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Tyndale's New Testament ("Ploughboy" Edition, 1534)

Product no.: 0-300-06580-9
Tyndale studied at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, could speak seven languages, and became skilled in Hebrew and Greek.

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Publisher's Synopsis

When the Renaissance scholar Erasmus published a Greek edition of the New Testament, Tyndale discovered the truths of justification by faith and the priesthood of all believers. He realized that the English people were in darkness, following errors and superstition, because of their ignorance of the Scriptures. Tyndale found his own purpose in life expressed in Erasmus' preface to his New Testament:

"Christ wishes his mysteries to be published as widely as possible. I would wish even all women to read the gospel and the epistles of St. Paul, and I wish that they were translated into all languages of all Christian people, and that they might be read and known, not merely by the Scotch and the Irish, but even by the Turks and the Saracens."

Tyndale exhorted that it was "in the language of Israel that the Psalms were sung in the temple of Jehovah; and shall not the gospel speak the language of England among us?... Ought the church to have less light at noonday than at dawn?... Christians must read the New Testament in their mother tongue." Tyndale determined to give the English people a translation of the Bible that even a ploughboy could understand.

It is difficult to understate Tyndale's influence on Biblical translation and on the English language as a whole. Later versions of the Bible rely heavily on his translation (some have estimated that 80% of the King James New Testament is taken directly from Tyndale). Phrases like "let there be light," "am I my brother's keeper," "the powers that be," "blessed are the peacemakers," and "the truth shall make you free" are all from Tyndale.

Tyndale was hunted down like a dog and executed in 1536, unable to complete his translation of the Old Testament. It seems a miscarriage of justice that this scholar be ignored by the Catholic Church. At least a "Blessed" status would be a step in the right direction.


"The achievement of Tyndale was staggering, to be summed up in three points. Firstly, though there had been an English version of the Bible beforehand, stemming from Wyclif, this had been from the Latin Vulgate; Tyndale was the first to press the revival classical learning into service by translating from the original Greek - and, in his incomplete Old Testament, from the Hebrew. Secondly, his version was, unacknowledged, the basis of the Authorised Version, and so of all modern English translations... Thirdly, his sheer brilliance as a translator is thrilling... But the flow and attractiveness of his version is universally winning, in a way that only one who has struggled with the problems of translation can fully appreciate."      ~Henry Wansbrough, Catholic Herald

"The best buy of the year... It is beautifully printed, sewn with a ribbon marker, and Daniell provides a spirited Introduction, giving Tyndale praise usually accorded 'the 1611 Authorised Version'. Daniell is at his best giving vent to justified loathing for the wretched mistranslation and worse prose of the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible, and the Good News Bible."        ~Stanley Stewart, Studies in English Literature

"This publication of Tyndale is the first time ever that this classic version has been published in modern spelling. Consequently this masterly work of English prose by one of the great geniuses of the age is finally available to today's reader. The binding and format are suitably handsome and the price remarkably reasonable."      ~Gerald Studer, Bible Collector's World

Author Christ, Jesus the
Translator Daniell, David
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 429 pp.
Publisher Yale University 1995
Browse these categories as well: The Historical Christ, Biblical Exegesis and Pseudepigrapha, Masterworks of the Western Mystery Tradition

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