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!