Commenced in 1522, the Tyndale New Testament was the first English Bible translation to be translated directly from the Greek texts. With the invention of the printing press, the Tyndale New Testament was also the first English Bible to be mass produced, making it easily and widely accessible for the commoner to read and study.
Inspired by an illegal copy of Luther’s German New Testament, William Tyndale took to translating the New Testament for the English reader despite severe persecution and threat of punishment. His translation of the New Testament was based on the third edition of Erasmus’ Greek New Testament, Erasmus’ Latin New Testament, the Vulgate, and Luther’s German New Testament.
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William Tyndale (1494–1536) was an English scholar, translator and linguist. Educated at both Oxford and Cambridge, Tyndale earned a degree in theology. He was also a gifted linguist, fluent in French, Greek, Hebrew, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. Influenced by Erasmus and Luther, he translated the New Testament and the Pentateuch from Greek and Hebrew into English—against the wishes of the Church. Betrayed to the authorities, Tyndale was condemned as a heretic and burned alive in 1536.