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The Obedience of a Christian Man (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

By William Tyndale (Author), David Daniell (Editor) & David Scott Daniell (Introduction by)
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Item description for The Obedience of a Christian Man (Penguin Classics) by William Tyndale, David Daniell & David Scott Daniell...

St Ignatius of Loyola (c 1491-1556), founder of the revolutionary Jesuit Order, is one of the key figures in Christian history. These Personal Writings reveal the intense inwardness and devotional depths of the private man. His Reminiscences give a vivid account of his conversion and psychological turmoil, of his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and of the years of study and controversy in Spain and Paris leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus. The immensely influential Spiritual Exercises offer guidelines for helping people discover God in their lives, coming to terms with their flaws, and making choices about their future. In the Spiritual Diary Ignatius shows himself drawing on these methods to work through a period of crisis. All these major works have been included in this volume, along with forty Letters specially selected by the editors to reveal his personality and many roles 'as a friend, a spiritual director, an instructor, a business man and a religious superior'. Together with the Preface, Introduction to each text and detailed notes, they make one of the greatest of religious characters freshly available to modern readers.

Publishers Description
William Tyndale published The Obedience of a Christian Man two years after he presented his 1526 English translation of the Bible, a forbidden undertaking, which eventually led to his execution. His vigorous, direct translation of the New Testament was intended to make it accessible even to the "boy that driveth the plough". In The Obedience of a Christian Man, he articulates his religious principles in what became one of the most important publications of the first phase of the English Reformation. He boldly develops the argument that ordinary believers should live directly according to Scripture without the intervention of worldly and often corrupt popes and prelates. This fine example of English prose raises, even today, powerful questions about the challenge of living a Christian life.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin Classics
Pages   235
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.89" Width: 5.07" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2000
Publisher   Penguin Classics
Age  18
Edition  Revised  
Series  Penguin Classics  
ISBN  0140434771  
ISBN13  9780140434774  
UPC  051488013006  

Availability  3 units.
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More About William Tyndale, David Daniell & David Scott Daniell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! William Tyndale (c1495-1536) produced the first translation of the New Testament from the original Greek rather than the church's Latin version. It was denounced by the English bishops and Tyndale settled in Antwerp. Arrested for heresy and imprisoned in 1535, he was then strangled and burnt at the stake. David Daniell is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of London, author of the authoritative biography of Tyndale (Yale, 1994) and editor of Tyndale's Biblical translations.

William Tyndale has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Penguin Classics
  2. Researcher's Library of Ancient Texts

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Obedience of a Christian Man (Penguin Classics)?

From the Reformation's Genesis  Oct 22, 2006
This small book (235 pages of which 26 pages are endnotes) is the second of three texts William Tyndale published in the wake of his 1526 New Testament- the first English Bible. "The Obedience of a Christian Man" ("Obedience") offers considerable early Protestant theology with occasional glimpses into the Reformation as it is happening. "Obedience" is a preeminent primary source.

Much of what contemporary English speaking Protestant Christians assume (God is the source of life, God rules through human leaders, leave a place for Divine vengeance, believing leaders should rule with truth, Christ is the believer's mediator before God, etc.) is originally offered here. Writing from the Reformation's genesis, Tyndale is the first to proffer an English theology.

Editor David Daniell provides a helpful text with this paperback edition (2000). He alters Tyndale's 16th century language slightly for the sake of contemporary learning. Readers are focused by "Obedience's" idioms and practical theological application as well as amused by its various Reform era words (i.e. "volo", "shriven", aneled", "neverthelater", "menpleasers", etc.). These terms are presented with no textual definition and thus help convey the book's 16th century flavor. These idioms do not distract Tyndale's original theological tenants from effective 21st century application.

