William Tyndale

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William Tyndale
William Tyndale

William Tyndale (sometimes spelled Tindall or Tyndall; pronounced /ˈtɪndəl/) (c. 14941536) was a 16th-century Protestant reformer and scholar who translated the New Testament and sections of the Old Testament into the Early Modern English of his day. While a number of partial and complete Old English translations had been made from the seventh century onward, and Middle English translations particularly during the 14th century, Tyndale's is often claimed to be the first English translation to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, and the first to take advantage of the new medium of print, which allowed for its wide distribution. Some claim [1] that Wycliffe translated from the Hebrew and Greek also, but that all copies of his version were destroyed, and surviving ones are Catholic corruptions, because they contain many tables and charts relating to Catholic practice Wycliffe openly opposed. Tyndale was arrested, jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels for over a year, tried for heresy and burnt at the stake.

Tyndale translated the entire New Testament and many other Old Testament books including Joshua, Judges, first and second Samuel, first and second Kings and first and second Chronicles. Unfortunately these unpublished works haven’t survived to today in their original forms. When Tyndale was martyred these works came to be in the possession of one his associates John Rodgers. These translations would be influential in the creation of the Matthew Bible which was published in 1537.

Much of Tyndale's work eventually found its way into the King James Version (or "Authorised Version") of the Bible, published in 1611, which, as the work of 57 independent scholars revising the existing English versions, drew significantly on Tyndale's translations.

Contents

Biography

Tyndale was born around 1490, possibly in one of the villages near Dursley, Gloucestershire. Within his immediate family, the Tyndales were also known at that period as Hychyns (Hitchins), and it was as William Hychyns that Tyndale was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford. Tyndale's family had migrated to Gloucestershire within living memory of his birth, quite probably as a result of the Wars of the Roses, and it is known that the family derived from Northumberland but had more recently resided in East Anglia. Tyndale's uncle, Edward, was receiver to the lands of Lord Berkeley and it is this fact that provides evidence of the family's origin. Edward Tyndale is recorded in two genealogies [2] as having been the brother of Sir William Tyndale, KB, of Deane, Northumberland, and Hockwald, Norfolk, who was knighted at the marriage of Arthur, Prince of Wales to Katherine of Aragon. Tyndale's family was therefore derived from Baron Adam de Tyndale, a tenant-in-chief of Henry I (and whose family history is related in Tyndall).

Tyndale was admitted to the Degree of Bachelor of Arts at Oxford University in 1512, the same year he became a subdeacon. He was made Master of Arts in July 1515, three months after he had been ordained into the priesthood. The MA degree allowed him to start studying theology, but the official course did not include the study of scripture. This horrified Tyndale, and he organised private groups for teaching and discussing the scriptures.

He was a gifted linguist (fluent in French, Greek, Hebrew, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish in addition to his native English) and subsequently went to Cambridge (possibly studying under Erasmus, whose 1503 Enchiridion Militis Christiani — "Handbook of the Christian Knight" — he translated into English). It is also believed that he met Thomas Bilney and John Frith at Cambridge.

Tyndale became chaplain in the house of Sir John Walsh at Little Sodbury in about 1521, and tutor to his children. His opinions involved him in controversy with his fellow clergymen, and around 1522, he was summoned before the Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester on a charge of heresy.

Soon afterwards, he determined to translate the Bible into English and was convinced that the way to God was through His word and that scripture should be available even to common people. Foxe describes an argument with a "learned" but "blasphemous" clergyman, who had asserted to Tyndale that, "We had better be without God's laws than the Pope's." In a swelling of emotion, Tyndale made his response: "I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow in England to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope himself!" [3]

Tyndale left for London in 1523 to seek permission to translate the Bible into English and to request other help from the Church. In particular, he hoped for support from Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall, a well-known classicist whom Erasmus had praised after working with him on a Greek New Testament. However, the bishop did not regard Tyndale's scholarly credentials highly, was suspicious of his theology and, like many highly-placed churchmen, was uncomfortable with the idea of the Bible in the vernacular. The Church at this time did not deem that a new English translation of Scripture would be helpful. Tunstall told Tyndale he had no room for him in his household.[4] Tyndale preached and studied "at his book" in London for some time, relying on the help of a cloth merchant, Humphrey Monmouth. He then left England under a pseudonym and landed at Hamburg in 1524 with the work he had done so far on his translation of the New Testament. He completed his translation in 1525, with assistance from Observant friar William Roy.

In 1525, publication of his work by Peter Quentell in Cologne was interrupted by anti-Lutheran influence, and it was not until 1526 that a full edition of the New Testament was produced by the printer Peter Schoeffer in Worms, an imperial free city then in the process of adopting Lutheranism.[5] More copies were soon being printed in Antwerp. The book was smuggled into England and Scotland, and was condemned in October 1526 by Tunstall, who issued warnings to booksellers and had copies burned in public.

