William Tyndale

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William Tyndale
Beza's Icones, contemporary portraits of reformers of religion and letters - William Tindale on Page 58.jpg
16th century engraving of William Tyndale, from Theodore Beza's Icones
Diedc. (aged 42)
Nationality English
Alma mater Magdalen Hall, Oxford
University of Cambridge
Known for Tyndale Bible

William Tyndale ( /ˈtɪndəl/ ; [1] sometimes spelled Tynsdale, Tindall, Tindill, Tyndall; c.1494c.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. [2]


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. [lower-alpha 1] It was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony 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] of the Bible drew extensively from Tyndale's original work and other translations that descended from his. [4] One estimate suggests that the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale's words and the Old Testament 76%. [5] [6]

A copy of Tyndale's The Obedience of a Christian Man (1528), which some claim or interpret to argue for Caesaropapism: the idea that the Monarch should control the 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. [7] [8] In 1530, Tyndale wrote The Practice of Prelates, opposing Henry's plan to seek the annulment of his marriage on the grounds that it contravened scripture. [9]

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 (Filford) 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.

In 2002, Tyndale was placed 26th in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. [10] [11]


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. [12] Tyndale lived and worked during the era of Renaissance humanism and the revival of Biblical scholarship, which were both aided by both the Gutenberg Revolution and the ensuing democratisation of knowledge; for example, the publication of Johann Reuchlin's Hebrew grammar in 1506. Classical and Koine Greek texts became widely available to the European scholarly community for the first time in centuries, as it welcomed Greek-speaking scholars, philosophers, intellectuals, and the manuscripts they carried to Catholic Europe as refugees following the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Notably, Erasmus compiled, edited, and published the Koine Greek scriptures of the Christian Bible in 1516.


Tyndale was born around 1494 [lower-alpha 2] in Melksham Court, Stinchcombe, a village near Dursley, Gloucestershire. [13] 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. [14]

Portrait of William Tyndale (1836) Portrait of William Tyndale.jpg
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

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. [17] 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: [18]

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.

He was a gifted linguist and became fluent over the years in French, Greek, Hebrew, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, in addition to English. [19] 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. [20]

Sculpted Head of William Tyndale from St Dunstan-in-the-West Church, London Bust Of William Tyndale.jpg
Sculpted Head of William Tyndale from St Dunstan-in-the-West Church, London

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. [21] 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!" [22] [23]

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. [24] Tyndale preached and studied "at his book" in London for some time, relying on the help of cloth merchant Humphrey Monmouth. During this time, he lectured widely, including at St Dunstan-in-the-West at Fleet Street in London.

In Europe

The beginning of the Gospel of John, from Tyndale's 1525 translation of the New Testament. Tyndale Bible - Gospel of John.jpg
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". [25] He began translating the New Testament at this time, possibly in Wittenberg, completing it in 1525 with assistance from Observant Friar William Roy.

A former underground smuggler's cellar in Antwerp Vertigo Antwerpen -1 entrance room.jpg
A former underground smuggler's cellar in Antwerp

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. [26] More copies were soon printed in Antwerp. It was smuggled from continental Europe into England and Scotland by putting pages inbetween other legal books. [27] The translation was condemned in October 1526 by Bishop Tunstall, who issued warnings to booksellers and had copies burned in public. [28] Marius notes that the "spectacle of the scriptures being put to the torch... provoked controversy even amongst the faithful." [28] Cardinal Wolsey condemned Tyndale as a heretic, first stated in open court in January 1529. [29]

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. [30]

Tyndale, before being strangled and burned at the stake in Vilvoorde, cries out, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes". Woodcut from Foxe's Book of Martyrs (1563). Foxe's Book of Martyrs - Tyndale.jpg
Tyndale, before being strangled and burned at the stake in Vilvoorde, cries out, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes". Woodcut from Foxe's Book of Martyrs (1563).

