William Tyndale, martyr, translator of the scriptures, 6th October

He became determined to translate the Scriptures from the Greek directly into contemporary English but was thwarted in this by the Bishop of London.

Born in Gloucestershire in about the year 1494, William Tyndale studied first at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and then at Cambridge. He became determined to translate the Scriptures from the Greek directly into contemporary English but was thwarted in this by the Bishop of London. So William settled in Hamburg in 1524, never returning to England. When the first copies of his translation arrived in England in 1526, it was bitterly attacked as subversive by the ecclesial authorities. He spent much of the rest of his life making revisions to his work, but also writing many theological works. His life’s-work proved good enough to be the basic working text for those who, at the beginning of the following century, were to produce what became known as the Authorised Version of the Bible. He was eventually arrested in 1535 and imprisoned in Brussels on charges of heresy. He was first strangled and then burnt at the stake on this day in 1536. His last words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”

Text Reproduced from Exciting Holiness by kind permission of Brother Tristam Holland SSF