Following the publication of Tyndale's New Testament, Cardinal Wolsey condemned Tyndale as a heretic and demanded his arrest.

Tyndale went into hiding, possibly for a time in Hamburg, and carried on working. He revised his New Testament and began translating the Old Testament and writing various treatises. In 1530, he wrote The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII's divorce on the grounds that it was unscriptural and was a plot by Cardinal Wolsey to get Henry entangled in the papal courts. This resulted in the king's wrath being directed at him: he asked the emperor Charles V to have Tyndale apprehended and returned to England.

Eventually, Tyndale was betrayed to the authorities. He was seized in Antwerp in 1535, betrayed by Henry Phillips, and held in the castle of Vilvoorde near Brussels.[6]

He was tried on a charge of heresy in 1536 and condemned to death, despite Thomas Cromwell's intercession on his behalf. He "was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned".[7] Foxe gives 6 October as the date of commemoration (left-hand date column), but gives no date of death (right-hand date column). The traditional date of commemoration is 6 October, but records of Tyndale's imprisonment suggest the date might have been some weeks earlier.[8]

Tyndale's final words, spoken "at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice", were reported as "Lord! Open the King of England's eyes."[9]

Printed works

Although best known for his translation of the Bible, Tyndale was also an active writer and translator. As well as his focus on the ways in which religion should be lived, he had a focus on political issues.

Year Printed Name of Work Place of Publication Publisher
1525 The New Testament Translation (incomplete) Cologne
1526* The New Testament Translation (first full printed edition in English) Worms
1526 A compendious introduction, prologue or preface into the epistle of Paul to the Romans
1528 The parable of the wicked mammon Antwerp
1528 The Obedience of a Christen Man (and how Christen rulers ought to govern...) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1530* The five books of Moses [the Pentateuch] Translation (each book with individual title page) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1530 The practice of prelates Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531 The exposition of the first epistle of saint John with a prologue before it Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531? The prophet Jonah Translation Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531 An answer into Sir Thomas More's dialogue
1533? An exposicion upon the. v. vi. vii. chapters of Mathew
1533 Erasmus: Enchiridion militis Christiani Translation
1534 The New Testament Translation (thoroughly revised, with a second foreword against George Joye's unauthorised changes in an edition of Tyndale's New Testament published earlier in the same year) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1535 The testament of master Wylliam Tracie esquire, expounded both by W. Tindall and J. Frith
1536? A path way into the holy scripture
1537 The bible, which is all the holy scripture Translation (only in part Tyndale's)
1548? A brief declaration of the sacraments
1573 The whole works of W. Tyndall, John Frith, and Doct. Barnes, edited by John Foxe
1848* Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures, edited by Henry Walter Tindal, Frith, Barnes
1849* Expositions and Notes on Sundry Portions of the Holy Scriptures Together with the Practice of Prelates, edited by Henry Walter<ref name="DNB" />
1850* An Answer to Sir Thomas More's Dialogue, The Supper of the Lord after the True Meaning of John VI. and I Cor. XI., and William Tracy's Testament Expounded, edited by Henry Walter
1964* The Work of William Tyndale
1989** Tyndale's New Testament
1992** Tyndale's Old Testament
Forthcoming The Independent Works of William Tyndale
* These works were printed more than once, usually signifying a revision or reprint. However the 1525 edition was printed as an incomplete quarto and was then reprinted in 1526 as a complete octavo.
** These works were reprints of Tyndale's earlier translations revised for modern spelling.

