including the 1537 Matthew Bible, inspired the translations that followed: The Great Bible of 1539; the Geneva Bible of 1560; the Bishops’ Bible of 1568; the Douay-Rheims Bible of 1582–1609; and the King James Version of 1611, of which the RSV translators noted: “It [the KJV] kept felicitous phrases and apt expressions, from whatever source, which had stood the test of public usage. It owed most, especially in the New Testament, to Tyndale”.

Brian Moynahan writes: “A complete analysis of the Authorised Version, known down the generations as ‘the AV’ or ‘the King James’, was made in 1998. It shows that Tyndale’s words account for 84% of the New Testament and for 75.8% of the Old Testament books that he translated.”[incomplete short citation] Joan Bridgman comments on the Contemporary Review that, “He [Tyndale] is the mainly unrecognized translator of the most influential book in the world. Although the Authorised King James Version is ostensibly the production of a learned committee of churchmen, it is mostly cribbed from Tyndale with some reworking of his translation.”

Many of the English versions since then have drawn inspiration from Tyndale, such as the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the English Standard Version. Even the paraphrases like the Living Bible have been inspired by the same desire to make the Bible understandable to Tyndale’s proverbial plowboy.[60]

George Steiner in his book on translation After Babel refers to “the influence of the genius of Tyndale, the greatest of English Bible translators.” He has also appeared as a character in two plays dealing with the King James Bible, Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn (2010) and David Edgar’s Written on the Heart (2011).

Memorials [ edit ]

Memorial to William Tyndale in a Vilvoorde public garden

A memorial to Tyndale stands in Vilvoorde, Flanders, where he was executed. It was erected in 1913 by Friends of the Trinitarian Bible Society of London and the Belgian Bible Society.[62] There is also a small William Tyndale Museum in the town, attached to the Protestant church.[63] A bronze statue by Sir Joseph Boehm commemorating the life and work of Tyndale was erected in Victoria Embankment Gardens on the Thames Embankment, London, in 1884. It shows his right hand on an open Bible, which is itself resting on an early printing press. A life-sized bronze statue of a seated William Tyndale at work on his translation by Lawrence Holofcener (2000) was placed in the Millennium Square, Bristol, United Kingdom.

The Tyndale Monument was built in 1866 on a hill above his supposed birthplace, North Nibley, Gloucestershire. A stained-glass window commemorating Tyndale was made in 1911 for the British and Foreign Bible Society by James Powell and Sons. In 1994, after the Society had moved their offices from London to Swindon, the window was reinstalled in the chapel of Hertford College in Oxford. Tyndale was at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, which became Hertford College in 1874. The window depicts a full-length portrait of Tyndale, a cameo of a printing shop in action, some words of Tyndale, the opening words of Genesis in Hebrew, the opening words of John’s Gospel in Greek, and the names of other pioneering Bible translators. The portrait is based on the oil painting that hangs in the college’s dining hall. A stained glass window by Arnold Robinson in Tyndale Baptist Church, Bristol, also commemorates the life of Tyndale.

Several colleges, schools and study centres have been named in his honour, including Tyndale House (Cambridge), Tyndale University (Toronto), the Tyndale-Carey Graduate School affiliated to the Bible College of New Zealand, William Tyndale College (Farmington Hills, Michigan), and Tyndale Theological Seminary (Shreveport, Louisiana, and Fort Worth, Texas), the independent Tyndale Theological Seminary[64] in Badhoevedorp, near Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tyndale Christian School in South Australia and Tyndale Park Christian School[65] in New Zealand. An American Christian publishing house, also called Tyndale House, was named after Tyndale.

There is an Anglican communion setting in memoriam William Tyndale, The Tyndale Service, by David Mitchell.

Liturgical commemoration [ edit ]

By tradition Tyndale’s death is commemorated on 6 October. There are commemorations on this date in the church calendars of members of the Anglican Communion, initially as one of the “days of optional devotion” in the American Book of Common Prayer (1979), and a “black-letter day” in the Church of England’s Alternative Service Book. The Common Worship that came into use in the Church of England in 2000 provides a collect proper to 6 October (Lesser Festival),[68] beginning with the words:

Lord, give your people grace to hear and keep your word that, after the example of your servant William Tyndale, we may not only profess your gospel but also be ready to suffer and die for it, to the honor of your name;

Tyndale is honored in the Calendar of saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a translator and martyr the same day.

Works about Tyndale [ edit ]

The first biographical film about Tyndale, titled William Tindale, was released in 1937.[69][70] Arnold Wathen Robinson depicted Tyndale’s life in stained glass windows for the Tyndale Baptist Church ca. 1955. The 1975 novel The Hawk that Dare Not Hunt by Day by Scott O’Dell fictionalizes Tyndale and the smuggling of his Bible into England. The film God’s Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale, was released in 1986. The 1998 film Stephen’s Test of Faith includes a long scene with Tyndale, how he translated the Bible, and how he was put to death.[71]

A cartoon film about his life, titled Torchlighters: The William Tyndale Story, was released ca. 2005.[72] The documentary film, William Tyndale: Man with a Mission, was released ca. 2005. The movie included an interview with David Daniell.[citation needed] In 2007, the 2-hour Channel 4 documentary, The Bible Revolution, presented by Rod Liddle, details the roles of historically significant English Reformers John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Thomas Cranmer. The “Battle for the Bible” (2007) episode of the PBS Secrets of the Dead series, narrated by Liev Schreiber, features Tyndale’s story and legacy and includes historical context. This film is an abbreviated and revised version of the PBS/Channel 4 version.[citation needed]

In 2011, BYUtv produced a documentary miniseries, Fires of Faith, on the creation of the King James Bible, which focused heavily on Tyndale’s life.[74] In 2013, BBC Two aired a 60-minute documentary The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England, written and presented by Melvyn Bragg.[75]

Another known documentary is the film William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy.[76]

Tyndale’s pronunciation [ edit ]

Tyndale was writing at the beginning of the Early Modern English period. His pronunciation must have differed in its phonology from that of Shakespeare at the end of the period. In 2013 linguist David Crystal made a transcription and a sound recording of Tyndale’s translation of the whole of the Gospel of Matthew in what he believes to be the pronunciation of the day, using the term “original pronunciation”. The recording has been published by The British Library on two compact discs with an introductory essay by Crystal.[77]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

Notes [ edit ]

Citations [ edit ]

Sources [ edit ]

Further reading [ edit ]

Tudor Minute October 6, 1536: William Tyndale is executed

October 6 is the date generally given to the execution of William Tyndale, in 1536. He was an English scholar, reformer, and Bible translator. Early on Henry VIII read his works as they were passed to him by Anne Boleyn, particularly his “Obedience of a Christian Man.” He had written a translation of the Bible into English in 1525. And in 1530 he wrote The Practice of Prelates, which opposed the annulment of Henry’s marriage with Katherine of Aragon.

Tyndale was living in Europe, in Hamburg and Cologne, and Henry became committed to capturing him, and bringing him back to England to be tried as a heretic. Tyndale was betrayed to imperial authorities, and seized in Antwerp in 1535. He was sentenced to be burned to death, even though Cromwell himself tried to intercede on his behalf.

Tyndale “was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned”. His final words, spoken “at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice”, were reported as “Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes.” The traditional date of commemoration is 6 October, but records of Tyndale’s imprisonment suggest that the actual date of his execution might have been some weeks earlier. John Foxe gives 6 October as the date of commemoration, but gives no date of death.

Within four years, four English translations of the Bible were published in England including Henry VIII’s official Great Bible . All were based on Tyndale’s work.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.

Suggested links:

Episode 087: The Medieval English church pre-1520

Episode 088: The Henrician Reformation

From the shop:

Cromwell “Coffee. Because Reformation-ing is hard,” mug

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William Tyndale

William Tyndale (l.c. 1494-1536) was a talented English linguist, scholar and priest who was the first to translate the Bible into English. Tyndale objected to the Catholic Church’s control of scripture in Latin and the prohibition against an English translation. His work formed the basis of all other English translations of the Bible up through the modern era.

The Latin Vulgate Bible, translated from the original by Saint Jerome (l. 347-420), assisted by Saint Paula (l. 347-404) was considered the only true version by the Church, and translation into the vernacular, in any country, was forbidden. Even before the Reformation began in 1517, however, European scholars had already translated the Bible into their own languages, the German translation by Martin Luther (l. 1483-1546) being only one among many. The proto-reformer John Wycliffe (l. 1330-1384) had translated the Bible from the Vulgate to Middle English in c. 1380 but volumes of this work had been burned after his death.

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Tyndale requested permission from ecclesiastical authorities to translate the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek but was denied. He then left for Germany where he translated and published his work on the New Testament and part of the Old Testament, along with other writings, and had them smuggled into England. Tyndale is recognized as the first to translate the Bible into English, rather than Wycliffe, because he worked from the original languages, not just the Latin translation, as Wycliffe had done.