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. [31]

Opposition to Henry VIII's annulment

In 1530, he wrote The Practice of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII's desire to secure the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in favour of Anne Boleyn, on the grounds that it was unscriptural and that it was a plot by Cardinal Wolsey to get Henry entangled in the papal courts of Pope Clement VII. [32] [33] 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. [34] Tyndale developed his case in An Answer unto Sir Thomas More's Dialogue. [35]

Betrayal and death

Eventually, Tyndale was betrayed by Henry Phillips [36] to authorities representing the Holy Roman Empire. [37] He was seized in Antwerp in 1535, and held in the castle of Vilvoorde (Filford) near Brussels. [38] 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". [39] 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." [40] [41] 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. [42] Foxe gives 6 October as the date of commemoration (left-hand date column), but gives no date of death (right-hand date column). [38] Biographer David Daniell states his date of death only as "one of the first days of October 1536". [41]

Within four years, four English translations of the Bible were published in England at the king's behest, [lower-alpha 3] including Henry's official Great Bible. All were based on Tyndale's work. [43]

Theological views

Tyndale seems to have come out of the Lollard tradition, which was strong in Gloucestershire. Tyndale denounced the practice of prayer to saints. [44] He also rejected the then-orthodox view that the scriptures could be interpreted only by approved clergy. [45] 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. [46]

Printed works

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.

Year PrintedName of WorkPlace of PublicationPublisher
1525The New Testament translation (incomplete) Cologne
1526*The New Testament translation (first full printed edition in English) Worms Peter Schöffer the Younger
1526A compendious introduction, prologue, or preface into the epistle of Paul to the Romans
1527The parable of the wicked mammon Antwerp
1528 The Obedience of a Christen Man [47] (and how Christen rulers ought to govern...) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1530*The five books of Moses [the Pentateuch] translation (each book with individual title page) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1530The practice of prelates Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531The exposition of the first epistle of Saint John with a prologue before it Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531?The prophet Jonah translation Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531An answer to Sir Thomas More's dialogue
1533?An exposition upon the. v. vi. vii. chapters of Mathew
1533 Erasmus: Enchiridion militis Christiani translation
1533The Souper of the Lorde Nornburg Niclas Twonson
1534The New Testament translation (thoroughly revised, with a second foreword against George Joye's unauthorized changes in an edition of Tyndale's New Testament published earlier in the same year) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1535The testament of master Wylliam Tracie esquire, expounded both by W. Tindall and J. Frith
1536?A pathway into the holy scripture
1537The Matthew Bible, which is a Holy Scripture translation (Tyndale, Rogers, and Coverdale) Hamburg Richard Grafton
1548?A brief declaration of the sacraments
1573The whole works of W. Tyndall, John Frith, and Doct. Barnes, edited by John Foxe
1848*Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures, edited by Henry Walter. [48] Tindal, Frith, Barnes
1849*Expositions and Notes on Sundry Portions of the Holy Scriptures Together with the Practice of Prelates, edited by Henry Walter. [48]
1850*An Answer to Sir Thomas More's Dialogue, The Supper of the Lord after the True Meaning of John VI. and I Cor. XI., and William Tracy's Testament Expounded, edited by Henry Walter. [48]
1964*The Work of William Tyndale
1989**Tyndale's New Testament
1992**Tyndale's Old Testament
ForthcomingThe Independent Works of William Tyndale
ForthcomingTyndale's Bible – The Matthew Bible: Modern Spelling Edition

*These works were printed more than once, usually signifying a revision or reprint. However, the 1525 edition was printed as an incomplete quarto and was then reprinted in 1526 as a complete octavo.

**These works were reprints of Tyndale's earlier translations revised for modern spelling.


Impact on the English language

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) [49] is also sometimes ascribed to Tyndale. [50] [51] However, the word was probably in use by at least 1513, before Tyndale's translation. [52] [53] Tyndale also introduced the term mercy seat into English, literally translating Luther's German Gnadenstuhl. [54] [55]

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

Controversy over new words and phrases

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" [56] [57] ) as "congregation" rather than "church". [58] 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." [58] [57]

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." [58]

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. [59] 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. [60] 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

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." [61] 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." [62]

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. [63] [23]

George Steiner in his book on translation After Babel refers to "the influence of the genius of Tyndale, the greatest of English Bible translators." [64] 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).


Memorial to William Tyndale in a Vilvoorde public garden Arduinen gedenkteken voor William Tyndale, Mechelsesteenweg, 1800 Vilvoorde.JPG
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. [65] There is also a small William Tyndale Museum in the town, attached to the Protestant church. [66] 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 [67] in Badhoevedorp, near Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tyndale Christian School in South Australia and Tyndale Park Christian School [68] in New Zealand. An American Christian publishing house, also called Tyndale House, was named after Tyndale.

