Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Censoring the Bible

(excerpt from Wikipedia)
“William Tyndale (sometimes spelled Tindall or Tyndall) (IPA: /'tindl/) (c. 1494 – 1536) was a 16th century Protestant reformer and scholar who translated the Bible into the Early Modern English of his day. Although a number of partial and complete Old English translations had been made from the 7th century onward, Tyndale's was the first to take advantage of the new medium of print, which allowed for its wide distribution. In 1535 Tyndale was arrested, jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels, Belgium for more than a year, tried for heresy and treason and then strangled and burnt at the stake in the castle's courtyard.”

What was his crime?
"He had determined to translate the Bible into English: he was convinced that the way to God was through His word and that scripture should be available even to common people. Foxe describes an argument with a "learned" but "blasphemous" clergyman, who had asserted to Tyndale that, "We had better be without God's laws than the Pope's." In a swelling of emotion, Tyndale made his prophetic response: "I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow in England to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope himself!"

The institutional church of Tyndale’s day feared that their system of priests lording it over the people would be overthrown and discarded if the people could have the Bible for themselves.

Boy, both Tyndale and the institutional church underestimated the tenacious spirit that thrives within the human heart to be controlled by others.

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