Advent, the beginning of the new Christian year, is a time of anticipation, expectation and ends in fulfilment with the birth of the Jesus. This past year of editorship of your Journal can be seen as one long, exciting 'advent' - a year, rather than four short weeks, of encouraging contributors, innovating and executing ideas. The sole difference is that there is no defining moment, as in the Christian context, when one can pronounce that the waiting period is over and the aim has been attained!

This past Millennium year (your journal is taking the position of the purists in the 2000/2001 controversy) has seen many energizing events and changes all contributing to new vitality in the life of our young Society. America is beginning to reassume and Europe to assume a more prominent role. Our American vice chairman, Barry Ryan, after a year of secondment to the United States Supreme Court, is now back in an academic environment and fully intends to be more active in Tyndale affairs. To this end he appointed Amanda Gale as his assistant in September.

The last weekend in October saw the second Geneva Tyndale Conference entitled 'Books for Burning: Vernacular Bibles in the 16th Century' which attracted speakers and participants from America and many countries in Europe. It proved to be a technological turning point in our history with its slick presentations projected from a computer, roving digital cameraman and a discussion on confocal laser scanning microscopy in manuscript reconstruction: this was so striking that one young academic observer commented that he was amazed at the Tyndale Society's modernity - no boring, hand waving lecturers reading from barely legible scripts! The presentation on Danish and Icelandic bibles was also notable in that it jolted us from our fixation on English language developments in Reformation times. Some reports on the papers given in Geneva appear in this issue of the Journal and it is hoped that the remainder will be published in the spring. Naturally we will not be able to bring you the silent but evocative visual presentation on Book Burning compiled by Prof. Robin Offord especially for the occasion and we prudently decided not to publish the winning entries in the Conference caption competition.

The European enthusiasm quickens with the announcement of the large Antwerp Conference entitled 'The Reformation in the Low Countries and Beyond' to be staged, due to the efforts of the ebullient Dr Guido Latré, late summer 2002. The climax of the conference will be the opening of large-scale exhibition, sponsored by the Belgian Government, entitled Tyndale's Testament at the Plantin-Moretus printing museum. It would really, seem that the efforts of the Leuven academics to expiate their culpability in condemning Tyndale to death all those centuries ago are working to the Society's advantage.

Events in England have also been attracting highly motivated audiences. The Wells Conference 'A Weekend in the West Country' was very stimulating and reported fully in the August issue no 19 of the Tyndale Journal. As a last echo, you will find in this issue the report on Prof. David Daniell's talk The Obedience of a Christian Man.

One of the functions of your Journal, as I see it, is to report on activities and events. I am grateful to the ever-increasing band of folk who have undertaken this task for me. Eunice Burton's report (she volunteered — bless her) on this year's 7th Annual Lambeth Lecture is printed in this edition. Tyndalians were privileged to be given a preview of some of the ideas that the lecturer, Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, expounded in his book published a few days afterwards entitled Shapes of the Church to Come. Yet another example that Tyndalians are not living entirely in the past but keeping firmly abreast of events in the modern world.

Another two recent events, reported on at length, were the Annual Gloucester Lecture given on 6 October by the Very Reverend Nicholas Bury, Dean of Gloucester, New Wine in Old Bottles and Professor Michael Schmidt's Annual Hertford Lecture entitled Translating George Herbert. David Green's report on the former will be printed early next year but the latter is still a script in search of a reporter!

During the course of this past year we have built up a lively and interesting book review section and not always of recently published books. Neil Inglis in his inimitable style has produced several classic reviews this past year. His latest excuse for late copy will be added to the Tyndale Book of Excuses (in preparation!) — he had inadvertently left the out-of-print book he had begun to review this autumn in Canada and would not be reunited with it until Thanksgiving! Thank goodness Thanksgiving weekend fell virtually within the copy deadline. Next year we look forward to reviews from David Norton — a distinguished New Zealand academic (another Continent involved, hurrah) — and from a comparatively new British member, Peter Clifford. The list of Items for Sale visibly lengthens. The Wycliffe New Testament 1388 edited by Bill Cooper, published by the British Library, is due out this March and will swell the list even more. We look forward to publishing next year Dr Steve Sohmer's paper The Discovery of Richard Hunne's Wycliffe Bible from the Geneva 'Tyndale Conference and possibly an article on the Lollards by Bill Cooper. So you see this year has even involved forward planning!

You may be surprised to learn that I do occasionally reject papers. I am relieved that Ralph Werrell did not formally submit his proposed film script entitled The True Life of William Tyndale a light-hearted view of events in the 16th century parodying the worst Hollywood tradition — highly amusing, historically unjustifiable and fraught with legal problems. I would have had to reject it! It was a pleasure to accept his serious paper A Theologian for Today.

A brand new section this December is Ploughboy Notes and News. I hope that this will become a regular feature in future with its own editor. If the growth of the Letters to the Editor is a yardstick to use it should take off. No longer do I have to cajole people to write to me!

My faithlul American team of Neil Inglis (Anglo-American Gleanings) and Joe Johnson (Bible Exhibitions in America) still report in regularly. This is still not enough to redress the European weighting of the Journal but that is next year's concern. Meanwhile I should like to thank my unofficial editorial team of Neil Inglis, Charlotte Dewhurst, Joan Wilson and Judith Munzinger for all their help and support in 2001. Make sure, dear contributors and readers, that we continue to enthusiastically exploit the technological progress of the 21st century, just as Tyndale did in the 16th century, to further our studies in 2002.

'Hark the glad sound the Saviour comes,
     The Saviour promised long!
  Let every heart prepare a throne,
      And every voice a song. '

(from Ravenscroft's Psalmes 1621)

© Valerie Offord, 1st Sunday in Advent. 2001

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