Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Tyndale Rolls out the Red Carpet at BAFTA

This weekend, film maker and Director Mervyn Weir invites Members and friends of The Tyndale Society to attend the UK premier of his new film 'Fired Up'.

The new film follows the interweaving stories of King Henry VIII and William Tyndale 'The Match that lit the fuse to the King James Bible' .

To add your name to the guest list, (required for BAFTA security purposes), simply RSVP to Mervyn in advance of the event at

The BAFTA members' bar will be open from 4pm on Sunday 18th December, with the screening starting at 5pm at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LN.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Tyndale Carol Service - 14th December - London

This year's Tyndale Society Service of Lessons & Carols will take place at St. Mary Abchurch in the City of London, at 12:30pm on Wednesday 14th December.

As usual, The English Chamber Choir will feature in this beautiful Wren setting, and there will be refreshments and mince pies after the service.

We do hope that as many Members and Friends as possible will attend, as this event is always such a wonderful highlight in our annual calendar.

NOTE: If you are planning on coming along this year, please click here to email the Society, to give an idea of numbers for catering purposes.

Tyndale's possible birthplace up for sale

William Tyndale's possible birthplace - the 40 acre Medieval Manor Melksham Court, Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire is up for sale...

The Cotswold estate - bought for £2m back in 2003 by actor Hugh Grant - is a Grade II listed Manor House circa 16th/17th century.

Dating back to 1360, the site was the former home of the Tyndale family - from the early 15th Century - and then the Morse family until early in the 20th Century.

In more recent times the property was in the ownership the former Conservative education minister, the late Sir Keith Joseph, and property tycoon and hotelier Sir Maxwell Joseph.

The current building dates back to circa 1600, but it was later partly rebuilt after being burned by Royalists in the Civil War.

Offers in the region of £3m are invited from Estate Agents Smiths Gore...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Tyndale's Happy Christmas in the Caymans

This Christmas, Bible translator William Tyndale gets set to spread glad tidings in the Cayman Islands as part of a brand new set of special postage stamps.

The new issue, released by the Cayman Islands Postal Service, commemorates the 400th Anniversary of the printing of the King James Bible.

The special five stamp set features a portrait of Tyndale, 'father of the English Bible,' as well as images of the KJB, King James I, the 1611 translators and the printers of the KJB.

For non-Cayman Islands dwellers, the special KJB and Tyndale stamps are available for online purchase by overseas collectors. However - be warned - the new stamp issue does not yet feature on the CIPS's website (watch this space for more details!)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tyndale - on ipad..!

As part of their 'Treasures' series, The British Library have now published three more titles on ipad - including their celebrated illustrated edition of William Tyndale's 1526 translation of The New Testament.

Only three copies of William Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament printed in Worms in 1526 are known to survive.

The British Library's copy was clearly once a treasured possession, for - unlike the two others - it has been beautifully illuminated.

It is a rare and precious survival of a text which was once revolutionary, because it allowed everyone to read the Scriptures for themselves.

This remarkable little book paved the way for the King James Bible of 1611 which transformed the world’s understanding of scripture.

The new eBook version contains the whole 700 pages of the New Testament, including a list of printers' errors.

To learn more about this novel edition, visit the British Library's iBookstore

KJV Tyndale Event - USA - 18th Nov - Pullman

Tyndale fans based near Pullman USA will tomorrow evening be treated to a two-part symposium focusing on the build-up to and publication of the King James Bible.

First up at 7pm will be a presentation from movie-maker and Tyndale Society Journal contributor Martin Andersen (see TSJ No.39 'Tyndale goes to the Movies') - on William Tyndale and the history of the English Bible.

This will be followed by a talk onthe KJV itself by Professor Fred E. Woods of Brigham Young University - historical consultant on the recent production of US Tyndale docu-drama series 'Fires of Faith'.

All are welcome at the symposium venue: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1055 NE Orchard Drive, Pullman, Washington, 99163 (across from Beasley Coliseum).

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Guardian Critic Praises new Tyndale Play...

Guardian Theatre Critic Michael Billington gives high praise for Tyndale in David Edgar's new production 'Written on the Heart' at The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon.

