The Temporal and Spiritual Kingdoms: Tyndale's Doctrine and its Practice

Richard Y. Duerden
Brigham Young University

Scholarship on Tyndale's political thought has pursued two commonplaces: Tyndale follows Luther in erecting a separation between the temporal and spiritual kingdoms,[1] and Tyndale's thought encouraged the royal supremacy, caesaro-papism, erastianism[2] These two views, however, seem to conflict. How could a distinction of temporal and spiritual government motivate the state to subsume the Church? How does a theoretical separation of Church and state entail their practical union? Tyndale's text open this and other gaps; establish separations and then cross them, in many ways. deconstruct oppositions upon which they are predicated, yet those moves do not disable the text but rather generate its authority and its historical impact.

What do we do when Tyndale's writings as transmitted, explained or glossed by his commentators pose such a paradox and halt us with such an aporia? We might try doing what Tyndale recommends in his Exposition of Matthew when a gap opens between situation and doctrine: 'I answer: Behold the text diligently.' Diligence — the word is a rich one. It comes from diligere, and so calls us to read with rigour and love, interpreting in charity (as Augustine urged); and etymologically it calls up a method of reading as dislegere (dis = away from; legere = to collect, gather, pick; wander through, follow, trace the footsteps; look at, read). The word diligence is etymologically cognate with deconstruction (de = from; construere = to heap together, to construct, to arrange; constructio = putting together, proper connection of words). But this construing will be a diligent reading, in the spirit of the later Derrida, who finds that gaps in textual logic open spaces where history enters a text and where texts enter and influence history: 'My own conviction is that we must maintain two contradictory affirmations at the same time. On the one hand, we affirm the existence of ruptures in history, and on the other we affirm that these ruptures produce gaps or faults in which the most hidden and forgotten archives can emerge and constantly recur and work through history.[3]

I believe this evocation of di(s)ligent reading follows in the footsteps of and traces the spirit of Tyndale's reading, which also seeks to open a text for a brightness which erupts and may blind. His Prologue to the Exposition of Matthew V, VI and VII opens with a series of analogies and metaphors for Christ's reading and commentary on the scripture, as exemplified in his Sermon on the Mount. Christ's exegetical method was to dig again the stopped-up wells, to open the locked gate, to restore the key, to pluck away the veil, to weed and clear the path. These he does by restoring a right understanding of the law, and the law is a key which opens (PS II, 3). The law makes an incongruity in our lives, a gap through which grace shines (PS II, 4). Thus Christ 'plucketh away from the face of Moses the veil which the scribes and Pharisees had spread thereon' so that we again can 'perceive the brightness of his countenance'. Good reading is to find an opening, a gap. Bad reading, false glosses, clog and fill and tangle and obfuscate and lock so that the power cannot shine through.[4]

So, to behold the text diligently, we can read for the gap, absence or incongruity through which we may glimpse the power behind Tyndale's writing. We may wander in the direction of the arrangement, look at the order of the examples and trace the footsteps, look for who is absent but implied, follow the one who is present by absence.

Tyndale's clearest delineation of the roles of temporal and spiritual government comes in his exposition of the Sermon on the Mount. Thompson says it is the 'largely unknown' yet 'important' explication of his ideas on the two regiments.[5]

In the Prologue Tyndale sets up a problem, that the clergy 'have so ruffled and tangled the temporal and spiritual regiment together, and made thereof such confusion, that no man can know the one from the other' (PS I, 6). When in the body of the exposition Tyndale turns to an elaboration of the doctrine of the two regiments, he does so in response to a particular question raised by the Sermon on the Mount's admonition that Christians not withstand wrong but turn the other cheek. The distinction of the two regiments arose as a solution to a problem: whether Christians may participate in secular rule, since secular rule employs force and violence, whereas Christians are admonished neither to inflict violence nor to resist evil.

Tyndale explains, 'Ye must understand that there be two states or degrees in this world: the kingdom of heaven, which is the regiment of the gospel; and the kingdom of this world, which is the temporal regiment. In the first state there is' no hierarchy, but equality of persons before Christ. 'Neither is there any other thing to do, or other law, save to love one another as Christ loved us.' On the other hand, 'In the temporal regiment' hierarchy is the rule (PS II, 60).

