Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A new Tyndale-free era? No going back to the bad old days!

In the first (but not the last) of many Tyndale-free speeches, columns, and media segments on the King James Version in 2011, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth discussed the KJV in her annual Christmas address (watch in full here).

Now, the Queen did acknowledge that the KJV owed a debt to the learned scholars of the time. However, she neglected to mention that the scholar who deserves the bulk of the credit - for translating 80% of the text - is of course William Tyndale.

Now is not the time to criticize the Queen or her staff, who simply perpetuated a common misconception, that the KJV was 'written by committee'.

But if Tyndale were alive to hear his name systematically airbrushed out of the historical record, his sense of professional humility might be strained to its limits.

We dare not lose any further ground; and that is why I am calling on readers of the Tyndale Society Journal and this blogspot to write in with gracious but firm clarifications when they come across press articles like the one we link to here.

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ

Monday, 20 December 2010

Brenton treads the boards at Lambeth

Playwright Howard Brenton played to a packed house at Lambeth on Thursday night...

...with a diverse audience which encompassed students, professional historians, politicians, clergymen and also included Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe - Dominic Dromgoole.

Brenton's enthusiasm for his subject was mesmerising as he explored the research that had led him to write the part of Tyndale into his play 'Anne Boleyn' and also read dramatic excerpts from the text.

He definitely whetted our appetites for next year's revival of the play at The Globe, and - by popular demand - we will post performance dates here as soon as these are announced.

Thanks once again to Lambeth Palace for providing such lovely and historic surroundings for our annual lecture; as this event usually takes place in the autumn it was a rare treat to see the Guard Room decked out in all its Christmas finery.

For those who were not able to make it to the lecture, this year we're pleased to be able to offer members the chance to listen at home via our lecture Podcast (opens in a new window).

We'd love to get your feedback on this brand new feature - so please feel free to comment below (click on 'comments' then write your comment and select 'Anonymous' from the list of users next to 'comment as' if you are not a Blogger subscriber. Then to finish click 'Post Comment').

A Tyndale Christmas

Thank you to the many members who braved the cold to join us this year - some from as far afield as Switzerland - at St. Mary Abchurch in the City of London.

Thank you also to David Ireson for conducting the service, to our excellent readers - who brought Tyndale's words so brilliantly to life - and to The English Chamber Choir who all made this year's service of lessons and carols such a wonderful occasion.

For anyone who was not able to get to this year's service in person, we recorded a short taster so you can enjoy hearing the Choir in festive action (cue the mince pies)...


Memorials and the Tyndale story

In future issues of the TSJ we shall be investigating the theme of memorials and commemoration.

To initiate an assessment of this topic, I herewith reproduce a quote from the memoirs of a WWII Resistance fighter:

"In a simple building in the depths of the woods stands an altar in the middle of a square base. At each corner, a column supports the dome where the names of our lost friends are engraved. They are remembered there, among the singing birds and the quivering leaves. They are remembered and visited by the few who still remember. I am glad they are honored in that secluded place, a place resembling the place where they fell, the places they knew, the places that had offered them [shelter]. They did not fight for ribbons or honors; they fought for an ideal so great and so pure it could not be remembered in a busy place."

["Agent for the Resistance," Herman Bodson].

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Tyndale 'On a par with Shakespeare'

Speaking for The King James Bible Trust, Former Laureate Andrew Motion recently praised the poetry of the KJV on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' Programme...

However - not one one word of William Tyndale, whom the Trust confirms was responsible for 80% of the content of the KJV...

(To listen to the programme excerpt, click on the image above).

Unaccountably, on the King James Bible Trust's website, Tyndale - the Gloucestershire scholar who taught himself Hebrew and Greek, became an outlaw of his own country, was hunted down by the authorities and strangled before being burned at the stake for his translation of '80% of the KJV' - does not merit a mention under 'Bible Heroes' (unlike Shakespeare, Florence Nightingale, Cecil B. DeMille, J.R.R. Tolkein and the vicar who founded the RSPCA).

However, Tyndale does get two sentences under 'Music'...

Come on King James Bible Trust - we think you can do a little better than that!

