06 February 2012

Tyndale, Book Review

Book description:

A beautiful literary tribute to William Tyndale, the poet-martyr-expatriate-outlaw-translator who gave us our English Bible.
The English Bible was born in defiance. It was also born in exile, in flight, in a kind of exodus. And these are the very elements that empowered William Tyndale in his bid to bring the English Scripture to the common citizen. Being "a stranger in a strange land," the very homesickness he struggled with, gave life to the words of Jesus, Paul, and to the wandering Moses. Tyndale's efforts ultimately cost him his life, a price he was certain he would have to pay. But his contribution to English spirituality is measureless.
Even five centuries after his death at the stake, Tyndale's presence looms wherever English is spoken. His single word innovations, such as "Passover," "beautiful," and "atonement" allowed the common man to more fully understand God's blessings and promises. His natural lyricism shines in phrases like "Let not your hearts be troubled," and "for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory." Every time we say the Lord's Prayer as it is written in the King James Bible or use the word "love" as it is written in 1 Corinthians 13 or bless others with "The Lord bless thee and keep thee, the Lord make his face to shine upon thee," we are reminded of the rich bounty Tyndale has given us.
Although Tyndale has been somewhat elusive to his biographers, Teems brings wit and wisdom to the story of the man known as the "architect of the English language," the English Paul who defied a kingdom and a tyrannical church to introduce God to the plowboy.

My thoughts:

With such a book description my curiosity was piqued and I requested this book knowing little else than the name of the man who gave the world the English Bible.
The King James version was the first complete English Bible made available to those unable to read Latin or Greek. In 'Tyndale' we discover the fascinating persona of the gentle man responsible for the majority of the translation of the Scriptures,  and this from the Latin, Greek and original Hebrew 'linguis'.

A graduate of Oxford University William Tyndale was blessed with a clarity of mind and a love of the Scriptures which became the driving force in his life.
In direct conflict with the Medieval Roman Catholic Church Tyndale believed the Bible should be available to all. Branded an heretic, his letters and works, deemed blasphemous by the Church, were confiscated and even burned. Yet he continued throughout his life to seek clearer words for his translations, thus making God a legible, English speaking God.
David Teems extensive research and documentation reveals a fascinating man and the Bible whose first English translation was printed in the year 1526. Tyndale was exiled, virtually hunted and his life was continually threatened. This contemporary of such as Thomas More and Shakespeare translated the New and the Old Testament yet he remains uncelebrated!
Imprisoned in Vilvorde, Belgium he was finally executed on 6 Octobre 1536. The Church thought to silence him forever...They were wrong.

It has taken me almost 6 weeks to finish this book and it is truly a page turner! This is after all an important part of history and I love to read anything historical particularly when it is this well told!
This blog post could not bring justice to this incredible compilation! Interested readers should know the extensive bibliography and notes included with Teems' book are of enormous worth!  Anyone wishing to understand the historical issues behind Tyndale amazing life's work should read this!

Finally, through David Teems in-depth catalog of Tyndale's beliefs, letters and works, we may now 'visualize' the man behind the English Bible and thus give him perhaps a little of the status he so deserves.

In turn Mr. Teems' work deserves 5 stars and a special place on my bookshelves!

About the author:

'Behold the Lamb of God
I am the way, the truth, and the life...

Seek, and ye shall find
In Him we live, move, and have our being...'

On his website (here) David Teems reminds us that the 'King James Bible was published in 1611 and thus it  allowed God to speak to us in his accustomed beauty and highness, and with an English voice.
The translation of William Tyndale some eighty-five years earlier, at a time when an English translation of the Bible was not only against the law in England, it was punishable by death was the beginning...'

I received this book free from BOOKSNEEZE Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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