Today the church remembers William Tyndale, Translator of the Bible, 1536.Change, even the most innocent and constructive, comes hard to men and societies. When William Tyndale, a careful and competent scholar and priest, prepared a translation of the Bible into English, he suddenly found himself treated as a scoundrel and a radical, even by those from whom he had expected the most support, the intellectuals and churchmen of England. At Oxford, as a student, and at Cambridge, as a teacher, he had found great truth and guidance for his life from the scriptures, which were then available only to those who could read Latin, or in the partial and sometimes inaccurate version of John Wycliffe. Tyndale wanted to make the Bible available to the English in their native tongue. When his bishop got word of the project, he chastised Tyndale for such revolutionary activity and eventually made things so uncomfortable for the scholar that he had to leave England and flee to Germany, where the first edition of the Tyndale version of the Bible was published. In spite of Tyndale's piety, scholarship, and good intentions, his work brought nothing but wrath from the English authorities. He was captured, tried as a heretic and schismatic, strangled, and publicly burned at Vilvorde, Belgium, in 1536. Help us to proclaim your eternal Word in our time with bravery and clarity. Amen.
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Almighty God, you planted in the heart of your servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and endowed him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us your saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.