Tyndale moved about to maintain safety after Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547) called for his arrest and was well-protected by wealthy merchants in Antwerp when he was betrayed by Henry Phillips, a man he thought was his friend, and imprisoned. He was executed by strangulation and his body burned at the stake in October 1536. Three years later, the English version of the Bible completed by his colleague Myles Coverdale (l. 1488-1569) was published in England with the king’s approval. Tyndale and Coverdale are both honored in the present day as the first to translate the Bible into English even though it is acknowledged that Coverdale largely developed Tyndale’s earlier work.

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Early Life & Education

Little is known of Tyndale’s early life. He is said to have been born in the village of Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire sometime between 1491-1494 with most scholars favoring the later date. The family was of the upper class, descended from the Tyndales of Northumberland, and his brother, Edward, is recorded as holding a prominent position The family went by the name of Hychyns as well as Tyndale and William Tyndale used both alternately when young. He was educated from an early age, though the details are unknown, and was enrolled at Oxford University in 1506, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1512 and his master’s degree in 1515.

Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms Emile Delperée (Public Domain)

In 1512 he had also been ordained a priest and served as a subdeacon in religious services. By 1517, he was enrolled at Cambridge University and displayed a talent for learning languages, becoming fluent in French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. Although associated with the Catholic Church as subdeacon between c. 1512-1521, he seems to have left that position to become a tutor for the children of Sir John Walsh of Gloucestershire c. 1521.

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Tyndale commented on how too many priests had no knowledge of scripture at all.

By this time, the religious and social movement that came to be known as the Protestant Reformation was underway in Germany, led by Martin Luther, and in Switzerland through the efforts of Huldrych Zwingli (l. 1484-1531). England, however, remained a Catholic country under Henry VIII who received the honorary title of ‘Defender of the Faith’ from the Pope for his written work condemning Luther and his teachings. In the same year that Tyndale took the position at the Walsh household, Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal Archbishop of York (l.c. 1473-1530), presided over a public burning of Luther’s works in London at St. Paul’s Cross.

Turn Toward Reform

As with several Catholic clergy who would later become famous Reformers, it may have been this event that first turned Tyndale toward Luther’s teachings. He may have embraced the concept of reform earlier, however, as he is said to have been disgusted by Oxford’s theological program which emphasized learning Church liturgy while ignoring the Bible itself. He would later comment on how too many priests had no knowledge of scripture at all, knowing only the teachings of the Church they had been required to memorize.

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First Page of the Gospel of John from Tyndale’s New Testament British Library Board (Public Domain)

He was significantly influenced by Luther, having read Luther’s German Bible, and probably his other works, by 1522 and was outspoken enough in his views that, in that same year, he was called to answer for examination of his beliefs by John Bell, Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester. The polemicist/historian John Foxe (l. c. 1517-1587) in his Acts and Monuments (better known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1563) records Tyndale’s now-famous reply to a Catholic clergyman (not Bell) at around this time who tried to steer Tyndale back toward orthodoxy, claiming, “We had better be without God’s laws than the pope’s” to which Tyndale responded, “I defy the pope and all his laws and, if God spares my life, before many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of Scripture than thou dost” (Foxe, XII). Perhaps fearing that his views would cause problems for the Walsh family, he left their employ for London in 1523 hoping to find a patron in the bishop Cuthbert Tunstall.

Knowing Henry VIII’s condemnation of reformed works, Tyndale had his New Testament smuggled into England where it became a best-seller.

Tunstall had worked with the humanist scholar and theologian Desiderius Erasmus (l. 1466-1536) who had translated the New Testament into Latin from Greek in 1516 and updated Jerome’s Vulgate. Although Erasmus never abandoned Catholicism, he had advocated for reform and Tyndale had good reason to believe that Tunstall, as one of Erasmus’ associates in translation, would be open-minded enough to patronize his own efforts in creating an English Bible. Tunstall turned him down, however, warning him away from “heresy”, and Tyndale then relied on the support of a local merchant, tutoring and lecturing, before leaving for Cologne, Germany in 1524.

Europe & Biblical Translation

He is thought to have spent time in Wittenberg and conferred with Martin Luther as he began his translation of the New Testament which he would complete at Wartburg Castle. He relied on Luther’s German Bible, Erasmus’ Greek New Testament and Latin New Testament, Jerome’s Vulgate, and earlier works in Greek, finishing his English translation in 1525 and publishing it in 1526. Knowing Henry VIII’s condemnation of reformed works, he had his New Testament smuggled into England where it became a best-seller just as, over a hundred years before, Wycliffe’s translation had also.

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Tyndale did not simply translate the New Testament, however, but beautified it. The oldest script used in writing biblical books is the Alexandrian text type, followed by the Western and Byzantine text types. Each of these has their own distinctive style with Alexandrian, generally, being more concise and Byzantine more lyrical and flowery. Tyndale seems to have worked from older text type manuscripts in addition to those referenced above and shaped the lines according to his own poetic sensibility.

Tyndale Bible Steve Bennett (CC BY-SA)

Tyndale is responsible for some of the best-known biblical passages including “Judge not, lest ye be judged” (Matthew 7:1), “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and the door will be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9), and “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). He also translated some key words and concepts in a radically different way than they had been understood, and taught, by the Church.

Among these was the Greek word ekklesia which was understood to mean “church” as interpreted as the Catholic Church. When Jesus Christ says to Saint Peter, “upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18) it was understood to mean that Christ was establishing his church – the Catholic Church – through Peter who was regarded as the first pope. Tyndale, however, recognized that a more accurate translation of ekklesia was “congregation”, an interpretation that aligned with the Lutheran concept of a “priesthood of all believers” which echoed Christ’s words, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20) and so undermined the authority of the Church.

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One of the causes of the Bohemian Reformation (c. 1380 to c. 1436) was the Church’s denial of the practice of utraquism (“under both kinds”) meaning both bread and wine should be offered to all believers in good standing during the celebration of the Eucharist. The clergy only offered the congregation bread, keeping the wine for themselves, because it was understood that Christian clergy were above Christian laity because the clergy understood scripture. Tyndale’s translation encouraged the reformed concept that the Church was a false authority as any individual could have access to God through faith and their own reading of the Bible without an intermediary and, when that one gathered with others, they formed a “true” church.

The authorities in England were outraged by the work and it was condemned by Sir Thomas More (l. 1478-1535), Bishop Tunstall, and other clerics. The Tyndale New Testament was not only the first biblical work in English translated from the original languages but the first of its kind produced by the printing press. His New Testament was mass produced and smuggled into England where, at one point, over 16,000 copies were in circulation. As many of these as could be found were confiscated and burned in London at St. Paul’s Cross, just as Luther’s had been, and so were those caught smuggling and distributing them.

Henry VIII by Holbein Hans Holbein (Public Domain)

Henry VIII & More

Bishop Tunstall and other clerics wanted Tyndale extradited to England to answer charges for heresy and this was supported by Henry VIII, but he also had personal reasons. Henry VIII had wanted an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon (l. 1485-1536) so he could marry Anne Boleyn (l. c. 1501-1536) in the hope of having a male heir and Tyndale condemned this in his 1530 work The Practice of Prelates. Henry VIII had appealed to the Pope for the annulment citing a passage in Leviticus as justification, but Tyndale pointed out that the passage, Leviticus 20:21, did not support Henry VIII’s claims and what he was attempting was unbiblical. Henry VIII sent word to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (r. 1519-1556), pressing for Tyndale’s arrest and extradition but Charles V refused, claiming England had not provided the necessary evidence to support the request.

Tyndale, meanwhile, had been working on revisions to his published work, writing commentaries, and translating the Old Testament. He defended himself in writing against accusations of heresy from Sir Thomas More who was hunting down Tyndale’s associates in England and burning them at the stake along with his works. Where Tyndale was, or for how long, between c. 1526 and c. 1529 is unknown as he seems to have moved frequently to avoid causing problems for benefactors or being arrested. Although Charles V had refused extradition, that did not mean that Tyndale could not be arrested for heresy in the regions of the Holy Roman Empire.

Betrayal & Execution

In 1529 he was living in Antwerp, Belgium where he completed the first five books of the Old Testament and had them shipped to England. He completely revised his New Testament in 1534 at the home of the English merchant Thomas Poyntz who was sympathetic to the reformed cause. At about this time, it is thought, Myles Coverdale – who is known to have been in Antwerp – helped Tyndale with his translations. The Church officials tended to leave the English merchants alone – as well as their guests – because of the immense profit they generated for the city and so Tyndale seems to have been able to live and move about the English quarter freely. In addition to his writing, he ministered to the poor of the area and gave public readings of scripture twice a week.

Execution of William Tyndale Unknown Artist (Public Domain)

In 1534, he met a young English student, Henry Phillips, who was enrolled at the University of Leuven and had been a guest at dinners Tyndale also attended. Phillips came from a prominent upper-class family and was educated at Oxford, endearing him to Tyndale as a fellow scholar. Tyndale invited Phillips to dinner several times at the Poyntz home and the two seem to have become close friends, Phillips even staying overnight at times when after-dinner discussions ran late. Poyntz later claimed he never trusted Phillips and, if so, he was right. In early 1535, Phillips invited Tyndale to lunch, drawing him away from the protective neighborhood of the English merchants, and then, after borrowing money from Tyndale, handed him over to the authorities. He was imprisoned in Vilvoorde Castle outside of Brussels and remained there until he was tried and condemned as a heretic in 1536.

