6 October 1536 A.D. Mr. (Rev.) William Tyndale strangled and burned. See Prof. David Daniell’s book.
Daniell, David. The Bible in English: Its History and Influence. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003. http://www.amazon.com/The-Bible-English-History-Influence/dp/0300099304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385668294&sr=8-1&keywords=david+daniell+english+bible
Prof. David Daniell is Emeritus Professor of English at the University College London. He is an honorary Fellow of Hertford and St. Catherine’s colleges, Oxford. He has authored articles and books on Shakespeare and the Arden edition of Julius Caesar. He edited the Penguin edition of William Tyndale’s Obedience of a Christian Man. Yale University Press published his editions of Tyndale’s New Testament and Tyndale’s Old Testament. He is also the author of that magnum opus: William Tyndale: A Biography. The latter is a must-read.
PU Chapter 9, William Tyndale, 1494—1536, pages 133-159
Again, this is long, but should be digested and memorialized. One saying is worth memorializing from Tyndale: Rome is afraid of the Bible and the Bible will pull down the Pope (whom we call the Italian head-priest in Rome).
Prof. Daniell’s’ book is divided in “pre-printing” and “post-printing” periods in England. In the pre-print period: (1) Bible in Britain to AD 850, (2) the Anglo-Saxon Bibles and glosses, (3) Wyclif and Lollards, and (4) the 14th-15th centuries of severe Parliamentary, Canterburian, and Anglo-Italian repressions of the English Bible. In the “post-print” period, Prof Daniel’s discussed: (1) Erasmus’ Greek NT, 1516, with the Continent-wide explosion of vernacular Bibles, (2) the effects in the English Reformation and, now, chapter 9, (3) William Tyndale, AD 1494-1536.
By way of introduction, Prof. Daniell covers the: (1) significance of the printed Bible in England, (2) Tyndale’s early years, (3) Tyndale in Gloucestershire, (4) Tyndale in London, (5) Tyndale in Cologne, AD 1525, (6) Tyndale’s 1526 Worms NT, (7) Tyndale’s Parable of Wicked Mammon and The Obedience of the Christian Man, (8) Tyndale’s Pentateuch, (9) Tyndale, More and The Practice of Prelates, (9) Tyndale NT expositions, (10) Tyndale’s 1534 NT, (11) Tyndale and Frith, (12) Tyndale’s arrest and imprisonment, (13) the Inquisition (of the Italian agents = Popes and facilitators), (14) Tyndale’s Martyrdom, and (15) Tyndale’s legacy.
SIGNIFICANCE OF PRINTED BIBLE IN BRITAIN, 134-139.
The story of the Tudor Bibles used to be told as sacred history. But, in 20th century scholarship, for some, the Bible was “the foundation of monarchial authority…the textbook of morality and social subordination” (134). (Hill, Christopher. The English Bible and the Seventeenth Century Revolution. New York: Penguin Books, 1995, 5 Available at: http://www.amazon.com/The-English-Bible-Seventeenth-Century-Revolution/dp/0140159908/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386629716&sr=8-1&keywords=christopher+hill+the+english+bible.)On the other hand, the Bible was also the handbook for challenging monarchial absolutism. As Horace Greely would say centuries later, “It is impossible to subjugate a Bible-reading people.” Add in the martyrs of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, loyal to their governors, but not willing to yield on the sovereignty of the Risen Redeemer. Hear! Hear!
In the late 20th century, the latest twist is the denial of the Bible’s role. The Anglo-Italians, or English-Italian types, have argued that there was no Reformation except for the “high-powered destroyers” (135). The English Reformation was a “failure.”
Christopher Haigh is one such chap. Haigh, Christopher. English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society under the Tudors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Amazon.com offers the following: “`English Reformations’ is the new approach to the study of the Reformation in England. Christopher Haigh's reportedly disproves the facile assumption that the triumph of Protestantism was inevitable, and goes beyond the surface of official political policy to explore the religious views and practices of ordinary English people. With the benefit of hindsight, other historians have traced the course of the Reformation as a series of events inescapably culminating in the creation of the English Protestant establishment. Haigh sets out to recreate the sixteenth century as a time of excitement and insecurity, with each new policy or ruler causing the reversal of earlier religious changes. This is a scholarly and stimulating book, which challenges traditional ideas about the Reformation and offers a powerful and convincing alternative analysis.” Available at: http://www.amazon.com/English-Reformations-Religion-Politics-Society/dp/0198221622/ref=pd_cp_b_2
Mozley, J.F. Coverdale and His Bibles. James Clarke and Co., 2004. http://www.amazon.com/Coverdale-his-Bibles-J-Mozley/dp/0227172388/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386639887&sr=8-1&keywords=mozley+coverdale+and+his+bibles and William Tyndale. London: Society for the Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1937. http://www.amazon.com/William-Tyndale-J-F-Mozley/dp/B0010K2T4O/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386640490&sr=1-4). Prof. Daniell is not convinced, however. Tyndale did have Miles Coverdale and the Observant friar William Roy as assistants. He may have been joined by John Frith. Peter Quesnell, an eminent publisher who would print any respectable volume of any persuasion, including Tyndale, took to too much wine. “Under the influence” Quesnell told Cochlaeus (John Dobneck), a vitriolic and virulent anti-Lutheran, “the secret by which England was to be brought over to the side of Luther” (143). Palace intrigue inside the Anglo-Italian house, as it were. The print shop was raided by Imperialists. Tyndale and Roy escaped up the Rhine to a safe-city, Worms, Germany, home and center for famous rabbinic studies and Hebrew Bibles. Cochlaeus reported that the print-run of 3,000—6,000 volumes had happened. Matthew 1—22 made it into England, including the Prologue to Matthew, largely (about 2/3s) a translation of Luther with Tyndalian flourishes.
