It is written in Psalm 119:105,"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." However, when people are deprived of the Word of God, there is much darkness. Such was the case for Europe in the 1400's and the early 1500's. Though there were Holy Bibles in Latin and Greek, there were none in the native tongue of the people.
However, God in His powerful providence raised up some men like William Tyndale who were dedicated to changing the situation.
There is not enough room in this GemLight to give you all of the details about Tyndale, but if you research his life you will see that God brought him into this world at a very needy time and saw to it that he was molded and shaped to do the work he was called to do: translate the Word of God from its original tongue into the English of his day.
This was no easy task. Aside from learning the ancient languages, in those times putting the Holy Bible in the native tongue of the people was somewhat of a threat to the established official “Church” of that day. Torture and death often greeted those who would even proclaim some simple truths of the Word of God.
Tyndale devoted his life to translating the Holy Scriptures and taking a stand against man’s doctrine. His knowledge, strength, and money were used to this end.
Though he was eventually captured, imprisoned, then in October 1536 strangled to death and burned, I wanted to write about him now, during May, because that is when he was betrayed.
God had not only shaped Tyndale as a great translator, but one that would befriend others. While at Antwerp, he met a Henry Philips and befriended him. Tyndale soon trusted Philips and showed him where he lived and worked on translating.
One day in May 1535 Philips paid a visit to Tyndale in the pretense of borrowing money. Tyndale not only gave him the money, but invited him to dine at a nearby eatery. The path of the house was narrow so when the men started to leave, Tyndale asked Philips to start first. Philips, feigning respect, encouraged Tyndale to go first, and he did. As the two walked the path, Philips extended his arm over Tyndale and pointed downward. That’s when “officers” came out from hiding and captured Tyndale.
Philips, of course, was paid to betray Tyndale--just like Judas was paid to betray Jesus. And just like Christ, Tyndale befriended his enemy and was later led as a lamb to the slaughter.
Most of you reading this have a Holy Bible. The very fact that it is in your native tongue is something precious. Please, take the time to read it each day.
"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of rubies, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children." --- Isaiah 54:11-13
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