Blogging the Reformers: William Tyndale

William Tyndale

Read the introduction here.
This is from my reading in History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin by J. H. Merle D'Aubigne

William Tyndale was born around 1490 in England. He was ordained as a priest in 1521. His main desire was to translate the scriptures into English. He once said when debating a clergyman, “If God preserves my life, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than the pope himself.”1 The bishops in England rejected his translation because they did not want the people to be able to read the Bible. He fled to Germany and finished his translation of the New Testament there. By 1526 there were more than 20 editions of it in England. In 1535 he was betrayed in Antwerp, Belgium by someone who pretended to be a Christian. He was convicted of heresy for believing that Christians are saved by faith alone. After being defrocked from being a priest, he was martyred on October 6th, 1536 at less than 50 years of age by being strangled and then burnt. His last words were, “Lord, open the king of England's eyes!”2 Soon after these words were partially fulfilled, although Henry XIII was not saved. Soon after Tyndale's death Archbishop Cranmer presented Tyndale's translation of the Bible to Henry XIII to ask if he would allow it to be printed, though without Tyndale's name on it. King Henry agreed, and thus came the first legal Bible in English. William Tyndale had great effects on the Reformation because his translation had great influence on the English people and on the Geneva and King James Bible translations.

1 As quoted in J. H. Merle D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 2000) volume 3, book vii, p. 214
2 As quoted in Ibid, p. 225

Tyndale's Martyrdom from Foxe's book of Martyrs


Luke Smith said...

Very well said's great to hear young men who have studied about men of the faith from the past, who stood firm and were martyred for Christ's sake. I tend to forget those men, and it was very beneficial for me to have read this article of reminder.

Stand firm in the faith,

Luke Smith

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