VIDEO God’s Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale

 Feb 22, 2015

William Tyndale (c. 1494 – c. 6 October 1536) was an English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known for his translation of the Bible into English. He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and by Martin Luther. A number of partial translations had been made from the seventh century onward, but the spread of Wycliffe’s Bible led to the death penalty for anyone found in unlicensed possession of Scripture in English—though translations were available in all other major European languages.

Tyndale’s translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, the first English translation to place God’s name [Jehovah] in its rightful place, the first English translation to take advantage of the printing press, and first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. It was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and the laws of England maintaining the church’s position. In 1530, Tyndale also wrote The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII’s annulment of his own marriage on the grounds that it contravened Scripture.

Reuchlin’s Hebrew grammar was published in 1506. Tyndale worked in an age in which Greek was available to the European scholarly community for the first time in centuries. Erasmus compiled and edited Greek Scriptures following the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Constantinople’s fall helped to fuel the Renaissance and led to the dispersion of Greek-speaking intellectuals and texts into a Europe which previously had no access to them. A copy of The Obedience of a Christian Man fell into the hands of Henry VIII, providing the king with the rationale to break the Church in England from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.

In 1535, Tyndale was arrested and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde (Filford) outside Brussels for over a year. In 1536, he was convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation, after which his body was burnt at the stake. His dying prayer was that the King of England’s eyes would be opened; this seemed to find its fulfilment just two years later with Henry’s authorisation of the Great Bible for the Church of England, which was largely Tyndale’s own work. Hence, the Tyndale Bible, as it was known, continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world and, eventually, to the British Empire.

In 1611, the 54 scholars who produced the King James Bible drew significantly from Tyndale, as well as from translations that descended from his. One estimate suggests that the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale’s and the Old Testament 76%. His translation of the Bible was the first to be printed in English, and became a model for subsequent English translations; in 2002, Tyndale was placed at number 26 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

 

Gentleness

Be completely humble and gentle. Ephesians 4:2

The troubles of life can make us cranky and out of sorts, but we should never excuse these bouts of bad behavior, for they can wither the hearts of those we love and spread misery all around us. We have not fulfilled our duty to others until we have learned to be pleasant.

The New Testament has a word for the virtue that corrects our unpleasantness—gentleness, a term that suggests a kind and gracious soul. Ephesians 4:2 reminds us, “Be completely humble and gentle.”

Dear Lord, please help me to be kind and gracious to others today.

Gentleness is a willingness to accept limitations and ailments without taking out our aggravation on others. It shows gratitude for the smallest service rendered and tolerance for those who do not serve us well. It puts up with bothersome people—especially noisy, boisterous little people; for kindness to children is a crowning mark of a good and gentle person. It speaks softly in the face of provocation. It can be silent; for calm, unruffled silence is often the most eloquent response to unkind words.

Jesus is “gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:29). If we ask Him, He will, in time, recreate us in His image. Scottish author George MacDonald says, “[God] would not hear from [us] a tone to jar the heart of another, a word to make it ache . . . . From such, as from all other sins, Jesus was born to deliver us.”

Dear Lord, I want to be a gentle person. Please help me to be kind and gracious to others today.

Humility toward God will make us gentle toward others.

By David H. Roper 

INSIGHT

The apostle Paul had a lot to say about gentleness. Paul was the founding pastor of the church at Corinth and taught there for eighteen months (Acts 18:1–11). Yet, soon after he left the city, the believers rejected him as a true apostle. Paul had every reason and every right to come down hard on these believers, but he didn’t. Instead, he appealed to them “by the humility and gentleness of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:1). In his letter to another church, Paul urged two feuding sisters to reconcile. Paul asked that their “gentleness be evident to all” (Phil. 4:5). In dealing with people who are not sympathetic to the Christian faith and are antagonistic towards us, Peter urged us to be ready “to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have.” But we are to do so “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

The Scriptures show us how we should relate to everyone—we are to be kind, gracious, respectful, and gentle.

Why is it so important to demonstrate gentleness in our interaction with others if we claim to be a follower of Christ?

Sim Kay Tee

A Defense Against Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Experiencing temptation is universal and unavoidable. One cannot hide since there is no environment on earth that is free from its pull. You can never completely eliminate enticement because wherever you run, your flesh goes with you. However, giving in is optional.

The Lord has promised to either provide a way of escape or limit the intensity of the temptation so you can endure it (1 Cor. 10:13). Sometimes that means a literal removal of the enticement as you wisely flee the situation. At other times, the circumstance remains, but God will provide everything you need to bear it without yielding. He is not the source of temptation, but He does allow it for the purpose of maturing and strengthening His children.