As he had established a reputation as a distinguished scholar, he was afforded the courtesy of being strangled before he was burned at the stake. His last words are said to have been a prayer that the king of England would open his eyes, interpreted as the hope that the king would allow for an English translation of scripture available to all. Later writers are in more or less agreement that Henry Phillips was sent by the English clergy, even by Henry VIII himself, to find and betray Tyndale. Phillips would have needed little encouragement to accept payment for the betrayal as he had gambled away his trust fund and was in need of quick cash.

Thomas Cromwell (l. c. 1485-1540) had interceded on Tyndale’s behalf, but Henry VIII refused his request. It is also thought that Anne Boleyn, who was sympathetic to the Reformation, either influenced Cromwell’s intercession or attempted it herself but without success. Phillips was later condemned by Henry VIII for plotting with the Pope against him and became a fugitive, running from English agents shortly after his betrayal of Tyndale and disappearing from history in 1542 in Vienna.

Memorial to William Tyndale in Vilvoorde, Belgium Mehmetkoksal (CC BY-SA)

Conclusion

The English Reformation was established in 1534 when Parliament passed the Treason Act, forbidding anyone to speak against the king, and the Act of Supremacy declaring Henry VIII the head of the Church of England and severing ties with the Catholic Church. In the same year Tyndale was executed, Henry VIII and Cromwell begam the dissolution of the monasteries in England and Cromwell issued his Ten Articles which, following Lutheran precepts, rejected four of the seven sacraments of the Church. In 1539, three years after Tyndale’s death, his dying prayer was answered when Henry VIII authorized an English translation of the Bible – the Great Bible – the creation and printing of which was overseen by Coverdale working from Tyndale’s translations. Scholar Diarmaid MacCulloch comments:

Tyndale’s Bible translation, together with the completions of it made by his assistants, formed the basis of all subsequent English Bibles up to the twentieth century: it has had a huge impact on the future of the English-speaking world. Surreptitiously read and discussed during the 1520’s and 1530’s, it worked on the imagination of those who had no access to public preaching because of official repression or lack of provision. It may be significant that there was a perceptible nationwide decline in ordinations in England during the 1520’s: perhaps the traditional Church was losing its grip on those thinking of a clerical career. Tyndale was the first biblical translator of the Reformation to die – arrested and strangled in his Low Countries exile by the Holy Roman Emperor’s officials with the connivance of the Bishop of London and Henry VIII. Yet even before the time of Tyndale’s martyrdom in 1536, perhaps 16,000 copies of his translation had passed into England. (203)

Henry VIII was succeeded by his son Edward VI of England (r. 1547-1553) who continued the Reformation, and he was succeeded by Mary I of England (r. 1553-1558), known as “Bloody Mary” for her execution of Protestants as part of her policy of making England a Catholic country again. Mary I was succeeded by Elizabeth I of England (r. 1558-1603) who reestablished Protestantism firmly before her death and succession by James I of England (r. 1603-1625). James I is well known as the patron responsible for the King James translation of the Bible in 1611 which drew largely from Tyndale’s work. Translations that followed, up to the present day, continue Tyndale’s legacy as a poetic translator, retaining 84% of his work for the New Testament, 76% for the Old Testament, many of the phrases he coined, and fulfilling the vow he once made that, someday, even the lowliest member of society would know scripture as well as those who claimed to be best educated in it.

His Life and the English Bible by Dawn Waring

There is no precise evidence as to when William Tyndale (some- times known as Hutchins) was born, but a few facts about his family in id-Gloucestershire and according to the egister of the University of Oxford, where n his late teens he took his degrees, his irth is believed to have been in 1494. As o his place of birth, this remains a mystery hough it is thought that he was born with- n a few miles of Dursley, west of which lies tinchcombe where, in the early 1500s, a ichard Tyndale inherited Melksham Court rom a relative, Talbot Hochyns. Richard ad two sons, Thomas and William, who nherited jointly the property, on Richard’s eath. The said William married Alice Hunt of the farm called Hunt’s Court at North ibley, and since they had a son also called William, this gave rise to the belief that this could be William the translator, and North Nibley the place of his birth. However, the Hunt’s Court William is known to have been alive in the 1540s, years after William the translator’s death. Wherever he was born, William is believed to have been baptised in the church in North Nibley, and that as a young boy, he received his early education and grounding in Latin at the Grammar School at Wotton-under-Edge, founded in 1384 by the Dowager Lady Berkeley.

The name Tyndale suggests a northern origin, from the Tyne region of Northumberland, a letter dated 1663 from a descendant of William’s brother, Edward, claiming that the family grew from a Tyndale who came from the north during the Wars of the Roses (1455 -1485) settling in Gloucestershire where he changed his name to Hutchins for reasons of safety, only revealing his true name to his children on his deathbed. Just north of Stinchcombe lies Slimbridge where it is recorded that Edward Tyndale was granted the lease of a manor house at Hurst Farm in 1529. He was a powerful man in Gloucestershire having been appointed receiver of rents for the Berkley Es- tates, later holding by grant from the Abbot of Tewkesbury, the Manor of Pull in Worcester, and that of Burnet in the county of Somerset. Thus at one time or another he had responsibilities in the three counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Somerset. His Will, proved in London in 1546, showed him to have been a man of wealth and substance. Another brother, John Tyndale, resident in London, organised the production of woollen cloth in Gloucestershire and its sale in London, and also traded in leather, the bi- product of wool. By 1522, the Tyndale family had risen to positions of real wealth and power so that the notion that William came from humble origins but dared to challenge the great and powerful in London, is untrue.

In 1506, at the tender age of twelve, William went up to Oxford Univer- sity where he was registered as William Hyphens, residing at Magdalene Hall. The registers record that he took his BA degree on 4th July 1512, in the same year becoming a sub deacon. He was created MA on 2nd July 1515 at which point he was able to study theology. Between 1517 and 1521, Wil- liam was at Cambridge University where he studied Divinity and Greek and became acquainted with the work of the Dutch philosopher, Desideratum Erasmus, who was lecturer there, though it is unlikely that he met Erasmus, who was away during his time there. He might even have begun his study of Erasmus’s Greek Testament at that time. On leaving Cambridge, William returned to Gloucestershire where he became tutor to the children of Sir John Walsh, who, it is recorded in 1522, had considerable wealth in goods and lands over a wide area in Gloucestershire.

It is not known when William became a priest, only that he did, records confirming that he and his brother, John, were ordained to minor orders. Wil- liam began to make a name for himself as a preacher, especially at St. Aus- tin’s Green, now known as College Green, in Bristol. Although his text came from the Latin Bible, his sermons were in English. At about this time, 1522, it is believed that he obtained an illegally imported copy of Martin Luther’s German Bible, which further fuelled his determination to translate the Bible into English. Like Luther, he condemned the Church and its preachers for the use of the Latin Scriptures to suit their purposes and in his “Obedience of the Christian Man”, published in October 1528, he said “they tell you that the scripture ought not to be in the mother tongue, but it is only because they fear the light, and desire to lead you blindfold and in captivity………but if the curates will not teach the Gospel, the layman must have the scripture, and read it for himself, taking God for his teacher”. At a confrontation with a learned member of the clergy who in defence of the church asserted that “we had better be without God’s laws than the Pope’s” William responded “I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plough to know more of the scriptures than thou dost”.

In 1523 William left for London to seek permission to translate the Bible into English. He sought the help of Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall, a well-known classicist who had worked, together with Erasmus, on a New Greek testament. The Bishop, however, was suspicious of William’s theology and un- comfortable with the idea of the Bible in the vernacular, and although in 1362, English had become the official language in Parliament and the Law Courts, the Church at this time forbad any English translation of the Scriptures.

William preached and worked on his translation in London for some time, relying on the financial help and board of a cloth merchant, Humphrey Monmouth. In the Spring of 1524, in the knowledge that his hoped-for print- ing in England was forbidden, he left for Hamburg, travelling on to Wit- tenberg where his name was entered in the matriculation registers of Wit- tenberg University and where, it is believed, he met Martin Luther. Here he worked on his translation of the New Testament, completing it in 1525. It was not until 1526 that a full edition of the New Testament was printed at Worms, an imperial free city then in the process of adopting Lutheranism. More copies were soon printed in Amsterdam. The book was smuggled into England and Scotland, most probably in bales of cloth and other goods, and was condemned by Bishop Tunstall who issued warnings to book sellers and had copies burned in public. Cardinal Wolsey condemned William as a heretic, and he was first mentioned in open court as a heretic in 1529. William remained in Antwerp for a period before going into hiding in Hamburg at around the same year, 1529. There he revised his New Testament and began translation of the Old Testament.

