William Tyndale wrote, “I would that the Gospels and the epistles of Paul were translated into all languages, of all Christian people, and that they might be read and known.” This became his passion, and would result in his death.
Born in 1494 in Gloucester, by 1510 he was studying in Oxford, then Cambridge. A student and master of languages, he desired to translate the New Testament into English so that the common people could read the Bible. In 1523 he sought permission and funds from the bishop of London to translate the New Testament. The bishop denied his request, and also said that he was not welcome to translate the New Testament anywhere in England!
Tyndale traveled to cities in Germany, Hamburg, Wittenberg, Cologne, and eventually to Worms. By 1525, his New Testament emerged: the first translation from Greek into the English language. King Henry VIII, was angry. Thomas More, said that it was”not worthy to be called Christ’s testament, but either Tyndale’s own testament or the testament of his master Antichrist.”
After years of struggles and battles, in August 1536, Tyndale was condemned as a heretic. Then on Friday, October 6, he was brought to the cross in the middle of the town square and given a chance to recant. He refused. John Foxe said Tyndale’s final words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”