Learn About the Bible Translation by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale
Did you know, the 1537 Matthew Bible, which contained the bible translations of William Tyndale, formed the base of the KJV? Computer studies show that the KJV New Testament kept about 83% of Tyndale’s New Testament, which demonstrates its great worth. However, though it is almost 80 years older, the bible translation by William Tyndale is easier to understand.
Our goal at Baruch House Publishing is to increase people’s awareness of the Matthew Bible. We are also the publishing arm of the New Matthew Bible Project, which is dedicated to gently updating the Matthew Bible for today. In 2016 we published Tyndale’s New Testament as The October Testament. It also contains his commentaries and prologue to the book of Romans.
What Is the Matthew Bible Translation?
The Matthew Bible was first published in 1537. The New Testament is Tyndale’s work, while the Old Testament is the combined work of Tyndale and Myles Coverdale. They worked in exile in Europe because at that time it was illegal in England to translate the bible. A third man, John Rogers, collated their translations, added notes, and published the entire bible under the pseudonym “Thomas Matthew.” He used this name to conceal William Tyndale’s involvement, because all Tyndale’s work was banned in England.
The Matthew Bible is the only English bible sealed with the blood of its authors. The 1535 New Testament bible translation by William Tyndale was his final revision, made just before he was captured and executed in 1536 by Roman Catholic authorities. John Rogers also died for his work: in 1555 he became Queen Mary’s first burning victim in England. One of the charges against him was that he had used the alias Thomas Matthew.
Why Should You Be Interested in This Translation?
The Matthew Bible is little known today, and there are many misconceptions about it. Especially, it has been undervalued as a translation. In Part 2 of The Story of the Matthew Bible, see below), Ruth shows how the method of bible translation by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale contributed to clarity and meaningfulness. Their “meaning first” emphasis meant that, as Tyndale wanted, even the ploughboy could know God’s word. Their work was faithful and true, but modern scholars have failed to appreciate this bible translation by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale.
John Rogers’ informative notes enhance the value of the Matthew Bible. In the Old Testament he added many notes to explain difficult Hebrew idioms (figurative manners of speech). For example, he explained that when Isaac is called Abraham’s “only son” in the book of Genesis, it means “most beloved son.” This idiom is not used in English, and is confusing because we know that Abraham had other sons, including Ishmael.
Books and Resources to Learn About the Matthew Bible Translation
The Story of the Matthew Bible. Part 1 is about the making of the Matthew Bible. It tells the stories of Tyndale, Coverdale, and John Rogers, as well as Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell, who were instrumental in obtaining King Henry’s consent for the Matthew Bible to go forth in England. Part 2 tracks changes to the bible translation of William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale when their work went on to form the base of later versions, including the Great Bible and Geneva and King James Versions. It then follows bible revisions right up to modern times. It is surprising how much has changed!
The October Testament is Tyndale’s New Testament as it was set forth in the Matthew Bible, including John Rogers’ notes, all lightly updated for today. The English language has changed since the 16th century, but Ruth’s gentle editing of obsolete words and phrases brings out the meaning.
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