William Tyndale Criticism - Essay

Rainer Pineas (essay date April 1963)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Pineas, Rainer. “William Tyndale: Controversialist.” Studies in Philology 60, no. 2 (April 1963): 117-32.

[In the following essay, Pineas examines how Tyndale's “techniques of language, reasoning, form, and general economy of treatment” guided his controversy with the ecclesiastical establishment.]

William Tyndale, whom his great opponent Thomas More called “the captain of our Englyshe heretikes,” has been studied as a translator of the Bible and as an advocate of doctrinal and moral reformation.1 The specific polemical techniques he employed in his criticism of the existing ecclesiastical system and in his demands for the establishment...

(The entire section is 6501 words.)

William A. Clebsch (essay date 1964)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Clebsch, William A. “Tyndale as Luther's Protégé, 1524-1529” and “Tyndale's Rediscovery of the Law, 1530-1532.” In England's Earliest Protestants, 1520-1535, pp. 137-53; 154-80. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964.

[In the following essays, Clebsch compares Tyndale with Luther as a translator, theologian, and expositor of the Protestants, and he analyzes Tyndale's evolving legal philosophy and how he incorporated it into his theology.]


Ever since Thomas More became official defender of the Catholic religion, English opinion unanimously has acclaimed William Tyndale the chief...

(The entire section is 16159 words.)

C. H. Williams (essay date 1969)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Williams, C. H. “The Propagandist.” In William Tyndale, pp. 84-98. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd, 1969.

[In the following essay, Williams examines Tyndale's propaganda treatises and their degree of success.]

It would be a mistake to think of Tyndale simply as a translator of the Scriptures. Important as his New Testament was to become in the history of the English Bible, there has been a tendency to overestimate its importance in the early stages of the English Reformation. That its influence was great need not be argued, but it was delayed and indirect, whereas the propaganda writings were more immediately influential in marshalling protestant...

(The entire section is 6259 words.)

Peter Auksi (essay date fall 1978)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Auksi, Peter. “‘So rude and simple style’: William Tyndale's polemical prose.” Journal of Medieval & Renaissance Studies 8, no. 2 (fall 1978): 235-56.

[In the following essay, Auksi considers Tyndale's polemical prose “which punctuated and accompanied his work in translation.”]


For more than four centuries William Tyndale has eluded the specialized attention of literary historians. Analysts of history have claimed him as the first major champion of Luther's theology in England,1 while chroniclers of Puritanism have regarded him as the originator of various facets of the English Puritan movement.2...

(The entire section is 9196 words.)

Bruce Boehrer (essay date August 1986)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Boehrer, Bruce. “Tyndale's The Practyse of Prelates: Reformation Doctrine and the Royal Supremacy.” Renaissance & Reformation 10, no. 3 (August 1986): 257-76.

[In the following essay, Boehrer argues that Tyndale infused The Practyse of Prelates with what is the essence of truly Christian behavior.]

What makes Tyndale's The Practyse of Prelates unique in the literature of the Henrician divorce is nothing less than its entire polemical orientation.1 At a time when the intellects of Europe were rapidly gathering into two distinct camps on the divorce issue, Tyndale sought common cause with no one. Not only did he—as was to...

(The entire section is 9866 words.)

Donald Dean Smeeton (lecture date October 1991)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Smeeton, Donald Dean. “The Wycliffite Choice: Man's Law or God's.” In William Tyndale and the Law: Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies Vol. 25, edited by John A. R. Dick and Anne Richardson, pp. 31-40. Kirksville, Mo.: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1994.

[In the following essay originally read at a conference in 1991, Smeeton argues that “Tyndale's concept of law appears compatible with the Wycliffite tradition that makes the love of law—God's law—central to spirituality as well as to salvation.”]

In response to Thomas More's assertion that acts of almsgiving contribute to one's righteousness and eternal bliss, William Tyndale demanded that...

(The entire section is 4522 words.)

David Daniell (essay date 1992)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Daniell, David. Introduction to Tyndale's Old Testament: Being the Pentateuch of 1530, Joshua to 2 Chronicles of 1537, and Jonah, Translated by William Tyndale, in a modern-spelling edition and with an introduction by David Daniell, pp. ix-xxiii. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992.

[In the following excerpt, Daniell considers Tyndale as a translator and examines the methods he used to translate the Bible.]

William Tyndale's Old Testament translations laid the foundation of our English Bible. They have been even more hidden from general view than his work on the New Testament. Half of what appears in this volume has not been generally accessible...

(The entire section is 7431 words.)

Richard Y. Duerden (lecture date May 1992)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Duerden, Richard Y. “Justice and Justification: King and God in Tyndale's The Obedience of a Christian Man.” In William Tyndale and the Law: Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies 25, edited by John A. R. Dick and Anne Richardson, pp. 69-80. Kirksville, Mo.: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1994.

[In the following essay originally read at a conference in 1992, Duerden examines Tyndale as a thinker, claiming that he is “pragmatic rather than systematic, ethical rather than theological, [and] analogical rather than logical.”]

Previous scholarship has seen Tyndale most often as a translator and derivative theologian.1 Less often, and...

(The entire section is 5735 words.)

David Daniell (essay date 1994)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Daniell, David. “The Wicked Mammon.” In William Tyndale: A Biography, pp. 155-73. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1994.

[In the following essay, Daniell considers Tyndale's work The Parable of the Wicked Mammon as “an exposition of the New Testament teaching that faith is more important than works” and asserts that it is “loosely based on a sermon by Luther.”]

We next hear of Tyndale in Antwerp, that tight, thriving city of trade and commercial enterprise. We do not know when he left Worms or where he was in the two years between the issuing of the Worms New Testament and the Compendious Introduction in 1526 and 8 May...

(The entire section is 9162 words.)