The Lonely Man
The Banks of the Thames
W illiam Tyndale gave his life for
the Bible. In London, England,
his monument stands on the
banks of the River Thames with
“Book in hand.” One wonders what he would
think today of the commercialization of the
Bible and the irreverent handling of the Word
William Tyndale was born in the early
1490s in the County of Gloucester, England.
Very little is known of his childhood. Our first
historical notice of him in 1512 was after he
had graduated from the University of Oxford.
After this he went to Cambridge where it is
most likely he met Hugh Latimer. Tyndale
ministered in Bristol where he was arrest-
ed. The charge against him: “SPREADING
HERESY IN AND ABOUT THE TOWN OF
BRISTOL.” Limited space in this article will not allow
discussion of details that led to Tyndale's pas-
sion for publishing the Bible but by 1525 his
work was underway at a fervent pace.
inding publication in England impossi-
ble, he fled to Hamburg in 1524. Some
of Tyndale's friends who had helped
him in London were arrested and punished. It
is believed that Tyndale visited Martin Luther
in Wittenberg. The translator was brilliant,
having a wonderful knowledge of language.
He was so proficient in German, Dutch,
Italian and Spanish that whichever he might
be speaking, the hearer would think it to be
his native tongue.
In 1525 a translation of Matthew and
Mark was being printed by Tyndale at
Cologne. This was stopped by an injunction
by the dean of Frankfurt. When one door
closed behind him, he opened another. The
translator moved to Worms where he com-
pleted the printing of 3,000 New Testaments,
which were smuggled into England.
William Tyndale had the ability to work at
a tremendous pace, perhaps sensing a short-
F William Tyndale on the banks of the Thames River, London — Photo by James Ray
8 • NATIONS