Posts Tagged William Tyndale
October 31st 20017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Christians and people from all around the world are making ready to celebrate and remember this major turning point in the history of the Church.
In my opinion, John Rylands Library, Manchester has the greatest Biblical archive in Britain and holds some of the finest examples of 16th century printed Bibles anywhere in the world. As a contribution to this momentous and unique anniversary, Rylands library, Deansgate is holding an autumn Reformation exhibition starting on 7th September 2017 through to 4th March 2018.
According to the John Rylands website, the Reformation exhibition will focus upon central persons of the Reformation, Martin Luther, Henry V111 and William Tyndale and “will explore the early years of the upheaval and the roles of these three men, considering the war in print which had a lasting effect on the history of Europe through propaganda, words and ideas.”
Today, an awakening is happening, people all over are talking about reformation. Yet there are a number of false new reformations taking place, and the Church of England is jumping back into bed again with Rome, but there is also a true Reformation. Thus, I look unto Christ, in anticipation and expectation of what God is going to do and is doing in the future history of His people.
The exhibition is free and I will certainly be attending and no doubt re-attending.
It is upon us. It is ongoing. Now is the time!
Watch it now from 5Th November 2013
On Thursday 7th June at 9pm the BBC broadcast a new documentary on William Tyndale. This documentary was written and presented by Melvyn Bragg.
I was in Scotland that day and I was unsure if I was going to be able to catch the film. I am glad I did.
But such is not always the case.
These days when it comes to Christianised documentaries by the BBC, I often roll my eyes or become irritated by the constant errors and prejudice the documentaries manifest. So often the BBC presents far fetched and somewhat speculative scholarship and narrow minded claims against Christian Truths and Truth in general. But such was not the case with “The Most Dangerous man in Tudor England”. In fact, in my view this was better than ten years worth of BBC documentaries and BBC films rolled into one.
I enjoy researching the life and works of Tyndale and after a number of years research into his New Testament with many actual original prints of the Tyndale New Testament and his writings at Chethams Library and John Rylands Library, I can say Melvyn Bragg presented an honest, none-prejudice telling of the life of England’s greatest Biblical Scholar.
What I would say is that if any viewers or my readers are unaware of the life and teachings of William Tyndale and of his translation, then look him up, research him from his actual writings and of course his translation.
And to the BBC, please, in the spirit of accuracy, lets have a little less prejudice and more Truth.
May the God of William Tyndale, the Salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with Melvyn Bragg and with you all. Amen
Tyndales New Testament. 1534 edition (modern spelling by David Daniell)
Works of William Tyndale. 2 Volumes
The Obedience of a Christian man by William Tyndale
William Tyndale. A Biography by David Daniell
Also you can find my William Tyndale Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Life-and-Teachings-of-William-Tyndale/192363984132613
“For the time is come that the judgement must begin at the house of God”
1 Peter 4: 17
In the immediate context of the given passage of 1 Peter 4: 17, we can derive from the text that Peter is addressing the now historical Temple in ancient Jerusalem and the destruction which Jesus prophesied would come about upon the temple, as recorded for us in Matthew 24: 2.
This prophecy was fulfilled in AD 66-70 when prince Titus by order of Vespasian destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem with his army and not one stone of the historical Temple complext was left standing upon another. Yet, aside from the historical aspect and literal reading of the text, we can derive from the following text of 1 Peter 4 and verse 17 “and if it first begin with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” that the Lord’s aim of rebuking and judging His church is that the church might be restored so that judgement might begin upon the world so that they too may come to Him and repent. This initial context of this passage being the Jews who did not obey the gospel, but rejected Jesus as Messiah. But on a broader and wider application of the text, this can also apply to judgement falling upon Christ’s church who so often fall, as did the ancient Jews by either denying Jesus, continuing in sin or denying what is written in favour of their traditions. Jesus is the Word of God, so deny the Word, you deny Christ. Thus, Christ so often calls out for His people to repent that safe territory and good teaching may be offered them who are new to the faith. But how can this come, when the much of the church is fallen and those who stand are not teaching accurate doctrines?
We see that in the days when Jesus walked upon the earth, the established Jewish church was in an ungodly condition, they were very prosperous, critical scholars, arrogant, believing that they were chosen and others not, the pharisees were ruling by their own authority, they were wealthy and they were ‘to speak in modern terms’ the head professors of the scriptures, the literal interpreters of the scriptures, yet as common with powers up at the top, they were the ones who were actually denying the scriptures and leading others away with them in their errors.
CHRISTIANITY IN ENGLAND TODAY
Now, today within the body of Christ there is much confusion and division. From a perspective viewed from England, some Protestant congregations within the UK are falling in numbers, and the many evangelical congregations who are holding to Biblical truth are forced to separate themselves and form independent gatherings of their own, these gatherings often happen in houses and other venues such as public halls and rented rooms. The churches which succeed in these areas are often flourishing in numbers.
