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Archive for October, 2011

On this day in 1536, William Tyndale was executed for translating the Bible into English for the people of England — so that the common man could read the Bible for himself.  It was illegal in England to read the Bible in English.

The priests of the Roman Church read it to the people in Latin, but few people spoke Latin; they spoke English.  After years spent translating the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament into English, Tyndale had been smuggling thousands of Bibles into England from his exile in Holland.

The Church paid people to spy on Tyndale and to capture him, which one trusted confidant of Tyndale’s did.  Tyndale was burned at the stake and while engulfed in flames prayed aloud, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes!”

A few short years later, the king of England commissioned the Bible to be translated and printed in English and he made it legal to own a copy of the Bible.  This translation is known to us as the King James Bible, which was available to the people in 1611.  Now 400 years later, we also celebrate that world-changing event.

But all of this came about from the courage of one man — William Tyndale.

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