To encourage the Trust to say a little more about Tyndale - a true Bible hero - please email them here to add the weight of your opinion:

Click here to read Mary Clow's letter to The Today Programme.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Thomas Cranmer on the Bible in English

"And yet, if the matter should be tried by custom, we might also allege custom for the reading of the Scripture in the vulgar tongues, and prescribe the more ancient custom.

For it is not much above one hundred years ... since Scripture hath not been accustomed to be read in the vulgar tongues within this realm; and many hundred years before that it was translated and read in the Saxons’ tongue, which at that time was our mother tongue; whereof there remaineth yet divers copies found lately in old abbeys, of such antique manners of writing and speaking that few men now [are] able to read and understand them.

And when this language waxed old and out of common usage, [so that] folk should not lack the fruit of reading, it was again translated in the newer language. Whereof yet also many copies remain and be daily found."

[From Cranmer’s "Prologue or Preface to the Bible," April 1540. See the “Miscellaneous Writings and Letters of Thomas Cranmer”, edited for the Parker Society (Cambridge: The University Press, 1846), pp. 118-125. Also see “The Protestant Reformation” (ed. Lewis W. Spitz, pubs. Prentice-Hall, 1966), p. 166].

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Ohio KJV Conference Opens for Bookings...

Booking has now opened for 'The King James Bible - and its Cultural Afterlife' - a major international conference, co-sponsored by The Tyndale Society, to be held at Ohio State University, Columbus, USA between 5-7th May 2011.

The conference will focus on the making of the KJV in the context of Reformation Bible translation and printing as well as on the KJV’s long literary and cultural influence from Milton and Bunyan to Faulkner, Woolf, and Toni Morrison.

Speakers are to include: David Norton (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), author of 'A History of the Bible as Literature' and long-time contributor to Tyndale Society conferences; J. Philip Arthur (Independent Scholar, UK) outstanding speaker on Tyndale's work, especially remembered for our Worcester conference; Dr Gergely Juhász (K.U. Leuven, Belgium) Antwerp collaborator of Dr Guido Latré in his presentation 'Tyndale's Testament' and Dr Leland Ryken (Wheaton College, USA) distinguished writer and teacher.

Our special guest speaker will be Edward P. Jones, 2004 Pulitzer Prize winning author of the novel 'The Known World'.

Events will include plenary lectures and discussions, scholarly panels, roundtable seminars, and readings by contemporary writers.

An accompanying exhibit will be mounted by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library.

As co-sponsor of the event, The Tyndale Society has obtained a special 50% registration discount for all Members. To obtain your discounted registration DOWNLOAD OUR SPECIAL BOOKING FORM HERE.

PS - If you are not yet a member of the Tyndale Society, it is worth noting that the $45 subscription fee will save you $50 on the price of conference registration...

Email us for more details...

Letter from Lindos...

"Every autumn I spend some weeks in Lindos, on the Greek island of Rhodes.

It is believed locally that the Apostle Paul landed here in 43AD to preach Christianity. The almost landlocked cove below the village is named St Paul's Bay in his honour, and on his Saint's Day the villagers dance in his honour.

Concerning St Paul's final missionary journey Tyndale translates:
'And it chanced that as soon as we had launched forth, and were departed from them, we came with a straight course unto Coos (Cos), and the day following unto the Rhodes...'
( Acts 21, 1534 translation )

Paul was never shy of preaching in a pagan holy place, as shown by the riot he caused at Ephesus, and his great sermon in Athens on 'Mars street' (Tyndale's phrase). Lindos then was as old as London is today, and surely would have had a Jewish community, probably Paul came with introductions from friends.

Today Rhodes is both the name of the capital and of the island, but in ancient times the older city of Lindos was the artistic, religious and intellectual centre. The Horses at St Mark's in Venice were fashioned in the School of Sculpture. The Temple on the Lindos Acropolis was second only to the Parthenon in its dedication to Athena. The School of Oratory educated young men from all over the Roman world - Mark Anthony improved his Greek here, later to woo Cleopatra.

