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.