William Tyndale College

William Tyndale College, located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, had the extreme honor and privilege of having Dr. David Daniell, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of London, speak at its 17th annual Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Series. The Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Series is a project of the Thomas F. Staley Foundation of New York. This program was established in the fall of 1969 by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Staley of Rye, New York, in memory of their parents, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Staley and Judge and Mrs. H.H. Haynes. The Foundation is firmly persuaded that the message of the Christian gospel, when proclaimed in its historical fullness, is always contemporary, relevant and meaningful to any generation. It is to this end that the Foundation seeks to bring to the college and university campuses of America distinguished scholars and artists who truly believe and who can clearly communicate the Christian gospel to students.

Professor Daniell, founder and chairman of the Tyndale Society, is considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on William Tyndale, the sixteenth century translator and martyr, after whom William Tyndale College is named. Professor Daniell’s three part lecture series focused on William Tyndale’s life as a translator and his influence upon the development of the English language.

The first night of the lecture series was entitled William Tyndale as Protestant Reformer and Martyr. During this night’s lecture, Professor Daniell introduced William Tyndale to the audience set in the historical context of the 16th century European Reformation. Professor Daniell brought to life the tremendous determination and sacrifice, indeed the passion that Tyndale showed for the work to which God had called him to do.

The second night’s lecture, entitled The Critical Part Tyndale Played in the Creation and Publication of the Bible in English, went into detail about the way in which Tyndale went about translating and then publishing his new English Bible. Much detail was given as to the principles of translation that Tyndale used. Time was also spent tracing the great lengths that Tyndale was forced to go to in order to publish his Bible after he had completed the translation.

The third night of lectures was entitled Tyndale’s Significant Role in the Development of the English Language. In this night’s lecture Professor Daniell explored the influence of Tyndale’s English Bible on all sixteenth century literature. Drawing similarities chiefly from Shakespeare, Professor Daniell shows that Tyndale’s Bible unlocked an ‘unexpected development of English as a language capable of making an extraordinarily expressive prose with the full use of the rhetorical craft’.

All those in attendance were enriched in learning of the monumental impact the life of the College’s namesake, William Tyndale, had on the history of, not only Christianity, but all of Western civilization.

Prof. Daniell dedicated the lecture series to the memory of William Tyndale College Faculty member Dr. David M. King, former Acting Chair: Division of Arts and Sciences, and Assistant Professor in Historical and Systematic Theology and History, who was so instrumental in bringing Prof. Daniell here to William Tyndale College before his sudden and tragic death on 23 January 1998.

Audio and video tape copies of the lecture series will be forthcoming. Those interested in purchasing copies of the event should contact Roger Sherman for further details: William Tyndale College, 35700 West 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, Michigan USA 48331.

Howard Burkeen

Valid XHTML 1.0!