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The October Testament is the combined work of three people:
William Tyndale, 1535: This is Tyndale’s last New Testament as it was taken into the Matthew Bible, completed just before he was captured. In 1536 he was martyred. Few realize that the King James Version relied heavily on Tyndale. Therefore readers will find much that is familiar here.
John Rogers, 1537: A year after Tyndale died, Rogers published his New Testament together with notes and commentaries in the little-known but important Matthew Bible. King Henry VIII then licensed it, and the Matthew Bible was authorized for use in the churches. In 1555 Rogers was burned at the stake by Queen Mary.
Ruth Magnusson Davis, 2016: Now, almost 500 years later, Ruth M. Davis has updated Tyndale’s scriptures and Rogers’ notes with a gentle hand, guarding the historic language and truth of the faith.
As well as the notes and commentaries of the New Testament from the 1537 Matthew Bible, Ruth added some additional treasures. The MB already contained Tyndale’s 1534 prologue to Romans, which Tyndale drew mainly from Martin Luther (so readers may learn his mind also about this “most pure evangelion,” as he called it). But Ruth also added some of Tyndale’s 1534 prologues upon the gospels and epistles along with some marginal notes that Rogers omitted. As well, there are commentaries from Luther, from the great preacher St. Chrysostom, and other jewels.
Why October Testament? The reference to the month of October recalls Martin Luther’s September Testament. Also, because the advent of October signals that the end of a year is approaching, it is a reminder that the year of our Lord is drawing onward to its close.
– Link to sample scriptures
– Link to “reviews”
– Link to “Preface: How Ruth Updated the New Testament”
Version information and to purchase
(See note at end for information about updates to the October Testament)
Original-sized print Edition – Paperback
7 x 8.25″
Note to Readers:
After publication in 2016, the October Testament was periodically emended through to October 2018. All editions and versions offered for sale by Baruch House will be updated accordingly. The revisions have been supplied to Bible Gateway and Olive Tree, who carry the New Matthew Bible in their online and bible-app platforms. However, sometimes it takes time for them to catch up. At present (October 2018), both are behind.
Many revisions simply corrected typos or formatting, but some were editorial. An editor’s work is never done, and when it comes to God’s word, perfection is the only proper, if unreachable, goal. Tyndale himself continually revised his New Testament, making many more change than we have. In any event, in 2018, after prayer, we undertook some final updates of obsolete words that we, Tyndale, or Rogers had clarified in marginal notes, such as ‘worship’ (honour, bow down) and ‘sin’ (a Hebraism meaning ‘sin offering’). We struggled with ‘harborous,’ a word for which there is no adequate modern synonym. It means welcoming to others, willing to take people in and give them shelter or ‘harbour.’ We also updated ‘peculiar’ and ‘acceptable,’ which mislead moderns because they have different meanings than when Tyndale and Coverdale wrote.
Some people prefer the earlier editions. They may be assured that, with time, the earlier editions will have collectible value, and will not lose their personal devotional value. But we sincerely believe that it was time to move the intended meaning from the margins into the text itself. Editions that contain the final updates are copyrighted 2018 in order to distinguish them from earlier versions, and the changes are explained in an edition to the preface.