In England, with the growing threat of Protestantism to the established Church, the Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, fanatical in his pursuit and execution of so-called heretics (his letters published at the time condemning in vitriolic terms both Martin Luther and William Tyndale), saw to it that five of William’s supporters were burned at the stake. Before he became Chan-cellor in 1529, there had been few burnings of heretics in England. He soon put a stop to that, and it is said that at his property in Chelsea, there were stocks and a whipping tree used for the extraction of confessions of heresy. His writings express his joy at condemning his victims not only to the “short fire” but to the everlasting fires of hell.

In 1534 William moved to Antwerp to take refuge at the English House that had been given to English merchants by the city governors to encour- age trade, and where he was protected by the freedom from arbitrary ar- rest extended to its inhabitants. He was betrayed by a young man he had befriended, Henry Philips, who, short of money, was bribed by a person or persons unknown, but believed to have been the Bishop of London, Bishop Stokesley, Sir Thomas More or both, to discover his whereabouts. He was arrested and held in the Castle of Vilvoorde near Brussels. He was tried on a charge of heresy in August 1536 and was condemned to death, having been publicly degraded (stripped of his priesthood) beforehand. On about 6th Oc- tober he is said to have been strangled to death at the stake and his body burned (an eye witness recorded, however, that the executioner bungled the strangulation, and William was, in fact, burnt alive). His last words were reported to have been “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes”.

Unlike Erasmus and Luther who translated from the Latin Vulgate, Tyn- dale, an astonishingly gifted linguist, fluent in German, Italian, French, Spanish and importantly, Latin, Greek and Hebrew, translated his New Testament and Pentateuch from the Greek and Hebrew versions of the Bible. The latter two were more suited to his purpose, allowing more freedom of expression and his aim was to write in the plain English he grew up with in Gloucestershire, so that all, of whatever standing, would be able to read and under- stand the Scriptures. With his training in rhetoric at Oxford, and his acute sense of rhythm and poetry, he produced phrases of great beauty, many of which are in common use today, such as “twinkling of an eye”, “a law unto themselves”, “the powers that be”, “the salt of the earth”, “the signs of the times”, “the spirit is willing”, and “gave up the ghost”, to name but a few – not to mention the Lord’s Prayer which has come to us from Tyndale’s trans- lation. Scholars believe that he contributed more to the English language than did Shakespeare.

William Tyndale gave us our English Bible. Within four years of his death three English translations of the Bible were published in England. After Tyndale’s arrest, a friend and colleague, Miles Coverdale, completed his Old Testament, his being the first complete bible to be printed. This was followed by what’s known as the “Matthew Bible”, Matthew being the pseudonym of John Rogers whose version, mostly comprised of Tyndale’s work, was published in 1537. And most significantly, at the behest of the King, Henry VIII, the Great Bible in English was printed for distribution to the churches in 1539. Bible scholars have concluded that in the King James Authorised version, which we have today, 83% of the New Testament and 76% of the Old Testament texts are Tyndale’s.

Tyndale Monument

Some three hundred years after William Tyndale’s death, and in the belief that he was born in North Nibley, the Tyndale Monument was erected on Nibley Knoll overlooking the village and the Vale of Berkeley. The foundation stone was laid on 29th May 1863 by the Hon. Colonel Berkeley and was finally inaugurated by the Earl of Ducie on 6th November 1866. A fitting memorial to a truly extraordinary son of Gloucestershire.

References:

David Daniell – ‘William Tyndale – a Biography’ (Yale University Press – 1994)

Brian Moynahan – ‘Book of Fire – William Tyndale, Thomas More and the Bloody Birth of the English Bible’ – (2nd Edition, Abacus 2010)

Timeline – History of the English Bible.

William Tyndale

English biblical scholar, translator, and revolutionary (1494–1536)

“Tyndale” redirects here. For the English family, see Tyndall . For other uses, see Tyndale (disambiguation)

William Tyndale ( ;[1] sometimes spelled Tynsdale, Tindall, Tindill, Tyndall; c. 1494 – c. 6 October 1536) was an English biblical scholar and linguist who became a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known as a translator of the Bible into English, and was influenced by the works of prominent Protestant Reformers such as Martin Luther.

Luther’s translation of the Christian Bible into German appeared in 1522. Tyndale’s translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, the first English translation to take advantage of the printing press, the first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation, and the first English translation to use Jehovah (“Iehouah”) as God’s name as preferred by English Protestant Reformers.[a] It was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony both of the Catholic Church and of those laws of England maintaining the church’s position. The work of Tyndale continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world and eventually across the British Empire.

Tyndale’s translation of the Bible was used for subsequent English translations, including the Great Bible and the Bishops’ Bible, authorized by the Church of England. In 1611, after seven years of work, the 47 scholars who produced the King James Version[3] drew extensively from Tyndale’s original work and other translations that descended from his. One estimate suggests that the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale’s words and the Old Testament 76%.

A copy of Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian Man (1528), which some claim or interpret to argue that the king of a country should be the head of that country’s church rather than the Pope, came to the hands of King Henry VIII, providing a rationalization for breaking the Church in England from the Catholic Church in 1534. In 1530, Tyndale wrote The Practice of Prelates, opposing Henry’s annulment of his own marriage on the grounds that it contravened scripture. Fleeing England, Tyndale sought refuge in the Flemish territory of the Catholic Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1535, Tyndale was arrested, and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde (Fulford) outside Brussels for over a year. In 1536, he was convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation, after which his body was burnt at the stake. His dying prayer was that the King of England’s eyes would be opened; this seemed to find its fulfillment just one year later with Henry’s authorization of the Matthew Bible, which was largely Tyndale’s work, with missing sections translated by John Rogers and Myles Coverdale.

In 2002, Tyndale was placed 26th in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.[11]

Background [ edit ]

Partial English translations had been made from the 7th century onwards, but the religious foment caused by Wycliffe’s Bible in the late 14th century led to the death penalty for anyone found guilty of unlicensed possession of an English translation of the Bible, although translations were available in all other major European languages. Tyndale worked during a renaissance of scholarship, which saw the publication of Johann Reuchlin’s Hebrew grammar in 1506. Greek texts became available to the European scholarly community for the first time in centuries, as it welcomed Greek-speaking scholars, philosophers, intellectuals, and texts following the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Notably, Erasmus compiled, edited, and published the Greek scriptures of the Christian Bible in 1516.

Life [ edit ]

Tyndale was born around 1494[b] in Melksham Court, Stinchcombe, a village near Dursley, Gloucestershire. The Tyndale family also went by the name Hychyns (Hitchins), and it was as William Hychyns that Tyndale was enrolled at Magdalen Hall, Oxford. Tyndale’s family had moved to Gloucestershire at some point in the 15th century, probably as a result of the Wars of the Roses. The family originated from Northumberland via East Anglia. Tyndale’s brother Edward was receiver to the lands of Lord Berkeley, as attested to in a letter by Bishop Stokesley of London.

Portrait of William Tyndale (1836)

Tyndale is recorded in two genealogies[15][16] as having been the brother of Sir William Tyndale of Deane, Northumberland, and Hockwold, Norfolk, who was knighted at the marriage of Arthur, Prince of Wales to Catherine of Aragon. Tyndale’s family was thus descended from Baron Adam de Tyndale, a tenant-in-chief of Henry I. William Tyndale’s niece Margaret Tyndale was married to Protestant martyr Rowland Taylor, burnt during the Marian Persecutions.

At Oxford [ edit ]

Tyndale began a Bachelor of Arts degree at Magdalen Hall (later Hertford College) of Oxford University in 1506 and received his B.A. in 1512, the same year becoming a subdeacon. He was made Master of Arts in July 1515 and was held to be a man of virtuous disposition, leading an unblemished life.[incomplete short citation] The M.A. allowed him to start studying theology, but the official course did not include the systematic study of scripture. As Tyndale later complained:

They have ordained that no man shall look on the Scripture until he is modeled in heathen learning eight or nine years and armed with false principles, with which he is clean shut out of the understanding of the Scripture.[citation needed]

He was a gifted linguist and became fluent over the years in French, Greek, Hebrew, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, in addition to English. Between 1517 and 1521, he went to the University of Cambridge. Erasmus had been the leading teacher of Greek there from August 1511 to January 1512, but not during Tyndale’s time at the university.

Tyndale became chaplain at the home of Sir John Walsh at Little Sodbury in Gloucestershire and tutor to his children around 1521. His opinions proved controversial to fellow clergymen, and the next year he was summoned before John Bell, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester, although no formal charges were laid at the time.[incomplete short citation] After the meeting with Bell and other church leaders, Tyndale, according to John Foxe, had an argument with a “learned but blasphemous clergyman”, who allegedly asserted: “We had better be without God’s laws than the Pope’s”, to which Tyndale responded: “I defy the Pope and all his laws; and if God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost!”

Tyndale left for London in 1523 to seek permission to translate the Bible into English. He requested help from Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall, a well-known classicist who had praised Erasmus after working together with him on a Greek New Testament. The bishop, however, declined to extend his patronage, telling Tyndale that he had no room for him in his household.[23] Tyndale preached and studied “at his book” in London for some time, relying on the help of cloth merchants Humphrey Monmouth. During this time, he lectured widely, including at St Dunstan-in-the-West at Fleet Street in London.

