Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tyndale and Spurgeon

On New Year's Eve, our family likes to pick a long movie and watch it instead of the dropping ball (a disappointing appearance - dropping balls ought look more like a dropping ball, not a slowly moving ball). This Eve, we watched God's Outlaw, a DVD about William Tyndale who translated the Bible from Greek to English.

William Tyndale lived in England during the time of King Henry VIII. The Reformation was just reaching England and books like those by Luther and English Bibles translated by Wycliffe were not allowed. Tyndale longed for people like plough boys and farmers and other common folk as well as the many unlearned priests to be able to read God's Word for themselves. So he began translating the Bible to English. Only, he needed it published, and that couldn't happen without a license. But he could not get a license because it was many churchmen believed it was wrong for people to read the Bible for themselves. They said the common people would not understand it without all the traditions of the church, that the people had no learning and would use the Scripture wrongly. Because of this, Tyndale left England and had his New Testament printed in Germany and smuggled into England. Of course the authorities were not happy about this, so they had spies after him. He lived a poor and dangerous life for many years. Finally, he was betrayed and summarily martyred.
But the Bible was being read all over England in English. Sometime after Tyndale's death, King Henry VIII ordered great English Bibles to be kept in all the churches and licensed them to be printed. At last the common people could legally keep and read English Bibles.


Jo was reading Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening to me. The evening reading for today was about being renewed in the Scripture every day, feeding ourselves and becoming rooted in God's Word.
"We know the only way to prevent the body from wasting away is to eat meals frequently. It is just as necessary, in order to restore the soul, to feed on the Book of God, listen to the preached Word, and partake of the Lord's table."
Spurgeon, Charles H.Morning and Evening New Updated Edition. Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., March 2005
She and I agreed that we needed to be reminded of this for we have failed too many times.

And then we realized how great William Tyndale's gift was. For by God's grace we are able to read His Scripture and be renewed directly from the Word.

Oh, thanks be to God for raising William Tyndale, for placing us in a country in which Bibles are legal and in abundance, and for drawing us to Himself.
His mercies are everlasting and the truth of the Lord endures forever!


Jo said...

Correction: Tyndale translated the Bible from greek to english. Not latin. :)

Homemanager said...

An excellent tie-together! Praise God that we have access to such rich resources. May we be found diligent to partake of them.

Anonymous said...

Two Sisters,

Father William Tyndale, the Saint of grudge Christianity.

Between 1535 and 1681, over 600 Catholics died in England and Wales for the Catholic Faith.

Tyndale left England and came to Worms, where he fell under the influence of Martin Luther. There in 1525 he produced a translation of the New Testament that was swarming with textual corruption. He willfully mistranslated entire passages of Sacred Scripture in order to condemn orthodox Catholic doctrine and support the new Lutheran ideas. The Bishop of London claimed that he could count over 2,000 errors in the volume (and this was just the New Testament).

And we must remember that this was not merely a translation of Scripture. His text included a prologue and notes that were so full of contempt for the Catholic Church and the clergy that no one could mistake his obvious agenda and prejudice.

When discussing the history of Biblical translations, it is very common for people to toss around names like Tyndale and Wycliff. But the full story is seldom given. In the case of a gender-inclusive editions of the Bible is a wonderful opportunity for Fundamentalists to reflect and realize that the reason they don’t approve of this new translation is the same reason that the Catholic Church did not approve of Tyndale’s or Wycliff’s. These are corrupt translations, made with an agenda, and not accurate renderings of sacred Scripture.

from This Rock Magazine

Kirk said...

Hum. I don't remember reading all that in the biography I got of Tyndale. And I know he had an agenda. His agenda was to give the English people the Bible in their own language so that they might come to Christ and read His Words. They couldn't read the Bible, you see, unless they knew Greek or Latin or Hebrew.
Also, he didn't go to Germany and fall under Luther's influence. He believed in Reformation doctrines before he went to Germany.
I think he did the best he could translating the scriptures. I have looked him up online, and found that there were some mistakes, but that his translation was excellent nonetheless, and faithful. I do not think he would willfully misinterpret.