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, in exile, in flight, and in a form of exodus, the very elements that empowered William Tyndale 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, 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, 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.