Statue of William Tyndale William Tyndale Victoria Embankment.jpg
Statue of William Tyndale

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

Liturgical commemoration

By tradition Tyndale's death is commemorated on 6 October. [13] 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), [69] and a "black-letter day" in the Church of England's Alternative Service Book. [70] The Common Worship that came into use in the Church of England in 2000 provides a collect proper to 6 October (Lesser Festival), [71] 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

The first biographical film about Tyndale, titled William Tindale, was released in 1937. [72] [73] 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. [74]

A cartoon film about his life, titled Torchlighters: The William Tyndale Story, was released ca. 2005. [75] 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. [76] [77] In 2013, BBC Two aired a 60-minute documentary The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England, written and presented by Melvyn Bragg. [78]

Another known documentary is the film William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy. [79]

Tyndale's pronunciation

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. [80]

See also

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Partial Bible translations into languages of the English people can be traced back to the late 7th century, including translations into Old and Middle English. More than 100 complete translations into English have been written.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Douay–Rheims Bible</span> First complete English language Catholic Bible

The Douay–Rheims Bible, also known as the Douay–Rheims Version, Rheims–Douai Bible or Douai Bible, and abbreviated as D–R, DRB, and DRV, is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the English College, Douai, in the service of the Catholic Church. The New Testament portion was published in Reims, France, in 1582, in one volume with extensive commentary and notes. The Old Testament portion was published in two volumes twenty-seven years later in 1609 and 1610 by the University of Douai. The first volume, covering Genesis to Job, was published in 1609; the second, covering the Book of Psalms to 2 Maccabees plus the three deuterocanonical books of the Vulgate appendix following the Old Testament, was published in 1610. Marginal notes took up the bulk of the volumes and offered insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate.

Early Modern English Bible translations are those translations of the Bible which were made between about 1500 and 1800, the period of Early Modern English. This was the first major period of Bible translation into the English language including the King James Version and Douai Bibles. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation led to the need for Bibles in the vernacular with competing groups each producing their own versions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wycliffe's Bible</span> Middle English translation of the Bible

Wycliffe's Bible (WYC) is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English that were made under the direction of English theologian John Wycliffe. They appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395. These Bible translations were the chief inspiration and chief cause of the Lollard movement, a pre-Reformation movement that rejected many of the distinctive teachings of the Catholic Church. In the early Middle Ages, most Western Christians encountered the Bible only in the form of oral versions of scriptures, verses and homilies in Latin. Though relatively few people could read at this time, Wycliffe's idea was to translate the Bible into the vernacular, saying "it helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ's sentence".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luther Bible</span> German-language translation of the Bible by Martin Luther

The Luther Bible is a German language Bible translation by the Protestant reformer Martin Luther. A New Testament translation by Luther was first published in September 1522, and the completed Bible, containing a translation of the Old and New Testaments with Apocrypha, in 1534. Luther continued to make improvements to the text until 1545. It was the first full translation of the Bible into German that made use of Greek texts, not just their Latin Vulgate translations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Biblical apocrypha</span> Ancient books found in some editions of Bibles

The biblical apocrypha denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books thought to have been written some time between 200 BC and AD 400. The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament, with Roman Catholics terming them deuterocanonical books. Traditional 80-book Protestant Bibles include fourteen books in an intertestamental section between the Old Testament and New Testament called the Apocrypha, deeming these useful for instruction, but non-canonical. To this date, the Apocrypha are "included in the lectionaries of Anglican and Lutheran Churches". Anabaptists use the Luther Bible, which contains the Apocrypha as intertestamental books; Amish wedding ceremonies include "the retelling of the marriage of Tobias and Sarah in the Apocrypha". Moreover, the Revised Common Lectionary, in use by most mainline Protestants including Methodists and Moravians, lists readings from the Apocrypha in the liturgical calendar, although alternate Old Testament scripture lessons are provided.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tyndale Bible</span> Early English translation of the Bible

The Tyndale Bible (TYN) generally refers to the body of biblical translations by William Tyndale into Early Modern English, made c. 1522–1535. Tyndale's Bible is credited with being the first Bible translation in the English language to work directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, although it relied heavily upon the Latin Vulgate. Furthermore, it was the first English biblical translation that was mass-produced as a result of new advances in the art of printing.