Quotes

“Which thing only moved me to translate the New Testament. Because I had perceived by experience how that it was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth, except the scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue, that they might see the process, order, and meaning of the text.” (Pentateuch of 1530)
A Roman Catholic priest remarked, “we were better without God's law than the Pope's," to which Tyndale replied, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth a plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou dost.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Thou shalt understand... that the Scripture hath but one sense, which is the literal sense. And that the literal sense is the root and ground of all, and the anchor that never faileth.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The Scriptures spring out of God and flow unto Christ, and were given to lead us to Christ. Thou must go along by the Scripture as by a line until thou come at Christ, which is the way's end and resting place.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
When the Papal authorities stated that the Hebrew and Greek couldn't accurately be translated into English, Tyndale responded, “They will say it cannot be translated into our tongue, it is so rude. It is not so rude as they are false liars. For the Greek tongue agreeth more with the English than with the Latin. And the properties of the Hebrew tongue agreeth a thousand times more with the English than with the Latin. The manner of speaking is both one, so that in a thousand places thou needest not but to translate it into English word for word when thou must seek a compass in the Latin and yet shall have much work to translate it well-favouredly, so that it have the same grace and sweetness, sense and pure understanding with it in the Latin as it hath in the Hebrew. A thousand parts better may it be translated into English than into Latin.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“For I call God to record against the day we shall appear before the Lord Jesus, to give a reckoning of our doings, that I never altered one syllable of God's Word against my conscience, nor would this day, if all that is in the earth, whether it be pleasure, honour, or riches, might be given me.” Translators Revived, p 26
“The nature of God's word is to fight against hypocrites.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Mark this also, if God send thee to the sea and promise to go with thee and to bring thee safe to land, he will raise up a tempest against thee, to prove whether thou wilt abide by his word, and that thou mayest feel thy faith and perceive his goodness, for if it were always fair weather and thou never brought into such jeopardy whence his mercy only delivered thee, thy faith should be but a presumption and thou shouldest be ever unthankful to God and merciless unto thy neighbor.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“If God promise riches, the way thereto is poverty. Whom he loveth, him he chasteneth, whom he exalteth, he casteth down, whom he saveth he damneth first. He bringeth no man to heaven except he send him to hell first. If he promise life he slayeth first, whom he buildeth, he casteth all down first. He is no patcher, he cannot build on another man's foundation. He will not work until all be past remedy and brought unto such a case, that men may see how that his hand, his power, his mercy, his goodness and truth hath wrought altogether.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Prosperity is a right curse and a thing that God giveth unto his enemies.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Tribulation for righteousness is not a blessing only. But also a gift that God giveth unto none save his special friends.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Is it not an happy thing to be sure that thou are sealed with God's Spirit unto everlasting life?... Whom God chooseth to reign everlastingly with Christ him sealeth he with his mighty Spirit and poureth strength into his heart to suffer afflictions also with Christ for bearing witness unto the truth." Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Lo, persecution and adversity for the truth's sake is God's scourge and God's rod and pertaineth unto all his children indifferently... As the father hath always in time of correction the rod fast in his hand, so that the rod doth nothing but as the father moveth it: even so hath God all tyrants in his hand and letteth them not do whatsoever they would, but as much only as he appointeth them to do and as farforth it is necessary for us.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Let thy care be to prepare thyself will all thy strength for to walk which way he will have thee and to believe that he will go with thee and assist thee and strength thee against all tyrants and deliver thee out of all tribulation. But what way or by what means he will do it, that commit unto him and to his godly pleasure and wisdom and cast that care upon him.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Now there is no other division or heresy in the world save man's wisdom and when man's foolish wisdom interpreteth the scripture.