Every believer must learn to resist when tempted and to build a defense system for such situations. The way to begin is with self-examination:

What are your areas of weakness? The devil doesn’t use the same approach on everyone. He tailors his traps to fit each individual’s area of vulnerability.

When are you weakest? Satan never plays fair—he attacks when you are down. Just think of the acronym HALT, and be on guard whenever you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.

The greatest defense against temptation is the Word of God. Jesus quoted Scripture to silence Satan’s lies (Matt. 4:1-11). Start each day on your knees: Ask the Lord to build His truth into your life and provide the scriptural ammunition that will allow you to live in victory.

Our Inheritance

“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:4)

Our heavenly inheritance, among other things, is an “eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15), held jointly with Christ (Romans 8:17) and “all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). We who are born again “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” and “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:3, 5) find such an inheritance described in today’s verse.

First, we notice that our inheritance is incorruptible, or undecaying, immortal. Note how the same word is used in verse 23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God.” Therefore, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt” (Matthew 6:20).

Second, it is undefiled, pure, uncontaminated by sin. Remember, Christ is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26), and so, evidently, is our inheritance.

Third, it fadeth not away. “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:4).

Lastly, our inheritance is reserved in heaven. Christ prayed, “Holy Father, keep [same word] through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). Surely our inheritance is as secure as we are, guarded by none other than the all-powerful guard.

So, we see that our inheritance cannot die, cannot be tainted by sin, will never fade, and cannot be lost. “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). JDM

They limited the Holy One of Israel

2 Kings 13:1-6, 9-11, 14-19

We shall now take another glimpse at the guilty kingdom of Israel. When Jehu had swept away the worship of Baal, he restored the worship of God under the figure of an ox, which the sacred writers always describe contemptuously as a calf. His sons after him maintained that forbidden worship which bore the same relation to the true religion as Romanism does to the faith of the gospel.

2 Kings 13:1-3

The Syrians reduced Israel so low that no army was left to defend the country, and the poor people are described as being made “like the dust by threshing.” Wretched are the wages of iniquity.

2 Kings 13:4, 5

God sometimes hears the prayers of the wicked for temporal things. Who can set bounds to his mercy? Let us seek him for spiritual blessings.

2 Kings 13:6

Perhaps spared for its beauty, even as at this time, foolish persons reverence the images of Popery because they are works of art.

2 Kings 13:9-11, 14

After sixty or seventy years of service, rest came to the faithful prophet. Good men, when they come to die, are often honoured by those who have rejected their living testimony. Bad as Joash was, he knew that Elisha was the only defence of the country, and therefore wept at the prospect of his loss.

2 Kings 13:19

Though a dying man, Elisha was angry at unbelief, and well he might be, for God himself is angry with it, and in this case it robbed Israel of great victories, and of all hope of permanent peace. If our faith can shoot many arrows by asking great things of God, expecting great things from God, and attempting great things for God, we shall see mighty marvels; but want of faith stints the blessing; we win but thrice when we might go forth conquering and to conquer. Wretched are the men who rob themselves, and stop the flow of blessing; yet such a course of action is common with us. Lord, send us great family blessings. Convert every one of us. Bless our work for thee, and do great things for us and by us.

 

Learning To Be Hospitable

Romans 12:13

During the time when the New Testament was being written, it is simply a fact that many Christians and church leaders were very mobile. First, many became mobile because they had been evicted from their homes and had lost their property due to persecution. Second, the early believers were mobile because they were moving like a spreading flame throughout the entire Roman world, carrying the Gospel to those who sat in darkness.

Because the Early Church was constantly on the move, it became necessary for believers to adopt an “open-home” mentality In other words, they had to be willing to take in displaced Christians or missionaries who were passing through on their way to take the Gospel to a new region. This open-home mentality was so important that Paul included it in his list of requirements for church leaders. Paul wrote to Timothy that if a person wanted to be a leader, he had to be “… given to hospitality…” (1 Timothy 3:2).

In both Romans 12:13 and in First Timothy 3:2, Paul uses this phrase “given to hospitality.” The word “hospitality” in both references is the Greek word philoxenia. This word is a compound of the words philos, which means to love like a friend, and the word xenos, the Greek word for a stranger or foreigner. There is no doubt that the word xenos doesn’t refer to an acquaintance or associate; rather, it refers to one who is a complete stranger or a foreigner.

Therefore, when Paul tells the Early Church (and us) to be hospitable, he isn’t telling us to be kind, friendly, or openhearted with a known associate or a friend who is in need. He is telling us that we must show compassion and kindness to those we don’t know at all. It is easy to open our homes and show kindness to someone we know, but it is a different thing altogether to be hospitable to those we don’t know!

This would have been an especially important message to believers who lived in large metropolitan cities like Rome or Ephesus. Due to the size of their cities, people (including believers) were constantly arriving with a common need—finding a place to reside during their brief stay.

