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TYNDALE'S GLOUCESTERSHIRE

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Trinity College

Stoke Hill

Bristol

BS9 1JP

United Kingdom

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William Tyndale (1494-1536) has been called ‘the Father of Modern English’ and, by Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, ‘the theological giant of the English Reformation’. Others have said he was the first of the English Puritans; and his most recent biographer, the late David Daniell, coined the phrase ‘No Tyndale, no Shakespeare’.

So who was this hugely influential but mostly forgotten man? What were his influences? Where did he come from?

The answers lie deep in the English countryside, in the Severn valley, on the Welsh borders (and Welsh was probably the first foreign language he learnt - he went on to master six). Tyndale’s first schooling was at a Grammar, founded by a local benefactress, where he studied Latin in order to go on to Oxford University. Later he taught himself Greek while living in a remote manor house as tutor to a family sympathetic to religious reform - he had become convinced that English people should be able to read the Bible in their mother tongue, and he determined to make that possible. At that time Latin was the only language allowed in church, and his application to the Bishop for permission to translate the Bible was rejected.

Sadly, Tyndale was forced into exile from his beloved native land. In the Low Countries he was able to translate and publish the New Testament twice from the Greek original into English, and a large part of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew, both for the first time ever. Although a learned scholar, he deliberately used the vocabulary of his country boyhood so that ordinary people might understand it. His translations became the basis for every subsequent English Bible, including 80% of the King James Bible, and set the basis of the language we speak today. He was hunted as a heretic, and died at the stake as a martyr.

This Conference will trace Tyndale’s boyhood in Gloucestershire, his education, early influences and young life. We will spend one day touring beautiful countryside, seeing places associated with him, and one day learning about his life and work with talks from Tyndale scholars.

Programme: 16 July, Monday: Registration from 2 pm, Welcome 4pm, Dinner.

17 July, Tuesday: Day’s Coach trip around Gloucestershire with stops including

Wotton-under-Edge to visit Tyndale’s first school (still a working school),

and Little Sodbury Manor where he was tutor and made his famous

declaration “If God spare my life…. “

18 July, Wednesday: at Trinity College. Talks, lunch, conclusion.



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Trinity College

Stoke Hill

Bristol

BS9 1JP

United Kingdom

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