As a British historian and vlogger for The History Review on Facebook I recently had the somewhat surreal opportunity to view the first edition of William Tyndale’s 1526 English Bible. This is one of only three remaining copies in the world and so I simply had to share with you this amazing experience at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, where the book is now housed.
You can watch the video on: https://www.facebook.com/TheHistoryReview/videos/876445505856508/
Now you may be aware that there is an earlier English translation of the Bible by John Wycliffe written in 1382. However there are some key differences between his work and that of Tyndale’s that mark the two translations as being quite different. Wycliffe’s Bible was translated was from the Latin version – which was a translation in itself – and written in Middle English for Medieval readers. As I go on to discuss in the vlog, Tyndale’s Bible was the first to be translated from the original text in Hebrew and Greek. Tyndale’s Bible was also the first Modern English translation and indeed we still use many of Tyndale’s phrases to this day. If you’ve ever found yourself saying things like ‘eat, drink and be merry’, ‘broken-hearted’, ‘signs of the times’, ‘let there be light’, ’the salt of the earth’, ‘go the extra mile’ or ‘the parting of the ways’, these were all Tyndale phrases used in his Bible translation.
The most poignant thing about viewing this 1526 Bible at St Paul’s Cathedral was that it escaped being burned, along with thousands of other confiscated Bibles, right there in the courtyard outside St Paul’s. In fact, as you’ll see in the vlog, I stand in the exact same spot of the Saint Paul’s Cross where this demonstration against Tyndale took place! Not that this stopped him in his mission, and I’m sure you’ll agree that his incredible story of tenacity and perseverance to do good in the world should serve as inspiration to us all that we should never stop fighting for what we believe in!
To see this incredible footage of the Bible and hear more about Tyndale’s story then simply click on the video, above. To watch more history vlogs from myself, Hayley Nolan, please check out my Facebook page @TheHistoryReview where you can follow my weekly adventures in the castles and palaces of England and Europe. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram, I’ve included all links below.