William Tyndale

by Ruth from Wisconsin


William Tyndale was a phenomenal man of the 16th century. His steadfast belief that the Bible revealed the path to God led to his desire for the common peasant worker to read and understand this book. Tyndale worked on translating the Scriptures into English directly from the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. These ideas and activities caused many to respond much the same as they did towards Galileo’s and Copernicus’ discoveries – with contempt, criticism, and condescension. Though he was harassed, demeaned, and looked down upon, this hero definitely did not let others stand in the way of doing what he thought right.

Many of us shirk away from making clear our views and interests, even insignificant speculations, while William Tyndale went against the flow of a whole continent’s ideas. Once William Tyndale said, “I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than the pope himself!” He also made clear his sentiment of disagreeing with Henry VIII’s decision to divorce and remarry. In a time when popes and kings were gods, and the average “boy that drives the plow” couldn’t read or write, William Tyndale remained firm in his ‘ludicrous’ ideas.

When a life ends in imprisonment, enstranglement, and burning at the stake, in addition to having one’s central work put to flames publicly, it may not be considered a success. Though all these horrifying events did indeed manifest themselves in William Tyndale, it didn’t stop his English translation of the New Testament from allowing many peasants to read the Bible for the first time. William dared to do the right thing regardless of the consequences. He can be revered and honored as a man who dared to be different, whether or not one agrees with all of his principles.

Page created on 2/18/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 9/4/2018 1:13:38 AM

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Related Links

William Tyndale - Website
William Tyndale - PBS film - Secrets of the Dead: Battle for the Bible