There are a lot of heroes from the Reformation, and lest we forget them by ceasing to talk about them, people MUST revisit the history of the Reformation from time to time. Many of the early Reformers paid a HIGH price for what we take casual advantage of now, such as reading a copy of the Bible in our native language.
Our first hero: READ THIS.
This will tell you about William Tyndale, who was BURNED AT THE STAKE for translating the Bible into English. Here’s an excerpt from the article by John Piper at Desiring God:
“Tyndale hoped to escape this condemnation by getting official authorization for his translation in 1524. But he found just the opposite and had to escape from London to the continent where he did all his translating and writing for the next twelve years. He lived as a fugitive the entire time until his death near Brussels in 1536. He watched a rising tide of persecution and felt the pain of seeing young men burned alive who were converted by reading his translation and his books.
His closest friend, John Frith, was arrested in London and tried by Thomas More and burned alive July 4, 1531, at the age of twenty-eight. Richard Bayfield ran the ships that took Tyndale’s books to England. He was betrayed and arrested, and Thomas More wrote on December 4, 1531, that Bayfield “the monk and apostate [was] well and worthily burned in Smythfelde.”
Three weeks later the same end came to John Tewkesbury. He was converted by reading Tyndale’s Parable of the Wicked Mammon which defended justification by faith alone. He was whipped in Thomas More’s garden and had his brow squeezed with small ropes till blood came out of his eyes. Then he was sent to the Tower where he was racked till he was lame. Then at last they burned him alive. Thomas More “rejoiced that his victim was now in hell, where Tyndale ‘is like to find him when they come together.’”
Four months later James Bainham followed in the flames in April of 1532. He had stood up during the mass at St. Augustine’s Church in London and lifted a copy of Tyndale’s New Testament and pleaded with the people to die rather than deny the word of God. That virtually was to sign his own death warrant.
Add to these Thomas Bilney, Thomas Dusgate, John Bent, Thomas Harding, Andrew Hewet, Elizabeth Barton and others, all burned alive for sharing the views of William Tyndale about the Scriptures and the reformed faith.”
When I read this I was moved to tears. Don’t let their sacrifice be forgotten or whitewashed in today’s “acceptance and tolerance” atmosphere of “can’t we all just get along?!?” Xtianity.