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William Tyndale: A Biography

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More About This Textbook

Overview

This major biography traces the dramatic life of William Tyndale, the first person to translate the Bible into English from the original Greek and Hebrew, and discusses the profound religious, literary, intellectual, and social implications of his immense achievement. Tyndale's masterful translation, which gave the laity access to God, formed the basis of all English bibles, including the "King James Bible," and made significant and lasting contributions to the English language.
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Editorial Reviews

J. Enoch Powell
A massive contribution to the history of the Reformation in England.
Donald Dean Smeeton
Stunning both in presentation and content. . . . Daniell carves away the popular myths and reveals an individual of heroic proportions.
Fredrica Harris Thompsett
A long-awaited masterpiece.
Library Journal
This biography of the first translator to render the Hebrew and Greek biblical texts directly into English is twice timely: the last definitive biography is over 50 years old, and 1994 is the quincentenary of Tyndale's birth (as far as that date can be established). Daniell (English, Univ. of London), the editor of Tyndale's Old and New Testaments, is well suited to his present task. This work is simultaneously an intellectual biography and a history of Tyndale's life and times. Daniell effectively sets the historical stage, anticipating the Church of Rome's hostility to Tyndale's efforts, and also clearly prepares the reader for Tyndale's translation decisions. A special strength of this study is the revelation that Tyndale's childhood in Gloucestershire, as much as his Oxford education, prepared him for the task of translation and, by extension, of uniting the disparate dialects of 16th-century England. In addition, Daniell prudently refuses easy speculation where previous biographers have succumbed. Thoroughly researched by one who knows Tyndale the person as well as Tyndale the translator, this book supersedes previous biographies and is stongly recommended for biography and religion collections.-W. Alan Froggatt, Bridgewater, Conn.
J. Enoch Powell
A massive contribution to the history of the Reformation in England.
Times Higher Education Supplement
Donald Dean Smeeton
Stunning both in presentation and content. . . . Daniell carves away the popular myths and reveals an individual of heroic proportions.
Sixteenth Century Journal
Fredrica Harris Thompsett
A long-awaited masterpiece.
Journal of Religion
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300068801
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 398,817
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2006

    Triumph of the Truth

    When studying religion, literature, or history, it is easy for the average reader to become overwhelmed. Every now and then a writer comes along who has a unique gift for being able to assimilate complex subject matter and present it in simple terms, without sacrificing accuracy or insulting their readers intelligence. To do this, it is necessary for a writer to truly be an expert on the subject you are discussing (which often involves many years, sometimes a lifetime, of hard work) while also being able to convey this knowledge to readers who most likely are nowhere near the level of expertise of the writer. Teachers from elementary school level on up to doctoral advisers at a University know this (most of them). Roland Bainton and Heiko Oberman were such writers. David Daniell is another. In this book, William Tyndale: A Biography, Daniell is writing about another such writer. William Tyndale, as Daniell clearly articulates in the book, was able to become a master of his craft (namely, the Bible, and especially in the original languages of Greek and Hebrew) and then to present the Bible in English to the readers of his time period (and well beyond, as Daniell also demonstrates). Daniell, like Tyndale, is concerned to be as direct and clear to his readers as possible, while still giving the reader much to ponder. It is the mark of a gifted historian (such as Bainton and Oberman were, and Daniell is) that he is able to draw on what is obviously a wealth of knowledge on the subject matter at hand, without making his readers feel stupid. Daniell's research and expertise can withstand the boldest criticism, but he is not there to boast. As Daniell shows, neither was Tyndale. Instead the goal is to teach, and Daniell teaches very well and also respects his student, the reader. Tyndale likewise had a heart for the unlearned many who were starving for the Word of God. As Daniell correctly observes, it is Tyndale, not Shakespeare, who has made the English language what it is today. Tyndale did this through the Greek and Hebrew of the Bible. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the English Bible, or history or religion in general. William Tyndale is perhaps the most important figure in Bible history, and especially relevant today amid the controversies raging over the King James Version (mostly Tyndale's work) and modern translations. Tyndale's faith will also challenge any reader to evaluate their own beliefs in light of the Bible. John Bunyan has been called 'The Living Bible.' Yet the same might also be said of Tyndale, who gave Bunyan, and the rest of us, our English Bible, at the cost of his own life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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