The Obedience of a Christian Man
ISBN 9780140434774 | 272 pages | 01 Oct 2000 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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William Tyndale's first translation of the New Testament (1526) was printed in Germany, savagely suppressed in England and eventually led to his execution. Yet it makes him the single most important figure in laying the foundations for the English Reformation. Tyndale's vigorous direct English was substantially incorporated into the Authorized Version of 1611, and it made the New Testament available for the first time - in Tyndale's famous determination - even to the 'boy that driveth the plough'. The Obedience of a Christian Man (1528) boldly develops the argument that ordinary believers should take their spiritual sustenance direct from Scripture, without the intervention of (often worldly and corrupt) Popes and prelates. Its vivid discussion of sacraments and false signs, the duties of rulers and ruled, and valid and invalid readings of the Bible, makes the book a landmark in both political and religious thinking. This fine example of English prose also raises, even today, some powerful questions about the true challenge of living a Christian life.