In the spiritual regiment, each person is an individual, free to deny him or herself so as to serve or to suffer, and free to love others. In the temporal regiment, each is 'a person in respect of other,' and is defined by a relation and an office, such as 'husband, father, mother, master, mistress, lord, ruler,... servant, subject, &c' (PS II, 60-61).

As to the question of resisting or using violence, says Tyndale, 'I say nay, in the first state, where thou art a person for thyself alone ... There thou must love ... yea, and suffer all things (as Christ did) to make peace ... But in the worldly state, where thou art no private man, but a person in respect of other, thou not only mayest, but also must, and art bound under pain of damnation to execute thine office,' and so to punish or even slay evildoers (PS II, 61).

In The Practice of Prelates Tyndale summarizes what this means: 'Thus ye may see, that Christ's kingdom is altogether spiritual; and the bearing of rule in it is clean contrary unto the bearing of rule temporally. Wherefore none that beareth rule in it may have any temporal jurisdiction, or minister any temporal office that requireth violence to compel withal' (PS II, 249).

Thus far Tyndale's doctrine is wholly Lutheran. Luther's insistent separation of spiritual and temporal functions, as has been noted before (most fully in Thompson), is implicit in all the cases and instances Tyndale discusses. All but one, that is. The separation of Christian and worldly tasks covers all cases but Tyndale's own, or Luther's own. Here the absence opens. For each of them the main political issue was the separation of secular and spiritual authority. Each condemned popes and bishops for asserting temporal jurisdiction. and Luther moreover castigated princes for attempting to hold sway over souls. Yet Luther's teachings on Church and state led some, notably the peasants, to radicalism and rebellion; some claimed direct authority from God and Scripture to reform or overthrow secular authority. And Tyndale's teachings encouraged Henry VIII not only to restrict the temporal power and holdings of the Church, but also to subsume them. Most interesting, because most immediately paradoxical, is Tyndale's or Luther's own situations: speaking out to challenge and admonish both bishop and prince. What authorizes them to cross the divide?

Luther acknowledges the anomaly of his situation, so he addresses it with irony. Opening his appeal to the nobles, he confesses, 'I know that I shall not escape the criticism that I presume too much, in that I, an unimportant and inferior person, dare to address such a high and responsible class of society on very special and important subjects.' Moreover, he is ironically aware of exemplifying what he condemns, as he fulfils the proverbial role of a monk dabbling in worldly affairs. His whole rhetorical endeavour is, he says, an 'act of folly', and so he comes to play the 'Court fool'[6]. In the later tract on 'Secular Authority,' however, where he is most explicit about religious and political distinctions, he offers no explanation of his own practice; rather he drops the former persona, instead regards the rulers as the fools, and often calls them such. Luther's embarrassment, irony and silence emphasize the absence.

No less embarrassing should be Tyndale's self-appointment as spiritual-political advisor to the realm. What outrages Tyndale throughout The Practice of Prelates is not only the use of coercive force by spiritual men in temporal or ecclesiastical offices, but the subtle and sometimes even gentle means by which they achieve such power, and the fact that they make themselves counsellors and advisors to princes:

And to see how our holy father came up, mark the ensample of an ivy tree: first it springeth out of the earth, and then awhile creepeth along by the ground till it find a great tree. Then it joineth itself beneath alow unto the body of the tree, and creepeth up a little and a little, fair and softly .... Even so the bishop of Rome, now called pope, at the beginning crope along upon the earth; and every man trod upon him in this world. But as soon as there came a christian emperor, he joined himself unto his feet and kissed them, and crope up a little with begging now this privilege, now that .... And thus, with flattering and feigning, and vain superstition, under the name of St Peter, he crept up and fastened his roots in the heart of the emperor, and with his sword clamb up above all his fellow-bishops, and brought them under his feet. (PS II, 270-1)

This is also the model followed by Wolsey, or Wolfsee, whom Tyndale notes not only for his worldliness and policy, but also for his eloquence — and dissembling: 'utterly appointed to semble and dissemble, to have one thing in the heart and another in the mouth, being thereto as eloquent as subtle, and able to persuade what he lusted to them that were unexpert;...this wily wolf, I say ,...shewed himself pleasant and calm at the first .... came unto the king's grace, and waited upon him, and was no man so obsequious and serviceable' (PS II, 307).

