With Melvyn Bragg, author of William Tyndale: A Very Brief History. Presented by Sam Leith.

United States


00:00:05welcome to spectator books put cost I'm seventy the trip for the spectator and this week I'm very pleased to be joined by Melvyn Bragg his new book is a very brief history as he puts it of William Tyndale the man who produced maybe the most influential of all
00:00:20the English Bible translations in one of the first welcome welcome the woolly Tyndall in particular because of course that was an English version of the Bible that is a hundred and fifty %HESITATION dheas before and what place translation and the King James Bible come off with what's the
00:00:34significance of Tyndale was he such a big figure I think that was a big figure because he defined that King James Bible the Wycliffe Bible is very important but it was initially suppressed he didn't have much traction hello gallant young people from option to get round and %HESITATION
00:00:50tortured nothing actually could you pull that pains and if you want to see what that meant you can go to think Lambeth palace where there still is a lot of torture chamber up some steps and hadn't any traction hadn't worked its way into the language it hadn't worked
00:01:03his way into the country toll Tyndall came at a time after Lucia which is extraordinary eruption here he came with a genius I think channel and check for our two geniuses tonight a genius for translation when you look at the prize is the use of monosyllables knew what
00:01:20she coined in on on on on and he translated the New Testament abroad because you sent excel from this country and so on what he produced was something which did two things at least two things one was he produced what he intended to do was to give god's
00:01:39word to the English people in their own language he couldn't understand he couldn't understand Henry I to me it might it might kings because that when the Bible when he could be so cruel as not to want his people to understand his word he produced in the clearest
00:01:55English imaginable and you put used it today said he wants to rific Riley had very well reported with a lot of divines and bishops when he was twenty three on one of them said in exasperation and found must attend old we resumes twenty zero to get pulling stuff
00:02:11down from the shelf and say it's not in the scriptures it's not in the scripture and they said if challenge I would support the laws of the pope against the laws of god channel went incandescent and he said L. long I will teach a playboy to know the
00:02:27Bible better than the and that was brilliant because the public was illiterate also the plow boy has some some strange link with the apostles summing up the line that he was a list and Kendall set out to write a Bible to be read that for to be understood
00:02:44by anybody that would be in the language that he could break down to the simplest language it full of monosyllables Shakespeare text alerts from him he Boris are from Old English the monosyllabic thing he takes common phrases from the West Country and events which seem like %HESITATION compares
00:03:00himself so that's the first thing but that was his main purpose his main purpose was to make sure that English last double because the Germans and the bottom and I can at the town as did the French did the checks in all of but we didn't make sure
00:03:14the English people could read word of god in English and then he truly believed that the world would be changed once a short once they read it they would lose the duty of obedience and have the liberty to discuss the number two to argue with tender love your
00:03:31book hustle peculiar combination of it was sort of room spelunking credibility but also a strain my Ivete about men in this he almost doesn't seem to see how deeply the kind of church control of the validation the Latin language of press was in mash with sort of political
00:03:48structures and with you know a whole lot of things that we're not ready to do with gold but still a non do you see him as a sort of naive for someone who simply thought what he was doing so much more important I would usually Dennison but I
00:04:00know we're both on the same track I think it didn't matter to I think that he was one of those people like Newton like the Bronte sisters who very I'm locked into what he wanted to do like Newton getting the present like that frontispieces writing these massive stories
00:04:13in tiny print when he was very young he read that post on the Anglo Saxon king it translates to Bob king and what we know we know very little about him we know that push it completely find him not his what he wanted to do and you start
00:04:25to do quite a lot across let John it was an offense almost a crime is a good call and he knew what he was doing from the beginning he was challenged him he didn't think it was challenging the state I agree with you and I think he was
00:04:37naive he thought he was challenging the church how much was he influenced by Lisa I'm in this office is of justification by faith is a crucial part of his outlook but was you know was he someone who saw what was happening in Europe and pull this up and
00:04:52can spot but I think his brain responded to who oppose the Catholic Church from fifty seventeen on which was not influence but if this is effective is extraordinary I'm a new things thesis is ninety five theses started revolutions in Europe thousands of people were killed in the name
00:05:09of it states thought they were toppled the home country Catholic hierarchy so %HESITATION again enlisted is terrible monk who wouldn't stop Susan first one there's a because the waves came over he worked his way through on his own to translate the Bible into English loser translate the Bible
00:05:24into jobs so that was his %HESITATION justification by faith how I didn't I think you got that phrase from this that from the very beginning he fundamentally believe in the scriptures if it was not in the scriptures it was not worthy of attention or pay giving any beans
