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William Tyndale: If God Spare My Life - Martyrdom, Betrayal and the English Bible [Paperback]

Brian Moynahan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 April 2003
William Tyndale (1494 - 1536) is one of history's most famous martyrs. Being out of sympathy with the contemporary English church and suspected of heresy, he left England in 1522 and matriculated at Wittenberg two years later where he got to know Luther. In 1525 he translated the New Testament and, by 1531, the Pentateuch. He had reached the book of Jonah when he was burned for heresy near Brussels. This account ties Sir Thomas More, newly named patron saint of politicians, to the betrayal and burning of Tyndale. The extraordinary feud between the two men is examined in detail and the book also includes portraits of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey. Burnings alive, early printing, book smuggling, and the linking of More, "the man for all seasons" to the betrayal and execution of the most quoted writer in the language (84 per cent of the King James New Testament is word-for-word Tyndale) form the backdrop to one of the most astonishing lives in British history.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New edition edition (3 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034911532X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349115320
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


* 'A thousand times more intriguing than a thriller' - Sunday Telegraph * 'A triumph. authoritative, vital, passionate, closely attentive to the sources' - Adam Nicolson, Evening Standard * 'Excellent. his research is exact and his prose elegant' - Peter Ackroyd, The Times * 'A real revelation' - Scotsman * 'Thrilling' - Mail on Sunday

Book Description

Vivid, compellingly researched biography of one of history's most celebrated martyrs - translator of the Bible William Tyndale --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern popular history writing 9 Feb 2007
By G. L. Haggett VINE VOICE
Another great leap forward in modern popular history writing. Brian Moynahan pulls off the delicate balancing act between in-depth research and a vivid writing style to provide a hugely readable, fast-moving account of the life and times of William Tyndale and of the wider culture of the times and to examine his legacy to the English language and indirectly to increased tolerance. Recommended for those who. like me, might balk at a self-consciously academic treatment of the subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Well, other reviewers have said it better so I'll be brief. This is utterly compelling, fair-minded and well-balanced as well as I can tell. I am a Christian, and for once I am reading a book that really makes the reader feel like he is present with the characters - yet these are real historical people.
Tyndale is a fascinating character and utterly inspiring for those of us who suffer our own (lesser) trials in this day when God's word is abused and spat upon by many.
God's word was abused in that day too - used as a tool to justify power and privilege. This will always happen but Tyndale argues against this, and asks only that he be allowed to translate an English bible then he will "cease writing forever".
Totally uplifted my faith, and yet still fascinating as a read in and of itself. A good read, and an essential piece of English history often neglected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book opened my eyes and mind 30 Dec 2011
By McBoab
The cover, title and blurb persuaded me to buy this book when browsing one lunchtime in Waterstone's.

The book did not disappoint, even though I would not normally entertain such a detailed work on such a subject. It opened my eyes and mind to aspects of a pivotal period in English and, subsequently, British history (Henry VIII to James I/VI). Thanks to its current 400th anniversary, Tyndale's links to the King James Bible are now much better known - this life story provides important context and background information.

My prior knowledge of Tyndale was limited to the notorious goings-on at a London school named after him. [...]

Tyndale's life (bizarrely?) reminded me of Gerald Ronson's maxim that persistance was the critical characteristic of success in business. This biography provides a useful antidote to the perception and aura given to Thomas More in 'A man for all seasons'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of the Bible 1 Jan 2011
By will
a gripping account of how God's word came into English - its power unleashed for the ordinary man and woman through Tyndale's work, a power which More knew was even greater than the monarch's Superb stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the book to read along side of Luther 3 April 2013
Verified Purchase
when you want to know what was going on on the other side of the fence, this is the book to read.
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