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Man's wisdom is plain idolotry, neither is there any other idolatry than to imagine of God after man's wisdom.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“God is that only which he testifieth of himself and to imagine any other thing of God than that is damnable idolatry.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Thou mayest hereby perceive that all that is done in the world (before the Spirit of God come and giveth us light) is damnable sin, and the more glorious the more damnable, so that that which the world counteth most glorious is more damnable in the sight of God, than that which the whore, the thief and the murderer do.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“He now that is renewed in Christ, keepeth the law without any law written or compulsion of any ruler or officer, save by the leading of the Spirit only; but the natural man is enticed and moved to keep the law carnally, with carnal reasons and worldly persuasions, as for glory, honour, riches, and dignity." Obedience Of A Christian Man
“It is impossible to preach Christ except thou preach against Antichrist.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“We do not look (if we have Christ's Spirit in us) what is good, profitable, glorious and honourable for us, neither on our own will, but on God's will only.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The law is spiritual and requireth the heart, and is never fulfilled with the deed in the sight of God... Yea, thou shouldest feel in thine heart that all thy deeds to come are abundantly recompensed already in Christ.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Mark how God, to avenge his truth, sendeth to the unthankful false doctrine and false miracles to confirm them and to harden their hearts in the false way, that afterward it shall not be possible for them to admit the truth.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“It is the same God now that was in the old time and delivered the fathers and the prophets, the apostles and other holy saints. And whatsoever he swore to them he hath sworn to us.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“In Christ we are all one thing, none better than other, all brethren and must all seek Christ and our brothers' profit in Christ. And he that hath the knowledge whether he be lord or king, is bound to submit himself and serve his brethren and to give himself for them, to win them to Christ.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“In many things God hath made the men stronger than the women, not to rage upon them and to be tyrants unto them but to help them to bear their weakness. Be courteous therefore unto them and win them unto Christ and overcome them with kindness, that of love they may obey the ordinance that God hath made between man and wife.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Give your servants kind words, food, raiment and learning. Be not bitter unto them, rail not on them, give them no cruel countenance: but according to the example and doctrine of Christ, deal with them. And when they labour sore cherish them again. When ye correct them let God's word be by and do it with such good manner that they may see how that ye do it to amend them only, and to bring them unto the way which God biddeth us walk in, and not to avenge yourselves or to wreak your malice on them. If at a time through hastiness ye exceed measure in punishing, recompense it another way and pardon them another time.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“But as Christ biddeth us beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, so beware of their counterfeited keys and of their false net, which are their traditions and ceremonies, their hypocrisy and false doctrine, wherewith they catch - not souls unto Christ - but authority and riches unto themselves.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Whosoever vow an unlawful vow, promise an unlawful promise, swear an unlawful oath, sinneth against God, and ought therefore to break it. He needeth not to sue to Rome for a licence. For he hath God's Word, and not a licence only, but also a commandment to break it. They therefore that are sworn to be true unto Cardinals and Bishops - that is to say, false unto God the king and the realm - may break their oaths lawfully without grudge of conscience by the authority of God's Word. In making them they sinned, but in repenting and breaking them they please God highly and receive forgiveness in Christ.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“To preach God's Word is too much for half a man. And to minister a temporal kingdom is too much for half a man also. Either other requireth an whole man. One therefore cannot well do both.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Paul saith in the ninth chapter of the firth Corinthians, God sent me but to preach. A terrible saying verily for Popes, Cardinals, and Bishops. If he had said woe be to me if I fight now and move princes unto war, or if I increase not Saint Peter's patrimony (as they call it) it had been a more easy saying for them.” Obedience Of A Christian Man

