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The daring mission of William Tyndale

By Steven J. Lawson
July 2015 | Review by Stuart Fisher
  • Publisher: Reformation Trust
  • ISBN: 978-1-56769-435-2
  • Pages: 184
  • Price: 10.58
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Book Review

Stephen Lawson is a gifted writer who has a knack of getting to the heart of the matter. This is a fresh look at the life and work of a truly amazing man, rightly called the father of the English Bible. Indeed, Lawson further argues that Tyndale stands as the father of the modern English language.

The opening chapter serves as an overview of the life of Tyndale before a more detailed examination is given, particularly of his historic Bible translation. The reader is taken through each step of the work, from Tyndale’s initial inspiration that the ploughboy be able to read the Scriptures, to his final end at the stake.

What I found particularly interesting is the author’s detailed examination of the stages involved in the translation. This never becomes tedious, but rather invigorating. The whole effort of translation is brought alive, so much so that you can almost smell the printer’s ink!

All this is set against the almost impossible situation of being a man on the run. That Tyndale, always conscious of the danger, often had to uproot and yet ultimately succeeded in his endeavour points gloriously to the great God who was overruling all.

Lawson is a natural communicator and does not miss the opportunity to apply lessons drawn from Tyndale’s life. Reading this book reminds us again of a giant of the faith, superbly gifted for the task in hand and undaunted by setbacks.

He was a man willing to lay down his life for God’s cause and remains a shining example to us all. His life and work remind us of the preciousness of God’s Word. We easily acknowledge its uniqueness, but do we really value it as we should?

Finally, we gain fascinating insights into a master translator at work, analysing and weighing up words and the challenge of producing a clear, fresh and readable text. Every Christian should know about William Tyndale, and this book is a great place to start.

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