Letter: Tyndale's translation of the Bible still speaks to us

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The Independent Online
Sir: We are told by Andrew Brown that Tyndale's New Testament lay open at the first chapter of St John' Gospel:

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God: and the word was God.

Certainly this was Tyndale's revised version of 1534. What he actually wrote in 1525, as readers will have seen in the photograph accompanying the article, was:

In the begynnynge was that worde, and that worde was with god: and god was thatt worde.

The article also contains a misunderstanding about purgatory. Catholics did not believe that purgatory held out hope of a remission from hell. Rather, purgatory was a long and painful process of probation preparing not- yet-worthy Christians for heaven. The Reformers argued that this doctrine was unnecessary. When a sinner repented and put his faith in Jesus, he or she was immediately justified by God, adopted as a child into the heavenly Father's family and made God's friend.

In the words of Paul: 'Those whom he justified he also glorified.' (Rom. 8.30) God's grace short-circuited purgatory. Reformers such as Tyndale considered this was worth dying for.

Yours faithfully,


The Vicarage

Wadhurst, East Sussex

28 September