Fisher, John. The English Works of John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester (1469–1535): Sermons and other Writings, 1520–1535, edited by Cecilia A. Hatt, Oxford University Press, 2002. It’s a bit pricey, but we believe it will give insights. Mr. Fisher was an international scholar. He was vigorously combatting Luther and Oecolampadius in the 1520s. Where was Cranmer? Available at: http://www.amazon.com/English-Fisher-Bishop-Rochester-1469-1535/dp/0198270119/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376193120&sr=8-1&keywords=english+works+of+john+fisher Another edition that Ms. Hatt’s is available online: http://www.amazon.com/English-Fisher-Bishop-Rochester-1469-1535/dp/0198270119/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376193120&sr=8-1&keywords=english+works+of+john+fisher Also, available online, an 1877 edition of Fisher’s works, at: http://books.google.com/books?id=qV4Yv8RxRkEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=bishop+john+fisher&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3GUmUtj0GtC4sASb4oCYBg&ved=0CE4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=bishop%20john%20fisher&f=false
Harpsfield, Nicholas. The Pretended Divorce Between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. No location: Hardpress Publishing, 2013. It should be noted that Mr. Harpsfield was also a Marian and Papal apologist, who wrote several volumes. During Mary 1’s reign (1553—1558) he supervised 100s of criminal trials against Reformed Churchmen. Foxe says he was “pitiless.” He also replaced Mr. Cranmer’s brother as the Archdeacon of Canterbury. He also wrote The Six Dialogues. Mr. Harpsfield did brig time under Ms. (Queen) Elizabeth 1. The Pretended Divorce is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Treatise-Pretended-Divorce-Between-Catharine/dp/131452285X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374952856&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=nicholas+harpsfield+the+pretended+divorce+of+catherine+of+aragon It is also available online at: http://books.google.com/books?id=z_gIAAAAIAAJ&dq=nicholas+harpsfield+the+pretended+divorce+of+catherine+of+aragon&source=gbs_book_similarbooks
We capture something of Latomus here:
“Trial and death
“Frith was tried before many examiners and bishops, and produced his own writings as evidence for his views that were deemed as heresy. He was sentenced to death by fire and offered a pardon if he answered positively to two questions: Do you believe in purgatory, and do you believe in transubstantiation? He replied that neither purgatory nor transubstantiation could be proven by Holy Scriptures, and thus was condemned as a heretic and was transferred to the secular arm for his execution on 23 June 1533. He was burned at the stake on 4 July 1533 at Smithfield, London for, he was told, his soul's salvation. (King Henry VIII was excommunicated one week later.)
“Thomas Cranmer would later subscribe to Frith's views on purgatory, and published the 42 articles which explicitly denied purgatory. Frith's works were posthumously published in 1573 by John Foxe.
TYNDALE’S ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, 153—154
Tyndale was safe in the house of Thomas Poyntz and his wife. John Rogers had been the chaplain for English merchants since late 1534. He was near finishing the OT. In spring 1535, a certain Henry Phillips, a reported bully and ne’er-do-well, insinuated himself into Tyndale’s circle, including Poyntz. The Anglo-Italian diocesan, Stokesley, was the alleged orchestrator-in-the-background. Phillips, having squandered an inheritance, was “for hire.” On 21 May 1531, imperial officers seized Tyndale. Poyntz’s home was raided and Tyndale’s books and papers were confiscated. Fortunately, John Rogers had the OT papers. Tyndale, however, was imprisoned in the Castle of Vilvoorde, outside Brussels. He was in jail for 16 months. There was political-back-and-forth over diplomatic privileges. But the Emperor, Charles V, at court in Brussels, was not in much of a favorable mood following Henry’s disgraces and disrespects to his aunt, Catherine of Aragon…not only a divorce, but a most serious insult. (The Pope would excommunicate old Henry but who cares about some senior priest’s revilings in Rome?)