In Europe [ edit ]

The beginning of the Gospel of John , from Tyndale’s 1525 translation of the New Testament.

Tyndale left England for continental Europe, perhaps at Hamburg, in the spring of 1524, possibly traveling on to Wittenberg. There is an entry in the matriculation registers of the University of Wittenberg of the name “Guillelmus Daltici ex Anglia”, and this has been taken to be a Latinisation of “William Tyndale from England”. He began translating the New Testament at this time, possibly in Wittenberg, completing it in 1525 with assistance from Observant Friar William Roy.

In 1525, the publication of the work by Peter Quentell in Cologne was interrupted by the impact of anti-Lutheranism. A full edition of the New Testament was produced in 1526 by printer Peter Schöffer the Younger in Worms, a free imperial city then in the process of adopting Lutheranism. More copies were soon printed in Antwerp. It was smuggled from continental Europe into England and Scotland. The translation was condemned in October 1526 by Bishop Tunstall, who issued warnings to booksellers and had copies burned in public. Marius notes that the “spectacle of the scriptures being put to the torch… provoked controversy even amongst the faithful.” Cardinal Wolsey condemned Tyndale as a heretic, first stated in open court in January 1529.[incomplete short citation]

From an entry in George Spalatin’s diary for 11 August 1526, Tyndale remained at Worms for about a year. It is not clear exactly when he moved to Antwerp. Here he stayed at the house of Thomas Poyntz. The colophon to Tyndale’s translation of Genesis and the title pages of several pamphlets from this time purported to have been printed by Hans Lufft at Marburg, but this is a false address. Lufft, the printer of Luther’s books, never had a printing press at Marburg.[28]

Following the hostile reception of his work by Tunstall, Wolsey, and Thomas More in England, Tyndale retreated into hiding in Hamburg and continued working. He revised his New Testament and began translating the Old Testament and writing various treatises.

Opposition to Henry VIII’s annulment [ edit ]

In 1530, he wrote The Practice of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII’s planned annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in favor of Anne Boleyn, because it was unscriptural and that it was a plot by Cardinal Wolsey to get Henry entangled in the papal courts of Pope Clement VII. The king’s wrath was aimed at Tyndale. Henry asked Emperor Charles V to have the writer apprehended and returned to England under the terms of the Treaty of Cambrai; however, the emperor responded that formal evidence was required before extradition. Tyndale developed his case in An Answer unto Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue.

Betrayal and death [ edit ]

Eventually, Tyndale was betrayed by Henry Phillips to authorities representing the Holy Roman Empire.[35] He was seized in Antwerp in 1535, and held in the castle of Vilvoorde (Filford) near Brussels. Some suspect that Phillips was hired by Bishop Stokesley to gain Tyndale’s confidence and then betray him.

He was tried on a charge of heresy in 1536 and was found guilty and condemned to be burned to death, despite Thomas Cromwell’s intercession on his behalf. Tyndale “was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned”. His final words, spoken “at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice”, were reported as “Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes.” The traditional date of commemoration is 6 October, but records of Tyndale’s imprisonment suggest that the actual date of his execution might have been some weeks earlier.[40] Foxe gives 6 October as the date of commemoration (left-hand date column), but gives no date of death (right-hand date column). Biographer David Daniell states his date of death only as “one of the first days of October 1536”.

Within four years, four English translations of the Bible were published in England at the king’s behest,[c] including Henry’s official Great Bible. All were based on Tyndale’s work.

Theological views [ edit ]

Tyndale seems to have come out of the Lollard tradition, which was strong in Gloucestershire. Tyndale denounced the practice of prayer to saints. He also rejected the then-orthodox view that the scriptures could be interpreted only by approved clergy.[43] While his views were influenced by Luther, Tyndale also deliberately distanced himself from the German reformer on several key theological points, adopting a symbolical interpretation of the Lord’s Supper in opposition to Luther’s doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.[44]

Printed works [ edit ]

Although best known for his translation of the Bible, Tyndale was also an active writer and translator. As well as his focus on how religion should be lived, he had a focus on political issues.

Legacy [ edit ]

Impact on the English language [ edit ]

In translating the Bible, Tyndale introduced new words into the English language; many were subsequently used in the King James Bible, such as Passover (as the name for the Jewish holiday, Pesach or Pesah) and scapegoat. Coinage of the word atonement (a concatenation of the words ‘At One’ to describe Christ’s work of restoring a good relationship—a reconciliation—between God and people)[47] is also sometimes ascribed to Tyndale. However, the word was probably in use by at least 1513, before Tyndale’s translation.[50][51] Similarly, sometimes Tyndale is said to have coined the term mercy seat. While it is true that Tyndale introduced the word into English, mercy seat is more accurately a translation of Luther’s German Gnadenstuhl.

As well as individual words, Tyndale also coined such familiar phrases as:

my brother’s keeper

knock and it shall be opened unto you

a moment in time

fashion not yourselves to the world

seek and ye shall find

ask and it shall be given you

judge not that ye be not judged

the word of God which liveth and lasteth forever

let there be light

the powers that be

the salt of the earth

a law unto themselves

it came to pass

the signs of the times

filthy lucre

the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (which is like Luther’s translation of Matthew 26,41: der Geist ist willig, aber das Fleisch ist schwach ; Wycliffe for example translated it with: for the spirit is ready, but the flesh is sick .)

(which is like Luther’s translation of Matthew 26,41: ; Wycliffe for example translated it with: .) live, move and have our being

Controversy over new words and phrases [ edit ]

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church did not approve of some of the words and phrases introduced by Tyndale, such as “overseer”, where it would have been understood as “bishop”, “elder” for “priest”, and “love” rather than “charity”. Tyndale, citing Erasmus, contended that the Greek New Testament did not support the traditional readings. More controversially, Tyndale translated the Greek ekklesia (Greek: εκκλησία), (literally “called out ones”[54] ) as “congregation” rather than “church”.[incomplete short citation] It has been asserted this translation choice “was a direct threat to the Church’s ancient – but so Tyndale here made clear, non-scriptural – claim to be the body of Christ on earth. To change these words was to strip the Church hierarchy of its pretensions to be Christ’s terrestrial representative, and to award this honor to individual worshipers who made up each congregation.”[incomplete short citation]

Tyndale was accused of translation errors. Thomas More commented that searching for errors in the Tyndale Bible was similar to searching for water in the sea and charged Tyndale’s translation of The Obedience of a Christian Man with having about a thousand false translations. Bishop Tunstall of London declared that there were upwards of 2,000 errors in Tyndale’s Bible, having already in 1523 denied Tyndale the permission required under the Constitutions of Oxford (1409), which were still in force, to translate the Bible into English. In response to allegations of inaccuracies in his translation in the New Testament, Tyndale in the Prologue to his 1525 translation wrote that he never intentionally altered or misrepresented any of the Bible but that he had sought to “interpret the sense of the scripture and the meaning of the spirit.”[incomplete short citation]

While translating, Tyndale followed Erasmus’s 1522 Greek edition of the New Testament. In his preface to his 1534 New Testament (“WT unto the Reader”), he not only goes into some detail about the Greek tenses but also points out that there is often a Hebrew idiom underlying the Greek.[57] The Tyndale Society adduces much further evidence to show that his translations were made directly from the original Hebrew and Greek sources he had at his disposal. For example, the Prolegomena in Mombert’s William Tyndale’s Five Books of Moses show that Tyndale’s Pentateuch is a translation of the Hebrew original. His translation also drew on the Latin Vulgate and Luther’s 1521 September Testament.[incomplete short citation]

Of the first (1526) edition of Tyndale’s New Testament, only three copies survive. The only complete copy is part of the Bible Collection of Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart. The copy of the British Library is almost complete, lacking only the title page and list of contents. Another rarity is Tyndale’s Pentateuch, of which only nine remain.

Impact on English Bibles [ edit ]

The translators of the Revised Standard Version in the 1940s noted that Tyndale’s translation, including the 1537 Matthew Bible, inspired the translations that followed: The Great Bible of 1539; the Geneva Bible of 1560; the Bishops’ Bible of 1568; the Douay-Rheims Bible of 1582–1609; and the King James Version of 1611, of which the RSV translators noted: “It [the KJV] kept felicitous phrases and apt expressions, from whatever source, which had stood the test of public usage. It owed most, especially in the New Testament, to Tyndale”.

Brian Moynahan writes: “A complete analysis of the Authorised Version, known down the generations as ‘the AV’ or ‘the King James’, was made in 1998. It shows that Tyndale’s words account for 84% of the New Testament and for 75.8% of the Old Testament books that he translated.”[incomplete short citation] Joan Bridgman comments on the Contemporary Review that, “He [Tyndale] is the mainly unrecognized translator of the most influential book in the world. Although the Authorised King James Version is ostensibly the production of a learned committee of churchmen, it is mostly cribbed from Tyndale with some reworking of his translation.”