When it is so condemnable for the spiritualty to climb into positions of political counsel through their religious motives and authority and rhetorical gifts, what enables Tyndale to advise and admonish king and commonwealth? The most significant absence from Luther's account and from the usual scholarly ones is Tyndale's own case, his own rhetorical practice. Here Tyndale occupies another position than that of the workaday christian living in both the temporal and spiritual realms. In the spiritual realm he is functioning not as an individual, but as the holder of an office which he feels compelled to execute. As teacher he advises the ruler as well as obeys him. That requires a certain authority. Did Tyndale indeed seek to exercise a rhetorical authority over temporal laws? If so, how did he assume this authority?

Immediately prior to his discussion of the two regiments doctrine, Tyndale is engaged in his characteristic yet to us aporetic practice of spiritual-temporal admonition: 'The office of the preacher is to preach the ten commandments, which are the law natural; and to promise them which submit themselves to keep them ... everlasting life...; and to threaten the disobedient with everlasting pain in hell.' Yet it is positive and temporal as well as natural or Gospel law about which he preaches and warns: 'Let the temporal sword take heed to their charge therefore', for there are 'temporal blessings ... if we keep our temporal laws' and 'curses ... if we break our temporal laws' (PS II, 52-53). 'And let the spiritualty take heed' as well, he warns (PS II, 54). But, in the meantime, 'Verily, the rulers ought to make a law'; 'Let, I say, the governors take heed how they let sin be unpunished'; 'And the temporalty ought to make laws to bridle the unruly party' (PS II, 54-5). He is exercising an authority, not a coercive, but a rhetorical and spiritual authority, which calls for legislation and provokes execution of the laws. How he may do so is implied by the structure of the argument, which rises to its conclusion and then, rather than concludes, opens into a new practice.

Tyndale builds towards a severe doctrine of non-resistance and of the monarch's supreme authority, then shortly afterwards abrogates that doctrine with a justification for his particular practice, as he places the supreme temporal authority under the spiritual authority of any preacher who can obtain the king's ear. Turning to the question of whether individual Christians may exercise the sword, Tyndale justifies temporal rule, including punishment, by those who hold any temporal office. As his examples accrue, his direction, priorities and an unremarked hierarchy become clear. He discusses those in private houses given authority by the father to discipline members of the household; those in domestic society given authority by masters or magistrates; soldiers at war authorized and commanded to fight by the prince. In all these cases, the Christian is to act out of love, but in accordance with the authority and direction, to restrain wrong or even to slay (PS II, 62-4).[7] Then he turns to the right which the prince and others have over our worldly goods,[8] and, penultimately, the obligation to suffer injustice rather than assume temporal authority on one's own: if, rather than bestow authority, rulers inflict injustice; if 'the law is unjustly ministered, and the governors and judges corrupt,' then, Tyndale admonishes his readers, 'there be patient, and ready to suffer ever as much more, whatsoever unright be done thee, rather than of impatience thou shouldest avenge thyself on thy neighbour, or rail, or make insurrection against the superiors which God hath set over thee. For to rise against them is to rebel against God' (PS II, 64). Vengeance must be left to higher officers, and the putting down of rulers must be left only to God. Authority does not reside in the people; 'The authority of the king is [derives from, is bestowed by] the authority of God' (PS II, 65). Tyndale reminds us, 'if thou mark well the difference of these two states and regiments, thou mayest soil all like doubts that shall be laid against thee' (PS II, 67).

This apparent conclusion gives way to additional, final cases, where he discusses authorities which the development of the argument suggests are higher than the temporal hierarchy. Here, immediately upon reiterating the difference between temporal and spiritual, Tyndale re-opens the connections. The difference is a conceptual separation rather than a practical one. In practice each individual functions in both worlds; each is subject to both kinds of authority, 'is under both the regiments, and is both a spiritual person and also a temporal, and under the officers of both the regiments' (PS II, 67). It is 'damnable' for the spiritual officer to 'withdraw himself from under the king's correction, if he teach false, or sin against any temporal law' (PS II, 67). Note how the king's jurisdiction extends over the spiritualty 'if he sin against his neighbour, or teach false doctrine' (PS II, 67). Tyndale gives the king jurisdiction over doctrine — part of the potestas jurisdictionis. Most notably, not only is a poor beggar subject to everyone, but also even 'the king is as deep under the spiritual officer, to hear out of God's word what he ought to believe, and how to live, and how to rule' (PS II, 67; emphasis mine). This is a remarkable claim. Thompson has pointed out how the two regiments provide for Christians to use temporal force in their offices. We now can describe how the two regiments provide for preachers to prescribe to political rulers. The two regiments doctrine does not separate the spheres in practice, but only in concept. It empowers individuals to exercise violence when it is proper to their office, and it empowers preachers to direct how kingdoms should be ruled. It also grants licence to rebuke, to 'spare no degree, but tell all men, high and low, their faults' (PS II, 68). Of course, the doctrine does not guarantee that magistrates will like such rebuke. Through this opening for the prophetic authority of the preacher shines an authority which blinds but also angers rulers: Christ's preachers 'shine in the weak and feeble eyes of the world ... [so] accustomed to darkness, that without great pain they can behold no light .... Now such schoolmasters shall find small favour and friendship with the rulers of this world, or defence in their laws' (PS II, 67-8). These preachers should come prepared to suffer violence, but never 'in that state, come with a sword' (PS II, 68).

