Letters to the Editor

Dear Mrs Offord,

I am writing in response to Vanessa Whinney’s letter in the April Journal concerning Mary Baker Eddy and knowledge of William Tyndale in the United States during the late nineteenth-century.

William Tyndale is not mentioned in the published writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Eddy was, however, surely aware of Tyndale’s contribution to the history of the Bible in English. Eddy’s personal library contained over 50 Bibles, including an 1871 copy of Tyndale’s New Testament, edited by Edward Abner. Eddy also owned a 1551 edition of the Matthew's Bible, which is essentially Tyndale’s work.

Although the King James Version of the Bible was Eddy’s preferred text, she read and consulted other Bible translations. The scriptural quotations in Eddy’s major work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, are all taken from the King James Bible. Eddy’s collection of early Bibles would surely have revealed to her how much the King James translators owed to Tyndale.


Alistair Budd, Elsah IL 62028, USA

Dear Mrs Offord

Gordon Jackson in his lucid article (Scripture and Texts, Tyndale Journal no. 18, April 2001) sets out insightfully what most wholehearted believers have experienced at some time in their life. But although we have no pre-Babelian language to assist us we do have the post-Pentecostal (though not at that point the pre-written) account set out for us by Luke in Acts 2.1-36.

As both Babel and Pentecost were miraculous in their nature we do not know how their effects were brought to pass, but there would appear to be two ways of looking at what Luke describes:

That the apostles, though Galileans, were divinely and separately empowered to speak in the different tongues mentioned and were understood by their audience, without themselves comprehending what they were saying or
That like Peter ‘... hearken to my words ...’ they spoke in Aramaic/Hebrew which was miraculously ‘interpreted’ by God ( la United Nations) to the listeners.

Clearly the latter were all hearing and understanding the same things whatever verbal variations there may have been in the telling ‘... we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God’ (v.11). Of course, it may be that these earlier languages were closely related and less likely to cause confusion than others that then existed (e.g. Chinese or Japanese) or than those that have since come into being. They were also all being used at the same point in time in their historical development. Contrast, for example, whether Moses, Elijah and Christ all spoke the same Hebrew on the Mount of Transfiguration.

We may, perhaps, derive some helpful insight from Paul’s words in I Thessalonians 2.13:

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men but as it is in truth the word of God which effectually worketh also in you that believe’.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Morgan, Morden, 7 June 2001

Dear Valerie,

Every now and again I come unexpectedly across a chapter on Tyndale in a book. Would it be a good idea to try to list these with the help of members? Here are two examples of the sort of thing I am thinking of:

• Rupp, Gordon, Thomas More and William Tyndale, pp.45-61, in Just men: Historical pieces, London, Epworth Press, 1977.

• Trueman, Carl R., Pathway to Reformation: William Tyndale and the importance of the Scriptures, pp.11-29 in A pathway into the Holy Scripture, ed. P.E. Satterthwaite and D.F. Wright, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans, 1994.

One would not include books on (say) the Tudor period or the Reformation, which would inevitably speak of Tyndale, unless there was a special reason for doing so; but one would include books with such a title as Heroes of the Reformation, which may or may not include a chapter on Tyndale. Naturally, I cannot make a suggestion like this without offering to collate anything sent in…

Grace and peace,

Victor Perry, 25 June 2001

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