Many of the English versions since then have drawn inspiration from Tyndale, such as the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the English Standard Version. Even the paraphrases like the Living Bible have been inspired by the same desire to make the Bible understandable to Tyndale’s proverbial plowboy.[60]

George Steiner in his book on translation After Babel refers to “the influence of the genius of Tyndale, the greatest of English Bible translators.” He has also appeared as a character in two plays dealing with the King James Bible, Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn (2010) and David Edgar’s Written on the Heart (2011).

Memorials [ edit ]

Memorial to William Tyndale in a Vilvoorde public garden

A memorial to Tyndale stands in Vilvoorde, Flanders, where he was executed. It was erected in 1913 by Friends of the Trinitarian Bible Society of London and the Belgian Bible Society.[62] There is also a small William Tyndale Museum in the town, attached to the Protestant church.[63] A bronze statue by Sir Joseph Boehm commemorating the life and work of Tyndale was erected in Victoria Embankment Gardens on the Thames Embankment, London, in 1884. It shows his right hand on an open Bible, which is itself resting on an early printing press. A life-sized bronze statue of a seated William Tyndale at work on his translation by Lawrence Holofcener (2000) was placed in the Millennium Square, Bristol, United Kingdom.

The Tyndale Monument was built in 1866 on a hill above his supposed birthplace, North Nibley, Gloucestershire. A stained-glass window commemorating Tyndale was made in 1911 for the British and Foreign Bible Society by James Powell and Sons. In 1994, after the Society had moved their offices from London to Swindon, the window was reinstalled in the chapel of Hertford College in Oxford. Tyndale was at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, which became Hertford College in 1874. The window depicts a full-length portrait of Tyndale, a cameo of a printing shop in action, some words of Tyndale, the opening words of Genesis in Hebrew, the opening words of John’s Gospel in Greek, and the names of other pioneering Bible translators. The portrait is based on the oil painting that hangs in the college’s dining hall. A stained glass window by Arnold Robinson in Tyndale Baptist Church, Bristol, also commemorates the life of Tyndale.

Several colleges, schools and study centres have been named in his honour, including Tyndale House (Cambridge), Tyndale University (Toronto), the Tyndale-Carey Graduate School affiliated to the Bible College of New Zealand, William Tyndale College (Farmington Hills, Michigan), and Tyndale Theological Seminary (Shreveport, Louisiana, and Fort Worth, Texas), the independent Tyndale Theological Seminary[64] in Badhoevedorp, near Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tyndale Christian School in South Australia and Tyndale Park Christian School[65] in New Zealand. An American Christian publishing house, also called Tyndale House, was named after Tyndale.

There is an Anglican communion setting in memoriam William Tyndale, The Tyndale Service, by David Mitchell.

Liturgical commemoration [ edit ]

By tradition Tyndale’s death is commemorated on 6 October. There are commemorations on this date in the church calendars of members of the Anglican Communion, initially as one of the “days of optional devotion” in the American Book of Common Prayer (1979), and a “black-letter day” in the Church of England’s Alternative Service Book. The Common Worship that came into use in the Church of England in 2000 provides a collect proper to 6 October (Lesser Festival),[68] beginning with the words:

Lord, give your people grace to hear and keep your word that, after the example of your servant William Tyndale, we may not only profess your gospel but also be ready to suffer and die for it, to the honor of your name;

Tyndale is honored in the Calendar of saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a translator and martyr the same day.

Works about Tyndale [ edit ]

The first biographical film about Tyndale, titled William Tindale, was released in 1937.[69][70] Arnold Wathen Robinson depicted Tyndale’s life in stained glass windows for the Tyndale Baptist Church ca. 1955. The 1975 novel The Hawk that Dare Not Hunt by Day by Scott O’Dell fictionalizes Tyndale and the smuggling of his Bible into England. The film God’s Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale, was released in 1986. The 1998 film Stephen’s Test of Faith includes a long scene with Tyndale, how he translated the Bible, and how he was put to death.[71]

A cartoon film about his life, titled Torchlighters: The William Tyndale Story, was released ca. 2005.[72] The documentary film, William Tyndale: Man with a Mission, was released ca. 2005. The movie included an interview with David Daniell.[citation needed] In 2007, the 2-hour Channel 4 documentary, The Bible Revolution, presented by Rod Liddle, details the roles of historically significant English Reformers John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Thomas Cranmer. The “Battle for the Bible” (2007) episode of the PBS Secrets of the Dead series, narrated by Liev Schreiber, features Tyndale’s story and legacy and includes historical context. This film is an abbreviated and revised version of the PBS/Channel 4 version.[citation needed]

In 2011, BYUtv produced a documentary miniseries, Fires of Faith, on the creation of the King James Bible, which focused heavily on Tyndale’s life.[74] In 2013, BBC Two aired a 60-minute documentary The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England, written and presented by Melvyn Bragg.[75]

Another known documentary is the film William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy.[76]

Tyndale’s pronunciation [ edit ]

Tyndale was writing at the beginning of the Early Modern English period. His pronunciation must have differed in its phonology from that of Shakespeare at the end of the period. In 2013 linguist David Crystal made a transcription and a sound recording of Tyndale’s translation of the whole of the Gospel of Matthew in what he believes to be the pronunciation of the day, using the term “original pronunciation”. The recording has been published by The British Library on two compact discs with an introductory essay by Crystal.[77]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

Notes [ edit ]

Citations [ edit ]

Sources [ edit ]

Further reading [ edit ]

Was William Tyndale married? – HolidayMountainMusic

Was William Tyndale married?

William Earle Tyndale, 1813 – 1895 Mary was born circa 1788, in St Georges Hanover Sq, London, England. Elizabeth Carey Sandeman was born in 1830, to George Glas Sandeman. Elizabeth married William Earle Tyndale on month day 1850, at age 20 at marriage place.

What were William Tyndale last words?

Tyndale “was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned”. His final words, spoken “at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice”, were reported as “Lord!

Who persecuted William Tyndale?

In England, Cardinal Wolsey was conducting a campaign against Tyndale’s Bible. No one with a connection to Tyndale or his translation was safe. Thomas Hitton, a priest who had met Tyndale in Europe, confessed to smuggling two copies of the Bible into the country. He was charged with heresy and burnt alive.

Who was William Tyndale’s family?

William Tyndale Also Known As: “William Tyndall” Immediate Family: Son of Richard Tyndale and Tebota Huchins Brother of Richard Tyndale, of Melkham’s Court and Edward Tyndall, of Hurst in Slimbridge Occupation: Translated the Bible into English, Translated Engish Bible, Bible Translator Managed by: Ann

Who was killed for translating the Bible into English?

William Tyndale

Do Bibles burn?

He wrote: “Because bibles are so thick, and because the covers are often made of premium materials, they tend to take a little bit longer to burn. Only the outside part is exposed to the air and can burn, so I would expect the bible to burn longer than typical books.

Is burning a Bible unforgivable?

Burning a religious document such as the Bible or the Qu’ran is considered blasphemy.

What happens if u burn a Bible?

If you burn a Bible, it simply turns to ashes. A book burning does not stop the message therein from proceedig on and accomplishing its purpose. then demons will dance to the beat of the music of the sound of the burning bible.

Can you be forgiven for burning a Bible?

For Christians: Can ‘God’ forgive you if you repent after cursing and burning the Bible? – Quora. Yes, Christians generally believe that any sin can be forgiven except the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

What to do with old Bibles that are falling apart?

Before you throw away an old Bible, prayerfully consider giving it to someone or donating it to a local church or ministry. Some Christians like to offer old Bibles free of charge at their own yard sales.

Is the Lake of Fire eternal?

A commonly accepted and traditional interpretation is that the “lake of fire” and the “second death” are symbolic of eternal pain, pain of loss and perhaps pain of the senses, as punishment for wickedness.

Do you stay in heaven forever?

In 2 Corinthians 5:1, the Apostle Paul says, “We know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” Your body won’t last forever, but you will.

Does heaven get boring?

The one thing we will never be in heaven is bored. As the Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). But we won’t be sitting around doing nothing. Instead, God will have work for us to do, although without getting tired like we do here.

Is heaven for real?

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of Colton Burpo‚ the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who‚ during emergency surgery‚ slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room.

When did William Tyndale get married?

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William Tyndale | Biography, Bible, Death, & Facts

Learn about Bible translations and the execution of William Tyndale for heresy after he translated the New Testament into English A discussion of Bible translations and of William Tyndale, who was executed for heresy after translating the New Testament into English. Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library; CC-BY-SA 4.0 (A Britannica Publishing Partner) See all videos for this article

William Tyndale, (born c. 1490–94, near Gloucestershire, England—died October 6, 1536, Vilvoorde, near Brussels, Brabant), English biblical translator, humanist, and Protestant martyr.

Tyndale was educated at the University of Oxford and became an instructor at the University of Cambridge, where, in 1521, he fell in with a group of humanist scholars meeting at the White Horse Inn. Tyndale became convinced that the Bible alone should determine the practices and doctrines of the church and that all believers should be able to read the Bible in their own language.