With the two authorities Tyndale subjugates the conservative clergy who claimed autonomy and exemption from civil law, and he also subjugates the magistrate — not to those clergy, for their failure to submit marks them as already outside the kingdom of the Gospel (PS II, 60), but rather he subjugates the rulers to himself and to the Protestant preachers who follow his and Luther's teachings on justification and on the two regiments. For individual Christians seeking to reconcile religious and social practice, this doctrine makes good sense; for the preacher it makes for political authority. In a practical and political sense, submission to the Gospel enlarges the Lutheran freedom of a Christian into rhetorical licence; as Tyndale had urged earlier, obedience grants authority. The Christian preacher is entitled to speak out and to direct even princes.

The authority Tyndale exercises is consistent with his view of the regiments; it emerges not from a contradiction but from a gap, an unarticulated breach in what we now call the wall between Church and state. The authority is not coercive; it is of the same nature as Tyndale's creation of it is, namely, rhetorical.

It appears that Tyndale has returned the spiritualty to the position it held under the papalist apologists of the investiture controversy. They held that spiritual ends are superior to temporal ends, and therefore the pope should be held superior in political authority to secular rulers. The papalists acknowledged a distinction in powers, but one which worked to the advantage and greater authority of the papacy. They distinguished two aspects of power: control (auctoritas, imperium, directio) and execution (executio). The pope held the authority and control, the direction of affairs, and the secular ruler carried out the execution of affairs.[9] So in Tyndale's treatment of the two powers, it appears that the spiritual advisor directs the monarch in how to rule. But Tyndale's treatment differs in important respects. He indeed re-enlarges spiritual authority, but he emphasizes strongly the corresponding subjection of the Church under the monarch with respect to all temporal laws and temporal goods. More significant is a subtler shift by which Tyndale presents implicitly an alternative not only to the papalist arguments but also to the arguments of the precursors of secular supremacy and caesaro-papism: John of Paris, Dante, Marsilio of Padua. All these precursors focus on the allocation of authority and power to institutions. Tyndale, like Luther, addresses the question on an individual level: in doctrine, to what extent are individuals under the regiments of Church and state, and to what extent can an individual Christian be justified in exercising temporal power, and, in practice, to what extent may an individual assume spiritual authority to prescribe to princes? The authority which Tyndale himself assumes, prescribing laws and directing rulers as well as subjects, he derived not from any institution — we have no record of his being ordained to any office higher than subdeacon. He leaves open the inference that any individual may assume the role of preacher, and he thereby leaves open to each of them, as occasion calls, authority to tell kings 'how to rule'.

This series of oppositions — spiritual and temporal government, rhetoric and violence, individual and institution — elaborates the distinction of spirit and body, which Tyndale, like Luther, expresses through the primary distinction, law and Gospel. This opposition, in turn, Tyndale regularly treats in terms of a simpler analogy: of inner and outer, the outward and apparent as opposed to what is deeply within, in 'the ground and low bottom of the heart'.[10] In all these cases, the separation (to the extent that there is one) rests on the soteriological distinction between acts of faith and acts without faith, i.e., one way of distinguishing faith and works. Tyndale, however, like Luther, always stresses that faith and true works are not separate. Tyndale's earliest text reminds us,

Moreover, the law and the gospel may never be separate .... For all that I do (be I never so perfect) is yet damnable sin, when it is compared to the law, which requireth the ground and bottom of mine heart. I must therefore have always the law in my sight, that I may be meek in the spirit, and give God all the laud and praise, ascribing to him all righteousness, and to myself all unrighteousness and sin. I must also have the promises before mine eyes, that I despair not...(Pathway, PS I, 11-12)

