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Friday, May 25, 2018

Luis Palau Rewrites The History of William Tyndale

K-Love radio offers a daily short message from Luis Palau. I take each vignette on its own. Sometimes I think he's OK, other times, not so much.

Today, Palau ventured into an area about which I would usually get excited, He was talking about William Tyndale. Tyndale happens to be a personal hero of mine. Of course, that doesn't mean I agree with everything he taught, but he is a very important figure in the history of the church of this age, We owe him quite a lot.

If you don't know who William Tyndale is, you're probably familiar with at least some of his work. It is estimated that at least 70% of the KJV New Testament is based on his translation of scripture to English (unfortunately, the KJV translators were under the influence of the state church, but we'll leave that there). Much of the KJV Old Testament reflects his work as well.

Because of his work translating and publishing the Bible in English, he was sentenced to die. For years he avoided capture by escaping to Germany and the Netherlands. But eventually he was betrayed, arrested, and sentenced.

"Tyndale was tried and convicted of heresy and treason and put to death by being strangled and burned at the stake."
-BBC History

In addition to translating the scriptures into English, he also tried to rescue Biblical truth from the Pagan mythology that dominated it for centuries. He exalted the resurrection (Christ's and ours). He fought vociferously for the finished work of Christ and the centrality of the resurrection.

"The true faith [setteth forth] the resurrection, which we be warned to look for every hour. The heathen philosophers, denying that, did [set forth] that the souls did ever live. And the pope joineth the spiritual doctrine of Christ and the fleshly doctrine of philosophers together; things so contrary that they cannot agree, no more than the Spirit and the flesh do in a Christian man. And because the fleshly-minded pope consenteth unto heathen doctrine, therefore he corrupteth the Scripture to stablish it."
-William Tyndale (An Answer to Sir Thomas More's Dialogue )
"Notwithstanding, let me grant it him that some are already in hell and some in heaven, which thing he shall never be able to prove by the Scriptures, yea, and which plainly destroy the resurrection, and taketh away the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul do prove that we shall rise;... and as touching this point where they rest, I dare be bold to say that they are in the hand of God.
-William Tyndale (An Answer to John Fisher)

So why was I not terribly excited about Luis Palau pointing to Tyndale?

Well, I'm happy Tyndale got some press, but Palau did him and his listeners a great disservice by saying he was a "pastor." No, he was an ordained priest. And he wasn't persecuted by unbelievers, but by a church which claims its doctrines can never change. He was excommunicated and eventually executed.

“Let the Protestants of England never forget William Tyndale. His life-work was to bring the Bible within reach even of the humblest peasant. And for no other offence than this, the Church hounded him to his death, never resting till it strangled him at the stake and flung his body to the flames.”
-Sir Robert Anderson (The Silence of God)

I highly recommend the book, "God's Bestseller: William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible - A Story of Martyrdom and Betrayal"