Read More on This Topic biblical literature: The translation of William Tyndale Because of the influence of printing and a demand for Scriptures in the vernacular, William Tyndale began working on a…

Because of the influence of printing and a demand for Scriptures in the vernacular, William Tyndale began working on a New Testament translation directly from the Greek in 1523. After church authorities in England prevented him from translating the Bible there, he went to Germany in 1524, receiving financial support from wealthy London merchants. His New Testament translation was completed in July 1525 and printed at Cologne. Again under pressure, this time from the city authorities, Tyndale fled to Worms, where two more editions were published in 1525. The first copies were smuggled into England in 1526, where they were at once proscribed.

William Tyndale’s Bible The opening page of chapter 1 of the Gospel According to John from William Tyndale’s translation of the Bible, 1525–26; in the British Library. Courtesy of the Baptist College, Bristol, England

When the New Testament was finished, Tyndale began work on the Old Testament. The Pentateuch was issued in Marburg in 1530, each of the five books being separately published and circulated. Tyndale continued to work on the Old Testament translation but was captured in Antwerp before it was completed. Condemned for heresy, he was executed by strangulation and then burned at the stake at Vilvoorde in 1536.

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At the time of his death, 18,000 copies of his New Testament had been printed; however, only two complete volumes and a fragment remain today, at London’s British Library. Tyndale’s greatest achievement was the ability to strike a felicitous balance between the needs of scholarship, simplicity of expression, and literary gracefulness, all in a uniform dialect. The effect was the creation of an English style of Bible translation, tinged with Hebraisms, that was to serve as the model for future English versions for nearly 400 years, beginning with the King James Version of 1611.

William Tyndale, Priest, Scholar, Martyr

Thomas More, Scholar, Martyr (6 July 1535)

John Fisher, Bishop, Martyr (22 Jun 1535)

William Tyndale was born about 1495 at Slymbridge near the Welsh border. He received his degrees from Magdalen College, Oxford, and also studied at Cambridge. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1521, and soon began to speak of his desire, which eventually became his life’s obsession, to translate the Scriptures into English. It is reported that, in the course of a dispute with a promminent clergyman who disparaged this proposal, he said, “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost.” The remainder of his life was devoted to keeping that vow, or boast. Finding that the King, Henry VIII, was firmly set against any English version of the Scriptures, he fled to Germany (visiting Martin Luther in 1525), and there travelled from city to city, in exile, poverty, persecution, and constant danger. Tyndale understood the commonly received doctrine — the popular theology — of his time to imply that men earn their salvation by good behavior and by penance. He wrote eloquently in favor of the view that salvation is a gift of God, freely bestowed, and not a response to any good act on the part of the receiver. His views are expressed in numerous pamphlets, and in the introductions to and commentaries on various books of the Bible that accompanied his translations. He completed his translation of the New Testament in 1525, and it was printed at Worms and smuggled into England. Of 18,000 copies, only two survive. In 1534, he produced a revised version, and began work on the Old Testament. In the next two years he completed and published the Pentateuch and Jonah, and translated the books from Joshua through Second Chronicles, but then he was captured (betrayed by one he had befriended), tried for heresy, and put to death. He was burned at the stake, but, as was often done, the officer strangled him before lighting the fire. His last words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”

Miles Coverdale continued Tyndale’s work by translating those portions of the Bible (including the Apocrypha) which Tyndale had not lived to translate himself, and publishing the complete work. In 1537, the “Matthew Bible” (essentially the Tyndale-Coverdale Bible under another man’s name to spare the government embarrassment) was published in England with the Royal Permission. Six copies were set up for public reading in Old St Paul’s Church, and throughout the daylight hours the church was crowded with those who had come to hear it. One man would stand at the lectern and read until his voice gave out, and then he would stand down and another would take his place. All English translations of the Bible from that time to the present century are essentially revisions of the Tyndale-Coverdale work.

The best summary I know of Tyndale’s writings on grace is found in C S Lewis’s English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama (Oxford Up, 1954), pp 187-191. I will go out on a limb and say that any Christian who reads English and is interested in the theological questions of the Reformation ought to read large portions of this work. In particular, I recommend pages 32-44, 157-221 (or at least 157-165 and 177-192), and 438-463.

Thomas More was born in London, 6 February 1478, the son of a judge. He was sent to Oxford for two years, then studied law and was called to the Bar in 1501. He spent four years at the London Charterhouse (monastery of the Carthusian monks), hoping to become a priest or monk or friar. Leaving the Charterhouse, he entered Parliament. In 1505 he married Jane Colt, who eventually bore him three daughters and a son, but died in 1511. A few weeks after her death, More married a widow, Alice Middleton, with a son and a daughter of her own. The second marriage produced no offspring, but Alice made a good home for the six children already there, plus others whom More took in as students or as foster children. He was noted for giving his daughters far more education than most women, even in the upper classes, received. His friends included Desiderius Erasmus and John Colet, and other scholars who desired moderate reforms in the Church but were set against any break with the Papacy. Henry VIII, who became king in 1509, recognized More’s learning and integrity, enjoyed his intelligent and cheerful conversation and ready wit, became his friend, and appointed him to numerous public offices, including finally that of Lord Chancellor of England.

Henry wrote a book On the Seven Sacraments, a defense of traditional doctrines against the teachings of Martin Luther. (The Pope rewarded him with the title, “Defender of the Faith,” a title born to this day by English monarchs.) More, discussing the book with Henry while it was still in rough draft, said, “I am troubled, because the book seems to me to give too much honor to the Pope.” Henry replied, “There is no such thing as giving too much honor to the Pope.”

More himself was pressed into service by the Bishop of London to write pamphlets arguing against the writings of Luther and Tyndale. More undertook to show that Tyndale’s translation of the Scriptures is so full of errors that it deserves to be suppressed. Tyndale replied, defending the verses that More had specified, and so on. More and Tyndale exchanged several broadsides, and it can reasonably be maintained that the attacks on both sides were directed against positions that the other side did not really hold, that neither really understood completely the position that the other was defending. (On the other hand, Tyndale’s denunciations of what he took to be the doctrines taught by Rome would have fallen on deaf ears if they had not in fact described doctrines that many men believed they had heard from the pulpit, and had found utterly unacceptable. And, Mutatis Mutandis, the converse holds.)

Thus, for many years, More and Fisher prospered and enjoyed the King’s favor. Then the political winds changed. Henry (for reasons that I have discussed at length elsewhere) declared that his marriage to Queen Catharine was null and void. He was opposed in this, by More and Fisher, by Tyndale, and (less promptly and vigorously) by the Pope. Henry broke off relations with the Pope, and proceeded to set Catharine aside and take another wife, Anne Boleyn. Fisher, as a Bishop and as a member of the House of Lords, was called on to ratify this decision, and dramatically refused. More, who by this time was Lord Chancellor of England, resigned his position and retired to private life, hoping that he would be allowed to remain silent, neither supporting the king nor opposing him. But the king required him to take a loyalty oath which recognized the King as the earthly head of the Church in England. This Thomas could not do. He did not believe that the authority of the Pope was a matter of Divine decree — he thought that it was a matter of usage and custom, and expedient for the unity and peace of the Church. He believed that there were many practices in the Church of his day that needed to be reformed, but he did not trust Tyndale, or Luther, or above all Henry, to steer reform in the right direction. So he refused the oath, and was thrown into the Tower of London. While in prison, he wrote A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, a work still in print, and well worth reading. It is deeply moving to see the contrast between the generally gloomy atmosphere of some of the devotional works that More wrote when he had health, riches, honors, high office, the comfort of a devoted family… and the serene cheerfulness of the Dialogue of Comfort, written when he had none of these, and had every reason to expect that he would eventually be executed for treason. (The penalty for treason was to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. This meant that the convicted traitor was hanged by the neck (not dropped through a trapdoor as in a modern hanging, which is supposed to kill instantly, but slowly lifted off his feet) until he lost consciousness, then taken down and revived, then castrated, then disemboweled and his intestines burned in a fire, then finally put out of his misery by beheading, after which his head was placed on a pike on London Bridge and his body was cut into four quarters to be sent to four parts of the kingdom and displayed there as a warning against treason. This penalty, though not always enforced, was on the English law books from 1305 until at least 1805. I seem to recall that it was carried out once and only once in what is now the United States.) Writing with this fate hanging over him, More faces the prospect straightforwardly. He does not deny that he is terrified, but he maintains that God gives strength to those who ask for it and need it, and that, where the sufferings of martyrdom are concerned, any Christian will be glad tomorrow to have suffered so today.

We are fortunate to have a biography of More by his son-in-law, John Roper. A modern play about him by Robert Bolt, A Man For All Seasons, has been successful on stage and has been filmed at least twice. (The first film, made in 1966, starring Paul Scofield and an all-star cast, received six Oscars. The second, made for Tv in 1988, starring Charlton Heston and another all-star cast, was also well received. Both appear on Tv from time to time.)