Note: "Peter's patrimony" refered to the Vatican's riches, especially the Vatican buildings, its land and territories, its treasures, and so forth.

“Understand therefore that one thing in the scripture representeth divers things. A serpent figureth Christ in one place and the devil in another. And a lion doth likewise. Christ by leaven signifieth God's Word in one place, and in another signifieth thereby the traditions of the Pharisees which soured and altered God's Word for their advantage.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“For Moses put in Aaron's mouth what he should say, and Aaron was Moses' prophet and spake, not his own message - as the Pope and Bishops do - but that which Moses had received of God and delivered unto him. So ought every preacher to preach God's Word purely and neither to add nor diminish.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“What is the cause that our Bishops preach the Pope and not Christ? The Apostles preached not Peter, but Christ. Paul saith of himself and of his fellow Apostles: we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and preach ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. And let no man rejoice in men. For all things are yours, whether it be Paul, or Apollos, or Peter, whether it be the world, or life or death, whether they be present things or things to come: all are yours and ye are Christ's and Christ is God's. He leaveth out ye are Peter's or ye are the Pope's.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“For Christ saith to be great in the kingdom of God is to do service and take pain for other. Upon which rule Paul disputeth saying: if they be the ministers of Christ I am more - in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prison more plenteously, in death often and so forth. If Paul preached Christ more than Peter and suffered more for his congregation, then is he greater than Peter by the testimony of Christ. And in the twelfth [of 2 Corinthians] he saith: In nothing was I inferior unto the high Apostles. Though I be nothing, yet the tokens of an Apostle were wrought among you with all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty deeds. So he proved his authority, and not with a Bull from Peter sealed with cold lead.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The authority that Christ gave them [the Apostles] was to preach, yet not what they would imagine, but what he had commanded. Lo, saith he, I am with you all ways, even unto the end of the world. He said not, I go my way and lo here is Peter in my stead, but sent them every man to a sundry country, whithersoever the Spirit carried them, and went with them himself.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“But as our Bishops hear not Christ's voice, so see they him not present, and therefore make them a god on the earth, of the kind, I suppose, of Aaron's calf. For he bringeth forth no other fruit but Bulls.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“He [Bishop Rochester] allegeth for the Pope's authority Saint Cyprian, Saint Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, and Origen, of which never one knew of any authority that one Bishop should have above another.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“All the world knoweth that Martin Luther slayeth no man, but killeth only with the spiritual sword, the Word of God.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The devil believeth that Christ died, but not that he died for his sins. Neither doth any that consenteth in the heart to continue in sin, believe that Christ died for him.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Faith is the rock whereon Christ buildeth his congregation, against which saith Christ (Matthew 16), hell gates shall not prevail.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“O blasphemy! If eternal life be due unto the pilled traditions of lousy friars, where is the testament become that God made unto us in Christ's blood?” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Whosoever goeth about to make satisfaction for his sins to God-ward, saying in his heart, this much I have sinned, this much will I do again, or this wise will I live to make amends withal, or this will I do to get heaven withal, the same is an infidel, faithless and damned in deed doing, and hath lost his part in Christ's blood, because he is disobedient unto God's testament, and setteth up another of his own imagination, unto which he will compel God to obey.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Paul saith a Bishop must be faultless, the husband of one wife. Nay, saith the Pope, the husband of NO wife, but the holder of as many whores as he liketh.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“It is not enough for them [Popes, Cardinals, and Bishops] to reign over all that are quick, but have created them a Purgatory, to reign also over the dead and to have one kingdom more than God himself hath.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The Mother Church [i.e., the Roman Catholic Church] and the high altar must have somewhat [money] in every testament. Offerings at priests' first masses. Likewise no man is professed, of whatsoever religion it be, but he must bring somewhat [money]. The hallowing, or rather conjuring, of churches, chapels, altars, superaltars, chalice vestments and bells. Then book, bell, candlestick, organs, chalice, vestments, copes, altar cloths, surplices, towels, basins, ewers, ship, censer and all manner ornaments must be found them freely: they will not give a mite thereto. Last of all what swarms of begging Friars are there? The Parson sheareth, the Vicar shaveth, the Parish Priest polleth, the Friar scrapeth and the Pardoner pareth. We lack but a butcher to pull of the skin.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The Pope for money can empty Purgatory when he will.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“God's Word pertaineth unto all men as it pertaineth unto all servants to know their masters' will and pleasure, and to all sujbects to know the laws of their prince.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Let God's Word try every man's doctrine and whomsoever God's Word proveth unclean, let him be taken for a leper. One scripture will help to declare another. And the circumstances, that is to say, the places that go before and after, will give light unto the middle text. And the open and manifest scriptures will ever improve the false and wrong exposition of the darker sentences.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Christ said to Peter, the last chapter of John, feed my sheep, not shear thy flock.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“And as for that other solemn doubt, as they call it, whether Judas was a Priest or no, I care not what he then was, but of this I am sure: that he is now not only Priest, but also Bishop, Cardinal and Pope.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Repentance goeth before faith and prepareth the way to Christ and to the promises. For Christ cometh not, but unto them that see their sins in the law and repent.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Shrift in the ear is verily a work of Satan and that the falsest that ever was wrought and that most hath devoured the faith.” Obedience Of A Christian Man

