.Anne O'Donnell (S.N.D.): Editing Tyndale's Independent Works

William Tyndale's English translations of the complete New Testament (1526, 1534) Pentateuch (1530) and Jonas (1531) occasioned six major works of controversy and exegesis.

Besides the prefaces to the biblical translations, Tyndale published separate pamphlets: Introduction to Romans (1526): Brief Declaration of the Sacraments (1533?); Testament of William Tracy (1535): Pathway into Scripture (1536?). Two letters to John Frith in prison (ca. 1533) were first published in Foxe's Book of Martyrs (1563).

While Yale University Press was preparing More's Confutation of Tyndale for publication, the Executive Editor, the late Richard S. Sylvester, laid the groundwork for an adjunct series on Tyndale. His independent works are now available only in the Parker Society reprint (3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1848-50; rpt. London: Johnson Reprint Company Ltd., 1968). Their Victorian editor Henry Walter gave minimal annotations and removed references to bodily functions. Four doctoral dissertations directed by Sylvester form the basis for the first critical edition of the Independent Works.

In October 1986, the 450th anniversary of the death of Tyndale, Anne O'Donnell approached the Catholic University of America Press about their publishing the works of St Thomas More's opponent. According to Dr David McGonagle, the press was concerned with sound scholarship, not religious affiliation, and the publication of Tyndale would illuminate the writings of More. Thus, the Tyndale Project was established.

An Advisory Board of scholars associated with the More, Erasmus and Hooker Projects was formed to give advice on specific occasions. Church historians were invited to join the textual editors. Their work will be reviewed by the Editorial Board: David Daniell (Tyndale), John Dick (Tyndale), Richard Greaves (Bunyan), Germain Marc'hadour (More), Anne O'Donnell (Erasmus), William Stafford (Anglicanism), David Steinmetz (Luther). The purpose of this edition is to present the works of William Tyndale, excluding biblical translations, to specialists in the fields of English literature, history and theology. The texts will be given in their original spelling and punctuation but with expanded abbreviations. The first edition has proved authoritative for all of the Independent Works and thus will serve as the copy-text. An appendix on 'Historical Collation' will record all substantive variants from later sixteenth-century editions. Each work will have an index citing Tyndale's quotations from the Bible. The commentaries will annotate references to the Bible, Erasmus, More, Luther and major historical events. The glossaries will note obsolete as well as first usages of new words and senses. We aim to publish four volumes in a press-run of five hundred copies each. The first volume. Answer to More, is scheduled to appear in late 1995: the other volumes, in two-year intervals. As extended glosses to his biblical translations, Tyndale's Independent Works are significant for their pungent style and Pauline theology.

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