Letter: The debt we owe Tyndale

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The Independent Online
MAY I add a correction or two to those already made (Letters, 28 January) to the article about the Tyndale version of the Bible.

David Daniell's excellent edition presents Tyndale's 1534 revised edition, not the original edition of 1525-6, which was the one largely grabbed by the authorities. Enough got through, though, to excite England. And Tyndale was not executed (in Flanders) for translation, but rather for his heretical writings, especially the bitter controversy with Sir Thomas More.

Tyndale did translate Genesis, and the rest of the Pentateuch (which he published) and on as far as Chronicles (which he could not), and Jonah. These books are also now available in David Daniell's modernisation. Finally, far more people than the AV translators read Tyndale. His work was the basis of every translation that century; even the Catholic Douay version owes a debt to him. And so do we all. Tyndale is still the best writer ever to translate an English Bible.

William H Stevenson