scribe at desk
Letters to the Editor

Dear Valerie,

It was good to be in Oxford on 17 October and to hear about Tyndale and Jonah at the Hertford Lecture given by Prof Gerald Hammond entitled ‘Tyndale’s other Hebrew Translations’.

Two minor points occur to me. Tyndale says ‘he found a ship ready to go to Tharsis, and paid his fare and went aboard’. The AV has ‘he found a ship going down to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof and went down into it.’ Tyndale says ‘Jonah gat him under the hatches and laid him down..’ the AV has ‘Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship..’

I think I prefer Tyndale. He shows a good knowledge of nautical terminology. ‘And paid his fare’ is surely better than ‘he paid the fare thereof’ which has a taint of the lawyer’s office! Small points, no doubt, but I find them interesting – and I was glad to see that Mary Clow made similar observations in the Tyndale Journal No. 22 July 2002 (pp 52-53).

Incidentally, where was Tarshish? We cannot be sure – it is almost certainly NOT Tarsus. A possible suggestion – probable more because no more – is the Phoenician colony of Tartessus in Southern Spain, on the Atlantic coast not far from Cadiz. It is an interesting little puzzle…

I much enjoyed the Carol Service at St Mary Abchurch and the Tyndale evening in London on 18 December.

During the course of the evening I had a very amicable conversation with Bryan Moynahan, the author of If God Spare My Life: William Tyndale and the English Bible and Sir Thomas More – A Story of Martyrdom and Betrayal, and bought a copy of his book. I was very sorry to draw attention to his mistake over ‘Jews, Turks, Infidels and Hereticks’ during the discussion before supper but felt that honesty compelled me to do so. Since then I have been reading his book, and I must say in all fairness that it is in my opinion, apart from that error, much better than I expected. It contains a good deal of out of the way information, for example, on the Jewish community in Worms which is of considerable interest.

There is an odd misprint in the Index: St Thomas Aquinas appears as Sir Thomas Aquinas. The Angelic Doctor would be astonished. And what if things were the other way round and we read of St John Falstaff? I could not resist a chuckle.

All good wishes,
Robin Everitt,
Solihull, England.

Editor’s Note
It is nice to receive constructive feedback about Tyndale Society events. We hope to include a report on Prof Gerald Hammond’s Hertford Lecture in the next issue of the Journal.

Tyndale - Beloved Physician too?
Dear Valerie,

Suffering from a heavy cold, I had decided to stay abed yesterday in a final desperate attempt to get rid of it.

My padding back from the kitchen at 7am with a jug of chicken broth coincided with the arrival on my doormat of the Tyndale Journal, which I scooped up on my way back to bed. I don't know whether it was the Journal or the chicken broth, but by mid-afternoon I had consumed both and was feeling very much better!

So 'Thank You' kind editor, for such wholesome fare.

Ian H Thain
Banbury, Oxon.
14 January 2003.

Editor’s Comment
This must surely fall into the category of 101 things to do with the Tyndale Journal. I feel that more control experiments should be carried out to ascertain whether it was the soup (and if so, why not tomato?) or the Journal!

Dear Valerie,

May I say how much I appreciated the excellent article by Ralph Werrell on Tyndale's Theology. This is just the sort of thing to strengthen the inner man, and it beefed me up no end when I read it.

Of course we pay tribute to Tyndale's superb skills as translator and creator of English; more should, and no doubt will, be done in both these areas. But for my money it was Tyndale the Theologian who was the driving force behind both of these, and as Werrell says 'Today we could do with returning to Tyndale's theology'. Amen. We could.

Indeed, I'm not sure that we were ever completely there. I have just, at long last, read his 'Obedience', and have been struck both by the massive common sense which underlay all his theology, and by how very little attention has been paid to some of what he wrote all those years ago. Tyndale (it seems to this ploughboy anyway) had this much in common with the Wesleys, that his doctrine was all of a piece. It all hung together, without hidden contradictions or sly non-sequiturs. For all his arguments he could quote chapter and verse (well, chapter anyway), and that with the gruff good sense of a man thoroughly at ease both with his Bible, and with his God.

So all power to your arm. Floreat the Journal!

Ian Thain,
Banbury, Oxon.
January 2003.

Ralph Werrell emailed in November 2002 to say –
I am carrying out further research on the roots of William Tyndale’s theology and the University of Birmingham has conferred the title of Honorary Research Fellow on me until September 2005 for this project.

Valid XHTML 1.0!