Note: By “shrift in the ear” Tyndale means the confessional, i.e., where people are made to confess their sins to a priest.

“A Christian man is a spiritual thing and hath God's Word in his heart and God's Spirit to certify him of all things. He is not bound to come to any ear [that is, to the confessional].” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“When a man feeleth that his heart consenteth unto the law of God, and feeleth himself meek, patient, courteous and merciful to his neighbor, altered and fashioned like unto Christ, why should he doubt but that God hath forgiven him and chosen him and put his Spirit in him, though he never cram his sin into the Priest's ear?” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Nevertheless the truth is, when any man hath trepassed against God: if he repent and knowledge his trepass, God promiseth him forgiveness without ear shrift.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“To whom a man trespasseth, unto him he ought to confess, but to confess myself unto thee, O Antichrist, whom I have not offended, I am not bound.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“They of the old law had no confession in the ear. Neither the Apostles nor they that followed many hundred years after knew of any such whispering.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Yea, why are we which Christ came to loose more bound than the Jews?... He loosed us not from Moses to bind us unto Antichrist's ear. God hath not tied Christ unto Antichrist's ear, neither hath he poured all his mercy in thither, for it hath no record in the Old Testament, that Antichrist's ear should be propriatorium, that is, God's mercy stool, and that God should creep into so narrow a hole, so that he could nowhere else be found. Neither did God write his laws, neither yet his holy promises, in Antichrist's ear, but hath graved them with his Holy Spirit in the hearts of them that believe, that they might have them all ways ready at hand to be saved thereby.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Hereby seest thou that when they make penance of repentance and call it a sacrament and divide it into contrition, confession and satisfaction, they speak of their own heads and lie falsely.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The Pope taketh authority also to bind and loose in Purgatory. That permit I unto him for it is a creation of his own making. He also bindeth the angels. For we read of Popes that have commanded the angels to set divers out of Purgatory. Howbeit I am not yet certified whether they obeyed or no.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The Pope (say they) absolveth or looseth 'a pena et a culpa,' that is, from the fault or trespass and from the pain due unto the trespass. God, if a man repent, forgiveth the offence only, and not the pain also (say they), so they turneth the everlasting pain unto a temporal pain, and appointeth seven years in Purgatory for every deadly sin. But the Pope for money forgiveth both, and hath more power than God and is more meciful than God... Yet God hath promised Christ's merits unto all that repent so that whosoever repenteth is immediately heir of all Christ's merits and beloved of God as Christ is. How then came this foul monster to be lord over Christ's merits, as that he hath power to sell that which God giveth freely?” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Now without a promise can there be no faith and therefore no justifying though there be never so glorious works.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“If all the world be against us, God's Word is stronger than the world.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“So that now if any man preach God's Word truly and show the freedom and liberty of the soul which we have in Christ, or intend to restore the kings again unto their duties and right and to the room and authority which they have of God, and of shadows to make them kings in deed, and to put the world in his order again, then the kings deliver their swords and authority unto the hypocrites to slay him, so drunk are they with the wine of the whore.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Where no promise of God is, there can be no faith nor justifying, nor forgiveness of sins, for it is more than madness to look for anything of God save that he hath promised. How far he hath promised, so far is he bound to them that believe, and further not. To have a faith therefore or a trust in anything, where God hath not promised, is plain idolatry and a worshipping of thine own imagination instead of God.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“In conjuring of holy water they pray that whosoever be sprinkled therewith may receive health as well of body as of soul, and likewise in making holy bread and so forth in the conjurations of other ceremonies. Now we see by daily experience that half their prayer is unheard, for no man receiveth health of body thereby. No more of likelihood do they of soul.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“They preach also that wagging of the bishop's hand over us blesseth us and putteth away our sins. Are these works not against Christ? How can they do more shame unto Christ's blood? For if the wagging of the bishop's hand over me be so precious a thing in the sight of God that I am thereby blessed, how then am I full blessed with all spiritual blessing in Christ, as Paul saith in Ephesians? Or if my sins be full done away in Christ, how remaineth there any to be done away by such fantasies?” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“If any man repent truly and come to the faith and put his trust in Christ, then as oft as he sinneth of frailty, at the sigh of the heart is his sin put away in Christ's blood, for Christ's blood purgeth ever and blesseth ever.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Let this be sufficient as concerning the sacraments and ceremonies, with this protestation, that if any can say better or improve this with God's Word, no man shall be better content therewith than I, for I seek nothing but the truth and to walk in the light. I submit therefore this word and all other that I have made or shall make (if God will that I shall more make) unto the judgments - not of them that furiously burn all truth - but of them which are ready with God's Word to correct, if anything be said amiss, and to further God's Word.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“All the true miracles which are of God are showed to move us to hear God's Word and to establish our faith therein and to confirm the truth of God's promises, that we might without all doubting believe them... Contrarywise the miracles of Antichrist are done to pull thee from the Word of God and from believing his promises and from Christ, and to put thy trust in a man or a ceremony wherein God's Word is not.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“For God's Word through faith bringeth the Spirit into our hearts and also life, as Christ saith (John 6): the words which I speak are spirit and life. The Word also purgeth us and cleanseth us, as Christ saith (John 15). Ye are clean by the means of the Word, Paul saith (1 Timothy 2).” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“The judgment and damnation of him that hath no lust to hear the truth, is to hear lies and to be established and grounded therein through false miracles: and he that will not see, is worthy to be blind, and he that biddeth the Spirit of God go from him, is worthy to be without him.