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The Life and Legacy of William Tyndale

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
May 5, 2023 9:00 am

The Life and Legacy of William Tyndale

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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May 5, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about another great man who cherished the Word and worked to make sure the people of his time had access to the scriptures.

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30 Days to a New Beginning:


Welcome back, everyone. Today is Friday, May the 5th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart from the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at

That's right. If you guys want to help us keep this conversation going, you can do so by supporting the show, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from. I'm looking for five stars only.

We're going to leave a couple of links in the description so you can do that. But before we do, you know what it's time for. It's time for the verse of the day. It is absolutely time for the verse of the day.

This has become one of my all-time favorites. I love this Psalm. It's coming from Psalm 46, which has incidentally become one of our very favorite worship songs that we do.

It's just starting in verse one. It says, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. I love that this verse has the even though in there, because it reminds us that we are not going to be spared from difficulty.

We're not going to be spared from hard times. However, God will be with us in the midst of those times. You hear people throw that up a lot, like, I can't believe in a God who would this, or I can't believe in a God who would allow this. Well, what about a God who would walk with us through the difficult moments of life? What about a God who would stand with us when we're brokenhearted or when we're alone and when we're scared?

A God who is near to us and who comforts us in the difficult moments and sees us through them. And I love that you pointed out where it says, even though it's not even if the earth be removed. Right. It's not even if nations rage and war happens. Even though those things will 100% happen, it's going to happen. And even the mountains be carried off in the midst of the sea.

The earth itself opens up to swallow you. God is still your refuge and your strength. And I think that certainty of disaster, although there's some fear to it, there's also a beauty in it to me. Like, I think that's really beautiful. Like, the cataclysm is coming, but I'm still here.

I'm still constant. That's really awesome to me. That's our foundation. I had someone write in, and they actually sent a photo. This is from Adam P. in North Carolina. And I just sent you the photo.

I sent it to you too. And Nicholas, if you'll drop the photo in the video so that people can say, if you want to just put it like a lower third in the bottom corner so that they can be watching it. People on the radio and the podcast, I'm sorry.

Maybe we'll put a link in the description so you can see it. But it's, which piece of bacon is cooked to perfection? For the radio audience, I'm going to describe it. One of them is just straight up, just out of the package, floppy pink bacon. Two is like, it's sizzled for a couple of minutes. Three is, there's like some cook to it.

It's brown, but there's still some fatty pink on there. Four is, it's pretty crispy. And five and six are pretty much just black and burnt. So I would say, basically the question is how done do you like your bacon? On a scale of one to six, where one is raw and six is burnt. Six is like black. Where would you like your bacon? I really like five.

Really? Five or four. Five is a little far for me. I like my bacon a little bit, not chewy, but a little softer. I don't like crispy bacon.

Really? Yeah. Like you don't want crunch in your bacon? Not really. You want like flaky kind of?

Well, kind of almost like a beef jerky for bacon. Okay. So I'm going to go four, maybe even a three. I could probably do a three, but four would be ideal for me. Where are you landing on the scale, David?

I think I'm probably going to be, I really like four or five. Like that's kind of the, I guess the perfect spot there. Cause it's not like floppy, but it's not burnt to a crisp. So you guys are like crunch to your bacon? Yeah, I love crunch. I don't like it when bacon crunches.

I want a little bit of chew to it. Really? Yeah. Not like rubbery. I mean, I don't want it to be like just...

Here's a question. Does it make a difference if it's turkey bacon versus pork bacon? Not to me. I have a friend who told me that they like turkey bacon floppy and I was obviously disgusted. Yeah, I'm astounded at that.

I just didn't really know. I would not be friends with that person. I honestly wouldn't be friends with that person. I might have to cut that person out of my life. I barely like co-hosting a podcast with somebody that likes floppy bacon. I would say probably the same for me for turkey bacon. A little bit of flop to it.

Really, Ryan? Yeah, a little soft. Four is perfect.

Five and six I would take over like a three or a two. Four is probably the best of all possible worlds as long as it has a little bit of chew. What is it about the chew that makes it... I don't like it.

It's not that I love that. It's that I don't like the crispiness of it. I don't like to bite into it.

It's like a chip. Is it that it tastes burnt to you? Okay, so you don't like the burnt taste? Yeah. Even if it's like a BLT, like a sandwich? You want to chew it? No. Okay, so if it is a BLT, then the bacon's got to be a little bit crispier. Okay.

I'll concede there. See, I think that's interesting because I feel the same way. Most of the time, not all the time, but most of the time I don't eat bacon by itself. I will put it on bread, like a sandwich.