The distinction of faith and works is not a separation: it is resolved in a movement — the opposition of inner and outer is in fact a movement from inner to outer; the state of the inner determines the outer. Therefore, if the heart is right, the deeds are holy. The heart cannot make itself right, but is made so by faith, and faith comes by hearing the word preached. (Remembering that 'such a new heart and lusty courage unto the law-ward, canst thou never come by of the [sic] thine own strength and enforcement, but by the operation and working of the spirit.'[11]) 'Now is the spirit none otherwise given, than by faith only,... And as the spirit cometh by faith only, even so faith cometh by hearing the word or glad tidings of God.[12]

Before hearers are transformed by such preaching, even God seems a tyrant to them (Pathway, PS I, 18; Mammon, PS I, 83). But 'when the evangelion is preached, the Spirit of God entereth into them which God hath ordained and appointed unto eternal life; and openeth their inward eyes, and worketh such belief in them' (Pathway, PS I, 19). The inner state is transformed through an irruption of spirit.

If the inner state can be transformed and if thereby outer works can be redeemed, then by extension the outer state, the temporal realm, might be redeemed, if its 'heart' could be infused with spirit via preaching. If the inside, the heart or core, of temporal government could only be sanctified, then the outer realm, the temporal realm itself, could become a kingdom of God. Throughout The Obedience of a Christian Man, Tyndale addresses the word of God to the king, the heart of temporal government. 'Oh that our kings were so nurtured nowadays' says his Preface, that like David of Israel God would harry the king to transform the inner man, 'to meek him, to kill his lusts; to make him feel other men's diseases; to make him merciful; to make him understand that he was made king to minister and to serve his brethren, and that he should not think that his subjects were made to minister unto his lusts, and that it were lawful for him to take away from them life and goods at his pleasure' (PS I, 136). And at some point, perhaps soon, Tyndale assures his readers, God will indeed transform the tyrants: 'And though it seem never so unlikely, or never so impossible unto natural reason, yet believe steadfastly that he will do it: and then shall he (according to his old use) change the course of the world, even in the twinkling of an eye, and come suddenly upon our giants,' that is, tyrants (PS I, 142).

Tyndale's distinction of temporal and spiritual authority reveals a breach: the doctrine separates them; his practice bridges them, while the most basic elements of his doctrine prepare for and justify that bridge from doctrine to practice; and it is that breach in the separation which enables him to exercise a certain authority even over the king.

Of course, anyone can speak out, if they are prepared to suffer repression. As Hotspur tells Glendower, who can call spirits from the vasty deep, 'Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?' (Henry IV 3.i.52-4) Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent, spoke out before Henry VIII as well, but she suffered death, and her words, though they likely gave Henry and his counsellors pause, finally went unheeded and were dismissed as a conspiracy of her confessor. Tyndale exercised the authority to direct, but did king or parliament hear or respond to his instruction?

A diligent reading of Tyndale's text and of the authority he assumes cannot, then, stop with the works themselves, but must 'read-away' (dis-legere), must persist into the traces of his text left in the authoritative texts of his time. I propose we follow a path leading toward Acts of Parliament.

An intermediate text between Tyndale and Acts of Parliament is Simon Fish's Supplication for the Beggars. Fish, who 'fled over the sea to Tyndale'[13] and then smuggled Tyndale's New Testaments into England, followed Tyndale closely when he wrote the Supplication. The famous and outrageous list of charges in his opening paragraph is a digest of several pages from Tyndale's Obedience (near the beginning of the section on Antichrist).[14] In addition, Fish follows Tyndale in his claims:

And both seek not only to restore obedience and authority to kings, but to declare England free of allegiance to any foreign power.[16]

Professors Elton and Scarisbrick observe that it was in the summer of 1530 when Henry VIII began voicing his own claims to imperial status and England's claims to national autonomy; up until then, Elton notes, Henry was at a loss, at wit's end', suffering a 'bankruptcy of ideas' how to proceed in his own case with Rome.[17]