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Paul preached not himself: he taught not any man to trust in him or his holiness or in Peter or in any ceremony but in the promises which God hath sworn only, yea, he mightily resisteth all such false doctrine both to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians and everywhere.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“If Paul were here and loved me (as he loved them of his time to whom he was sent and to whom he was a servant to preach Christ), what good could he do for me or wish me, but preach Christ and pray to God for me, to open mine heart, to give me his Spirit and to bring me unto the full knowledge of Christ? Unto which port or haven, when I am once come, I am as safe as Paul, fellow with Paul, joint heir with Paul of all the promises of God, and God's truth heareth my prayer as well as Pauls.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“They compel us to hire friars, monks, nuns, canons, and priests, and to buy their abominable merits, and to hire the saints that are dead to pray for us, for the very saints have they made hirelings also, because that their offerings come to their profit.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Let us set God's promises before our eyes, and desire him for his mercy and for Christ's sake to fulfil them. And he is as true as ever he was, and will do it, as well as ever he did. For to us are the promises made as well as to them.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“For nothing bringeth the wrath of God so soon and so sore on a man, as the idolatry of his own imagination.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Paul (Romans 5) saith: Because we are justified through faith, we are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, because that God, which cannot lie, hath promised and sworn to be merciful unto us and to forgive us for Christ's sake, we believe and are at peace in our consciences, we run not hither and thither for pardon, we trust not in this friar nor that monk neither in anything save in the Word of God only.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Antichrist turneth the roots of the tree upward. He maketh the goodness of God the branches and our goodness the roots. We must be first good, after Antichrist's doctrine, and move God and compel him to be good again for our goodness' sake: so must God's goodness spring out of our goodness. Nay, verily God's goodness is the root of all goodness and our goodness, if we have any, springeth out of his goodness.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Christ is the cause why I love thee, why I am ready to do the uttermost of my power for thee, and why I pray for thee. And as long as the cause abideth, so long lasteth the effect even as it is always day, so long as the sun shineth. Do therefore the worst thou canst unto me: take away my goods, take away my good name, yet as long as Christ remaineth in mine heart, so long I love thee not a whit the less and so long art thou as dear unto me as mine own soul, and so long am I ready to do thee good for thine evil, and so long I pray for thee with all mine heart. For Christ desireth it of me and hath deserved it of me. Thine unkindness compared unto his kindness is nothing at all, yea, it is swallowed up as a little smoke of a mighty wind, and is no more seen or thought upon. Moreover that evil which thou doest to me, I receive not of thine hand, but of the hand of God, and as God's scourge to teach me patience and to nurture me. And therefore have no cause to be angry with thee more than the child hath to be angry with his father's rod or a sick man with a sore or bitter medicine that healeth him, or a prisoner with his fetters or he that is punished lawfully with the officer that punisheth him.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“If I be in Christ then the love of Christ compelleth me, and therefore I am ready to give thee mine and not to take thine from thee: if I be able, I will do the service freely; if not, then if thou minister to me again, that receive I of the hand of God which ministereth it to me by thee.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Them that are good, I love because they are in Christ: and the evil, to bring them to Christ.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Inasmuch as God hath created all and Christ bought all with his blood, therefore ought all to seek God and Christ in all and else nothing.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“God hath taken all vengeance into his own hand, and will avenge all unright himself: either by the powers or officers which are appointed thereto, or else, if they be negligent, he will send his curses upon the transgressors and destroy them with his secret judgment.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“I showed you of the authority of princes, how they are in God's stead and how they may not be resisted do they never so evil, they must be reserved unto the wrath of God. Neverthelater if they command to do evil we must then disobey and say we are otherwise commanded of God: but not to rise against them.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Damned therefore are the spirituality by all the laws of God, which through falsehood and disguised hypocrisy have sought so great profit, so great riches, so great authority and so great liberties, and have so beggared the lay and so brought them in subjection and bondage.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“As God maketh the king head over his realm even so giveth he him commandment to execute the laws upon all men indifferently. For the law is God's and not the king's. The king is but a servant to execute the law of God and not to rule after his own imagination.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Last of all there findest thou the very cause of all persecution, which is the preaching against hypocrisy.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“To have a faith where God hath not a promise is idolatry.” Obedience Of A Christian Man
“Which thing only moved me to translate the New Testament. Because I had perceived by experience how that it was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth, except the scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue, that they might see the process, order, and meaning of the text.” William Tyndale To The Reader, Pentateuch of 1530.
“It is not enough therefore to read and talk of it only, but we must also desire God day and night instantly to open our eyes, and to make us understand and feel wherefore the scripture was given, that we may apply the medicinie of the scripture, every man to his own sores.” A Prologue Showing The Use Of The Scripture, Pentateuch of 1530
“The scripture is the touchstone that trieth all doctrines, and by that we know the false from the true.” A Prologue Showing The Use Of The Scripture, Pentateuch of 1530
“So now the scripture is a light and sheweth us the true way, both what to do and what to hope. And a defence from all error, and a comfort in adversity that we despair not, and feareth us in prosperity that we sin not. Seek therefore in the scripture as thou readest it first the law, what God commandeth us to do. And secondarily the promises, which God promiseth us again, namely in Christ Jesu our Lord.” A Prologue Showing The Use Of The Scripture, Pentateuch of 1530
