Friday, October 6, 2017William Tyndale
William Tyndale is one of many translators of the scriptures who we celebrate at this time of year. Recently, we remembered Jerome, and soon we'll remember Samuel Issac Joseph Schereschewsky and Henry Martyn (although in 2014, Henry Martyn's feast day falls on a Sunday, so he will be trumped by the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost)
Lesser Feasts & Fasts of the Episcopal Church (2000) summarizes William Tyndale as follows:
"Tyndale was determined to translate the Scriptures into English, but, despairing of official support, he left for Germany in 1524. From this point on, his life reads like a cloak-and-dagger story, as King Henry the Eighth, Cardinal Wolsey, and others, sought to destroy his work of translation and put him to death. He was finally betrayed by one whom he had befriended, and in Brussels, on October 6, 1536, he was strangled at the stake, and his body was burned.
William Tyndale was a man of a single passion, to translate the Bible into English; so that, as he said to a prominent Churchman, “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more scripture than thou doest.” His accomplished work is his glory. Before his betrayal and death, he had finished and revised his translation of the New Testament, and had completed a translation of the Pentateuch and of Jonah and, though he did not live to see them published, of the historical books from Joshua through 2 Chronicles. His work has been called “a well of English undefiled.” Some eighty per cent of his version has survived in the language of later and more familiar versions, such as the Authorized (King James) Version of 1611."
If you prefer the Father's many mansions to his many rooms, you can thank Tyndale, and you might also enjoy Fr Austin's 2005 sermon With God, at Rest and not at Rest.
Almighty God, who didst plant in the heart of thy servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and didst endow him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us, we pray thee, thy saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.