Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556

By Carl R. Trueman | Go to book overview

4
William Tyndale

EARLY CAREER: 1525-9

TYNDALE'S matriculation at Wittenberg in 1524 signalled his decisive break with the Catholic Church. For the remaining twelve years of his life, he devoted himself to his principal task of translating the Bible. However, he also produced a steady stream of theological tracts dealing with various aspects of the Christian faith, and it is in these that his doctrine of salvation receives its fullest expression. His two earliest works were written as aids to understanding the scriptures. The Cologne Fragment ( 1525), is all that survives of Tyndale's first attempt to translate the New Testament into English. It consists of a prologue, based on Luther's 1522 New Testament preface, a list of the New Testament books, and the first twenty-one chapters of Matthew's Gospel with marginal notes. Of these, it is the prologue which gives most insight into Tyndale's theological standpoint, and this contains a consistent emphasis on the New Testament as teaching that man is saved by faith in the gospel. This same theme is taken up in his next work, The Prologue to Romans ( 1526). This work is an explanation of Romans and is once again heavily dependent upon Luther, being in part a translation of the latter's Introduction to Romans ( 1522).2 Again, man's salvation is the dominant theme.

The year 1528 saw the publication Tyndale's two most important theological treatises, The Parable of the Wicked Mammon, and The Obedience of a Christian Man.3 Both works were written

____________________
1
I have adopted the tripartite division of Tyndale's career used by W. A. Clebsch. This provides a useful framework for studying his writings and facilitates interaction with Clebsch's work. However, the division is artificial and should not be overemphasized.
2
See Clebsch, p. 145.
3
The publisher was John Hoochstraten of Antwerp: see Mozley, William Tyndale, p. 123.

-83-

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Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Note on Texts xi
  • Abbreviations xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - The Historical and Intellectual Context 7
  • 1 - Five Roads to Martyrdom 9
  • 2 - The Intellectual Context 1 31
  • 3 - The Intellectual Context 2 54
  • Part Two - The Reformers Under Henry VIII 81
  • 4 - William Tyndale 83
  • 5 - John Frith 121
  • 6 - Robert Barnes 156
  • Conclusion to Part Two 198
  • Part Three - The Reformers Under Edward VI and Mary 203
  • 7 - John Hooper 205
  • 8 - John Bradford 243
  • Conclusion to Part Three 289
  • Bibliography 294
  • Index 303
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