"Obedience" is somewhat technical and assumes readers' biblical familiarity. Tyndale is replete with Scripture quotes, and illusions. His illustrations are interesting- taken from his 1520s and 30s life as a fugitive from King Henry VIII's sheriffs (William Tyndale was ultimately captured in Belgium and burned as a heretic on October 6, 1536... 470 years ago this month). (Beware, as with all the earliest Protestant Reformers, Tyndale has a pronounced disregard, and verbal dislike, for Roman Catholic clergy and the Pope.) This book is recommended to all 16th century buffs, theology students, church historians, and pastors.
A great but biased edition  May 27, 2005
Professor David Daniell is chairman of the Tyndale Society and has produced a very good, very scholarly edition of "The Obedience of a Christian Man." As someone who has tried, with modern eyes, to make out the 16th century typography of Tyndale's books, having an easy to read text is a true blessing. Daniell's introduction notes that Tyndale's writing is full of quotations and allusions to Scripture - it's beyond a shadow of a doubt that the man's mind was drenched with God's Word. But, unfortunately, like clear water going into a coffee maker, what finally filters out of Tyndale's pen is very black indeed. "The Obedience of a Christian Man" is a book crippled by its obsession with the Catholic Church. Tyndale's world is extremely black-and-white. Page after page the tirade goes on. The message is "We are good. They are evil. We are wise. They are foolish. We are pure. They are impure. We are Christians. They are Anti-Christ." If there is a good, faithful Catholic Christian anywhere in the world, Tyndale refuses to admit it. At best, Catholics are ignorant dupes. He spends the entire book beating savagely on a stereotype - and like any stereotype, it is only somewhat true. It's like being told that blacks (or Mexicans, or Irishmen - fill in the blank) are shiftless and thieving. Professor Daniell doesn't help us back away from Tyndale's relentless rant at all. That's my only real criticism of this edition - some objective historical understanding would have been helpful. While Tyndale isn't the bumbling oaf that some Catholic writers would have us believe, he also isn't a plaster saint who should be believed without qualification. We need help understanding not only where he might have been right - but also where he might have been wrong, and how his obsessions not only gave us some lovely English, but also fueled the fire that finally consumed him.
"Amazon's reviewer" is correct and needs araise  Feb 13, 2004
No offence, but please check your facts, then write. I am not sure who is referred to as this site's reviewer, but he or she or they deserve a raise! As a reader pointed out elsewhere in a review, ". . . Tyndales' words account for 84 per cent of the [KJV]New Testament, and for 75.8 per cent of the [KJV]Old Testament books that he translated." In fact when we read the KJV (more properly, the AV or Authorized version), we are in the main reading the beautiful, soaring word-music of Tyndale, surely one of the most-overlooked great writers of the English language. Anyone who loves the bible in English translation should read Tyndale's translation, especially those who presume (incorrectly) to dismiss him.
Please get your facts straight - Tyndale deserves that, !  Feb 12, 2004
No offence, but please check your facts, then write. I am not sure who is referred to as this site's reviewer, but he or she or they deserve a raise! As a reader pointed out elsewhere in a review, ". . . Tyndales' words account for 84 per cent of the [KJV]New Testament, and for 75.8 per cent of the [KJV]Old Testament books that he translated." In fact when we read the KJV (more properly, the AV or Authorized version), we are in the main reading the beautiful, soaring word-music of Tyndale, surely one of the most-overlooked great writers of the English language. Anyone who loves the bible in English translation should read Tyndale's translation, especially those who presume (incorrectly) to dismiss him.
Influential remarkable book written almost 500 years ago  Dec 26, 2002
This remarkable book needs to be set in context, it was written almost 500 years ago, during the brutal persecution of those who believed the simple Gospel and in the absolute authority of "Scripture alone".

William Tyndale, a gifted scholar educated at Oxford and ordained a priest, saw at first hand the widespread corruption within the Roman Catholic Church

Rome held ultimate power, even over the kings and government. The Pope and its bishops believed that they could not err in all matters spiritual. Their core belief was, and still is, that 'Church Tradition' holds equal, if not more authority than the Holy Bible, the infallible, inerrant Word of God.

Rome went to extreme lengths to prevent the ordinary folk from having any independent understanding of the Bible, particularly in what it said regarding, purgatory, confessing sins to a priest, selling of indulgences, praying to Mary, praying to Saints, salvation by works and money payments etc.

In defiance of the Pope's law Tyndale laid the foundation for the English Reformation when he completed the very first (from original Greek) English translation of the New Testament. This translation differed sharply from the Church's official Latin version, particularly as to how six key words were translated.

From the Greek Tyndale translated, "congregation" instead of "church", "elder" instead of "priest", "repentance" instead of "do penance", "love" instead of "charity", "favour" instead of "grace" and "knowledge" instead of "confess".

Tyndale's unique gift cut to the bedrock of Papal authority. Matthew 16 v 18 now read, "That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my congregation". One word, congregation, had at a stroke demolished the Pope's claim to be the head of Christ's Church and brought into sharp focus the contradictions of the Papal system, its customs, its practices, its friars, its priests, its bishops and its Pope.

Taking his cue from Matthew 7 v 15 & 16 he is scathing with righteous indignation when comparing the simple life and Gospel of Jesus Christ the very Son of God with that of the Pope - "Christ's vicar on earth". This unleashed the full might of the Papacy, Tyndale was hunted across Europe, his New Testament translation and books were burnt, as were people caught holding similar beliefs.

In this book Tyndale systematically examines English social and political life; he examines the relationship between church, and state; he sees one social structure created by God and the Christians responsibility within it. He examines the responsibility and obedience of children through to subjects, "what to do if the king, prince or ruler is evil", what to do with "the Popes false power" and how those in positions of responsibility and power ought to rule.

Tyndale writes with authority, he knows his Bible intimately, he has an unshakable confidence in the promises of God's Word and he knows with certainty that Truth will triumph regardless of a bleak situation.

Tyndale's is not an historical faith rooted in an ancient story, nor was it a dead faith; this is a living vibrant feeling faith firmly rooted in the power of the Living Word of God.

Tyndale knew many of his readers would be tortured and burnt; he starts the introduction bringing them comfort. Constantly echoing Scripture, the simplicity of the Gospel and New Testament doctrine he shows how adversity follows Gods chosen people and how God uses this adversity to purify His people, to strengthen their faith and to demonstrate that His grace is sufficient to meet their every need.

This book shows a man driven by one desire and one desire only, the desire that ordinary folk should be able, without fear, to read and understand the Word of God; to know that Salvation is a personal matter, justification is by faith alone in the finished work of our Lord and Savour Jesus Christ and His Redeeming Blood and that the fruits of this faith are good works.

Christian living is a life of service according to the New Testament and not according to the Church. Even in the 21st century this book brings the challenge of the Gospel - do those who claim to be Christian truly know the joy of this vibrant living feeling faith; are the fruits of this faith a life of service and giving?

In May 1535 William Tyndale was caught, interrogated for 16 months, defrocked as a priest and burnt as a heretic.

Today most who read this review will be privileged to enjoy freedom of worship, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom from fear; we cannot even contemplate the conditions that Tyndale and his fellow labourers endured. We owe them all a great debt of gratitude for their faith courage and determination.

David Danell has done an excellent job in, modernising the spelling, adding end notes and in his introduction.

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