The more established official state church such as the Church of England are largely divided and many are liberal in thinking and hold to modern ideologies and theologies and I certainly would argue are re-interpreting the Bible in favour of evolutionary science, feminism, varying times, passing winds, popular cultures and so forth.
The Church of England today certainly does not hold to its foundations and the likes of Pilkington and Cranmer would turn in their graves if they could. There can be little doubt that the Church of England is in desperate need of reform, a reform which may be happening from within. However, I fear that unless the Church of England is reformed, then Christianity in Britain will be reduced to a powder within the next 200 years and a less tolerant religion will take its place in an England that will never be the same again.
Yet, unlike the Church of England and its attempts to re-interpret Biblical truth with modern evolutionary science and feminism and so forth, some Baptist churches which are loyal to the Bible and have a good grasp of Biblical Theology are growing in numbers and God is with them. Whereas, independent Congregational and reformed gatherings in England are largely stuck in the puritan past and lack the Biblical movement and the presence of the Holy Spirit and more modern visual presentation. All too many reformed gatherings in England are greatly lacking and will not move from 20th century presentation to 21st century. Many even fail basic evangelism due to some form of hyper Calvinism.
In short and with all these denominations and people in mind, to sum the situation up with a few lines: one congregation follows one doctrine and another follows another doctrine. One Christian believes one doctrine and another believes another doctrine, both being faithful to the Biblical narrative in one way or another.
Yet many evangelical churches within England are influenced by the more leading figures of Christian teaching which is coming out of America. Today however in contrast to England, in America cults are fast growing and many Christian denominations are also popular and spreading. However, research reveals that many of the more faithful larger and modern American churches, from denominations such as Baptist, reformed and even Arminian Churches, many are moving and growing fast, much of them being reformed or Arminian in doctrine and young in their approach are multiplying. Celebrity pastors are on the rise.
Yet much division can still be seen amongst the people, and far too many genuine Christians are all too often at war with each other, un-reasonable, often slanderous and yet both sides are part of the same coin. Many being faithful in some way to what they see in the Biblical narrative.
Yet Modern Reformed Christianity, often linked with so-called ‘Calvinism’ particularly in America claims to hold firm to the ideals of the 16th century Reformation, yet many within that denomination are so systematised by their own interpretation of the scriptures that they make a heretic out of anyone who does not agree with their theology. When all the time, it may be they who need reforming!
It is my opinion that Reformed doctrine in its 16th century form is very Biblical, yet much modern reformed doctrine has moved away from its 16th century stand point, but even still, I think modern reformed doctrine is much more Biblical than the Arminian view, and I hold to much Reformed doctrine as good doctrine and agree a great deal with the principles and Theology of the 16th century reformation. However, I believe with the authority of scripture, that some modern Reformers do greatly err on doctrines such as double predestination and limited atonement. However, modern Reformers believe they are correct and often present themselves as almost exclusive to the truth and often claim that ‘Arminians do not worship the God of the Bible’. Yet at the same time many embrace John Wesley and sing Weslyan hymns. Thus, the claim that Arminians worship another God is pathetic, since some of the greatest revivals in church history came through the likes of John Wesley, so how can anyone claim that God stand not with Arminians? Likewise Arminians also fall into this pathetic argument when they battle against Calvinists and believe they are more Biblically accurate and often refer to Calvinists as worshipping another ‘god’ which is not the God of the Bible. (Note: I use the lower case ‘g’ in referrence to both arguements) However, this arguement of Calvinists and Arminians worshipping two gods, is pathetic and untrue. Differing on interpretation of certain doctrines such as predestination, election, universal offering of salvation, limited or un-limited atonement is one thing, but worshipping another god is another matter.
The question I ask is this: Is not possible that both Calvinists and Arminians could be correct in some way and what the areas which lack in Arminianism can be answered in Calvinism? And the areas which lack in Calvinism can be answered in Arminianism?
Many may laugh or hate my asking that question, yet if we look at the original Reformation teaching of Wycliffe and Tyndale, many modern Calvinistic reformers who limit the Bible to their systems would say that both Wycliffe and Tyndale were Arminians, and although Wycliffe, Tyndale and Luther believed in predestination, neither believed that anyone was predestined to hell. So which doctine is truly reformed?
It seems to me that what is said to be reformed doctrine in the 21st century, is not 100% reformed, but 5 point Calvinism, a system of thought which Calvin himself may not have actually taught and dates back to the 17th century and not 100% accurate to the original 16th century Reformation teachings which were held in 16th century England by Tyndale, Cranmer, Pilkington, Hooker and so forth. This can also be said of Luthers reformation which certainly did not agree with 5 point Calvinism.
One problem is, that many today think of the word reformed as implying Calvinism, which is untrue. That is just one branch of reformed thinking, made popular by our American brothers and the revival of Puritan books.
