Letter: Tyndale's use of it and hym

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Sir: Ashton Nichols says (letter, 3 October) that in his version of John's Gospel, William Tyndale 'referred to divinity with a gender-neutral pronoun', and makes much of this as a kind of prescient theological correctness.

But when Tyndale wrote 'All thyngs were made by it' etc, by 'it' he means, of course, not God, but the 'worde' previously discussed. (The Greek pronoun translated 'it' could be masculine or neuter, so we cannot be certain whether John meant God, as the Authorised Version has it, or the word. Not that it matters much here, since John has just said that the two are identical: 'and god was thatt worde').

It is ludicrous to read heresy or gender-neutrality into this passage: after all, at the end of the extract in your accompanying illustration Tyndale writes 'the world by him was made', perfectly normally.

Yours faithfully,


Wolfson College


3 October