by William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536)
William Tyndale is justly best remembered as a Bible translator. During the last eleven years of his short life he published three editions of the complete New Testament, the Pentateuch, the book of Jonah, and a few other parts of the Old Testament. He may well have left behind him in manuscript form a translation of the Old Testament's historical books from Joshua to 2 Chronicles, which was published as part of 'Matthew's Bible' in the year following his martyrdom. In the last letter from his pen, we see him zealous to make progress with the translation of the Old Testament, as languishing in his final imprisonment he requests that his 'Hebrew Bible, Hebrew grammar, and Hebrew dictionary' be granted to him.
There is little doubt that Tyndale could have translated the whole of the Bible into English if he had given himself exclusively to that work. But alongside the work of translation he felt it was necessary to contend earnestly for the Reformed faith and so he threw himself into several of the key theological controversies of the times. For this 'Apostle of England' the Bible must not only be translated, its teachings also must be expounded and applied in a practical way. To such work of exposition and application Tyndale gave himself with a passion, and in so doing not only proved himself a master of true biblical interpretation, but has left to posterity works of lasting value. As F.F. Bruce wrote in another context: "A reprint of this kind is no mere archaeological curiosity; one who was so intensely a man of the Bible as Tyndale was speaks to more ages than his own, and in the following pages we shall find that he has much to say to us, if we pay heed to what we read."
"And when the gospel is preached unto us we believe the mercy of God, and in believing we receive the spirit of God, which is the earnest of eternal life, and we are in eternal life already, and feel already in our hearts the sweetness thereof, and are overcome with the kindness of God and Christ and therefore love the will of God, and of love are ready to work freely, and not to obtain that which is given us freely and whereof we are heirs already." William Tyndale (The Parable of the Wicked Mammon)
"The gospel signifieth glad tidings, and is nothing but the promises of good things. All is not gospel that is written in the gospel-book; for if the law were away, thou couldest not know what the gospel meant; even as thou couldest not see pardon and grace, except the law rebuked thee, and declared unto thee thy sin, misdeed, and trespass. Repent and believe the gospel, as saith Christ in the first of Mark." William Tyndale (Epistle to the Reader, in his first published version of the New Testament, 1526)
Hardback; 1325 pages (2 volumes)
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