“If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
Mark 3: 24-25
Jesus said a house divided cannot stand, yet Christianity today is massively divided and much of this division comes through a wide number of issues, some are loyal to the Biblical narrative, some are not. Some are honest, some are lying. Who then is correct?
Thus, I must ask: Where is the Bible and the Holy Spirit in all this muddle? Is the Holy Spirit who leads a man into all truth as found in the Biblical text itself not what the heart of the reformation was all about? That the Bible was to be in the hands of everyman, and that the Holy Spirit who reveals all truth would guide a man into the truth of God? Thus, the Spirit and the Word, the Word and the Spirit. If yes, then why is there so much doctrinal and personal division within Christianity today?
Thus, division is nothing new, we can find it throughout church history, and if we look at today’s church, we will see that many of the same errors happening in our time as what we saw during the time of the reformation.
There is little doubt to me that the church has gone around in circles and needs to return back once again to what the Bible actually teaches, and to cease from denying what is actually written in favour of personal bias, traditions, established creeds, confessions and ideas of men both from history and from the moderns.
Thus, if the church is to ever move forwards and be truly united in Christ and in His truth, then the leading sides of Arminians and Calvinists, need to cease from denying texts in re-interpreting them, to fit their doctrines and many of today’s major leaders within Christianity, who’s influence upon Christendom is vast and, must return to the actual Biblical narrative once again.
Thus, this is not a call out to dismiss all that has gone before or what God has done throughout the history of His church, but more a call out for the leaders to move on and return to the future.
In total contrast to the desire many have for revival, it will not come until the house of God is put in order first. It is reformation we need, not revival.
For, I believe the time is now that God by His Spirit is calling out for a fresh reformation of His church and her doctrine and is calling for the leaders in both England and America to whom He has given great authority and power to lead His people, to seek Him more now than ever before, and to awake and prepare for the reality of a coming reformation of Christ’s Holy Church.
“What a trade is that of the priests. They want money for every thing: money for baptism, money for churchings, for weddings, for buryings, for images, brotherhoods, penances, soul-masses, bells, organs, chalices, copes, surplices, ewers, censors, and all manner of ornaments. Poor sheep! The parson shears, the vicar shaves, the parish priest polls, the friar scrapes, the indulgence seller pares ….. all that you want is a butcher to flay you and take away your skin”
(Obedience of a Christian Man)
Matthew 16: 18 as translated in most Bibles is an over literal reading. Willaim Tyndale in his 1526 New Testament used the word ‘Congregation‘ in translation of of the Greek “Ekklesia“.
It is this exact term which is likely that Myles Coverdale employed this word and translation from Tyndale. The Greek ‘ekklēsia‘ holds the meaning of ‘assembly‘ and it is likely that Tyndale translated this word correctly, even more so than many other translations.
This wording is not contained in many translations, but it is in the Tyndale NT, The Coverdale Bible and the Bishops Bible.
Even in such texts as Revelation 2: 9, where the Greek ‘sunagoge‘ is used, Tyndale employs the same word ‘Congregation‘. Which no doubt has many complications for the established ‘Church’. For, in Tyndales understanding, the congregation is the Church and her leadership and not the established order of the Clergy or Kings.
Is there any wonder why the established ‘state’ church burned his translation?
The late and somewhat outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens in his popular book “God is not great” made many claims from both history and the present and from historical texts, religious texts and books regarded as sacred by many, out of which he attempted to dismatle the walls of religion brick by brick by applying the written content towards his criticism based upon his logic and interpretation of which his claims towards history. It is clear that his understanding of religious narratives have impacted the lives of many modern atheists and religious folk today.
Hitchens certainly wrote a book in which he attempted to grind his axe against all things religious and Christian. Yet the problem is that many folks regard this book as somewhat dynamic and excellent, yet many of them are ignorant of the clear cut errors of Hitchens work.
One such error is in his claim that devout Christian men such as John Wycliffe, Myles Coverdale and Tyndale were all burned alive at the stake.
In his book, “God is not great” Hitchens writes the following, quote; “Devout men like Wycliffe, Coverdale, and Tyndale were burned alive…”
This is simply not accurate at all. Although he was correct that Tyndale was burned, he was not burned alive, on the contrary, Tyndale was strangled first, then his body was burned and the facts remain that early English Bible translator John Wycliffe was not burned alive at all, but suffered a stroke on 28 December 1384 during a service at Lutterworth Church and died the last day of that month. Wycliife was not burned alive at the stake.
Likewise, early Bible translator Myles Coverdale was not burned alive as Hitchens claimed but died on 20th January 1569 at London of natural causes.
What is clear to me is that Hitchens was so intent on lashing out in a war of words against all thing religious, that his own bitterness towards Christianity is demonstrated by his total lack of ability to even present accurate research into the historical facts behind one of the religions which he was so vehemently attacking.