Modern-day Moscow fits this description quite well, and Denise and I do our best to be “given to hospitality.” This city is like a magnet for all of Russia. Just as was true in the ancient cities of Rome and Ephesus, believers are constantly coming to Moscow for business and ministry. Often they need our help to find a place to stay. They need us to be hospitable and to help meet their needs, even if we don’t know them.

For an early believer to be hospitable, he literally had to open his home to receive those Christians who had been displaced or who were traveling through the area. In that day, there were no hotels like there are in today’s world, so opening one’s home was the only way to show oneself hospitable.

In today’s world, you could still take a traveler into your home. But it is also possible to show yourself hospitable by renting a hotel room to help out a traveler for several nights. You and the Lord must determine how you show hospitality; the important thing is that you are hospitable.

The real idea of the word philoxenia (“hospitable”) is to be friendly or helpful to those who are strangers to you and to those who are in need. This word depicts that moment when you go outside your normal circle of friends and relationships to do something extra special for someone whom you do not know.

Romans 12:13 categorically states that we should be “given” to hospitality. The word “given” is from the Greek word dioko, which means to aggressively pursue something; to ardently follow after something; or to hotly pursue something until you finally catch it. In fact, the word dioko is so aggressive that it is usually translated in the New Testament as the word persecution.

It is significant that Paul used the word dioko in connection with becoming hospitable, because it tells us that we must aggressively set our hearts on attaining this goal. We must make the decision that we are going to develop this trait in our lives. Then we must put our whole hearts into learning how to be welcoming and helpful to believers in need—until finally we catch on to God’s idea of hospitality and become genuinely hospitable people.

 

Romans 12:13 could be taken to mean:

“Hotly pursue and never stop pursuing the goal of becoming hospitable until you have caught on to the idea of hospitality and have genuinely become a hospitable person.”

How long has it been since you opened the doors of your home to someone you didn’t know? Do you mainly minister to people you know and enjoy, or do you have a heart to help those you don’t know but who have legitimate needs in their lives? If you can’t open the doors of your home to them, what else can you do to show them a hospitable heart?

Is this kind of hospitality a token service that you perform out of duty? Or have you been doing everything in your power to become a genuinely hospitable person in the way that you live and treat others? Even more importantly—what are you going to do today to start showing kindness to fellow believers in need?

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I ask You to please forgive me for only seeing the needs of my own social circle. The fact is, there are so many people who are in serious need, and I could be doing something to help at least one of them. I am asking You to help me take my eyes off myself and my little circle of friends and to start seeing the needs that are all around me. I don’t want to be guilty of helping only those who bring a blessing to my life. I want to be a blessing even to those I don’t know and who will never be able to return the favor to me themselves.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am a blessing to fellow believers who are in need. My heart is open; my home is open; my pocketbook is open; and I am willing and ready for the Lord to use me to help others. I thank God that He can use me to make an impact in other people’s lives. I believe that He will bless me for stepping out of my limited little social circle to do a good deed for a fellow believer who really needs a helping hand. And I declare that I won’t casually carry out an occasional act of mercy. Instead, I will aggressively pursue the attitude of hospitality until I catch it and become a genuinely hospitable person.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Was there a time in your past when someone took you in and showed you real hospitality? If so, what was that event, and what impact did that person make on your life?
  2. Have you had an opportunity to be hospitable that you turned down because you didn’t know the person or were afraid to open your home to a stranger?
  3. How would you feel if you needed a place to stay and you couldn’t find a single Christian who would open his or her home to you? On the other hand, how would it make you feel if you were a displaced Christian in need, and someone showed love and compassion to you?

 

Two Options For A Follower Of Christ

As a follower of Christ, I have two options as to how I will live my life:

 

1. By the “clock” — That is, manage my life by such external forces as my

 

Commitments

Appointments

Schedule

Goals

Activities

 

2. By the “compass” — That is, lead my life by such internal values as my

 

Calling

Vision

Values

Mission

Direction

 

Our struggles come when we sense a gap between the clock and the compass; when what we do doesn’t contribute to the values we hold most dear. To help determine whether you are a slave to the clock or are guided by the compass, take a few minutes to prayerfully evaluate and answer the following questions:

  • What is my calling in life?
  • What is my vision?
  • What are my core values?
  • What is my mission in life?
  • What is my direction?
  • Can I defend how I answered the above questions Biblically?

It is God’s intention that we are guided primarily by our inner “compass” when it is based on the leading of the Spirit in accordance with the truth and authority of God’s Word:

 

Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposely and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17 – Amplified)

 

QUESTION: If your life is managed primarily by the “clock,” rather than led by the “compass,” what changes do you need to make at this time?

 

 

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