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William Tyndale

1494-1536

Biographical Sketch

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William Tyndale is believed to have been born near Dursley, Gloucestershire, UK in 1494.

The Tyndales were also known by the surname 'Hychyns'. It was as William Hychyns that Tyndale went to Magdalen Hall, Oxford, now part of Hertford College. He was admitted to the Degree of Bachelor of Arts on 4 July 1512 and to Master of Arts on 2 July 1515.

Fluent in at least 7 languages, he translated much of the Bible into English from the original Greek and Hebrew sources. (Earlier, John Wycliffe had worked from Jerome's Latin 'Vulgate'.) In doing so he gave the English language many of its best known phrases. Much of his work appears, unchanged but unacknowledged in the 'Authorized' (or 'King James') version of the Bible.

At that time, translating the Bible was considered heretical. Tyndale fled to Germany in 1524, later to Belgium. He continued his work, translating the New Testament in 1526 and again in 1534. Eventually, he was betrayed to the authorities. He was strangled, and his dead body was burnt, on 6 October 1536.