The "Original" Tyndale Bible
Earlier this week, we released The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge with apparatus and morphological tagging. The foundation that produced this new edition of the New Testament in Greek shares its name with William Tyndale (1494 – 1536), known for the Tyndale Bible, a translation so controversial at the time that it cost Tyndale his life!
William Tyndale believed that all people should have access to the Bible in their own language. While he did not complete the entire Bible before his death, he did translate the Pentateuch, Jonah and entire New Testament. We have added the Tyndale Bible to the Classic I Group, and if you already have this bundle in your Accordance Library, you can download the Tyndale Bible from Easy Install at no additional charge.
Tyndale’s Bible was extremely influential upon later Bible versions, and he may be considered the single most important Bible translator in history. Here are a few interesting facts about Tyndale and his Bible:
- Tyndale’s is the first English Bible translated directly from Hebrew and Greek (the earlier Wycliffe Bible had been translated from Latin).
- His is also the first English Bible printed in large quantities on the printing press.
- Tyndale used the same Greek text for the New Testament, compiled by Erasmus, as used by Martin Luther for his translation into German.
- An estimated 80-90% of Tyndale’s New Testament is reproduced in the King James Version. So when you say that you still have verses memorized in the KJV, it’s actually probably Tyndale you're quoting!
- Tyndale’s Bible introduced new words into the English language such as Passover and scapegoat.
- Tyndale’s translation choices such as “overseer” instead of “bishop” and “repent” instead of “do penance” brought critical response from the Catholic Church, which led to his eventual death and execution.
- Although Tyndale never completed his Bible before his death, Miles Coverdale translated the remaining content for the first complete Bible in English.
- Tyndale was tried for heresy and sentenced to execution. He was tied to a stake where he is said to have yelled, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”; whereupon he was strangled, and then his lifeless body was burned.
Above: The Tyndale Bible in Accordance 12 next to an original page from the 1526 edition (British Library Sacred Texts) in the Accordance Web Browser. Note: you can read the Tyndale Bible in any font in Accordance that you want to use. However, if you really want to read it like a Reformer, you'll choose a typeface like Lucida Blackletter!
Although print copies of Tyndale’s Bible exist today with modernized spelling, our digital copy for Accordance retains the original 16th century spellings that may be very unfamiliar to today’s readers. If the words look unintelligible, try reading them aloud. You may find that hearing the phonetics of the words will make them understandable.