00:05:40the pope was not in the scriptures so he had to go penitence of some of the scriptures pilgrimage is not in the circuit plug it you're not in the scriptures and on and on it went to they were out they had to the great wealth of business time
00:05:51should we not in the scriptures the church itself was a building when he translated from the Greek because a residence in Cambridge said go back to the Greek went back to agree he translated the word of all get good jobs that you need to judge ectasia you translated
00:06:06it into congregation it was no longer a building illness somebody if people on they translated presbyter us they the SL two linguistic hinges yes well this was a radical and they knew when they read it I thought we were in real trouble and they he he wouldn't have
00:06:21priest Honda because the only priest was Christ who's into major you do not need priests said he didn't need a building and you didn't need price when you didn't need a pope well was the Catholic Church and you didn't need that for you tennis because of mental illness
00:06:36indulgences and so and so through not just like has this response are you saying presidential also has been pretty he is B. Y. T. E. R. O. S. but how did he translated because he translated it he said there was no such thing as a priest an elder
00:06:52was the result of the elder he transferred precious LDS you've said he was sort of on wealthy about politics but of schools his entire life in some sense was shaped by the politics of the English reformation of what became the English reformation can talk about how his sort
00:07:07of relationship with Henry the eighth which is always a proxy kinda proceeded because to start with he was pretty much hounded out wasn't it yeah when he was only about politics in the sense of the playing of politics willow any if went face to face you Thomas more
00:07:21he was very acute he was very sharp but what he wanted he was very much just call about those of total fearlessness about him he was shipwrecked you got all this eagle back in court is difficult they raided the printing works to do is working in Germany he
00:07:36had if it got out just in time beat them to the run jump and another book he was fearless and very fast on these pieces of his relationship with Henry H. was curious because he thought the king was rights to be the king he didn't want imprisoned don't
00:07:50but the king was case in the Bible as a king so he elderly's looking he didn't say anything about the K. anything against the king run fine it was Hendred this volatile oil increasingly frustrated slot the mud and what's expected going mentally ill towards the end Molly who
00:08:06suddenly realized at the end of the fifteen twenty is that they they got looser in England not materially but in his book this man was the danger to England Lucille was everywhere else because people laptop is book thousands of copies of the New Testament came over so many
00:08:23differences of the bishop of London bought three thousand of them just to burn out side deals and polls and these were coming in and people that never reading it aloud her so just they couldn't get a SAB description is taking some satisfaction thought that at least is printing
00:08:38costs will be offset he was very of have you said yes my only the rich if large and a bit on the English will be out of range of the word of god is being is being run circulation with the king was is not the last word on
00:08:51it without it in before he would burn to death with a lord open the king of England signs he just believe the king needed a sweating and then all would be well and there's a moment when I look as if he could destroy the king and then not
00:09:05faded away was not it was again she was against the church there was one moment I think that that since all called can you just fringe of it was not ready to close support for the king and it looks as good with the reconciliation and but then he
00:09:19says good in the king's looking for tender support and direct if is an element and its owner that's not the yeah yes it does looking tried to say that he he wasn't really mad because they know that the ticket should contact your brothers one analyses game on the
00:09:36pep try to resist it was a very good plan Tyndall came in behind him and said yeah and he wrote a book on the beach in sea king's and Henry we rejoice this is a book that old king should read it doesn't win and ferreted alliance and found
00:09:52another should be when you couldn't do that so then the king went mad and would never hear his name called again I would let on balance because we close you know speak his name again I'm not trying to tempt him back was to the poisonous invitations sent over
00:10:09from the same place on the council in Washington running on the consul general was you know very sad man in exile it didn't have much money I had enough to do the books it will it came from a rich woman found in the west of England and they
00:10:24were they would they too were against the corruption of the church and they supported him to read except but it wasn't much to go on and then the holy Roman empress Peyser against him they eventually called the pope spas are after him that was needing a wretched life
00:10:36and the king tried to teach him back this wonderful diplomat called Steven bone who is a brilliant mind and who managed to meet up with them didn't tempt him saving bone forty was a marvelous man and all the promises in may Trendle said couldn't do it and because
00:10:51in a nineteen notices spring moving last Beijing when until Saturday's if the king of England will translate anybody's anybody will translated into the English language then I'll come back and I won't do anything he wants me to do torture does actually I mean you know you know the
