The Sword of the Spirit

The Story of William Tyndale
Joyce McPherson
ISBN: 1882514262
Format: Paperback
Pub Date: 04/02/2012
Publisher: Greenleaf Press
Shipping Weight: 0.72lbs
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William Tyndale is the most important translator of the Bible into English in history. Though not the first (that would be John Wyclif), Tyndale's translation has had the most lasting impact. The King James Bible is actually largely a revision of Tyndale's translation.

Joyce McPherson is an accomplished children's author (Dürer, Calvin, Pascal, & Newton), and here she turns her attention to another key figure from the Reformation. She writes an engaging account of Tyndale's youth and education, and his determination to translate the Bible: As a young university graduate, he said, ". . . if God spare my life, I will make a boy that driveth the plough know more of the Scripture than [a priest] does."

This is a great biography to read out loud to students from age 10 up. Independent reading level is 5th/6th grade.

Tyndale was educated at Oxford, and spent considerable time with the White Horse Inn group of Reformers at Cambridge. He went to Germany to study Hebrew for a year under Luther in Wittenberg. When he returned, he single-handedly produced an English New Testament that turned England upside down and has stood the test of time. Forced to flee England by angry bishops (and Chancellor Thomas More), Tyndale was at work on an English Old Testament when he was betrayed, arrested, and eventually executed as a Protestant martyr.

If you want to understand the course of the Reformation in England, then the story starts with Tyndale: student, scholar, translator, printer, smuggler, and witness to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joyce's retelling of his life is meticulously researched. She tells Tyndale's story in such an engaging fashion that young people will feel as though they've had a chance to sit down and hear the story of his life from someone who knew him.
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