George Joye was a 16th-century Bible translator who produced the first printed translation of several books of the Old Testament into English (1530–1534), as well as the first English Primer (1529).

David John Daniell was an English literary scholar who became Professor of English at University College London. He was founder of the Tyndale Society, a specialist in William Tyndale and his translations of the Bible, and author of a number of studies of the plays of Shakespeare.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Protestant Bible</span> Christian Bible whose translation or revision was produced by Protestants

A Protestant Bible is a Christian Bible whose translation or revision was produced by Protestant Christians. Such Bibles comprise 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament, for a total of 66 books. Some Protestants use Bibles which also include 14 additional books in a section known as the Apocrypha bringing the total to 80 books. This is in contrast with the 73 books of the Catholic Bible, which includes seven deuterocanonical books as a part of the Old Testament. The division between protocanonical and deuterocanonical books is not accepted by all Protestants who simply view books as being canonical or not and therefore classify books found in the Deuterocanon, along with other books, as part of the Apocrypha. Sometimes the term "Protestant Bible" is simply used as a shorthand for a bible which contains only the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.



  1. In the seventh paragraph of Introduction to the Old Testament of the New English Bible , Sir Godfry Driver wrote, "The early translators generally substituted 'Lord' for [YHWH]. [...] The Reformers preferred Jehovah, which first appeared as Iehouah in 1530 A.D., in Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch (Exodus 6.3), from which it passed into other Protestant Bibles."
  2. Tyndale's birth was about 1494 according to History of the Revised Version in 1881.
  3. Miles Coverdale's, Thomas Matthew's, Richard Taverner's, and the Great Bible.


