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William Tyndale, the man who translated the Bible into English and was burnt alive at the ridiculous young age of 42 years old, for his efforts. (Google Foxe's book of Martyrs.)


Nearly 500 years ago, this week, William Tyndale, fondly called 'Father of the English Bible' was strangled and burned at the stake after being tried and convicted of heresy and reason for translating the Bible into English.


HIS OFFENSE!

He translated the Greek Bible into English.


That you have a Bible in a language you can read is largely due to his labours, and many of the very phrases you read in it retain the flavour of his understanding of the Greek and Hebrew.


A graduate of Oxford and Cambridge, Tyndale had a powerful desire to make the Bible available even to the common people in England, in order to correct the 'Biblical ignorance of the priests.' At one point Tyndale told a priest, "If God spares my life, are many years pass, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow, shall know more of the Scriptures than thou dost."


Today, 90% of the King James Version of the Holy Bible and 75% of the Revised Standard Version are from the translation made by Tyndale, a man to whom you owe more than you'll ever know.


A nice dream, but how was Tyndale to accomplish his task, when translating the Bible into English was ILLEGAL at the time?'


He went to London to ask Bishop Tunstall if he could be authorised to make an English translation of the Bible, but the Bishop would not grant his approval.


However, Tyndale would not let the disapproval of men stop him from carrying out what seemed so obviously God's will. With encouragement and support of some British merchants, he decided to go to Europe to complete his translation, then have it printed and smuggled back into England.


In 1524 Tyndale sailed for Germany. In Hamburg, he worked on the New Testament, and in Cologne, he found a printer who would print the work. However, news of Tyndale's activity came to an opponent of the Reformation who had the press raided.