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Tyndale, The Man Who Gave God an English Voice

David Teems could write a book about dirt and I would find it fascinating. Quite frankly, he is an artist with the English word and much of prose he writes sounds like poetry. 

The author’s bio on the back of Tyndale, The Man who Gave God and English Voice says that David Teems is from Tennessee, which doesn’t surprise me.  There is a lot about his writing style that makes me think of great Southern authors.  Listen to this line about John Colet from page 27: “Granted, his sermon was in Latin, but a dead language never preached so hot.”  I came across phrases and sentences like this over and over again in this book that made me smile.

Teems has taken a subject that I was mildly interested in, William Tyndale’s creation of the first English translation of the Bible, and written it in such a way that I found the story completely gripping.  He fleshes out historical characters like Erasmus and Sir Thomas More, in a way that is very relatable.  I had no idea that Thomas More was such a dirt-bag for example.  Who ties up people in their backyard and whips them?  It makes me want to go back and reread Utopia, looking for the sinister.  Heck, I even want to go back and reread Dinotopia with new eyes!

As a reader, I really appreciated the careful scholarship that went into this book.  Everything Teems writes about Tyndale is carefully backed up with footnotes and annotations.  He writes with the point of view of someone who appreciates bravery, scholarship, and the truth, but not in a way that tries to push a particular religious, or political agenda.  I think you could read this book coming from any religious background, and find it entertaining and edifying.   

P.S.  I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my positive (or negative) review.


4 Comments

  1. Jean says:

    Ha! I just ordered this one. What are you getting next?

    • jenbrdsly says:

      I haven’t ordered my next one yet, because I want to get a book in print. I’m tempted to get the ebook offering of George Washington Carver though. I’m still really stunned about what I learned about Douglas Wilson and the “Paleo-Confederate” roots behind Classical Christian Homeschooling. If anything, that has made me want to do learn more about American diversity.

      • Jean says:

        Yeah, I didn’t know anything about Douglas Wilson either until quite recently. I’d skimmed his book on classical ed and disliked it (esp. his religion) so I’ve always stuck with the SWB side of the movement, which is what hooked me in the first place. It goes back to Dorothy Sayers, and if you haven’t read her essay, you should! As far as I can tell, the WTM people don’t have anything *at all* to do with the Wilson people–I’ve seen them get very unpopular with the Dominionist folks by taking a public stand against that sort of thing.

        Anyhow, yes, learn more about American diversity! 🙂

  2. Diane says:

    Sounds like an interesting book. Great review! Hugs and have a Happy New Year!!! :O)

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