Bible Translation

William Tyndale

There is an excellent article on William Tyndale in Knowing and Doing (the magazine of the C.S. Lewis Institute) which anyone interested in the Bible or Translation would profit from. (HT Antony Billington)

Tyndale was both an able scholar (fluent  in seven languages in addition to English)  and “a conscious craftsman” with an “extraordinary gift for uniting the skill  of making sense of an original with the music of  spoken English at its best.” He succeeded in making the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old Testament speak in remarkably clear, beautiful and vigorous English.

His work made the English a Bible-reading people and influenced future translations down to the present. Because William Tyndale gave the English people the Bible in
their own language, he is rightly honored as the “apostle of England.”

Not a few of Tyndale’s translations have become a part of the English language, including the following:

• “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.”
• “No man can serve two masters.”
• “Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and
ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
• “Give unto one of these little ones to drink, a
cup of cold water only.”
• “The spirit is willing.”
• “Fight the good fight.”
• “In him we live and move and have
our being.”
• “With God all things are possible.”
• “Be not weary in well doing.”
• “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”

This is the sort of legacy that any contemporary translator, in any language would love to leave behind. I do hope that it can be said of our work that it is expressed in remarkably clear, beautiful and vigorous Kouya.

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