Friday, 9 October 2015

Always back to Tyndale

Let me just state, I am aware that every few months I end up being KJV-only. I have seemingly towed the line for 3 years, and now I've moved on. I have a feeling now that this is it, I'm not KJV only, nor do I believe that God breathed a translated bible that is perfect - and if he did it would not be the King James version.

My first love is Tyndale's translation of the bible, My number 1 is the Matthew Bible (the one I have reviewed here. Yes it's a personal thing, not unpreached. But my "logic" tells me that God is not going to use a committee made bible, however old it is. God would 'breathe' a bible born of adversity, persecution, horror and religious revival. That is my theory anyway. The time prior to the KJV was just that time, and Tyndale was the one to shout "Lord open the King of England's eyes". If anyone were to be that God-breathed translator it would be him. His theological writings span two full volumes on my shelf - he stood against the great AntiChrists of his and our time; the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope - and he suffered their wrath.

So for me Tyndale's bible, however archaic the spellings, are a fine replacement for a KJV. Not only that, Tyndale believed in a Flat Earth and even translated it in 2 Samuel 11.

The simple fact of the matter is that Tyndale used no pretense, he simply translated the bible to the best of his abilities, and over the course of time his translation became the de facto "bible". Yes, his translation makes up approximately 90% of the KJV, making the KJV the purest Tyndale bible of the modern era. However, why settle for 90% when you can simply own a Tyndale translation?

Thats what I decided, to simply use a pure Tyndale bible - in my case the Matthew Bible. You can buy around 4 or 5 different versions of Tyndale's work 1525, 1534, 1536, Matthew, Great Bible. Yes, you have to adapt to the old spellynges, (Except for the 1534 version edited by David Daniell) Or you can buy a Geneva Bible which is a lot more Tyndale than the KJV.

In conclusion, for the past 5 years of being a christian, the translation that has provided me the most edification, enjoyment, and sense of wonder is that done by William Tyndale. For as much as I appreciate the KJV, and understand the belief in its superiority over all modern bibles, for me Tyndale soars past all in it's authenticity, reliability, and readability.

For instance, 1 Corinthians 13 in Tyndale, has love instead of charity (as in the KJV). This is just one example of changes that simply don't add to clarity in reading. Are we really to believe that having not charity means you have nothing, now perhaps in 1611 charity meant "great love", but nowadays charities abound, and it doesn't mean the same thing - yet love means the same. I will also recognise that Tyndale's english is older than the KJV, but, it's just as readable. Tyndale took it to the level where a 16th century ploughboy could read it, but the KJV took it to liturgical and scholarly levels, making it more difficult for that ploughboy to read - in that sense it is more like the original greek than any other translation of that era. If the Matthew Bible were to be updated in spelling, I believe that that translation would easily be as readable - if not more - than the KJV, and perhaps just as accurate.

So I have chosen Tyndale as my number one translation, and my go-to now for theology, I am currently scouring his works for theological insight, and even amending my theology to fit his.

1 comment:

in said...

I love the fact that he translates John truthfully without imposing some later Trinitarian theology into it like the KJV and all subsequent mainline translations have done by using the personal pronoun he, having already assumed the pre existent son, the CEB actually translates this well until it then goes God the only son which makes a mash of John's express declaration that no has seen God but Jesus exegetes or declares him. The 1525 all the way for me, Tyndale hasn't polished the text so its got some wonderful middle English expressions. There's a great audible reading of Matthew aiming at the original dialect, sounds great.