f The Wittenberg Door: William Tyndale – Part 2 (Conclusion)

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Saturday, February 07, 2015

William Tyndale – Part 2 (Conclusion)

In part 1, we learned of William Tyndale’s early life and how he was drawn to the Reformation. We also learned of the Roman Catholic Church's murderess opposition to an English translation of the Bible. In this post we’ll pickup where we left off, the immanent danger in which Tyndale found himself.

Tyndale’s End

Fearing for his life, Tyndale fled London for Brussels in 1524 where he continued his translation work for the next 12 years. Tyndale’s time in exile was dreadful, as he describes in a 1531 letter:

. . . my pains . . . my poverty . . . my exile out of mine natural country, and bitter absence from my friends . . . my hunger, my thirst, my cold, the great danger wherewith I am everywhere encompassed, and finally . . . innumerable other hard and sharp fighting’s which I endure.

On the evening of May 21, 1535, Tyndale was betrayed to the authorities by a man he trusted, Henry Philips. For the next 18 months, Tyndale lived a prisoner in Vilvorde Castle, six miles outside of Brussles. The charge was heresy.

The verdict came in August, 1536. He was condemned as a heretic and defrocked as a priest. On or about October 6, 1536, Tyndale was tied to a stake, strangled by an executioner, and then his body burned. He was 42 years old. His last words were, “Lord! Open the King of England’s Eyes!”

Tyndale’s Legacy

Tyndale’s translations were the foundations for Miles Coverdale’s Great Bible (1539) and later for the Geneva Bible (1557). As a matter of fact, about 90% of the Geneva Bible’s New Testement was Tyndale’s work. In addition, the 54 scholars who produced the 1611 Authorized Version (King James) bible relied heavily upon Tyndale’s translations, although they did not give him credit.

Tyndale is also known as a pioneer in the biblical languages. He introduced several words into the English language, such as Jehovah, Passover, scapegoat, and atonement.

It has been asserted that Tyndale's place in history has not yet been sufficiently recognized as a translator of the Scriptures, as an apostle of liberty, and as a chief promoter of the Reformation in England. In all these respects his influence has been singularly under-valued, at least to Protestants.


--The Catechizer

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these brief entries on the life and work of William Tyndale. When John Piper introduced me to Tyndale some years ago I realized how little I knew about how we obtained our English translations.

I have come to learn and appreciate the work of William Tyndale from believers like Piper, Lawson, you and other Christians who love Church History.

I really love your blog.

Blessings from Washington State.

9:45 PM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

Thank you for the encouraging words. I spent the first decade of my Christian life ignorant of church history, but, like, you have since been drawn to it through the work of others. My hope is that these little snippets will spark that kind of interest in others.

6:28 AM  

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