I took a refreshing week of study leave last week on Oak Island, NC. Every year a small group of pastors gather to discuss a theological bibliography we’ve read through the year. It’s a program funded through the Foundation for Reformed Theology (foundationrt.org).
This week our course of study was centered on the Bible. In preparation, we read the entire Bible, several books about the authority and interpretation of scripture, and a lengthy biography about William Tyndale.
Tyndale gave us the Bible in the English language. He is the one, who in the 1500’s first translated the New Testament from Greek to English and most of the Old Testament from Hebrew to English. In fact, ninety percent of the King James Version (1611) translation is Tyndale’s. About fifty percent of the Old Testament is Tyndale’s, which is all he could finish before his execution in 1536.
Religious politics in England were convoluted in those days, and Tyndale lived through times of support and persecution. Ultimately he did most of his work in exile, until he was captured and brought to trial.
Tyndale’s life is inspiring – a man who gave himself and gave his life to the idea that everyone should have and be able to understand the Bible in their own language.
Throughout my week, I was reminded of how precious the Word of God is. What a gift God has given us. Let us not neglect knowing him through his Word.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.