Really? Like if you have breakfast, you're not just going to have a slice of bacon? No. I don't know anybody who would just have one slice of bacon. I would typically... Well, no. I'd have like five slices of bacon. Yeah, sometimes. Sometimes I will. I'll have eggs and bacon, but most of the time I'll take some bacon and I'll put it on a sandwich with some mayo or something.

I'll recant. If I'm eating bacon just by itself, I could go with a three. Yeah. Golly, guys. Am I really the only one that stands alone on this?

No. The crispy bacon is the way to go. Well, I think I'll land it on four. Four seems to be the best of all possible worlds. Four looks perfect. Four looks like the perfect piece of bacon to me. Okay. Five, I would eat five, but five is a little bit too far.

Six is burnt. You need to have a long, serious discussion with your friend. I have. Okay. Yeah.

Okay. I hope you scolded that person dreadfully. I tried. Scold them dreadfully.

Scold them dreadfully. Yeah, I tried. It worked a little bit, but we'll see. All right. We want to know your bacon preferences. Write in and let us know. Two, five, two, five, eight, two, five, zero, two, eight. Where do you fall on the scale from raw to burnt?

Where do you like your bacon? Hopefully nobody says one, because I think you are in trouble with your doctor. We've got a great episode planned for you guys today. We're continuing the discussion on Malachi. We're going to get Dr. Shaw in just a minute, but if you guys have any questions or suggestions for new topics, text us at two, five, two, five, eight, two, five, zero, two, eight, or visit us online at

We'll be back after this. You can grab 30 days to a new beginning on We're going to leave a link in the description box below. If you already have the book, let us know what you think about it.

That's right. Send us a text, two, five, two, five, eight, two, five, zero, two, eight. Share what God has done in your life through this devotional. Hey, maybe we'll even read your story on the air. Ellie, you ready to get back to the show?

Let's do it. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at two, five, two, five, eight, two, five, zero, two, eight.

That's right. If you're joining us for the very first time today, you've never listened to the Clear View Today show before. First and foremost, we want to welcome you.

Thank you for being with us. We want to let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abaddon Shaw is a PhD in New Testament Textual Criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. You can find all of his work on his website.

That's That's right. Dr. Shaw, on today's episode, we were talking about this before recording today, but we spent time yesterday talking about John Wycliffe and the incredible impact that he had on getting the Bible in people's hands, letting the common man read God's word and how significant that is. We want to continue that conversation today, talking about Wycliffe and his impact, but also some other people who have operated in that world and translating the Bible and getting us access to God's word so that every person can read it for themselves.

Absolutely. Well, I mean, as I mentioned in our last episode, how a full translation of the English Bible did not come about until the 14th century, and the one that did come about, we talked about, you know, John Wycliffe was from Latin, not necessarily the Old Testament from Hebrew Aramaic or New Testament from Greek, but this is from Latin into English. So still something quite amazing. But, you know, again, it's not going back to the original language. It's a translation of a translation. Did people even speak Latin back then, or was it already dead by that point? I mean, they quoted, you know, in the church, it was definitely spoken. And then those who had the ability to be educated or, you know, Oxford was there, Cambridge was there. But it was not a language of the people. Definitely not the language of the people.

So, yeah, Oxford University was standing there, Cambridge University, and Wycliffe went to Oxford. So, yeah, they learned Latin, just not the language of the people. The common person, if you handed them a copy of God's word before Wycliffe translated it, they'd be like, I don't know what this is.

Oh, definitely not. I mean, it would be like putting Latin in front of, I know some Latin, because I know theological Latin because of my PhD work. But if you were to say, just let's just read Latin today. Why don't we just read, I don't know, Marcus Aurelius or something like that? It'd be like, no. Yeah, I don't know what this is.

I don't think I can do that. No, Wycliffe was the first one to make that full translation. And of course, as you know, he got into trouble for that. His followers were burned at the stakes with a Bible hung around their neck. I mean, that's pretty horrible to think about. Just the fact that, I mean, they were burned with a Bible around their necks, like as if the Bible, God's word, is a badge of shame.

That just makes me sick to my stomach to think about. It's funny to think about the church even burning a Bible to begin with. But I guess, I mean, they would see it as an abomination. They would have regarded it as a Bible. It's not a true Bible. Yeah. This is not the real thing. You got the wrong thing anyway, so it's a heretical object, so let's burn it. Wow. How often do we leave copies of the Bible just laying around and maybe we'll pick it up and read it.

Maybe we won't. There are people that died so that you can put it in your hands. That's right. That's right. But then about the same time as Old Columbus was getting ready to sail the ocean, blew in. Discover, Discover America.

Yeah. But what year? 1492.

1492. About the same time was born a man by the name of William Tyndale. William Tyndale.

Between 1492 and 1495. Nobody knows for sure, but somewhere there he was born. And he was quite a character.

William Tyndale. I mean, he forever changed the translation in the English Bible forever. So he was a scholar as well. Oh, definitely.

He, in 1508, he entered the Magdalen College at Oxford and then completed his BA by 1512. Wow. Wow. From Oxford University. Yeah. And then later on, I think he also moved to Cambridge for his doctoral work. So I mean, just know they're not like average people walking off the street.

He's no slouch when it comes to academics. Yeah. Like Wycliffe and Tyndale. They were not just like, you know, some guy just dropped his plowshares and said, I'm going to translate today. It was not that way. Yeah.

It wasn't like they just hanging out at Taco Bell. I was like, you want to do something fun? What do you want to do? It's like, translate the Bible. Yeah. I want to read the Bible.

It's only in Latin though. It's like, dude, we could do it. We can do it.

We can totally do it if we believe. Just give me another Baja Blast. Yeah.

A Baja Blast. Yeah. So, so Tyndale was influenced by John Wycliffe then. So I would say he was inspired because, you know, if you look at their time period, 1329 to 1384 is Wycliffe. 1494 to 1536 is Tyndale.

So 1384 to 1594, that's about a hundred years. So how much did they interact? I believe they probably didn't interact at all. Yeah.

Unless he had a time machine hanging out. But certainly maybe a figure of inspiration for him. Figure of inspiration, I would say. But not, in fact, William Tyndale was more influenced by Martin Luther than he was by Wycliffe, I would say. Wow.

Yeah. So Tyndale, like, what was his impact on the translation world? He has, he's coming off the heels of Wycliffe. What does Tyndale do? Why is he significant? Well, he translated the Bible from the original languages. So, and he had to go outside of England to do that because, again, there was opposition. He had to keep moving.

He had to keep going. So he would not be caught by the authorities, by the English Catholic Church. So he finally had the New Testament translated and printed in 1526.

Now, help me out here. If he was born in 1492, let's just say 1492. 1526, he has the New Testament translated. How old is he? 92. So 26 plus 6, or 8. 32. 32? 34? 34 years old.

Is my age. Yeah. He translated the New Testament. And it's not like today where you have, you know, Nestle Island 28 or Byzantine, you know, text with Robinson Pierpont, or he has a computer with Accordance or Olive Press or Logos.

No, he is running for his life. He's sitting there like that, running for his life from the Roman church. You know, earlier today, I was sitting and I couldn't figure out how to get the printer to work, like to print it exactly the way that I wanted to.

I'm like, I know what I need, but I can't quite figure out how to put in these options. And then I heard, like, he just translated the Bible. At 34.

At 34. I'm like, I got stumped by a printer. Like, I imagine him hiding behind like a big outcropping of rocks. And like the church officials were like, I think he went this way. And they passed and he's like, oh, but he takes this thing out.

He's like, just real quick. Yeah. I'm sitting in a nice comfortable office and I'm like, I got this printer thing.

I don't know. But it's funny that you mentioned the printer. What is interesting is the difference between him and Wycliffe is that Wycliffe's translation was hand-copied, but Tyndale's was through the printing press. Was that the Gutenberg press, the Gutenberg, or was that? Gutenberg is the one who invented the printing press, but by the time it got to Tyndale in England, you know, cause Gutenberg is Germany. I don't know who owned that printing press. I have the information in my notes somewhere because I've done an entire series on Bible translations and the history of Bible translation, especially English.

But I have it somewhere, but yeah, it was a printing press. Got you. Got you. So, you know, both the Old and the New Testament, he translated them from the original. Is that another way he was unique from Wycliffe is that Wycliffe only had the Latin to work with? Right. Right. Was the originals, were the original languages barred from them or did the Roman Catholics have access to the original language or was it?

Yeah. I mean, you know, like, like Codex Vaticanus was sitting in the Vatican. So you had manuscripts and that's just one, but still it's, it's a very valuable, very valuable manuscript, but it's sitting at the Vatican. So I mean, you can get it, but they were, they were thinking more like, why would you want the original? I mean, you have the Latin, Jerome put this together. Why would you want that?

Why would you want the inferior Greek text? Yeah. Like taking a step backwards. Yeah. They actually had it backwards there.

Yeah. I was going to say, isn't that interesting because translating it, like the Bible being translated is a big, big problem, but we like the Latin translation, but like the original, what the biblical authors wrote it in is inferior. For some reason, I mean, did they just love Jerome or something?

