Volume. XXXIV, No. 20
Sunday, 17 November 2019

William Tyndale “The Apostle of England” (Part 2)

John Foxe in his Book of Martyrs, says that Sir John Walsh kept a good orderly house, and there resorted unto him sundry abbots, deans, archdeacons, with divers other doctors, and there together with Master Tyndale sitting at the table, did many times enter into communication, and talk of learned men such as Luther and Erasmus, and questions upon the Scriptures. 


  • Tyndale never hesitated to express his own opinions, which often differed from those of his master’s guests, and, in order to refute their errors, he would confront them with the appropriate “open and manifest Scripture”. Tyndale was a young man, fresh out of college, tutor to the children of the house!  Sitting around the table were all sorts of dignitaries! Tyndale had many a conversation with these men. 


Let me quote you part of such a conversation.  It comes to us from 1521, a priest across the table turned to William Tyndale and said, "I tell you, the Scriptures are a labyrinth, a conjuring book, wherein everybody finds what he wants."  "Alas," replied Tyndale, "... they are an obscure book to you, a thicket of thorns where you only escape from the briers to be caught in the brambles."  "No," exclaimed another priest, "Nothing is obscure to us; it is we (the Church) who give the Scriptures, and we who explain them to you."  Tyndale replied, "Do you know who taught the eagles to spy out their prey?  Well, the same God teaches His hungry children to spy out their Lord and trace out the paths of His feet and follow ... And as for you, far from having given us the Scriptures, it is you who have hidden them from us; it is you who burn those who teach them and if you could you would burn the Scriptures themselves."[1]


  • Thereafter, the priests raged and railed against Tyndale, and brought a charge of heresy against him, and he was brought before the Chancellor. Tyndale recalled, He threatened me grievously, and reviled me and rated me as though I had been a dog”.2
  • Tyndale was now a man of one Book. He gave his life because of his love for the Word of God; because of his love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a scholar, but a scholar with a warm and sanctified heart, with a concern for the ordinary people. 
  • He once said, I have foreseen by experience how that it was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth except the Scriptures are plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue”.3
  • That was Tyndale’s great desire and all consuming passion in life. It soon became evident to Tyndale that Little Sodbury would no longer serve as a safe retreat for one who gave such utterance to his life-long ambition, and therefore, in July 1523 he left the Manor House at Little Sodbury for London, hoping in vain to find encouragement for the great task before him from the Bishop of London, Cuthbert Tunstall!   Tyndale recalls, “My Lord answered me, his house was full; he had more than he could well find”.4 
  • He became the guest of a godly merchant, Humphrey Monmouth, in whose home he began to translate the Word of God into English. There, in Monmouth’s library he read the works of Luther. Humphrey Monmouth had a wharf, underneath the present Cannon Street Station, and he had barges which God was going to use later on.  Tyndale stayed a short time in the home of Humphrey Monmouth, but eventually he said to Monmouth,



[1] Broome J.R., ‘William Tyndale’, Gospel Standard Publications, 1998, p.5-6

2 Works, Vol. I, Preface to the Five Books of Moses, p.395

3 Ibid.  p.394

4 Ibid.  p.396


 “I understood at the last not only that there was no room in my Lord of London’s palace to translate the New Testament, but also that there was no place to do it in all England”.5

  • There’s only one thing he could do, and so in May, 1524 the Apostle of England left the country and the people he loved, and he never saw either again.
  • He went to Europe, and arrived at Hamburg and began the work of translating the Scripture from Erasmus’s Greek translation of 1522. 
  • Having completed the translation of the New Testament, Tyndale found his way to Cologne towards the end of 1525, where he entered into an arrangement with one of that town’s printers, Peter Quentell to print his New Testament. 
  • It was there that Cochlaeus (Johann Dobneck), one of the bitterest opponents of the Reformation, sought to frustrate the work of Tyndale. 
  • One day he overheard the printers boasting confidently over their wine, that England would soon be Lutheran. 
  • Dobneck plied them with more wine, and learned that there were in the press three thousand copies of the Lutheran New Testament translated in English. 
  • This latter day Judas then revealed the plot to a nobleman of Cologne, Hermann Rinck, a man well-known to King Henry VIII, and to the Emperor Charles V, who obtained an interdict to stop the work. 
  • News of the Senate’s action reached the ears of Tyndale, who immediately rushed to the printers, and seized the precious manuscripts, and in September 1525, fled by ship up the Rhine to Worms.

Worms was a Lutheran stronghold.  Here the work recommenced at the press of Peter Schoeffer, and by the end of 1525 some six thousand copies of the Testaments printed at Worms were ready for distribution.


  • The New Testaments came in to England, smuggled through the customs in bales of cloth, in sacks of flour, in barrels and cases of every kind, up the Thames to Humphrey Monmouth’s
  • Tyndale made the Bible speak for God straight to the hearts of the common people. It was widely circulated to the joy and comfort of many who had long walked in darkness.


 “The peculiar genius … which breathes through it, the mingled tenderness and majesty, the Saxon simplicity, the preternatural grandeur, unequalled, unapproached in the attempted improvements of modern scholars, all are here, and bear the impress of the mind of one man – William Tyndale”.6

  • He was skilled in seven languages: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, English, and French and whichever he spoke, you would think it was his native language”.7


As a pioneer in English translation, Tyndale’s task was a lonely one.  He wrote in the prologue to his New Testament, ‘I had no man to counterfeit, neither was helped with English by any that had interpreted the same, or such like, in Scripture before time’.  He was aware of faults, saying, ‘I count it as a thing not having its full shape, as begun rather than finished’.8


5 Ibid. p.396

6 Quoted by Demaus R. , William Tyndale, Religious Tract Society,1904, p.158 from Froude’s ‘History of England’, vol.iii p.84

7 Demaus, p.153

8 Tyndale’s New Testament, 1526, p.15

                                                                   To be continued in the next edition….


More Lively Hope



  • Hope Bookshop Christmas Cards available for $1 each. Buy 5 get 1 free.
  • Missionary offerings will be taken the last Sunday of this month.
  • Combined Ladies’ & Seniors’ Fellowship Meeting & Activity @ 10am, Sat, 30 Nov @ Fellowship Hall followed by Potbless Lunch.
  • Visitation to Rembrandt Living Oaklands Park, Sun, 1 Dec @ 2:45pm. Please inform Bro Zach Liang or Sis Sally Teng if you wish to participate.
  • Please send your availability for the Jan-Mar 2020 serving roster no later than Sun, 1 Dec to hopebpcrosterer@gmail.com.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: AFG. Next week: VFG.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • God’s daily providence, protection & guidance.
  • Church activities & visitors in the past week.
  • Journey mercies: Those who have travelled.



  • Healing: Rev George van Buuren; Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); and others who are afflicted.
  • University & Year 12 students as they prepare for exams.
  • Jobs for University graduates.
  • Families of victims & those affected by the bushfires in Queensland and NSW.
  • Missions – Sis Ang Liang Phoa & ministry, Filadelfia BPC, school & orphanage (Batam); Air conditioners for worship area of Faith Krang Angkrang Church (Phnom Penh).
  • Batam & Phnom Penh Missions Teams in Jan/Feb 2020 - preparation & planning.
  • Journey mercies: Those who are travelling.




© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041