"No one could accuse the British theatre of ignoring the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. And David Edgar has come up with a learned, information-packed and engrossing play that sees the Authorised Version in its historical context. Like Howard Brenton in Anne Boleyn, Edgar also finds a hero in the outlawed William Tyndale, whose mission was to translate the scriptures into a readily understandable vernacular."

"Edgar's larger purpose is to demystify the King James Bible: to prove that it was both a product of its time and a composite of previous translations... Tyndale is a radical appalled to find a church that still relies on chalices and altar rails, and a new version of the Bible that sacrifices meaning to music. You don't have to be a scholar to follow the argument, since Edgar gives us plenty of textual evidence and, even if his play requires an interest in history, it exposes the divisions that today still rend the Anglican church."

"Stephen Boxer captures all the fire and anger of the pathfinding Tyndale."

There is still plenty of time to catch the play for those who haven't seen it yet, as the production runs until 10th March 2012. For booking details click here.

To read the full review on the Guardian's website click here.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Unique Tyndale Text in Edinburgh Exhibition

From now until 8th January 2012, Tyndale Society Members and Friends can view the only known example of the 1537 edition of Tyndale's translation of The Book of Jonah at the National Library of Scotland.

Entitled 'The Prophet Jonas with an introduccion before teachinge to vnderstande him', this unique copy is believed to have been printed in London. [NLS shelfmark: H.26.g.8.a(5)]

This special exhibit forms part of the Library's latest 'Treasures' display : "The Bible in English - John Wyclif to King James VI".

To find out more about the other rare Bible editions on display in the exhibition, click here.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Fires of Faith Episode 3 - Tyndale's Legacy

For Members and Friends who have been following the three-part Fires of Faith documentary series, Episode 3 - covering the legacy of Tyndale's work - is now available to view online.

This concluding part covers the role of Tyndale's work in the genesis of the King James Bible, including:

The impact of King Henry VIII's 'Great Bible'
Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer
Calvin and the Genesis of the Geneva bible - 'a Bible that was meant to be studied' but which encouraged readers to stand up for their beliefs against Church and State.
Bloody Mary's burning of the Geneva Bible and the purge of Protestant heretics and the return to Catholicism.
Queen Elizabeth's 'Bishop's Bible' and the reversion to Protestantism
King James and the pacification of the Puritans - who called for a new translation of the Bible.

Notable quotes from this episode include:

"(Tyndale) gave the translators a model of paying very close attention the the literal meaning of the original text and he also established a level of language for the translation. He looked for it to be a language that would be understood as easily as possible by what he called 'the boy that drives the plough' - what we would call the man in the street. He was a brilliant writer, so if one is looking for a genius behind the King James, he is the genius." David Norton

"A major contribution of Tyndale is to make the Bible sound English." Susannah Monta, Professor of English, University of Notre Dame

"Tyndale's language has become the special language of religion. It goes on existing as a special way of speaking that we use when we want to speak to God or make prayers." David Norton

"William Tyndale translated the Bible passionately believing in the project, even to the point of death. He was asked to and he did invest his whole self. Almost as in any beautiful piece of artwork, the soul of the person is somehow showing through. It has been forged in self-gift and self sacrifice. In Tyndale's case it was readiness for self-sacrifice to the point of death. That's what makes the Bible sing. That's what makes the King James sing - it's that they let Tyndale speak." John C. Cavadini, University of Notre Dame "His soul is in the translation."

To access the full episode online click HERE or on the above image (our apologies for the slightly annoying ad at the beginning but this is quickly over).

Note: for those who enjoy a visual spectacle, watch out for the 'guerilla choir' shopping mall scene 36 minutes in (particularly the 'Caution Wet Floor' man).

Packed House at Lambeth Lecture 2011

Thanks to the many Tyndale Society members and friends who packed the Guard Room at Lambeth Palace for this year's lecture 'What is Religion - An Archaeological Answer' - given by the eminent South African archaeologist Professor David Lewis-Williams.

For Members who were not able to attend the event, the full audio content of this lecture will be available via Podcast shortly.

NOTE: If you do not currently receive email newsletters from The Tyndale Society then please make sure you sign up to our email database HERE in order to receive access to our web-based Lecture Podcast Library.

