Tyndale's Testament tells you the story of how an Oxford scholar gave knowledge and a voice to "the boy that driveth the plough," and how his legacy survives in the world's leading language for international communication, and in the political structures of our modern age.
In the era of the early Reformation many influential texts were printed in Antwerp. Not the least of these were the biblical translations of William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536). Despite the relative tolerance of Antwerp's magistrates, which made such pubications possible, Tyndale was eventually seized by officers of Charles V and was executed as a heretic in Vilvoorde, north of Brussels. Tyndale's translations of the New Testament (Worms, 1526; Antwerp, 1534, 1535, 1536) and of the Pentateuch (Antwerp, 1530) were profoundly to shape future English bibles, and through them the language and culture of the English-speaking world.
Tyndale's Testament, a volume with contributions by leading international scholars, puts the achievement of Tyndale into its broad cultural and intellectual context, in which Erasmus and Luther were the key figures, and into its immediate commercial and technological location in sixteenth-century Antwerp. It also sketches the transmission of Tyndale's work to future English translations through the Coverdale Bible (Antwerp, 1535), and traces the development of his present-day recognition as the father of modern English Bible translation and of the Anglo-American Evangelical tradition.
The volume Tyndale's Testament is to be published to coincide with the Fourth International Tyndale Conference, at the Lessius Hogeschool in Antwerp. It includes the catalogue of a major exhibition to be held (3 September to 1 December 2002) in the UNESCO-listed Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp. The publication is richly illustrated with over a hundred pictures (ten in colour), including a full colour reproduction of the only surviving title page of the first English New Testament in print, from the unique complete copy in the Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart.