Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
God's Bestseller: William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible---A Story of Martyrdom and Betrayal Hardcover – August 23, 2003
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
The story of William Tyndale's translation of the Bible is familiar. Caught up in the Reformation's efforts to provide ordinary readers with the Scriptures in the vernacular, Tyndale set out to produce a faithful translation of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Old and New Testament. As journalist Moynahan points out in this exhaustively detailed biography, Tyndale's desire to complete such a translation brought him into conflict with the king and his court, for the fruits of the Reformation had yet to make their way into England. Thus, Tyndale set out on a life of self-imposed exile in Germany and Amsterdam, where he translated and printed his Bible. As his work made its way into England-thanks in large part to Anne Boleyn's advocacy-Sir Thomas More, one of England's most active heretic hunters, attempted in every possible way to have Tyndale tried as a heretic. Moynahan recounts the oft-told story of Tyndale's subterfuge and his remarkable contribution to the history of Bible translation while recreating the political and religious intrigue of early 16th-century England. Moynahan captures well More's hatred of Tyndale, whom he called "a hellhound in the kennel of the devil," as well as Tyndale's burning desire to contribute to God's work through Bible translation, even if it meant death at the stake. As Moynahan points out, Tyndale's translation still exists in the King James Version, since his words account for 84% of its New Testament and 76% of its Old Testament.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* The Bible contains few stories more compelling than the one Moynahan tells here: the saga of how William Tyndale defied Church and King--at the eventual cost of his own life--to translate and print Holy Writ in English. In a narrative taut with tension and alive with fiery personalities, Moynahan chronicles the improbable career of the Oxford scholar who risked everything to produce a vernacular version of Scripture. When ecclesiastical opposition frustrated his translation work in England, Tyndale journeyed to the continent, there enduring 11 years of privation and danger as he translated and published the New Testament and much of the Old Testament, soon smuggled to eager English readers. Shrewd detective work enables Moynahan to track the fugitive during these difficult years, when royal and ecclesiastical agents frequently attempted to ensnare him. But in his most astonishing feat of sleuthing, Moynahan discovers that the man who masterminded Tyndale's eventual capture and execution was probably the renowned saint Thomas More, who himself died beneath the executioner's ax for opposing Henry VIII's divorce. Though he acknowledges that Tyndale and More shared ironically similar views of the king's matrimonial maneuvers, Moynahan generally accentuates the sharp contrast between the fearless champion of individual conscience and the ferocious foe of heretics. A gripping historical drama. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Moynahan has done his homework, including reading the works of More and of Tyndale. He tells us of one interesting aspect of More's "Utopia": priests and clerics would be allowed to sin with impunity in More's ideal society. This book is of value in that it gives a history of Sir Thomas More that too many people would like to suppress and deny. It is an eye-opener, and shocking at times, as we learn about the tortures that More inflicted on suspected heretics who were imprisoned at his home in Chelsea.
I suppose Moynahan's understanding of Tyndale's teaching and theology is as good as any man's could be, who does not share his faith. But because he does lack a full understanding of the mysteries of the faith, and it shows, I cannot give the review a full five stars. On the other hand, it is a history written by someone who has no position to advance or protect and no reason to wrongly implicate a perceived adversary. Indeed, many who profess to share Tyndale's faith understand less than Moynahan. Then again, Moynahan is occasionally too hard on Tyndale; he made one serious error, suggesting that Tyndale would have joined other Protestant reformers in persecuting "heretics" if he had had the power to do so. But this is not true. Tyndale said that a true Christian would never persecute. Tyndale was almost alone among reformers in being faithful to the true picture of a lamb.
There are no footnotes, but sources are given at the end of the book.
Other than those minor (preference) issues, I found the book to be very easy and enjoyable to read. The author does a great job of helping the reader understand the historical setting in England and in Europe, the figures that are vying for power, the interesting dilemma of Anne Boleyn, and the politics and corruption of the Church. The title appropriately mentions Thomas More, who I learned is pretty much inseparable from one's understanding of Tyndale's life. My goal in getting this book was to learn more about William Tyndale, and this book was a great way to do so.
Moynahan portrays Tyndale as a man of rare talent and extraordinary vision. Almost from the beginning of his clerical career he wanted to offer the Bible to the English-speaking world. One feels Tyndale's early clandestine efforts for bringing Scripture into English. One is fearful as the Gloucestershire clerk quickly leaves for the continent evading royal arrest to begin his life-long passion.
Moynahan's narrative correctly shows Thomas More' villainous pursuit of Tyndale. As Henry VIII's Chancellor More had all the power, money and legal statute needed to track Tyndale down and ultimately execute him. Tyndale's short life was lived as a fugitive from royal pursuit. He was constantly on the move (Tyndale had few friends and no family by the end). Moynahan's is an exciitng and illuminating heart-in-the-throat narrative. He reveals all the nasty 16th century politics of Henry's torturous and corrupt reign.
Even as Moynahan show's William Tyndale's life as the stuff for an exciting Hollywood drama, he also takes time to explain Tyndale's evasive personal life. We learn that Tyndale may have met Martin Luther and learned German at the Protestant master's feet. We see Tyndale's various correspondences with many of the leaders of his age (the letters are still extant). We learn that Tyndale's translations were often completed in the middle of the night just hours before he was forced to flee the king's men.
We discover Thomas More's personal obsession with Tyndale (a compulsion that ultimately brought Tyndale to the fiery stake). In the end William Tyndale was captured through the duplicity of a "friend" and burned alive in Brussels (in 1526) because he was the first to translate (and publish) Scripture into English. (Ironically, Thomas More- staunch Roman Catholic- met his downfall at the hands of Thomas Cromwell- Protestant- weeks before Tyndale's capture. Cromwell's meteoric rise to power, as Henry's new Chancellor, did not allow time for Cromwell to block Emperor Charles V's- a royal Roman Catholic- execution of Tyndale.)
Moynahan offers a considerable portion of Tyndale's original translation (only three original copies survive). He reports that 84% of the King James Version New Testament and 78% of the KJV Old Testament are lifted from Tyndale's translation. (The 1611 KJV composers used Tyndale as their guide for English Scripture.)
This is a fast paced story of intrigue, arrest evasion, governmental corruption, betrayal, and divine inspiration. Through all the political turmoil in the first third of the 16th century, William Tyndale prepared a brilliant translation of God's Word for his fellow Englishmen. His was the original pioneering effort that made the Bible accessible to all English speakers.
This book in very recommendable to all: scholars, students, historians, theologians, Bible studiers, and those looking to read an exciting (real life) story. Moynahan will sell you, too, on William Tyndale.
Most recent customer reviews
of Thomas More.