William Tyndale

He gave his life to give the people of England a Bible they could easily understand

‘I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life, ere many years I shall cause a boy that driveth the plow shall know more of the Scriptures than thou doest.’

William Tyndale As quoted in the Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, touching Matters of the Church (Foxe's Book of Martyrs) by John Foxe


1408 The Constitutions of Oxford established a ban on translating or reading the Bible in the vernacular, except by permission of a bishop. For daring to contravene this prohibition, many itinerant preachers known as Lollards were burned as heretics.
1515 Tyndale obtained a Master of Arts degree at Oxford University.
1521 Tyndale was an ordained Roman Catholic priest by this year.
1523 Tyndale traveled to London to seek permission for his english translation from Cuthbert Tunstall, bishop of London. His request was refused.
1524 Tyndale fled to Germany, never to return to England. He brought with him £10 that his friend Humphrey Monmouth, an influential London merchant, had kindly given him. This gift was almost enough in those times to enable Tyndale to print the Greek Scriptures he planned to translate. 3,000 to 6,000 of the first edition of Tyndale's New Testement are eventually printed in Germany.
1526 Cardinal Wolsey, accompanied by 36 bishops and other church dignitaries, assembled near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London “to see great basketfuls of books cast into a fire.” Included among them were some copies of Tyndale’s precious translation. Of this first edition, there are now just two copies extant. The only complete one (lacking just the title page) is in the British Library. Ironically, the other, with 71 pages missing, was discovered in St. Paul’s Cathedral Library. How it got there, nobody knows.
1526-1528 Tyndale moved to Antwerp, where he wrote The Parable of the Wicked Mammon, The Obedience of a Christian Man, and The Practice of Prelates. Tyndale continued his translating work and was the first to use God’s name, Jehovah, in an English translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The name appears over 20 times.
1534 King Henry VIII broke with Rome.
1535 Tyndale was betrayed and taken to Vilvorde Castle, six miles north of Brussels. There he was incarcerated for 16 months.
1536 Tyndale was executed by being strangled, and his body was publicly burned.
1546 The Council of Trent reiterated that Jerome’s fifth-century Latin Vulgate was to be used exclusively.

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