Romance is an enduring theme here in Lindos: during WWII a pious mother vowed that if her sons survived she would restore the old church above the beach. They all lived and she fulfilled her vow, rebuilding the tiny 'St. Paul's chapel' - now a mecca for British couples who meet here on holiday and return to marry in this beautiful spot.

Brides in billowing dresses traverse the steep path down the cliff, watched by amused swimmers and sunbathers.

I wonder - what does St. Paul make of it?"

May Clow, Chairman of The Tyndale Society

Cuisine for Conservation at Merton...

British Heritage site Merton Priory is calling all cooks in the cause of conservation...

Tyndale Society Members and friends are asked for their recipe contributions for a new charity cookbook to be produced by the Friends of Merton.

The new book - featuring the favourite feasts of Merton's many celebrity supporters - will focus on healthy, cheap eats which are simple to make.

Sheila Fairbank of supporters' group The Friends of Merton says 'The project is hoped to raise awareness of the charity as well as provide inspiration to budding cooks.'

To submit a contribution, email Sheila here.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Truth or Consequences...

Some years ago I went through a period of reading everything I could get my hands on in the field of contemporary Jesus scholarship. I learned a good deal but was left feeling vaguely unsatisfied...

Observe these interesting signs that contemporary Jesus Movement scholars are backing away from a strict emphasis on a truth/lies distinction in their analysis of the Gospels.

From The First Christmas by Borg and Crossan: "For a moment, we return to the truth of parable and the question of historical factuality. (...) In our judgment, there was no special star, no wise men, and no plot by Herod to kill Jesus. So is the story factually true? No. But as parable, is it true? For us as Christians, the answer is a robust affirmative. Is Jesus light shining in the darkness? Yes. Do the Herods of the world seek to extinguish the light? Yes. Does Jesus still shine in the darkness? Yes."

From The First Christmas, p. 184 (softcover): Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan (pubs. HarperCollins, 2009).

Neil L. Inglis, Editor, TSJ

Ringing the Changes - Call for Carols

Music fans are invited to send in suggestions for carols old and new to be included in this year's Christmas service.

As usual The English Chamber Choir, under Director Guy Protheroe, will sing for us at our service at St. Mary Abchurch - a hidden gem in the very heart of the City of London.

This lovely Wren Church - which Betjeman described as 'a complete surprise' and 'one of the most beautiful in the City' originally dates back to 1198 and was restored in 1681 for the princely sum of £4922 after destruction in the Great Fire of London.

The English Chamber Choir are regular performers at all of the major music venues and festivals around the UK as well as on TV and radio. Internationally they are more widely known for their soundrack to the Spielberg blockbuster - Band of Brothers.

To hear a sample of the Choir in action, click on the image below (opens in new window).

The service will begin at 12:30 pm on Thursday 16th December at St. Mary Abchurch, Abchurch Lane, City of London, with mince pies in the Parish Room to follow.

To let us know your musical suggestions please email us!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Tyndale Rocks...

I'm heading off to Denver Colorado for the annual conference of the American Translators Association (October 27-30).

The world of translation is far removed from Tyndale's time of course, but Tyndale always has interesting things to teach modern translators.

Will keep you posted... Neil L. Inglis, Editor, TSJ

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Stacks to Browse at our Virtual Bookshelf...

After the great success of our online 'taster' edition of TSJ No.39 (1172 views and counting)...

We're pleased to let you know that Members and friends of The Tyndale Society can now access online abstracts of the past six issues of The Tyndale Society Journal at the click of a mouse...

This new feature will be a boon for existing members who might want to check which issue a particular article appeared in, or for potential new members who would like to get a flavour of The Society's publications and activities.

Visit our 'Virtual Bookshelf' for more...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

'Pilgrim Country' Tour - UK - 1st November

Join members of the Tyndale Society USA for a guided tour of English sites of 'The Separatists' - known today as 'The Pilgrim Fathers'...

Tyndale Society members Tom & Bonnie Martin from Pennsylvania, USA, invite local members to join them on a day's study tour with local guide - historian and author Sue Allan.

The day will begin in Babworth, Nottinghamshire at 9:15am and end in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire at approximately 4pm.

