By Brian Moynahan
The nice echoing words of the King James Bible that experience boomed in the course of the English-speaking brain for four hundred years – an eye fixed for a watch . . . consume, drink and be merry . . . . dying, the place is thy sting? . . . guy shall no longer stay by means of bread on my own – are principally the paintings of a guy whose genius for phrases suits Shakespeare. yet William Tyndale, the younger Gloucestershire show who wrote them, paid for them together with his existence. He used to be persecuted, exiled and finally burned on the stake.
Book of fireside is the exciting, relocating tale of the guy who first translated the be aware of God into the English vernacular. Tyndale did so in defiance of church and nation, hunted by way of the implacable enmity and the brokers of the sainted Thomas extra. He used to be eventually betrayed, yet via then his braveness and poetic intuition had supplied the spine of the one most vital paintings within the English language. The Tudor heretic had replaced the literary, spiritual and political panorama for ever.
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Extra resources for Book of Fire: William Tyndale, Thomas More and the Bloody Birth of the English Bible
Brian Moynahan graduated with a double first in history from Cambridge, where he was a foundation scholar of Corpus Christi College. He was for many years a foreign correspondent with the Sunday Times, and was latterly the paper’s European editor. He is the author of several books, including The Faith, a History of Christianity. His most recent book, Jungle Soldier, the biography of Freddy Spencer Chapman, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Praise for Book of Fire ‘His research is exact and his prose elegant’ Peter Ackroyd, The Times ‘Brian Moynahan’s biography of this difficult, aggressive, unworldly and monomaniacal man is a triumph … Authoritative, vital, passionate, closely attentive to the sources and superbly able to recreate the mentality of a violent and agonised time’ Adam Nicolson, Evening Standard.
He demanded. The dignities and privileges that Rome bestowed were ‘not worthe a fly’s foote’, and men should ‘shake awey al ye lawe that ye pope hath maad’, and return to the laws of God. He stressed the importance of personal faith in Christ, rather than the merits of obedience to the Church. ’ This belief was not gained through the intercession of the Church, he said; it flowed from the individual and the reading of the scripture, and the decadence of churchmen was an obstacle to it. Christ had been the ‘porest man of alle’.
Each was an individual labour of magnitude, painstakingly hand-copied on to parchment and bound between boards. The English language was in headlong development – Latin was resented as alien and ecclesiastical; French, falling from fashion during the long French wars, was banned from use in the law courts in 1362, the year before parliament was opened with speeches in English for the first time – and the language in the Wycliffe Bibles would soon seem almost as outdated as Anglo-Saxon. ’ But the sentence in Tyndale – ‘iudge not, lest ye be iudged’ – needs only the substitution of ‘you’ for ‘ye’, to pass muster in our own English.