This is William Tyndale’s final New Testament translation of 1535, completed just before he was captured, imprisoned, and executed in 1536. Tyndale’s friend John Rogers published his New Testament in a very important Reformation Bible called the Matthew Bible in 1537. Rogers also added commentaries called “The Notes.” Rogers was martyred in 1555, burned at the stake in Smithfield, England.
The October Testament contains the full New Testament of William Tyndale, some of his prologues to the gospels and epistles, and John Rogers’ notes, all gently updated by Ruth Magnusson Davis.
In 2009, Davis founded the New Matthew Bible project, dedicated to gently updating the Matthew Bible for today. In early 2016 the New Testament was published as ‘The October Testament.’ This pdf edition contains emendments through to June 2021. Ruth’s gentle editorial hand in the work is almost unnoticeable; Tyndale continues to shine through and Rogers’ style in the notes is distinctly his.
Readers often comment on the flow and the clarity of the New Matthew Bible scriptures, and on the beauty of the original style. Because the Matthew Bible was the primary source of the King James Version, people will find much that is familiar here, but will find it much easier to understand than the KJV. (Computer studies have shown that the New Testament of the King James Bible is 83% taken from Tyndale’s New Testament in the Matthew Bible.)
The name ‘October Testament’ recalls Martin Luther’s ‘September Testament.’ More significantly, however, just as the advent of October signals the approach of the end of a calendar year, so it also reminds us that the year of the Lord is drawing on to its close.