00:11:11people knew that he meant it I will do the would you tell him that and you would have done it in his mind twenty thirty years of work not his transition anybody's going to get back to Thomas common is never fun seasick when you talk about phone you
00:11:24sometimes leave it slightly ambiguous as to whether you think Vaughn was you know on behalf of Cromwell trying to kind of just tempt him back so that he could put put to the sword of the follow whatever all actually genuinely trying to get in rehabilitated do you have
00:11:37a small my theory that it's not like an icon fun much happens except in the words of bone phones letters back were brilliant measures and he was always a very sympathetic to this month he admired him very much and he like meeting him I met three times but
00:11:52he felt that it was going to be hurt but he was trying his best to save time when Thomas Cromwell you feel was really really wanted him back thought this is a man we should have an aside maybe inside the tent in the not so I look at
00:12:02it whenever it wasn't on this one stage a hundred yeah I said how can we stop this month poisoning us to the eyes of the world with his work because your essays would like his old very fiery sermons of a young man so that was going on but
00:12:17yes I think there was sympathetic if I think people mentioned were sympathetic to what was there not to like is honest man dedicated caress of era told him self Hebrew discovered massive connections in Hebrew and English which is one of the reasons you said though he just kind
00:12:33of sore he reloading which is what will Congress much much easier to measure to translate from the Latin and so it is if you look at other scholars say it has said he was delighted with the I mean the last things when he was in the dungeon for
00:12:46the last sixteen months of his life one the things you wanted was Hebrew dictionaries Hebrew gramma and east second get on with this translation from Hebrew also able to send her a chance you would think the fine flows under in in North Belgium for sixty months on on
00:13:03the wall happened here remarkable eager listeners to him you you've already touched on one of the things that sort of almost official buried grenade in this because not only that he's translation Bible into English but he right somewhere if a person doesn't make sense we translate yourself man
00:13:18you know he's always proposing a suburban school supplies yes let me know and I will already translated yes he was very aware of that I think a lot was in the early days in the other does he because he did so much work on his own I think
00:13:31it was worried about was his great quite good enough and is not it was on the scene mom this up to the doctor that your question which is drummed into them from the age of twelve about actually make date and I'm a bit into the Cicero put UP
00:13:43so anybody the Greek it had to take on himself another section it picked up himself so he was he got is is worried about that but I think the true humanity I thought it is a sure thing and if it's some in a better view fine delivered his
00:13:56name on it and the I I this is what we describe this literature one intact copy of the fifteen twenty six New Testament you held is in your hands I did yes it's thousands were produced the thing to remember thousands and thousands and snapped apple burn because that
00:14:13burning in London burning in Cambridge butting in and no for March and the tempo just brought have three companies are spoken symposia line thought well this is this is a how do you do that progress because none of them intact as a frontispiece to one of us is
00:14:28warning check and she stood guard and they got a library of libraries is to cut underground Liber clubbers but as Vegas in James Parker house the homeless and they brought this first edition of the fifteen twenty five New Testament which is probably going to people in a mall
00:14:45and I do the most influential book in English language even more adventure Shakespeare than those of a baby analysts on partisan to look one hundred for justice it's ironic that loser was the bigger person than that because tingle wrote in English and because we had a British Empire
00:15:00than an American empire you Stendal Tyndale's words that have taken Protestantism and all that went with it around the world in everything they do go it was nice and I this book came out and I was disappointed because the camera never nice but and it's not me says
00:15:16because my wallet itself is not a big one not big and you look at your very disciplined you see this because and and then you think we'll call that he didn't have enough money do you think it's brilliant because you can easily hide it in your phone it
00:15:35doesn't draw attention to itself some you could be put to death in the fall yeah when they well because what happened was when was he went and they really good guy in particular and Thomas smoke %HESITATION I mean the burning of the books under the burning of the
00:15:46people this city that we're in now I mean the smoke was not pollution it was it was human flesh burnings burnings running for men women and children for knowing Tyndall for being suspected rating is model of course by having is one that anything to channel or his ****
00:16:04for not confessing in show trials that because some of them said well we do agree with some of the settlers enough and they were tortured in the town and many of them but it was it was terrible it was extraordinary I suppose I'm I'm trying to avoid the
00:16:17word witch hunt that it isn't it isn't easy to avoid because they were just because you get it unless it's interesting that this was the cross who were doing who are doing it well what too so it's ready if you can talk about because in the night time
