Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Communicating Ideas

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Communicating Ideas

Article excerpt

Byline: @EveningChron Church Matters FRANCIS WOOD

LET THERE BE LIGHT IF you enjoy politics, then this is the season for you, with the political parties holding their annual fairs.

And, after they've told us what's wrong with the other parties, we may pick up what they stand for themselves. Then it all comes down to communication. That is, explaining in simple Anglo-Saxon words what plans they have for the future. "We shall fight them on the beaches" (Churchill).

The master of communication in English is celebrated on October 6, William Tynedale (scholar and martyr). He translated the first published version of the New Testament in English (1526). His aim was to make the Bible available to everyone. He wanted the ploughboy to be as educated as the clergy!

Surely this man did more than anyone (including Shakespeare) to create the English tongue. So many phrases we take for granted began life at his pen, when he wrote, "Let here be light,""The spirit is willing,""The salt of the earth," "A prophet has no honour in his own country."

He introduced simple and majestic rhythms which we still use today.

It's when people try to improve on Tynedale's translation that we know how remarkably fresh he is to this day. Even shortly after him, the Authorised Version (1611) is quite remote with "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Tynedale says, quite plainly, "each day hath enough of its own trouble." Now we all know what that means.

Reading the work of this remarkable man makes me wonder if we really need all the modern translations that we have today. All aiming to make the scriptures relevant! Tynedale's writing laid the bedrock for English language and literature. Never let us lose it.

WAY OF ESCAPE I once faced a night in an empty church. It was evening and the October rain was lashing down. …

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