Tuesday, November 18, 2008

tuesday martyr: william tyndale

There are few people who have influenced the church as much as William Tyndale, and yet very few people know much about him (and a good many do not even know his name or what he did.)

(I would devote this piece to John Wycliffe, but he was not actually killed for his faith and since this is a dedication to martyrs...I have decided to leave him off. But he was the first (known) to translate the Scriptures into the language of the people in the 1300s. You can read more about him here.)

William Tyndale
worked most of his adult life at translating the Bible into English so that the people could know and read the Word of God and determine for themselves the false practices of the Roman Church. He was deemed a heretic for the crime and later killed for it.

During the years that he was working, at one point shipwrecked and losing everything, he never lost sight of his goal to translate the Scriptures into English and at one point said this: "I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus, that I never altered one syllable of God's Word against my conscience, nor would do this day, if all that is in earth, whether it be honor, pleasure, or riches, might be given me."

And so, 11 years after his translation of the New Testament went into print, William Tyndale was brought out and strangled and then burnt at the stake. As he was dying he called in a loud voice "Lord, open the King of England's eyes!"

I pray that the Lord would open our eyes as well to the need of the Scriptures across the world in the native tongues of men.


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