By order of the Crown in 1537, the British laity received vernacular copies of the Scriptures—an historic event eventually facilitating the English Reformation. One year earlier, the man mostly responsible for translating those Scriptures was executed in accordance with an order from that same king. Open this issue of Christian History & Biography and delve into the famous and ironic life and death of a humble saint: William Tyndale.
Due to digital rights restrictions, this product may not include every image found in the print edition.
“Ironically, though More had many people executed because they denied the pope’s authority, his immovable commitment to that authority eventually led to his own death. When King Henry insisted on getting a divorce contrary to papal proclamations, then went on to declare that the pope no longer had authority in England, More told the king that he disagreed and would have to resign his post. Henry could not tolerate the public humiliation of having his closest advisor visibly questioning his wisdom, so he had More executed on trumped-up charges.” (source)
“This villain gradually befriended Tyndale, then induced Tyndale to venture onto the streets of Antwerp with him. There, Phillips signaled soldiers who ambushed Tyndale and seized him while he was walking down a narrow passage. He was taken to the state prison in the castle of Vilvoorde, near Brussels. After a year-and-a-half of confinement, Tyndale was strangled, then burnt at the stake in Brussels on October 6, 1536. His last words, reportedly, were ‘Lord, open the king of England’s eyes!’” (source)
“At a later date he expressed his dissatisfaction with the teaching of theology at the universities: ‘In the universities they have ordained that no man shall look on the Scripture until he be nozzled in heathen learning eight or nine years, and armed with false principles with which he is clean shut out of the understanding of the Scripture.’” (source)
“That many of the English Catholic parish priests in Tyndale’s day were so corrupt that they were widely known as ‘common drunkards’ and regular hosts at their abbeys to ‘brothel women’? Even Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the pope’s personal representative in England, lived with a ‘wife’ for several years and had two children, then gave her away to another man, complete with dowry!” (source)