Building the Bible

The 1500s: The Protestant Reformation

While Luther was working on Bible translations in Germany, who was the key figure working on Bible translations in England?

William Tyndale (c. 1490–1536). Tyndale, an English scholar, priest, and theologian, translated various biblical manuscripts into English. Like Luther, he believed that the Bible should be available for people to read in their own language. In 1526, while in France, Tyndale and his assistant, William Roye, translated a 1516 Greek translation of the New Testament into English. Thanks to the efficiency of the printing press, Tyndale’s New Testament translations spread throughout England quickly. Tyndale translated several books of the Old Testament into English, but he did not live to see them published. In 1536, because of what the Church saw as his heresy, Tyndale was sentenced to death by strangling. After he was strangled, his body was burned at the stake.


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