Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: On William Tyndale

William Tyndale came around one hundred years after Wickliffe and Huss. But though there is no writing in this book on any martyrs in-between that time, we know that there were very many martyrs—thousands of them. The Roman church was relentless in killing true Christians. It was part of their Babylonian roots.

Well, Tyndale was brought up from a child in the University of Oxford, where Wickliffe taught. But he moved on to Cambridge and other schools to pursue more degrees. He became a master at translating the Scriptures, as Wickliffe was. And, it was not uncommon, wherever he abided, that priests of the church came against him, saying that his words were heresy. So, Tyndale, rather than fight, moved around from place to place seeking for places to do his translation work. He went to London and also to Germany—where he had good words and learning from Martin Luther.

Tyndale was constantly grieved that people everywhere did not have the Scriptures available to them in their mother tongue. So, it was his goal to translate the Scriptures for them, even though the evil church did the opposite. They wanted to hide the Scriptures from their eyes in order that they could delude and control the people. Some said that Tyndale’s translations were wrong, that there were thousands of heresies in it. Some said that it was not possible to translate the Scriptures correctly and that it was not lawful for the people to have them in their mother tongue, and that it would make them rebel against the church and the king.

There was one (and others also) that plotted against Tyndale. He would buy his translations, then would burn them. Another time the devil came against him so that he suffered shipwreck, in which he lost all his books, writings, copies, and money so that he had to begin his work all over again. Yet, there were some copies that survived, and Tyndale’s work became a key link in the translation of the Scriptures, even from the original manuscripts—so important.

At the end, he, being plotted against, was brought to prison in England. And by the emperor’s decree was tied to a stake and consumed with fire. As he began to be burned, he cried with a loud voice, “Lord! Open the king of England’s eyes.”

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