For non-members, a CD version - complete with visual slideshow - will be available soon for purchase - watch this space!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Fires of Faith Episode 2 - Now Online

'Martyrs for a Book' the second instalment in the 'Fires of Faith' Tyndale docu-drama series is now available to view online...

To access and view the full episode, click here or on the player icon above.

Monday, 17 October 2011

'Burning The Book' - New Tyndale Play on Tour...

Jump to it Theatre Company's new Tyndale play 'Burning the Book' will open in Oxford on November 1st.

Writer Susan Stead describes the new play as a 'fast moving, provocative and funny four hander - with actors taking multiple roles to 'uncover the bizarre life of William Tyndale - a man whom Melvyn Bragg describes as "a scholar of extraordinary genius" who ranks alongside Shakesprare in his influence on the English Language.'

The first performance will take place in Oxford at All Saints Church, Lime Walk, Headington at 7:30pm on Tuesday 1st November (Entry fee £5 / £ concessions / FOC under 18s).

The production will then move on to Acton, opening at St. Martin's Church, Hale Gardens, W3 9SQ at 8pm on Thursday 24th November.

Further performances are also in the pipeline for Cheltenham, Colchester, North London and Reading.

Fires of Faith Episode 1 - Airs Online...

'Fires of Faith' Episode 1 - 'Yearning for the Word' - telling the first part of the story of William Tyndale and of the genesis of the Bible in the English language - is now available for online viewing to a global audience...

To access the episode, narrated by British actor Geoffrey Palmer, click on the image above.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Tyndale's 'Fires of Faith' to Air Tomorrow in USA

William Tyndale's moving story is set to get a touch of Hollywood tomorrow with the first airing of US dramatised documentary three-parter 'Fires of Faith', written by screenwriter Mitch Davis.

This major project - initially under working title 'Martyrs for a Book: the story of the English Bible' - was first reported by Tyndale Society Trustee David Ireson back in TSJ No.37, Autumn 2009, when he, fellow Trustee Guido Latre and the Society's Chairman Mary Clow were called in to advise.

"He sent us nine pages of questions, starting with Jerome and ending with the KJV. We then went up to London and went through a three hour interview before camera," said Ireson.

Fellow interviewees included David Rosen, then chief Rabbinate of Israel, Alec Ryrie, Professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University and Brad S Gregory, Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana amongst 18 other elite scholars and religious leaders from around the world.

"Fires of Faith is rife with factual Early Modern Era drama that fictional Hollywood would struggle to concoct," commented film maker Lee Groberg.

"Those who sought to translate “God’s message” into the English vernacular were seen as heretics, persecuted and ultimately executed. At the forefront of the saga is British religious scholar William Tyndale, who was responsible for the original translations that make up more than 80 percent of the King James Bible’s text. His death by strangulation and burning at the stake under King Henry VIII didn’t stop his translated words from ultimately reaching a global audience and enduring to this day."

We wait with interest to view the resulting series, which is set to reach a US and worldwide audience of some 60 million households via cable/satellite channel provider BYUtv.

To view a trailer of the production featuring Tyndale Society Trustee Guido Latre, and showing many familiar Tyndale scenes, use the player window below or click here to access BYUtv's website.

For full information and screening times
click here.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tyndale Evensong - 6th October - Fleet Street

On Thursday 6th October at 6:30pm, all Members and Friends of the Tyndale Society are invited to attend a special Choral Evensong service at Fleet Street's St. Dunstan-in-the-West - the ancient church where William Tyndale preached in 1524 before his exile.

The service marks the anniversary of the death of William Tyndale, and will be given by The Reverend Robin Griffith-Jones, the Master of the Temple Church.

The event forms part of the celebrations for the King James Bible's 400th Anniversary.

Tyndale Written on the Heart at Stratford

This autumn the RSC celebrates William Tyndale and the 400th anniversary of the making of the King James Bible with new play Written on the Heart, which opens the Winter Season in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

The play tells the story of translators Tyndale and Lancelot Andrewes, both working to the same end but in very different circumstances eighty years apart.

Directed by RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran, Written on the Heart was written for the RSC by David Edgar, whose most recent credits for the Company include Maydays and Pentecost.

