William Tyndale: A biography, by David Daniell

This marvelous book was given to me by dear friends a few years ago. It had been highly recommended to them as the biography to read for that year. I agree.

Daniell gives us a fine mix of historical background ("life and times..."), careful analysis of Tyndale's fresh rendering of the Bible into the everyday English of the time, and judicious evaluations of Tyndale's friends and enemies.

I came away with fresh admiration for the courage, dedication, and brilliance of this man. He labored long and hard, against immense odds and ferocious opposition, and at great danger to his own life. In the end, he was betrayed before he could finish his translation of the Old Testament, but not before he had laid a foundation that would become a magnificent edifice.

What surprised and disappointed me was the portrayal of Thomas More, who was so favorably presented in the movie, "A Man for All Seasons," and who is considered by Roman Catholics to be a saint. What do we say about a man who did all he could to keep the people of Britain from reading the Bible in their own tongue, and who delighted in the torture of Protestants?

At any rate, Tyndale shines forth as the giant he was. We are all in his debt, and Daniell's volume makes that abundantly clear in elegant and exacting scholarship.