Thomas More was put to death on 6 July 1536. The Roman calendar commemorates him on 22 June together with John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, who was beheaded on that date a fortnight before More, also for refusing to take the king’s oath. Both of them, though convicted of treason, were simply beheaded (a relatively clean and quick death). In Anglican circles, More is often remembered on 6 October together with William Tyndale. Although they disputed bitterly in print, they were in agreement on far more important matters, and curiously alike in many ways. As C S Lewis has pointed out, both expected death by torture, and both were mercifully disappointed. Both opposed the anullment of the King’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon, both were disdainful of the Middle Ages and eager partisans of the New Learning of the Renaissance, both were vehement opponents of the New Economics, and, most important of all, both of them, while loyal subjects of the King, were prepared to defy him to the death, in the service, as they saw it, of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Incidentally, it would be a mistake to suppose that Henry killed Tyndale in his earlier, Romanist days, and then killed Fisher and More in his later, Protestant days. Tyndale was killed fifteen months after More and Fisher. It would also be a mistake to say (as I have heard it said) that the Church of England killed More. He died, if I may make the distinction, for religious reasons, but was killed by Henry for political reasons, and his death was opposed most strenuously by Archbishop Cranmer.

In discussing their writings, Lewis says (p 192):

What we miss in Tyndale is the many-sidedness, the elbow-room Of More’s mind; what we miss in More is the joyous, lyric quality of Tyndale. The sentences that stick to the mind from Tyndale’s work are half way to poetry–“Who taught the eagles to spy out their prey? even so the children of God spy out their Father.” — “that they might see Love and love again” — “where the Spirit is, there it is always summer” (though that last, we must confess, is borrowed from Luther). In More we feel all the “smoke and stir” of London; the very plodding of his sentences is like horse traffic in the streets. In Tyndale we breathe mountain air. Amid all More’s jokes I feel a melancholy in the background; amid all Tyndale’s severitites there is something like laughter, that laughter which he speaks of as coming “from the low bottom of the heart.” But they should not be set up as rivals, their wars are over. Any sensible man will want both: they almost represent the two poles between which, here in England, the human mind exists — complementary as Johnson and Shelley or as Cobbett and Blake.

I close this account with Thomas More’s closing words to the court that sentenced him to death.

“More I have not to say, my lords, but that like as the blessed Apostle St Paul, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, was present and consented to the death of St Stephen, and kept their clothes that stoned him to death, and yet they be now both twain holy saints in Heaven, and shall continue there friends for ever, so I verily trust, and shall right heartily pray, that though your lordships have now here in earth been Judges to my condemnation, we may yet hereafter in Heaven right merrily all meet together, to our everlasting salvation. And thus I desire Almighty God to preserve and defend the King’s Majesty, and to send him good counsel.”

PRAYER (traditional language)

Almighty God, who didst give to thy servants Thomas More, John Fisher, and William Tyndale boldness to confess the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may also be ever ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Almighty God, who didst plant in the heart of thy servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to the people in their native tongue, and didst endow him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us, we pray thee, thy saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

PRAYER (contemporary language)

Almighty God, who gave your servants Thomas More, John Fisher, And William Tyndale boldness to confess the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may also be ever ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Almighty God, who planted in the heart of your servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to the people in their native tongue, and endowed him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us your saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Psalm 1 or 15

James 1:21-25

John 12:44-50 (Ep)

Unless otherwise indicated, this biographical sketch was written by James E. Kiefer and any comments about its content should be directed to him. The Biographical Sketches home page has more information.

William Tyndale (1494-1536)

William Tyndale

1494 in Gloucestershire, England [uncertain] Bornin [uncertain]

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[spouse(s) unknown] [children unknown]

6 Oct 1536 at about age 42 in Vilvoorde Castle, Antwerp, Belgium Diedin

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Biography

William Tyndale is Notable.

William Tyndale, noted linguist and translator of the bible into English became a martyr for the protestant cause during the Reformation.

William Tyndale was born in Gloucestershire around 1494. His parents are reputed to be Richard Tyndale and Tebota Huchyns. It is believed the family were living in the Dursley area of Gloucestershire. [1]

Tyndale was firstly educated at Oxford, [2] where in 1506 he registered there under the name of Hitchins. The registers record that he took his BA degree on 2th July 1512, in the same year becoming a sub deacon. He was created MA on 2nd July 1515 at which point he was able to study theology. [2]

Between 1517 and 1521, William was at Cambridge University where he studied Divinity and Greek and became acquainted with the work of the Dutch philosopher, Desideratum Erasmus.[3]

In 1521, Tyndale returned to Gloucestershire where he was employed as a tutor to the Walsh family of Little Sodbury. The manor house of Sir John Walsh and his wife Anne Poyntz was in the village, right beside the church of St Adeline and it is likely that William both attended services and preached there. [4] It is said that Tyndale first resolved to translate the bible into English in the Great Hall of the manor house at Little Sodbury.

As Tyndale was a skilled linguist, fluent in several languages, he began by translating the New Testament into English from Greek. In 1408, this had been expressly prohibited at the wish of the Crown by the Constitutions of Oxford. All renderings of the bible in the vernacular were disallowed. [5] This prohibition was rigorously enforced in Tyndale’s time by both Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More.

In 1523, Tyndale left Gloucestershire and travelled to London to preach and to find backers for his plans to translate the Bible.[5] Unfortunately for Tyndale, English printers were tightly controlled by both civil and church authorities and there was little to no chance that his translation would be printed in his homeland. [5]

In 1524, William Tyndale travelled to Europe, studying in Hamburg and then Wittenberg. He met with Martin Luther who encouraged him to forge ahead with his translation project. [5]

He met with some success in Europe and was able to get copies of his Bible translation printed and distributed, some copies eventually making their way across the channel to England. This enraged the authorities so much so, that in February 1526, Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey addressed letters to various authorities in Antwerp, Barrow, Zealand, Ghent, Bruges, Brussels, and Louvaine, asking them to find and destroy all copies of Tyndale’s New Testament. [5]

Tyndale’s activities, including his printed attacks on the Crown and the Church, resulted in his becoming something of a fugitive. Despite being supported by many reformers he could not evade the reach of the English authorities and in 1536 was arrested and imprisoned at Vilvorde, near Brussels. [5]

He stood trial for heresy and eventually was executed by means of strangling and then being burned at the stake. William Tyndale’s last words were reportedly “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.”

There is a memorial tablet to William Tyndale in Westminster Abbey [6] and a monument in a park at Vilvorde, Belgium.

Tyndale’s Parents

Foxe, Tyndale’s earliest biographer says that he was born “about the borders of Wales” [7]

William is sometimes attributed to parents Thomas Tyndale and Alice Hunt of Hunt’s Court near North Nibley in Gloucestershire. However there is a legal deed that has the William born at Hunt’s Court alive in 1542, well after the martyrdom of William Tyndale the translator. [7]

In the State Papers Office there is a letter from Stokesley, Bishop of London concerning the grant of a farm in Gloucestershire which states “He that sueth unto you has a kinsman called Edward Tyndale, brother to Tyndale the arch-heretic, and under-receiver of the Lordship of Berkeley.” As Stokesley had been rector of Slimbridge in Gloucestershire in 1509 it is likely that he would have been well acquainted with the families in that area. The Edward of this letter is often known either as Edward of Pull Court or Edward of the Manor of Hurst. [7]

The Tyndale pedigree in Burke’s History of Commoners attribute Edward Tyndale of Pull Court as the fourth son of Sir William Tyndale of Hockwald in Norfolk. They also give him an elder brother William who survived until 1558 so he could not, therefore, be the martyr. [7]

Sources

↑ Ellis, James J. William Tyndale New York, T. Whittaker 1890 pg 6 [https://archive.org/details/williamtyndale00elli/page/6 archive.org} ↑ 2.0 2.1 “Tracie-Tyson,” in Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714, ed. Joseph Foster (Oxford: University of Oxford, 1891), 1501-1528. British History Online, accessed September 19, 2019, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/alumni-oxon/1500-1714/pp1501-1528. ↑ Waring, Dawn William Tyndale (1494 -1536) His Life and the English Bible. Wotton-under-Edge Historical Society Museum & Heritage Centre [1] ↑ William Tyndale: a local man who changed our country. Website of St Adeline’s Little Sodbury. [2] ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Paterson, Craig. Prof. William Tyndale’s Publication of the New Testament in the English Vernacular 2018 Academia ↑ https://www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-commemorations/commemorations/william-tyndale Westminster Abbey.org ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Demaus, R. (Robert), 1829?-1874; Lovett, Richard, 1851-1904, ed William Tyndale, a biography : a contribution to the early history of the English Bible 1886 London : The Religious Tract Society pg 20 archive.org

Daniell, David, William Tyndale: A Biography. Yale University Press. 2001.

Herzel, Catherine, Great Christians: Their Response and Witness. Lutheran Church Press, Philadelphia. 1964.

Greenfield , B.W. –

Notes Relating to the Family of Tyndale, of Stinchcombe and Nibley, in Gloucestershire. pp123-4. Information relating to William Tyndale alias Huchyns

https://ia800203.us.archive.org/0/items/cu31924029309600/cu31924029309600.pdf, being the Memoirs of the life of William Tyndale by J P Dabney

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