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ARchiv@L

february broadcasting & the balcony

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      Success—Despite Opposition
      Translating and printing was one thing. Getting the Bibles to Britain was another. Church agents and secular authorities were determined to prevent shipments across the English Channel, but friendly merchants had the answer. Hidden in bales of cloth and other merchandise, the volumes were smuggled to the shores of England and up into Scotland. Tyndale was encouraged, but his fight had only begun.
      On February 11, 1526, Cardinal Wolsey, accompanied by 36 bishops and other church dignitaries, assembled near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London “to see great basketfuls of books cast into a fire.” Included among them were some copies of Tyndale’s precious translation. Of this first edition, there are now just two copies extant. The only complete one (lacking just the title page) is in the British Library. Ironically, the other, with 71 pages missing, was discovered in St. Paul’s Cathedral Library. How it got there, nobody knows.
      Undaunted, Tyndale continued to produce fresh editions of his translation, which were systematically confiscated and burned by English clerics. Then Tunstall changed tactics. He struck a bargain with a merchant named Augustine Packington to buy any books written by Tyndale, including the New Testament, in order to burn them. This was arranged with Tyndale, with whom Packington had made an agreement. Halle’s Chronicle says: “The bishop had the books, Packington had the thanks, and Tyndale had the money. Afterward when more New Testaments were imprinted, they came thick and threefold into England.”
      Why were the clergy so bitterly opposed to Tyndale’s translation? Whereas the Latin Vulgate tended to veil the sacred text, Tyndale’s rendering from the original Greek for the first time conveyed the Bible’s message in clear language to the English people. For example, Tyndale chose to translate the Greek word a·gaʹpe as “love” instead of “charity” in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. He insisted on “congregation” rather than “church” to emphasize worshipers, not church buildings. The last straw for the clergy, however, came when Tyndale replaced “priest” with “elder” and used “repent” rather than “do penance,” thereby stripping the clergy of their assumed priestly powers. David Daniell says in this regard: “Purgatory is not there; there is no aural confession and penance. Two supports of the Church’s wealth and power collapsed.” (William Tyndale—A Biography) That was the challenge Tyndale’s translation presented, and modern scholarship fully endorses the accuracy of his choice of words.
      READ MORE:
      *** w95 11/15 p. 26 William Tyndale—A Man of Vision ***
       
       

       
       
      *** na pp. 17-18 God’s Name and Bible Translators ***
      The name first appeared in an English Bible in 1530, when William Tyndale published a translation of the first five books of the Bible.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
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