00:16:31it was very much a literate are designed plus who went on to become a few leaves a few centuries ahead the round heads in the civil war the dissenters who upon the sign the people went to America the Presbyterians and all that sort of thing I knew was
00:16:45the gentran hello gentry like candles on folk who just had it I mean that's just been the book where I talk about just a description of the Punisher would manage for one intellectual attempt saying thirty oh forty monks thirty of them didn't know who'd written the launch price
00:17:03of twenty five didn't know where the ten commandments funk certainly couldn't replaces one politician ring I'm breakfast plus milk well in the morning when they commit anything and that they were a razor that analysis all this nonsense about having to pay all this money for everything you did
00:17:20and by not time date the wealth of the church in all the senses of wells that they took for granted and and they didn't see what might come to be destroyed a lot was destroyed paternal became the enemy Tyndall was the dangerous man and then it was right
00:17:34about that and then Frances mood moved in and it was terrible to have a sense of how to handle a told of how Tyndall felt about the fact you know what he was an excel in Europe you know his friends his socius everybody who kind of stuck out
00:17:47for him what will follow him was liable to be tasting of reform for now I'm gonna phone no direct evidence maybe some will turn up and wanted to choose a key was extremely distressed assumes that he was told don't set foot %HESITATION don't go the stain do no
00:18:03work especially to get on with the %HESITATION testament go back into the New Testament that I should mention bird on his own brother was holed through London on the back and I don't can force to throw his Bible into the financial a simple and on and on it
00:18:15went so he would have known about not because they seem to be very much in contact extracted villain of the book is Thomas Moore who thanks to Robles Platt my other things we'll think of is this kind of heroic figure he comes across as option horrible place to
00:18:28let his people don't like him a Charles lamb letter thought he went he went running one twenty one nine this corresponds reading more and tend to seven hundred fifty thousand words and tingle does as well %HESITATION because of the devil and also movies scuttling she hates on repeatable
00:18:47evening at the advance lever left inspect each I mean Lucilla scatological will no doubt violent violent talking about ten on what he might put a little tiny bit of it in the book just as much a taste of it tasteless %HESITATION who just does a quotation that promo
00:19:06%HESITATION basically says shooed Gendel prevail should these these ideas because they so much as a book of ideas as well as a book of face because of ecclesia because Tyndall Noone is doing and then you were using should he do this then the church would collapse society would
00:19:25collapse laws were put to scold them the rioting the mystery and the whole artifice on the state and the church to have it would be do and he truly thought that it said to me this is a much better not say that there's a direct quotation from him
00:19:41and he truly believed that he thought he was defending normal insulation gold supplies section he thought this was this was going to be Thompson and the terrible beyond terrible and talks about him that he had in his gun in Chelsea %HESITATION tree called the tree of troops and
00:19:57people be bonded and Miller himself an election until I got a confession some sand a torture chamber they set new into the time to see people tortured and blame the that sort of thing the rooms of the languages extraordinary and violent when he wanted to destroy the channel
00:20:13and its own anything there's this money as you say across the sea looking on unable to come back hardly able to move in is in the city which is taken to men on twelve at the wheel house again see English who tried without biggest trade and under it
00:20:25was a great man a great base in Europe five thousand people in the war house and he was helping nine people looked up from because of family connections I presume about reversing else and he was evaded capture for something like fifteen years until he was until the Judas
00:20:40turned up the street just come across as a code of a kind of got me a wasteful spending is person Harrison's pretty is finished shallow tiny yeah and we gonna yes any in line and cheated his parents and from his pants and rubbed his friends on large everybody
00:20:56anyway somehow gotten a temple in onto a he was from the west country so perhaps it connections anyone when another he literally fingered turned on I should look it up action wondered whether this is where the word came from because use rather tolling in one tent was not
00:21:11tall modestly Sondheim but there's a narrow passage from the wheel house into this maestri sementara this man Henry Philip suit nine us or friend of channel %HESITATION stoma any walk behind him done this on it because it was a sink not only and there's the cannot he pointed
00:21:28fingers because nobody knew who he was tones of people walking around a long black gowns and nobody was famous enough to be paid by hold on I think so who who was it any pointed him out and the emperor had sent us this gotcha %HESITATION nay and rested
00:21:44him because he pointed out this thing that I'm on this is god's had repeated imminent innocence and then he strange on these things happening at that time he had a meal with his captors while they collected these things because nobody I suppose nobody thought this is going to
00:21:58last very long and then they took in the race for his centric also with deep dungeons and putting the money never got the except to be killed sixteen months later and as you've said Tyndall has more us invented the modern English language gonna if it emerges in your
