William Tyndale: A Legacy Essay

2209 words - 9 pages

William Tyndale has been called “the hidden father of the English language.” He was the first person to translate the Bible into the English, and in doing so, he changed the English language forever. Before Tyndale’s translation some English words had three different spelling. Tyndale helped to formalize both the spellings and speech patterns of different words and phrases. Tyndale spoke seven different languages, and he was proficient in both Hebrew and Greek. He was a priest who worked his whole life mastering his intellectual gifts and making use of them. Tyndale was disciplined and efficient. He could have went a long way in the church had he not worked so hard to defy the current authority, but he did all of this to make sure men and women were able to read the Bible in their own language. Tyndale translated all of the New Testament and most of the Old Testament. His translation paved the way for the publishing of the Geneva Bible in 1560, which became the main Bible used throughout Britain into the 17th century. In William Tyndale’s lifetime, access to the Bible was severely limited. The Church only approved the Latin Vulgate Bible, so even when someone did obtain a Bible they were usually unable to read it. Therefore, the Bible became a divider between the Church and the Reformers who advocated for more access to the Bible. Tyndale leaves both Christians and English speakers with a legacy of defying authority in order to spread God’s word. He is the perfect example of sacrificing oneself to live a life fully dedicated to God and His ministry.
William Tyndale was born into a family of farmers sometime around the year 1494; the exact date is unknown. He decided to part ways with the agricultural life to work in the church. He became educated at both Oxford and Cambridge. While working closely with the church he became tired of all the issues that he believed were pointless that were discussed repeatedly such as whether or not the Pope could command angels. He believed that these discussions were futile and a waste of time when a large portion of the public couldn’t even read the basic doctrines for themselves. He came to the conclusion that Christians were only going to be able to understand God and how their lives fit into God’s Kingdom if they were able to read the Bible in their own language. He made a decision to translate the Bible into English from the original Greek and Hebrew. This was a radical idea at the time, because it was in direct opposition to the Church and the King, and it showed that people did not have to depend of either the Church or the King to tell them what to believe. Tyndale sought permission to translate and publish his new Bible from the Bishop of London who answered back with an absolute no. Tyndale was convinced that he would never get his plan approved so he left England to go to the free cities of Europe: Ham-Burn, Wittenberg, Cologne, Worms, and Antwerp. He began translating and printing...

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