Tyndale was subjected to long exams. The procurer-general, the Inquisitor’s office, was Pierre Dufief, a man known “for cruelty” (154). He was known as a “heresy hunter.” He was driven “by large fees and getting a portion of confiscated properties” (154). Tyndale’s crime was “Lutheranism.” Tyndale was a “great catch;” his downfall “would remove heresy from England” (154). He faced 17 commissioners and 3 chief accusers. He declined counsel and represented himself. One of the accusers was Jacobus Latomus, another great “heresy hunter” from the new Romanist University of Leuven/Louvain. Latomus had been a long-time opponent of Erasmus as well as Luther. Tyndale defended himself, quoting Scriptures. Latomus wrote a “detailed record” published in 1550.
Some further info on Latomus here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobus_Latomus and some Latin works here: http://books.google.com/books?id=1b8wMwEACAAJ&dq=jacobus+latomus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=E0ylUtHLF4zqkQey0IGoCQ&ved=0CEkQ6AEwBA and here http://books.google.com/books?id=YLpbAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=jacobus+latomus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PU2lUuadNJPQkQfu3YDQDA&ved=0CFkQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage&q=jacobus%20latomus&f=false
Tyndale wrote his defense in a book Sola Fides Justificat Apud Deum, “justified by faith alone before God.” Latomus was not trying to convict him of heresy; that had already been decided; rather, the effort was to reclaim him to Italian theology. According to Prof. Daniell, Latomus was polite and courteous to the 42-year old translator and fairly representing Tyndale’s views. Commendable, gentility and politeness just before the Inquisitors gather the brush, the logs and the wood for the heretic’s stake.
During the imprisonment, Tyndale asked for warmer clothes and some light for the evenings. He also asked for the Hebrew Bible, a grammar, and dictionary (Reuchlin’s German dictionary). The responses to the requests are unknown. The jail-keeper, his daughter and her family were converted from Italian to Reformed theology.
Even the generally hostile procurer-general, Pierre Dufief, said, “Tyndale was a homo doctus, pietus et bonus, a “learned, godly (reverent) and good.” (155).
Tyndale gave England 2 NTs, a Pentateuch, other OT books, and pocket-sized books.
The Anglo-Italian senior clerk of London, Tunstall, was replaced by Stokesley who “restarted the policy of burning heretics, not just their books” (156). The Devils were acting on both sides of the English Channel.
Even before Tyndale was arrested, he had no assurances that his work was making progress. A heavy-curtain kept intel from him. He was always in hiding. At times, he was always shifting. He was a marked man. He had no idea that 1000s of versions would, in time, go around the globe. English as a language was that of an unregarded minority…in one sense. It was not the majority-language of the Continent. He lived in the dank cell. He walked by faith alone by God’s grace and might alone.
He was condemned in 1536. He probably, like Cranmer and his fellow clerks when they went to the stake, was publically and ceremonially degraded from the priesthood—with the standard rituals. A great assembly gathered on 6 OCT 1536. The stake, the brushwood, and the logs of wood were gathered. As a scholar, he was strangled first. Then, he was burned. Before death, he is said to have prayed: “LORD, open the King of England’s eyes.”
John Rogers assembled all of Tyndale’s translations. They were—once again—printed by Matthew Crom in Antwerp. Since Tyndale was a “heretic” Rogers retitled the title page with “Thomas and Matthew” (for two disciples). 1500 copies of “Matthew’s Bible” were imported to England and “sold out” (157). Within 2 months of Tyndale’s martyrdom, the English Bible (2/3rds by Tyndale) was “licensed by Henry VIII and was circulating” in England (157). In time, the Geneva Bible (1560, 1576, 1599), ever popular, would come to the English revisers for James 1, 1607-1611, producing the KJV
WILLIAM TYNDALE: LEGACY, 157-158
Besides the NT, Pentateuch and the entire Bible in time, 3 volumes really put the squeeze on the Anglo-Italians: Wicked Mammon, Obedience, and his exposition of Romans. Tyndale’s importance cannot be overstated. We are inclined to think that Tyndale was the chief architect of the Reformation, not the waffled senior clerk in Canterbury, Tom Cranmer. But, that’s under review. What England had had with “fractions” and “tidbits” of the Bible, Latin-saturated services for Latin-illiterate throngs, they now had with an “entire Bible.”
On 22 JUN 1530, Henry VIII, in good Anglo-Italian fashioned served as a ventriloquist for the senior priest in Rome. Henry said that Tyndale had “produced pestiferous English books, printed in other regions…to pervert…the people…to stir and incense them to sedition” (159).
As Tyndale frequently said, “Rome is afraid of the Scripture… which will pull down papal authority” (160). Luther had said the same thing repeatedly.
But, by and by, the English Bible was unleashed in England.