“The judgments of God are bottomless.” A Prologue Showing The Use Of The Scripture, Pentateuch of 1530
“When our power will extend no further, God's promises will work all alone.” A Prologue Showing The Use Of The Scripture, Pentateuch of 1530
“If any of God's children be hurt by any of his brethren, he may not avenge himself with hand or heart. God must avenge. And the governors and ministers of the law that God hath ordained to rule us by concerning our outward conversation of one with another, they must avenge. If they will not avenge, but rather maintain wrong and be oppressors themselves, then must we tarry patiently till God come, which is ever ready to reap tyrants off the face of the earth as soon as their sins are ripe.” A Prologue Showing The Use Of The Scripture, Pentateuch of 1530
“Then go to and read the stories of the Bible for thy learning and comfort, and see every thing practised before thine eyes, for according to those examples shall it go with thee and all men until the world's end. So that into whatsoever case or state a man may be brought, according to whatsoever example of the Bible it be, his end shall be according as he there seeth and readeth.” A Prologue Showing The Use Of The Scripture, Pentateuch of 1530
“Whosoever flieth to Christ can neither hear nor receive of God any other thing save mercy.” A Pathway Into The Holy Scripture
“By nature, through the fall of Adam, are we the children of wrath, heirs of the vengeance of God by birth, yes, and from our conception.” A Pathway Into The Holy Scripture
“The natural man that is not born again and created anew with the Spirit of God, be he never so great a philosopher, never so well instructed in the law, never so sorely studied in the Scripture, as we have an example in the Pharisees, yet he can not understand the things of the Spirit of God.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“It is time to awake and to see every man with his own eyes and to judge if we will not be judged of Christ when he cometh to judge. And remember that he which is warned hath none excuse if he take no heed.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“Howbeit Mister More hath so long used his figures of poetry that (I suppose) when he errs most, he by the reason of a long custom believeth himself, that he saith most true. Or else (as the wise people which, when they dance naked in nets, believe that no man seeth them), even so Mister More thinketh that his errors be so subtly couched that no man can espy them. So blind he counteth all other men in comparison of his great understanding. But charitably, I exhort him in Christ to take heed, for though Judas were wilier than his fellows to get lucre, yet he proved not most wise at the last end. Neither though Balaam the false prophet had a clear sight to bring the curse of God upon the children of Israel for honour's sake, yet his covetousness did so blind his prophecy that he could not see his own end. Let therefore Mister More and his company awake betimes, ere ever their sin be ripe, lest the voice of their wickedness ascend up and awake God out of his sleep, to look upon them and to bow his ears unto their cursed blasphemies against the open truth, and to send his harvestmen and mowers of vengeance to reap it.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“Women be no mete vessels to rule or preach (for both are forbidden them), yet hath God endowed them with his Spirit at sundry times and shewed his power and goodness upon them and wrought wonderful things by them, because he would not have them despised... Yea, and if stories be true, women have preached since the opening of the New Testament... Do not our women now christen and minister the sacrament of baptism in time of need? Might they not by as good reason preach also, if necessity required?” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“The whole Scripture and all believing hearts testify that we are begotten through the Word. Wherefore if the Word beget the congregation, and he that begetteth is before him that is begotten, then is the Gospel before the Church.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“The pith and substance in general of everything necessary unto our soul's health, both of what we ought to believe and what we ought to do, was written, and of the miracles done to confirm it, as many as were needful. So that whatsoever we ought to believe or do, that same is written expressly, or drawn out of that which is written.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“Purgatory, confession in the ear, penance and satisfaction for sin to godward with holy deeds, and praying to saints, with such like, as dome sacraments and ceremonies, are marvelously agreeable to the superstition of the heathen... wherefore in as much as the sacraments of the Old Testament have significations, and in as much as the sacraments of the New Testament (of which mention is made that they were delivered unto us by the very Apostles at Christ's commandment) have also significations, and in as much as a dummy ceremony edifieth not, but hurteth altogether (for if it preach not unto me, then I cannot but put confidence therein, that the deed itself justifieth me, which is the denying of Christ's blood), and in as much as no mention is made of them [the Roman Catholic sacraments and ceremonies], as well as of other, nor is known what is meant by them; therefore it appeareth that the Apostles taught them not, but that they be the false merchandise of wily hypocrites.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“Who taught the eagles to spy out their prey? Even so the children of God spy out their Father and Christ's elect spy out their Lord, and trace out the paths of his feet and follow, yea, though he go upon the plain and liquid water which will receive no step: and yet there they find out his foot. His elect know him, but the world knoweth him not.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“God hath created us and made us unto his own likeness and our Saviour Christ hath bought us with his blood. And therefore are we God's possession of duty and right and Christ's servants only to wait on his will and pleasure and ought therefore to move neither hand nor foot nor any other member other [than] heart or mind [or] other wise than he hath appointed. God is honoured in his own person when we receive all things both good and had at his hand and love his law with all our hearts and believe, hope, and long for all that he promiseth.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“And the angels of heaven are also our brethren and very servants for Christ's sake to defend us from the power of the devils.” An Answer Unto Sir Thomas More's Dialog
“Good and evil go always together; one cannot be known without the other.” Parable Of The Wicked Mammon
“Some man will ask, peradventure, Why I take the labor to make this work, inasmuch as they will burn it, seeing they burnt the gospel? I answer, In burning the new Testament they did none other thing than that I looked for: no more shall they do, if they burn me also, if it be God’s will it shall so be.” Parable Of The Wicked Mammon
“Believe not every spirit suddenly, but judge them by the word of God, which is the trial of all doctrine, and lasteth for ever.” Parable Of The Wicked Mammon

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