It was also in 1530 that Cromwell wrote to Wolsey that he had been reading Tyndale, and Fish's Supplication.[18] Cromwell may have been reading Fish late in 1529, it it is true that the Supplication was scattered in the streets as Parliament opened on 3 November.[19] (And Cardinal Campeggio suggests the books were circulating at court in April of 1529.)[20] It was during this parliament that Cromwell, in drafting the first version of what would become the Supplication of the Commons against the Ordinaries, wrote, and then struck out, what would have been the first official reference to Henry's imperial status: 'this your most excellent realm .[21]

The Supplication of the Commons includes verbal echoes of Tyndale and Fish in its references to clergy as 'ravenous wolves, [22] and it attacks church courts and canons at length, but Elton argues that what caught Cromwell's attention and what he foregrounded in his drafts to ensure the king's attention, was the clergy's encroachment on the royal regiment, expressed as the popular grievance that the ordinaries make laws without the king's assent, which affect not only lay subjects, but 'extend in certain cases to your excellent person, your liberty and prerogative royal, and to the interdiction of your lands and possession'. This attention-getter was followed by a second complaint that subjects too were vexed and troubled to peril of their lives, shames, costs, and expenses.[23] Cromwell covered his tracks with references to the nation's orthodoxy and abhorrence of spreading heresy,[24] but the most inflammatory political material comes from Tyndale and Fish.

Over the next three years the Collectanea Satis Copiosa assembled evidences to support these first intimations of imperial authority, then, after the Supplication of the Commons, passing through Parliament in 1532, inaugurated an official reformation, it was followed in 1533 by the parliamentary statute which finally severed all legal ties between England and Rome, and which opened its preamble with the claim that would guide England for four centuries: 'this realm of England is an empire.[25]

When Cromwell and parliament turned anti-papal sentiment into law, they followed Tyndale's strategy. The year of Tyndale's execution, parliament passed 'An Act Extinguishing the Authority of the Bishop of Rome'. The preamble states that 'the pretended power and usurped authority of the bishop of Rome' rests on the fact that he 'did obfuscate and wrest God's holy word and testament' so as to exclude Christ from the rule of souls and to exclude kings and princes from their dominion over bodies and goods.[26] Tyndale's strategy to undermine the Church's political strength and to exalt the king in temporal rule became law within his lifetime.

In crossing the breach of temporal and spiritual regiments, did Tyndale exert an authoritative influence in temporal politics? He not only helped motivate the Reformation parliament; in a very circumscribed sense, it could be said that he launched the English empire.


[1]Joan Lockwood O'Donovan, Theology of Law and Authority in the English Reformation (Scholars Press, Atlanta, GA, 1991), finds an 'unflinching Lutheran dualism' in Tyndale's treatment of the two authorities: 'The office of priest or elder is simply and exhaustively to preach the law and the gospel of god. The office is "spiritual" and not "carnal," entailing no coercive jurisdiction or mediatorial power.' And 'the civil magistrate possesses the authority of the sword, the monopoly of coercive judgment', p. 63. Although she elsewhere notes the 'continuity' of natural and revealed, and of divine and human law for Tyndale, p. 60, she entertains no possibility that the separate spheres of spiritual and temporal authority may be breached. Yet she too calls Tyndale's position Erastian, p. 67.

