In our summer sermon series we are going to look at 5 truths that matter. When people take their eyes off God’s word and begin to establish ‘manmade religion’ the truths of God’s word are quickly lost. Today we are looking at the truth, “Scripture alone”. As we do this we are also going to have the opportunity to find out about some of the people in our past who were prepared to risk everything to make sure God’s word was taught clearly. This week we will be looking at William Tyndale .
William Tyndale and Bible alone William Tyndale (1494-1536) William Tyndale is one of the most significant figures in English history. He gave the nation its first English Bible and in doing so gave the country a unified language.
William Tyndale was born in England and studied theology at Oxford. At university he was horrified that there were no subjects on the Bible as part of his degree, so he formed small reading groups of fellow students to study the Bible in the evenings. Later he made it his life’s work to produce a Bible for the common man. He said to a corrupt clergyman that if God spared his life, he would cause a boy that drives the plough to know more of the Scriptures than he did.
The Catholic Church in England would not allow the production of the English Bible, so Tyndale worked in secret in Germany. In 1526 Tyndale completed translating the first English New Testament. Despite strenuous efforts by Catholic bishops and other church officials (including the burning of Bibles and people), thousands of copies of Tyndale’s New Testament were printed and smuggled into England.
In 1535, while working on translating the Old Testament from Hebrew into English, Tyndale was arrested and imprisoned. After a year in jail he was sentenced to death by strangulation and burning. As Tyndale died, his final cry encapsulated his unwavering mission to bring the word of God to the people: “Lord! Open the king of England’s eyes.”
Shortly after his death the political tide turned in England, and Tyndale’s Bible was published legally under another name.
(Taken from Ideas that changed the world, Matthias Media)