William Tyndale (sometimes spelled Tindall, Tindill, Tyndall; c. 1492 – 1536) was a English scholar and translator who became a leading figure in Protestant reformism towards the end of his life. He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and Martin Luther.
Tyndale was the first to translate considerable parts of the Bible into English, for a public, lay readership. While a number of partial and complete translations had been made from the seventh century onward, particularly during the 14th century, Tyndale’s was 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.
This was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and the English church and state. Tyndale also wrote, in 1530, The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII’s divorce on the grounds that it contravened scriptural law.
In 1535, Tyndale was arrested by church authorities and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels for over a year. He was tried for heresy, strangled and burnt at the stake in 1536. The Tyndale Bible, as it was known, continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across Europe.
The fifty-four independent scholars who created the King James Version of the Bible in 1611 drew significantly on Tyndale’s translations. One estimation suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale’s, and the Old Testament 76%.
A classic story of how a single individual can change the world for good.
William Tyndale was pursued by the agents of King Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More, and Cardinal Wolsey. To avoid capture, he was forced to travel around Europe. All the while he worked to complete the supreme task that obsessed him: providing the Bible in English for his fellow countrymen. Tyndale is today distinguished as the “Father of the English Bible,” and this dramatic film will cause every Christian to appreciate the marvel of the English Bible. Featuring a cast led by actor Roger Rees. Recipient of major awards from the Columbus and Houston Film Festivals and Christian Film Distributors Association.