  1. "Definition of Tyndale | Dictionary.com". www.dictionary.com. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  2. Partridge 1973, pp. 38–39, 52–52.
  3. King James Bible Preface
  4. Harding 2012.
  5. Tadmor 2010, p. 16.
  6. Nielson & Skousen 1998.
  7. Daniell & Noah 2004.
  8. Daniell 1994, p. [ page needed ].
  9. Bourgoin 1998, p. 373.
  10. Parrill & Robison 2013, p. 93.
  11. "William Tyndale", Historical Figures, BBC, retrieved 25 January 2014.
  12. Marshall 2017, p. 117.
  13. 1 2 Daniell 2011.
  14. Demaus 1886, p. 21.
  15. John Nichol, "Tindal genealogy", Literary Anecdotes, vol. 9.
  16. "Tyndale of Haling", Burke's Landed Gentry (19th century ed.)
  17. Moynahan 2003, p. 11.
  18. Tyndale, William (1849). Walter, Henry (ed.). Expositions and Notes on Sundry Portions of the Holy Scriptures, Together with the Practice of Prelates. The Parker Society.
  19. Daniell 1994, p. 18.
  20. Daniell 2001, pp. 49–50.
  21. Moynahan 2003, p. 28.
  22. Wansbrough 2017, p. 126, Ch.7 Tyndale.
  23. 1 2 Foxe 1926, Ch. XII.
  24. Tyndale, William (1530), "Preface", Five bokes of Moses.
  25. Samworth 2010.
  26. Cochlaeus 1549, p. 134.
  27. Documentary video: They Valued the Bible—Excerpt (William Tyndale).
  28. 1 2 Ackroyd 1999, p. 270.
  29. Moynahan 2003, p. 177.
  30. "Antwerpen, Hamburg, Antwerpen", Tyndale (biography) (in German), archived from the original on 17 October 2013, retrieved 8 June 2013.
  31. Stapleton 1983, p. 905.
  32. Bourgoin 1998.
  33. Marius 1999, p. 388:"...English kings on one side and the wicked popes and English bishops on the other. Cardinal Wolsey embodies the culmination of centuries of conspiracy, and Tyndale's hatred of Wolsey is so nearly boundless that it seems pathological."
  34. Bellamy 1979, p. 89: "Henry claimed that Tyndale was spreading sedition, but the Emperor expressed his doubts and argued that he must examine the case and discover proof of the English King's assertion before delivering the wanted man."
  35. Tyndale 1850.
  36. Edwards 1987.
  37. "Tyndale", Bible researcher
  38. 1 2 Foxe 1570, p.  VIII.1228.
  39. Farris 2007, p. 37.
  40. Foxe 1570, p.  VIII. 1229.
  41. 1 2 Daniell 2001, p. 383.
  42. Arblaster, Paul (2002). "An Error of Dates?". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
  43. Hamlin & Jones 2010, p. 336.
  44. McGoldrick 1979.
  45. Wikiquote-logo.svg Quotations related to William Tyndale at Wikiquote
  46. Tyndale, William, An Answer to Sir Thomas More's Dialogue: The Supper of the Lord After the True Meaning of John 6 and 1 Corinthians 11 and Wm. Tracie's Testament Expounded, ed. Rev. Henry Walter, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1850: 251–252. <https://archive.org/details/ananswertosirth00tyndgoog>
  47. Tyndale, William, The Obedience of a Christian Man .
  48. 1 2 3 Cooper 1899, p. 247.
  49. Andreasen, Niels-erik A (1990), "Atonement/Expiation in the Old Testament", in Mills, WE (ed.), Dictionary of the Bible, Mercer University Press.
  50. McGrath 2000, p. 357.
  51. Gillon 1991, p. 42.
  52. "atonement", OED, 1513 MORE Rich. III Wks. 41 Having more regarde to their olde variaunce then their newe attonement. [...] 1513 MORE Edw. V Wks. 40 of which… none of vs hath any thing the lesse nede, for the late made attonemente.
  53. Harper, Douglas, "atone", Online Etymology Dictionary.
  54. Shaheen 2011, p. 18.
  55. Moo 1996, p. 232, note 62.
  56. "Rev 22:17", Believer's Study Bible (electronic ed.), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997, the word ... ekklesia ... is a compound word coming from the word Kaleo, meaning 'to call,' and Ek, meaning 'out of'. Thus... 'the called-out ones. Eph 5:23, "This is the same word used by the Greeks for their assembly of citizens who were 'called out' to transact the business of the city. The word ... implies ... 'assembly'.
  57. 1 2 Harding 2012, p. 28.
  58. 1 2 3 Moynahan 2003, p. 72.
  59. Tyndale, William. "Tyndale's New Testament (Young.152)". Cambridge Digital Library. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  60. Moynahan 2002, p. 72.
  61. Moynahan 2003, pp. 1–2.
  62. Bridgman 2000, pp. 342–346.
  63. Anon (n.d.), The Bible in the Renaissance – William Tyndale, Oxford, archived from the original on 4 October 2013.
  64. Steiner 1998, p. 366.
  65. Le Chrétien Belge, 18 October 1913; 15 November 1913.
  66. Museum, archived from the original on 31 January 2016, retrieved 22 January 2016.
  67. Tyndale Theological Seminary, EU .
  68. Tyndale park, NZ: School.
  69. Hatchett 1981, p. 43, 76–77.
  70. Draper 1982.
  71. "The Calendar". The Church of England. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  72. William Tindale (1937) at IMDb
  73. "William Tindale - (1937)". YouTube . Archived from the original on 14 November 2021.
  74. Stephen's Test of Faith (1998) at IMDb
  75. "The William Tyndale Story". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  76. Toone 2011.
  77. Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible, BYU Television
  78. Melvyn Bragg. "The Most Dangerous Man in Tudor England". BBC Two.
  79. William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy (DVD). ASIN   B000J3YOBO.
  80. Tyndale, William (2013), Crystal, David (ed.), Bible, St Matthew's Gospel, read in the original pronunciation, The British Library, ISBN   978-0-7123-5127-0, NSACD 112-113.



Further reading

  • Hooker, Morna (19 October 2000). "Tyndale as Translator". The Tyndale Society. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  • "William Tyndale: A hero for the information age", The Economist, pp. 101–3, 20 December 2008. The online version corrects the name of Tyndale's Antwerp landlord as "Thomas Pointz" vice the "Henry Pointz" indicated in the print.
  • Teems, David (2012), Tyndale: The Man Who Gave God An English Voice, Thomas Nelson
  • Werrell, Ralph S. (2006), The Theology of William Tyndale, Dr. Rowan Williams, foreword, James Clarke & Co, ISBN   0-227-67985-7