Like, like, why is it that this Latin one, that's the, okay, now we're good. Is it because they just, I guess had control over it? Right. Yeah. But, but it was still in a part of the, the Western church. So it was looked upon with great admiration. I guess so. But then, but then translating it from Latin, I guess they felt like this is the final form of the text. It won't ever Yeah.

We, we, this is good. This has been put together so many years and Greek manuscript, like where Greek manuscript studies are today, let's say in 2023 or even earlier, is not where it was back in the 14th century or 15th century. Yeah. I mean, the manuscripts had not been properly collated. Erasmus's text is, is there now, you know, of course is there. And, and he, I'm sure this is part of what he's using because Luther used that as well. So now the text is, the manuscripts are being gathered and the text is being properly put together. Of course, in Revelation, you know, Erasmus did not have the good copies. So he had to, in some places, make it up. He had to take the Latin and translate it back into the Greek, albeit he came quite kind of close and he had to translate it back into Greek because he didn't have the manuscripts for them. Wow.

So we've come a long ways. Yeah. If Tyndale, if Tyndale is translating the New Testament text into English, and I think I understand this right, he's bypassing the Vulcate completely. Is he bypassing Erasmus's work? No, Erasmus's work is being used. So he's using Erasmus bypassing the Vulcate. So is it an authority issue, I guess, that the church really has a problem with? You're bypassing us? Yeah, I would say so.

Putting the Bible in the hands of the common person. Yeah. And they were not looking at it like, you common people will find out the real reason. And again, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. So I think they were looking at it more like, it is so complicated. Y'all are going to misunderstand this and mess it up.

We have something good. Stop messing around with it. Stop messing and just trust us. That makes sense. Now I get their motive, but also they have, you know, kind of ulterior motives too.

But still think for a moment. They are, they're keeping it from the common people for whether good reason or bad reasons doesn't matter to me. But in the process, you know, they're hindering the spread of the gospel. Yeah. I mean, if you see yourself as the arbiter and the only interpreter of God's word, then it all kind of falls on you and people really have no other choice but to turn to you. Yeah.

Right. And so their spiritual assurance is in you rather than in God. I mean, you can, I guess you can kind of justify it and be like, well, I'll always have a pure heart, but can you?

I mean, can you make that guarantee? Once Tyndale's version or his translation hit, I guess, the common people, once it became spread around, what was the response from the church? Well, after he translates that, you know, in 1531, King Henry VIII sort of wants to meet with him because he wants to, you know, he has his motives, right? He wants to go forward with the divorce.

And so now you have your own Bible of the English church, English speaking church. So he wants to do that. And of course, you know, Tyndale sort of rebuffed him, you know, and they're like, no, I'm not, I'm not interested in meeting. And that did not help matters because now he was an enemy of the state.

So they wanted to now come after him. So now begin somewhere about 1531, he meets with Henry's agent, Stephen Vaughan, but declines the King's invitation to return to England. Come back to England. I wonder why, why do you want me to come back to England? So I may kill you.

I don't know. Whatever his reasons are, he did not want to become subservient to Henry VIII. Was Henry trying to get Tyndale on his side to like overthrow the Pope or something because of that?

Yeah, of course. I mean, not overthrow the Pope, but, you know, have his own church and the Bible to go with it. That's right. Because we were talking about this, that's what started the Anglican church, right? Because Henry VIII said, I don't, I'm no longer subservient to the Pope.

Because he's not giving me the divorce. Right. And the Pope was like, my hands are tied. I mean, you know, the King of Spain's daughter is married to you.

Yeah. You're, you're making it difficult for me, Henry. That's one of the perks of being the King, I guess, is like, I don't, I've decided I don't have to listen to you now. It's like, no, you can't do that.

It's like, I'm a King. I can do whatever I want. Yeah.

Right. So, but ultimately if you talk about Henry VIII, you know, ultimately, you know, one of his agents, Henry Philip came to Antwerp and, Antwerp, and he befriended Tyndale and, and then he had him arrested. He was like a, like a Benedict Arnold sort of thing?

Well, I guess you can say that. Not a Benedict Arnold, but like a, more like a Judas, like we're friends. And next thing, you know, he is cast into Wilvord prison near Antwerp. And then 15 months later, he is strangled to death. Strangled to death? Strangled. And his body was, that's not enough, his body burned at the stake.

They really, I mean, they really, I know we're, we're kind of in all of that, but man, they really, really do not want that Bible translated. This almost to me, this is, this is almost spectacle at this point. Like, we're going to make an example out of this person.

