God's Bestseller by Brian Moynahan
William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible---A Story of Martyrdom and Betrayal

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Synopsis

The English Bible---the mot familiar book in our language---is the product of a man who was exiled, vilified, betrayed, then strangled, then burnt.

William Tyndale left England in 1524 to translate the word of God into English. This was heresy, punishable by death. Sir Thomas More, hailed as a saint and a man for all seasons, considered it his divine duty to pursue Tyndale. He did so with an obsessive ferocity that, in all probability, led to Tyndale's capture and death.

The words that Tyndale wrote during his desperate exile have a beauty and familiarity that still resonate across the English-speaking world: "Death, where is thy sting?...eat, drink, and be merry...our Father which art in heaven."

His New Testament, which he translated, edited, financed, printed, and smuggled into England in 1526, passed with few changes into subsequent versions of the Bible. So did those books of the Old Testament that he lived to finish.

Brian Moynahan's lucid and meticulously researched biography illuminates Tyndale's life, from his childhood in England, to his death outside Brussels. It chronicles the birth pangs of the Reformation, the wrath of Henry VIII, the sympathy of Anne Boleyn, and the consuming malice of Thomas More. Above all, it reveals the English Bible as a labor of love, for which a man in an age more spiritual than our own willingly gave his life.
 

About Brian Moynahan

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Brian Moynahan is a former history scholar of Cambridge University. He was a foreign correspondent, and latterly the European editor, of the London Sunday Times. As a foreign correspondent, he reported in the United States from Texas, New York City, Los Angeles, Florida, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. He also spent time with U.S. forces in Vietnam 1964--68 and in the Middle East. He lives in England.
 
Published August 23, 2003 by St. Martin's Press. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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A well-crafted outing for fans of early modern English history or of fiction rooted in scholarly detection and religious intrigue (e.g., The Name of the Rose and the Caedfael mysteries).

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Arguing that English “doth correspond with scripture than ever Latin may,” Tyndale worked for years on a vernacular Bible, which put him at odds with the clerical establishment on a number of counts.

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