The role of Tyndale is played by Stephen Boxer, who played Petruchio in the 2008 production of The Taming of the Shrew. Lancelot Andrewes is played by Oliver Ford Davies, who appeared most recently with the RSC as Polonius in the 2008 production of Hamlet.

Watch the mini-documentary / Find out more / Buy tickets

Tyndale meets Twisted Spire...

The Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield with Peter McEvoy, Secretary of the Chesterfield Christadelphians at the Bible exhibitionTyndale recently hit the headlines - and the streets - in Chesterfield - home of the famous 'crooked spire' to publicise an exhibition on the History of The Bible...

The 15th Century Scholar, who was martyred for translating the Bible into English, this time elected to spread the word face to face on a walkabout through the town, before welcoming The Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield at the exhibition.

The exhibition, put on in Eastwood Hall by the Chesterfield Cristadelphians, included ancient documents, showing how the Bible survived intact down the centuries to reach us today as well as archaeological exhibits which demonstrate the accuracy of many of the Bibles historical passages.

Mr McEvoy, Secretary of the Christadelphians (from behind Tyndale's beard) said "The exhibition was welcomed with great enthusiasm and interest by Christians in Chesterfield. We hope that it reminded people of its unique and remarkable history which we believe points to its unique status as the Word of God."

The Mayor looks at exhibitions at the Bible Exhibition

"Despite being rooted in history, we believe the Bible has a powerful and helpful message for people in the 21st Century too and we'd welcome the chance to share that with anyone who’s interested."

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tyndale memorial saved by Nibley villagers

Great news from Tyndale heartland in Gloucestershire, where locals have rallied to the cause of their county's famous son.

After public access to Tyndale's memorial at Nibley Knoll was threatened when the surrounding land went up for sale, local villagers rallied to the rescue.

Launching a campaign to protect their much-loved monument, the villagers raised sufficient funds to buy the surrounding land - thereby protecting access to the Tyndale Memorial for posterity.

For more details about this major news item, see here and here.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Lambeth Lecture Opens for Bookings

Eminent South African archaeologist Professor David Lewis-Williams is to give this year's Lambeth Tyndale Lecture 'What is Religion?... An Archaeological Answer', at 6pm on October 25th.

Author of the acclaimed trilogy 'The Mind in the Cave', 'The Neolithic Mind', and now 'Conceiving God', Lewis-Williams is a world-reknowned authority on human prehistory and pre-biblical spiritual awareness.

The lecture will explore the origin of religion in Palaeolithic times, long before the era of Biblical revelation.

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.

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

Entry at Lambeth Palace on the evening is by production of ticket only.

For full details and to book your place at this event, simply Download our Booking Form here, then return by post, or Email The Tyndale Society to reserve your place.

Friday, 12 August 2011

New Bible History Project

Long-term Bible history project discussed on

For further details, click here. Will Tyndale be mentioned? We hope so!

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Tyndale, the KJB, and their influence discussed in African press.

Interesting article on the background to the KJB and its successors in the Ugandan press. Click here for the full story.

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Is the subjunctive worth preserving?

Here is a Guardian blog post on that very subject. Would that it were so simple! Of interest to all those who follow the history of the English language.

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ

Friday, 5 August 2011

William Tyndale comes to The Lone Star State

The life and work of William Tyndale is celebrated in the Mustard Seeds column in the Blanco County News.

More proof, if any were needed, of the universality of the Tyndale message.

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Oldest surviving map of Britain goes online!

This remarkable document was, in its way, as important to the formation of England's national identity as Tyndale's vernacular translation.

Tyndale Society members, I give you--the Gough Map!

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ

Gloucestershire celebrates Tyndale!

Key quote: "AS a climax to the King James Bible celebrations in Gloucester there is to be a 'Bible Day' Saturday, July 16, from noon.

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible and to celebrate the life and translation work of the Gloucestershire man William Tyndale, the Rev John Shearer will give a talk at the Mariner's Church, The Docks, off Southgate Street, followed by Christians doing 'Open Air Bible Readings' at Gloucester Cross and Eastgate Street starting at 2pm."

No longer a prophet without honour in his own country!

Neil L. Inglis
Editor, TSJ