The Life & Legacy of William Tyndale

Date: October 3, 2023
Host: Jim Schneider
​Guest: Dr. David Brown
MP3 | Order

We have it pretty easy in America as it pertains to religious liberty.  We can go to Bible teaching churches each Sunday, listen to Christian radio, watch Christian television, hand out Gospel tracts, and even view the Bible on our smartphones, all in our own language, and enjoy it without fear of being arrested by the secret police.

Some of you may not be aware but there’s a critical figure in church history who died so we can have the Bible in English.  That person is William Tyndale.

Returning to Crosstalk to tell the fascinating history behind this man was Dr. David Brown.  Dr. Brown is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Theology and PhD in History, specializing in the history of the English Bible.  He’s the president of the King James Bible Research Council.  He is also the President of Logos Communication Consortium, a research organization that produces a large variety of materials warning Christians of present dangers in our culture.  Pastor Brown is an author of The Indestructible Book: Examining the History of our English Bible.

Dr. Brown described William Tyndale as, “…the man that God used to help break the vice-grip/grasp of the Roman Catholic Church on the people because Rome only wanted them to have a Bible in Latin and didn’t even want the common man to read a Bible in Latin.”  God, however, raised up Tyndale and in 1526 he brought us the first English New Testament.  

Tyndale was born in 1494 from a wealthy family near North Nibley, Gloucestershire.  He was ordained in 1515 as a Roman Catholic priest, then from 1517-1521 he attended Cambridge which was a “hotbed” for the Greek New Testament of Erasmus and the teachings of Martin Luther.  Tyndale was saved there as he began reading the Greek and the Latin New Testament and this created a desire within him to see others be able to read God’s word.     

Dr. Brown described an encounter Tyndale had with another Roman Catholic priest, who in frustration over Tyndale always quoting the Bible, said, “We were better to be without God’s law than the Pope’s.  “Tyndale responded, “I defy the Pope and all his laws; if God spare my life, ere many years past, I will cause that a boy that driveth the plow shall know more of the Scripture than thou dost!” 

In 1522, Tyndale took the work of Erasmus and meticulously translated his Greek text into English.  This also got him into trouble and a warrant was issued for his arrest.  You’ll hear how Tyndale was betrayed by a man named Henry Phillips who pretended to be his friend.  Phillips set up a supper meeting where soldiers were prepared to grab Tyndale.  The plot worked and Tyndale was arrested and put in prison for 500 days.  However, he never moved from the idea that faith alone justifies.  On October 6, 1536, he was burned to ashes, but before that his last words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” 

Dr. Brown brings much more detail, and you can hear it all, on this historical look back at the life of William Tyndale. 

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