"Allan leads me upstairs to the tower roof, where the entire town lay spread at our feet. "Everyone had to go to the Church of England," she said. "It was noted if you didn't. So what they were doing here was completely illegal. They were holding their own services. They were discussing the Bible, a big no-no. But they had the courage to stand up and be counted."
Simon Worrall - Smithsonian Magazine

Price: £10 (own transport required)


Friday, 15 October 2010

'Boleyn' Brenton to lecture at Lambeth

Celebrated English Playwright Howard Brenton is to give this year's Lambeth Tyndale Lecture on December 16th.

Prize-winning author of The Globe Theatre's much-praised summer premiere 'Anne Boleyn' - Brenton will be discussing the inspirations and background to his new production, and how he came to write a major character - William Tyndale.

The historic setting of this lecture in the 14th Century Guard Room at Lambeth Palace - London residence of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, is sure to make this a truly memorable event.

Daily Telegraph Review: 'Takes the tame conventions of historical drama and hurls them in the privy... Argues for Anne’s story to be read not as textbook tragedy but as something far more uplifting...

Note: As is usual for our Lambeth Lectures, for security purposes all lecture attendees must pre-register by name prior to the event.

Entry is by production of ticket only.

To register - Download our Booking Form or email us by latest 5pm Tuesday 14th December.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A Monastic Universe

Dear Tyndalians:

My wife and I are visiting the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park NY, one of the homes of the Anglican Benedectine Order in the United States.

The atmosphere of peace and quiet dedication, the timelessness of the Hudson River as it passes by, all foster an atmosphere of spiritual contemplation.

I feel very much at home here, and am planning the next issue of the Tyndale Society Journal (TSJ No.40).

Copy deadline for the this forthcoming issue will be 15th December 2010, so do email us prior to that date if you have article ideas or material such as letters, book reviews or event announcements which you would like to propose for inclusion.

It is our intention to bring William Tyndale into the digital age, so that new generations accustomed to the Internet as their primary information source will come across WT in the electronic universe--and will feel that same instinctive and overwhelming need (the need we have all experienced) to learn more about that great man's story.

This approach will complement traditional hard-copy publication and other communications media which we at the Society have always used to tell WT's story. Come and join us in this grand adventure.

Warmest wishes to you all,

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Call for Papers - 2011 Nottingham Conference

Call For Papers - The English Reformation up to Henry VIII's Break with Rome...

Reformation scholars interested in this period are invited to submit papers for a major conference to be held next August.

Click on the poster image on the left to view, download or print a PDF giving full details.

For any questions regarding this conference - email Ralph Werrell, conference organiser.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Greetings from TSJ Editor

Dear readers, fellow-Tyndalians, and friends:

A very warm welcome to The Tyndale Society Blog.

We Tyndalians are very excited about the latest developments in the Tyndale world, and we look forward to posting breaking news stories, announcements, and other important listings regarding WT and Tyndale enthusiasts worldwide--and in real time!

Above all, we want to engage in dialogue with you!

A big thank-you to Karen Wortley who has made this possible. Welcome aboard, and stay tuned!

Neil L. Inglis
TSJ Editor

Monday, 27 September 2010

TSJ Issue Number 39 to be published this week

For a sneak preview of what's in store inside Issue 39 of The Tyndale Society Journal, check out the contents pages in our online abstract...

The Door that Saved Charterhouse in 1666...

The Original Chapel Door of 1666
Tyndale Society Members learned the virtue of fire safety at the Society's recent tour of the London Charterhouse...

On view was the original door to Charterhouse Chapel, which saved the building from destruction in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

The fire burned for four days and nights and by the time it was extinguished had claimed 80% of the city.

View our online album for more images from Brian Buxton's excellent tour programme - which also included:

St. Sepulchre Without Newgate
Burial place of the ashes of Sir Henry Wood, where we viewed the gruesome bell which was tolled the night before executions were scheduled to take place.

Stationers' Hall
This tucked-away City site - home to The Worshipful Company of Stationers & Newspaper Makers - features commemorative windows to William Tyndale, Chaucer, Caxton and Shakespeare.

The Smithfield Martyrs Memorial

Society Members learn about John Rogers & John Houghton at Smithfield