The Works of William Tyndale

TyndaleA review of The Works of William Tyndale

The Banner of Truth Trust have blessed us with a two volume edition of The Works of William Tyndale. Inside, these are facsimiles of the 1849 and 1850 Parker Society volumes, and begin with a 76 page biography of Tyndale (1494-1536), who was of course a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation and a courageous and talented biblical translator.

These substantial volumes contain his key works, The Practice of Prelates, A Pathway into Holy Scripture, and The Obedience of a Christian Man (the latter of which was very influential on Henry VIII), a whole raft of his prologues to various books of the Bible (greatly influenced by Luther), and his expositions of the Sermon on the Mount and 1 John.

Tyndale was very much interested in what has become known as covenant theology (“Seek therefore in the scripture, as thou readest it, chiefly and above all, the covenants made between God and us”), and took what has come to be thought of as a Calvinist stance on many issues, including the atonement (“Christ’s blood only putteth away all the sin that ever was, is, or shall be, from them that are elect”).

His Reformation sacramentology will surprise some modern evangelicals, (“the sacraments which Christ ordained preach God’s word unto us, and therefore justify, and minister the Spirit to them that believe”). But it always does us good to remember what our heroes in the faith, and martyrs, such as Tyndale, actually thought.

This review first appeared in Churchman 128/2 (2014).

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