William Tyndale: Translator and a True Christian Martyr - therefore a true Saint.

Translator of the Bible, probably born in Slymbridge, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became a chaplain and tutor, sympathetic to humanist learning. In 1524 he went to Hamburg and Wittenberg, and in 1525 to Cologne, where he completed his translation of the English New Testament. Tyndales Bible changed England forever giving everyone the incentive to learn the English language and to read the Word of God themselves. The Bible also made English uniform throughout the realm in which people from all walks of life could understand each other regardless of dialects! In 1531 Tyndale moved to Antwerp through persecution on his life, where he continued to work on an Old Testament translation, but before it was finished he was seized, accused of heresy by the weeds of christianity, imprisoned, and strangled before being burnt at the stake. His work became the basis of most later English translations of the Bible, and much influenced the Authorised Version of 1611.
Thanks to Wycliffe and Tyndale's care for ordinary people, they became Martyrs of Christ. The English language which spread world-wide because of them, enables the easy translation of the Holy Scriptures. English is easy to learn because it is a mixed pot of languages, growing everyday with new words and enriching us with a better understanding of the ancient languages.
Latin is a dead language for the weeds of deceit, but the Seed of Truth is eternal!

Stumbling Block

To call an obstacle standing in one's way a stumbling block is the result of missionary zeal and, hence, part of the history of religion. To make a message stick in people's mind, the message given will make use of a striking phrase and some popular metaphor, easily comprehended and remembered by those addressed. Paul did so in one of his letters which are now part of the New Testament. Written to the young Christian community in Rome, he tried to impress on its members how much they needed each other. In his Epistle to the Romans (14:13) he exhorted them to be mindful not to put any obstruction into each other's way. To underscore his admonition and make it all the more memorable, he employed a term used in hunting, then a popular pursuit among the Romans. He asked the new Christians in the city not to put "a spring of a trap" (skandalon) in their brother's path. Everyone would know what he meant. When Tyndale (1492-1536) translated the Greek text of the New Testament into English, he realized that skandalon had become a meaningless word to his generation. At his time, people no longer trapped animals by means of springs. For this reason, he changed the obsolete term to a word which would be understood immediately. Substituting the original phrase, he altered the traditional text, but did not change its sense. In his "translation" the passage read that they should not put "a stumbling block" in their brother's path. So simple a word, it was the most appropriate description, soon to be adopted generally in English. The subsequent King James edition of the Bible adopted Tyndale's novel idiom and did so in eleven different cases. Thus, the "stumbling block" became part and parcel of English speech without people being aware that it had all started by a Bible translator's desire to make scripture a living document for his time and, with this purpose in mind, had rendered its text not only accurately but colloquially. A perfect translation is not translating words alone, but the meaning of them.

Royden John Elson
Roy Elson

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