I just viewed the video on your Website about the Story of the King James Bible on my Bible App and, I was totally fascinated for the entire 30 minutes. I have been a Christian for many years and I had no idea that it was a crime punishable by death for anyone to speak or write the Bible in English. I was also very surprised to learn that many were burned at the stake for committing that crime. Every Christian should see that video on your site.
Brian, thank you for your post. You are right most Christians do not know that it was a crime to speak or write the Bible into English in the 1400 and 1500 centuries in the United Kingdom. Only the well educated, less than 1% of the population, who could read Latin or Greek, were able to read the Bible. The Story of the King James Bible and how it was first translated into English is a true and fascinating story of William Tyndale and how we got our first published English Bible in 1526. William was an well educated Oxford scholar who could speak Six languages so fluently, no one could tale which was his native tongue.
The quote by Tyndall that is most famous, and most remembered qnd mentioned in the video, was made when Tyndale gat into an argument with a clergy and the clergy said, “We had better be without God’s laws than the Pope’s.” Tyndale responded: “I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than the Pope!”
In 1526, Tyndale published the English translation of the New Testament and continued his work to translate the Old Testament, while publishing and distributing thousand of copies of the New Testament in England. In 1535 he was arrested and put into prison in the tower of London. In 1536 he was burned at the stake, and while he was burning he cried out “Lord open the eyes of the King”.
That prayer was soon answered and in 1539, King Henry the Vlll, miraculously ordered a Great Bible in English to be published. The King also ordered that a reader be made available at every church to read the Bible in English to the common people, most of whom could not read English. Reminds me of this Bible Verse: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” Revelation 1:3
What is truly amazing is that The Great Bible, and the subsequent King James Bible published in 1611, mostly were the words of William Tyndale and what he wrote was very little changed.
Brian, You are right, this is a fascinating story and more Christians should know about this story to get a better understand and appreciation about the great sacrifices that many thousands of people made so we could have a Bible in English.