William Tyndale (sometimes spelled Tindall or Tyndall; pronounced /ˈtɪndəl/) (c. 1494 – 1536) was a 16th-century Protestant reformer and scholar who, influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus and Martin Luther, translated considerable parts of the Bible into the Early Modern English of his day. While a number of partial and complete Old English translations had been made from the seventh century onward, and Middle English translations particularly during the 14th century, Tyndale's was the first English translation to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, and the first to take advantage of the new medium of print, which allowed for its wide distribution. In 1535, Tyndale was arrested, jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels for over a year, tried for heresy and burned at the stake. He was strangled before his body was burnt by some people who associated themselves with the Roman Catholic Church.
The Obedience of a Christian Manby William Tyndale
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The Obedience of a Christian Man by William Tyndale, a principal translator of the King James Bible, was published in 1528, three years after the first publication of his English translation of the New Testament. Obedience defends the basic goal of his translation, and of the English Reformation that he helped incite: opening direct access for all believers, even the "boy that driveth the plough" to Scripture, the supreme authority of the Church. For reformers such as Tyndale, obedience to Scripture was a revolutionary act requiring complete commitment. Tyndale described this commitment with forcefulness that still reads fresh today:
To preach God's word is too much for half a man. And to minister a temporal kingdom is too much for half a man also. Either other requireth an whole man. One therefore cannot well do both.
The book is a landmark of political thought, expounding another fundamental principle of the English Reformation: that the king is the supreme authority of the state. (Tyndale's ideal of royal authority, however, is determined by Scripture's authority: "The most despised person in his realm is the king's brother and fellow member with him and equal with him in the kingdom of God and Christ.") The Obedience of Christian Man includes much rhetoric about obedience of woman to man that now appears archaic and offensive, but its tough-minded description of the uneasy relationship between power and love is timeless.
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I would really like to rate this book higher, for the content is wonderful and enlightening, however, the numerous printing mistakes are so annoying. Namely, words running together and awkward separation of sentences so that new paragraphs are started mid sentance, with no attention to proper punctuation, upper case/lower case, and incorrect indentation. The sheer sloppiness of the format really detracts from the enjoyment of reading the book.