So none of you else better try this. Right. I could understand. I mean, I could almost understand if it's like, Hey, the Catholic church is going to lose its authority. If, if this, then I'm like, okay, it's deplorable, but at least see, but to be so sold out on a, on a translation that isn't even the original, I can even understand all of this bloodshed and violence. If it's like, this is the original, this is what God sent.

It's like, okay, I, I get the fervor is misplaced, but this is itself a translation. Right. In the same, in the same year, you know, you're talking about Henry VIII in 1534, he declares the act of supremacy, right. Which made him the ultimate authority in England.

Even above the Pope, the Roman Catholic church. And now he is the head, but Tyndale is dead. And so now a year later, right. A year later it is he actually declares that all English translations, the way he said it is this, actually it was 1539.

He encourages all printers and sellers of books to provide for the free and liberal use of the Bible in our own maternal English tongue. Let me, let me, let me make sure I got this. Wait a minute.

Let me make sure I got this right. This dude says, Hey, the Bible should be full and free for every citizen. And they're like, we will a hundred percent kill you for that.

And he's like, I don't care. I'm going to make sure the Bible is full and free for every citizen. They're like, all right, we killed you for that. A couple of years later, or even a year later, they're like, Hey, we're going to make sure the Bible is full and free for every citizen.

And everyone's like, thank you church. Thank you. Yeah. But we killed the guy, right? Forget about him right now. That's honestly not important.

Not an important issue right now. And, and, you know, his final words, William Tyndale's final words were, Lord, open the King of England's eyes. So, you know, I guess he, I guess he did. God did in a way shocked face. Like I can't believe that one year later, what he was trying to accomplish was sanctioned.

That's right. That's ridiculous. I'm trying to find, I'm trying to find words to put it into perspective, but it honestly is so ludicrous that you almost have to laugh at it. And then you realize like, man, it it's tragic in a way.

Was there, was there a political reason that the King did this? Yeah. All of this is political.

I didn't know if there was genuinely like, Oh, I've seen the error of my ways. Like this was like, I'm, I'm still part of the divorce scheme or has that it's all, it's all part, it's all in the same, same timeframe. This is happening. This is all happening in the early part of the 16th century, 1500s, early 1500s.

This is taking place. Not even a redemptive element there. Yeah, it's not. I mean, but you know, again, that old statement from Romans 8 28, for God works all things together for good. So that's, what's happening here. And you know, one thing that I do want to point out to you is that, you know, later on it is there's so much history there that we don't have time to get into the different Bibles that came about, whether it's Miles Coverdale or Thomas Matthew or great Bible, Geneva Bible, Bishop's Bible, leading all the way to the King James version.

I would go even a little further and say a lot of our present translations also owe a lot to Tyndale. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. They owe a lot to him.

That's amazing. So this one man in a very short life, 42 some years of age. Think about the impact that he made in, in such a short amount of time. And, and is continuing to make, I mean, it's not like his impact is just like, wow, he's a figure in history. No, he, he is continuing to have an impact that's reverberating through generations. Oh yeah. When it comes to translations, you know, Tyndale house, you know, all this it's, it's what a legacy.

Wow. What an inspiration. And in some ways, that's where we are now, you know, word of God is once again under trial, has been for some time, but now it's coming back because of a stance against sin. You know, it's truth that calls us, calls us to submit to the authority of God, to the gospel of the kingship of Jesus Christ. So the word of God is once again in the same place that I believe it was in a different sort of way, but in the same place when William Tyndale and even Wycliffe were, were stepping out. Those of you at home, we want you to love God's word because like we've said today, there are men and women who have died so that you can have a Bible in your hands, treasure that and stand up for that truth.

If you guys have any questions about what we talked about today, you have suggestions for new topics, send us a text to 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at and you can partner with us financially on that same website. We're grateful to all of our giving partners and we count you as our family as we stand to impact the nations with the gospel of Jesus. You know, I think about some idiomatic translations, you know, some, some interesting ones based on their time and place. Like Genesis 3-4 was, uh, tush, you shall not die.

Loses all of its, all of its, uh, weight and gravity. It's like, I don't want the serpent to be silly. How about Exodus 15-4, Pharaoh's jolly captains drowned in the sea.

Yeah, no, I don't like that. It's jolly captains. But I don't think jolly captains really means what it means today. It's like, yarr, this water's coming down upon me, captain.

Jolly Roger. Yeah, but, but that's, that's how they, some of these old translations went. That's pretty funny. That's too funny. I'd love, I'd love for us to talk about some more of those. Yeah, let's do that. That'd be pretty funny. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clear V Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-05 10:08:33 / 2023-05-05 10:21:46 / 13

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