Bruce Boehrer, 'Tyndale's Practyse of Prelates: Reformation Doctrine and the Royal Supremacy', Renaissance and Reformation, New Series, 10 (1986), pp. 257-76, appears alone to have noticed the paradox. He reviews how 'it has long been popular to credit Tyndale with laying the groundwork for the Royal Supremacy', pp. 260, 273-4) yet argues himself that Tyndale 'insists upon an explicit and strict separation of church and state' p. 261. The 'wrenching' which made him an advocate for caesaro-papism was, Boehrer suggests, simply mistaken, p. 260. Yet Boehrer's article regularly ignores Tyndale's equally explicit statements that reform of clerical behaviour and even oversight of doctrine are princely functions (for example, Obedience, PS I:250, Exposition upon Matthew, PS II, 67).
[2]See W. D. J. Cargill Thompson, 'The Two Regiments: The Continental Setting of William Tyndale's Political Thought', in Reform and Reformation: England and the Continent, c.1500- c.1750 (ed. Derek Baker, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1979), p. 18, who surveys the scholarship previous to his own. See also Boehrer (pp. 260 and 273-4, no. 15), who cites additional sources. J. J. Scarisbrick, Henry VIII (U. California P., Berkeley, 1968), calls Obedience 'the first thorough-going apologia of Caesaro-papism', p. 247.
[3]'Interview with Richard Kearney,' in Richard Kearney, ed., Dialogues with Contemporary Continental Thinkers (Manchester U.P., Manchester, 1984), p. 113, For an earlier discussion, see Jacques Derrida, 'Signature Event Context' (1972) and 'Limited Inc a b c...' (1977) in Limited Inc (Northwestern UP, Evanston. IL, 1988), p. 59, where Derrida discusses 'dehiscence. As in the realm of botany, from which it draws its metaphorical value, this word marks emphatically that the divided opening, in the growth of a plant, is also what, in a positive sense, makes production, reproduction, development possible.' For an extended example, see Jacques Derrida, Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question, trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby (U. Chicago P.. Chicago, 1989), where Derrida finds the multiple richnesses of spirit erupting, breaking through, flashing out of the texts of modern philosophy despite many of the latter's efforts to contain, avoid, control or repress any notion of spirit. In his reading of spirit Derrida finds that the theologians are, after all, more aware than modern philosophers that language reaches for what it may not touch, that language and its repetitions evoke 'the event of a promise that has already taken place', p.112.
[4]The face of Moses and its blinding brightness is a common metaphor in Tyndale's writings; e.g., Obedience, PS I, 181, and Pathway, PS I, 12, 28.
[5]Thompson, 'The Two Regiments', pp. 19-20.
[6]Martin Luther, 'An Appeal to the Ruling Class,' in John Dillenberger ed.. Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings (Anchor, Garden City, NY, 1961), p. 404.
[7]Tyndale rejects the claim of Catholic commentators who said the Sermon on the Mount contained non-binding counsels which applied primarily to apostles (for example, PS II, 5-6); does Tyndale follow a similar tack in saying the law of Moses counselling punishments pertained only to the rulers (PS II, 58)?
[8]In the case of worldly goods, each is to give and lend all one can; if others invade or take one's goods by force, one is to love and find mediators to resolve the disagreement, and only if that fails, go to the law. Goods, like life, belong to the king and are managed by subjects to maintain family, city, and realm (PS II, 66-7).
[9]Brian Tierney, The Crisis of Church and State, 1050-1300 (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1964); Alan Gewirth, 'Introduction', Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pacis (trans. Gewirth, U. Toronto P., Toronto, 1980), p. xlvii.
[10]'A Prologue to the Epistle of Paul to the Romans,' Tyndale's New Testament (ed. David Daniell, Yale U.P.. New Haven, 1989), p. 207; cf. 'inwardly in thine heart' p. 208; 'from the bottom of the heart' p. 209, etc.
[11]Tyndale's New Testament, p. 209.
[12]Ibid., p. 210.
[13]John Foxe, Acts and Monuments, (ed. George Townsend, AMS, New York, 1965), IV, 657.
[14]Simon Fish, A Supplication for the Beggars (ed. Edward Arber, English Scholar's Library 4, Unwin, London, 1878), pp. 3-4; Obedience, PS I, 236-9.
[15]For further similarities of Fish to Tyndale, see Steven W. Haas, 'Simon Fish, William Tyndale, and Sir Thomas More's "Lutheran Conspiracy",' Journal of Ecclesiastical History 23 (1972), pp. 127-32.
[16]Richard Duerden, Scripture as Scepter: Text and Power in Reformation England, (University of Chicago Ph.D. dissertation, 1989), Chapter 1.
[17]G.R. Elton, Reform and Reformation: England, 1509-1558 (Harvard U.P., Cambridge, MA, 1977), pp. 131-2, 135; Scarisbrick, p. 268.
[18]Haas, 'Simon Fish, William Tyndale and Sir Thomas More', p. 133n.
[19]Ibid., p. 126.
[20]Ibid., pp. 135-6.
[21]G.R. Elton, 'The Commons' Supplication of 1532: Parliamentary Manoeuvres in the Reign of Henry VIII,' English Historical Review 66 (1951): p. 522 and n.
[22]Elton, 'Commons' Supplication,' p. 517; cf. Supplication, pp. 3, 8.
[23]Elton, 'Commons' Supplication,' pp. 522, 526, 528-9.
[24]Ibid., pp. 529, 534.
[25]G.R. Elton, ed., The Tudor Constitution (Cambridge U.P., Cambridge, 1972), p. 344.
[26]Ibid., p. 356.

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