00:22:13book that the king James Bible which we think of this great work of any work of artistic genius pretties by committee and all subsequent get the Shakespeare is that how come then in a tender is not sort of embraced with statues everywhere in there what you know why
00:22:28has he his name sort of been eclipsed if he's important an octet modern politics among church my language as he is welder to three reasons festival eight done in fifteen thirty six and bibles came then tumbled out for the rest of century none of them by then you
00:22:44should be too little handed it to banish the sound of his name unending anybody wanted to talk about temple because ten let frightened the life out and when they go in debt and they were very pleased about that because he had a growing army in this country and
00:23:00the people are being done because they were checking people that my prepared to go to death for the words that he ran they wanted nothing wanted it and then of course people like Coverdale not who they want to claim the credit for themselves come down and be his
00:23:12assistant technology manager has taken a lot of pages away with him and put it down so he wanted to credit for the cabinet level the service call themselves and then using almost eighty and ninety years passing with this erasure going on and then the cake King James Bible
00:23:27came by mom into things not ever get that Shakespeare is over thirteen hundred references from the ten of him in checks with how could have got those in need and being ten August sixteen eleven is when the king sent sixteen fifteen Shakespeare's stop writing and betting on so
00:23:43I'm is something was happening in in the middle of it all became the King James Bible and the King James Bible the King James version just became the sacred book they became double this country began on a book as it was in the king on that the story
00:23:57went out of these these fifty learned that people who done it and King James because very much a king's book wasn't called the Bible anything like that King James aids mind book and he in the in the detail in the days and he said that if he had
00:24:13the right to change anything that he wanted to check close editorial control I mean this pick that yes yeah yes that was made absolutely clear that many allied descent down when he said he wanted this bundle this would be can just take in fact that that was this
00:24:31there's a laziness innocent except for the King James Bible no resold behind it because it was so good and because it mattered so much and because the mother so much to so many different people you know it mattered to religious people then it began to matter to political
00:24:46people because in it the great idea was which is a good point almost incessant look if we're equal before god well maybe worry to the front of each other so system let me with the first point soon after came out deck talking **** about democracy say would never
00:25:01delivered you to think you know them replaced did you to believe in the thinking these things through we they wait on just down the river pundit Pandit dimension someone only goes many Americans the the people the Presbyterian faction who took it over to the states it was the
00:25:16King James well known though is no reason for anybody to dig in underneath those the scholarly skills in those as other say maybe this isn't what it says it is because what he said he is was a would have gone authorized by King James and won't Matthew Smith
00:25:30in his introduction all of us did all this out now it wasn't until the nineteenth century when English scholars started when German scholar subtle but the overall violent English gonna start look at new Sussman the and they they got hold of ten local business in the something going
00:25:45on here and then they began to build it up but it never achieve their sh the statues of ten on this country there single dental places with it never achieved attraction it didn't have the granular and glamour of those fifty scholars and I said to certain extent summoned
00:26:01nobody was very much bothered with about was the Bible it was exhibited parachuted down from the clouds and that it was so but it was in ninety three percent of the kids had ninety three percent of the New Testament is Tyndall this quite a selection what were those
00:26:17fifty schools well they thought that they were making quotation is my two cents emissions reduction nothing's mentioned I we sold not to make new book or good book but to make good books better but they didn't connect that thing in common so it's a very strange story anyone
00:26:37the middle nineteenth century go going but it's like the King James Bible had become more than the Bible it'd become a national and in terms of America as well as this country in Mecca the book the authority the King James version who would want to challenges and why
00:26:53so somebody else did it %HESITATION who cast it's the King James version una that's what it is and that's what we stand by and they still do rather as well as you now live from Lincoln to bomber and what's his name so those new reason to investigate a
00:27:08note to go back to point was this the scholarship the scholarship developed where people could look at these Texas say not in on any similar to that that is part from that and that was %HESITATION so what is not me these was used in the same all in
00:27:20the same was in the same rhythms are going on and that's broken down in that way that sentence and is really impressive the purest room that's that so what's happened %HESITATION and you said to make like this let that and I will not spend a single but just
00:27:33not so what's going on they began to borrow lashes and then gradually very slowly and still going on people said now state of Iraq thanks very much your son think here

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