William Hutchinson, later changed to Tyndale, was born around the date of 1494 AD. Tyndale had an exceptional gift of speaking over seven known languages. Tyndale attended Oxford University and in 1512 he received his Bachelors Degree. After another three years at Oxford University Tyndale graduated with a Masters Degree.
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In order to support his education William Tyndale tutored students from the higher class society. Tyndale joined the group called “the White Horse Society.” This group gathered together in order to discuss the teachings of Erasmus and Luther.
Then Tyndale was learned and well practiced in God’s matters, spared not to show unto them simply and plainly his judgment, and when they at any time did vary from Tyndale in opinions, he would show them in the Book, and lay plainly before them the open and manifest places of the Scriptures, to confute their errors, and confirm his sayings. And thus continued they for a certain season, reasoning and contending together divers times, until at length they waxed weary, and bare a secret grudge in their hearts against him. As this grew on, the priests of the country, clustering together, began to grudge and storm against Tyndale, railing against him in 2 alehouses and other places, affirming that his sayings were heresy; and accused him secretly to the chancellor, and others of the bishop’s officers.
After a few short years Tyndale left “the White Horse Society” and moved back home to teach children. Tyndale preached at Saint Austen’s Green which resided in front of the Cathedral of Bristol. During Tyndale’s stay at home he caused a commotion that consisted charging him with heresy. All of this was due to the teachings of the “Lollardry.” These people were followers of John Whitcliffe that sent themselves on missions to teach God’s word to the people of the nations. The main “crime” of these people was that they believed that the pope was not the sole agent of God and only the word of God was the doctrine that could be held for people. Not long after, Tyndale happened to be in the company of another man of God communing and disputing with him, he drove him to that issue, that the said great doctor burst out into these blasphemous words, “We were better to be without God’s laws than the pope’s.” Tyndale, hearing this, full of Godly zeal, and not bearing that blasphemous saying, replied, “I defy the pope, and all his laws;”
In 1523 Tyndale moved to London where he met the Bishop of London (who happened to be a close friend of Erasmus). With Tyndale being a “Lollardry” he asked the Bishop for a letter of introduction, but Bishop Tusntal refused to grant the request that Tyndale asked for. Even though Bishop Tusntal was believed to be supportive of the Lollardry cause he still would not grant the letter. Tyndale referred to the Bishop as “a ducking hypocrite.” Even with this minor set back Tyndale would not give his quest of giving God’s word out to the nation. Being refused of the bishop he came to Humphrey Mummuth, alderman of London, and besought him to help him: who the same time took him into his house, where Tyndale lived (as Mummuth said) like a good priest, studying both night and day. He would not eat meat or drink 3 but small single beer. He was never seen in the house to wear linen about him, all the time he lived there. Each day Tyndale increased his knowledge of the word and continually extended his knowledge of God’s great word.
Tyndale gave up his old life, along with his friends, by moving to Germany so that he could continually follow his mission and translate the Bible Settling in Wittenburg (the city of Martin Luther) Tyndale translated the new testament. After a short time Tyndale moved to the city Cologne. At Cologne, Tyndale finished translating the new testament and began printing the first copies of his Bible.
Tyndale printed copies of his Bible throughout the lands. After the copies of Tyndale’s Bible began to sky rocket the church started to worry about the power that Tyndale had gathered. During this time the Tyndale translation became ever more popular the church went to great lengths to discredit and destroy Tyndale’s Bible. The church claimed that the Bible was full of errors and the book should be burned. Churches went as far as buying copies of the book in order to take the Bibles out of the common wealth’s hands. Tyndale himself sold Bibles to the church at one time so that he could print twice as many Bibles with the money he received. During Tyndale’s time he printed many copies and the church placed the charge or heresy on Tyndale. So that the church could validate their claim they placed Tyndale on trial, had him strangled, and burned at the stake. Tyndale became one of God’s martyrs in his early 40’s. To insure that Tyndale would not preach to the people he was first strangled to death before being burned for his illegitimate crime. Tyndale’s translation gave a pathway for all the future translations to follow. The King James version came from Tyndale’s Translation. Tyndale’s translation survived other translations 4 such as the Coverdale Bible and the Great Bible. Tyndale holds credit to about ninety percent of the Bible we use today.
Through Tyndale’s great accomplishments during his time every English speaking country now could have a Bible in their home. Tyndale was a great man who throughout his life face struggles and always turned toward God’s book for answers to his life. Tyndale would use the Bible to denounce the Pope and every Church official who would try to discredit him. Tyndale was put to test after test by each person he encountered in his life. Without support from the Bishop of England and a few followers Tyndale translated the entire Bible into modern times English. Tyndale listened to what God was calling him to do and by this he translated successfully the Bible for the English speaking nations. Through their cries he answered them in English from God’s word. In doing this feat Tyndale managed to make the possibility for all Englishman to read the word of God at home and away from the church.
Tyndale changed countless lives during his short life span but even though Tyndale was killed by the church they later repented and accepted Tyndale’s work using it for the translation of the King James version of the Bible. Tyndale set himself up as a great man but remained humble under the power of God. Tyndale did not boast of his translation but merely he wanted every English man, woman, and child to have one of his Bibles so that they may be able to read it in their own tongue. William Tyndale died a martyr but lives as a hero today. Without the men like Tyndale every nation would be at the mercy of the church. Tyndale did not want only a select few to be able to pass the word of God out to the people. During Tyndale’s time the people had to attend church in order to hear the word of God. Less people 5 could read Latin (the main translation of the Bible during those times). While even less people could read and understand Greek and Hebrew. Tyndale accomplish both feats and translated the Greek and Hebrew into English. With Tyndale’s power of the spirit he made it possible for each person after him to read the Bible in away that was easy for them, in their own native tongue, English.
Knauss 6 Geisler, Normal L., and Nix, William E., A General Introduction to the Bible, Revised and Expanded, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press) 1986. http://units.ox.ac.uk/colleges/hertford/alumni/tyndale.htm http://www.encyclopedia.com/articles/13170.html http://www.opengroup.com/babooks/030/0300061323.shtml Paul S. Karleen, The Handbook to Bible Study, (New York: Oxford University Press) 1987.