Andrew Farran (TC 1957) has generously donated a copy of a William Tyndale Bible to Trinity College.
When Andrew was living at Trinity and studying a Bachelor of Law (Hons) at the University of Melbourne, he knew very little of scholar and theologian William Tyndale (1494-1536). Andrew certainly had no idea the profound influence Tyndale’s acts of ‘courage, independent thinking and commitment’ would have on his life.
It was in the 1990s while living in England, Andrew walked past Tyndale’s statue along the River Thames and began developing an interest in the history of the theologian.
A reformist in the Church, Tyndale was the first person to translate the New Testament into English, an act that was strictly forbidden at the time. Tyndale argued that the Bible should determine the practice and doctrine of the Church and that it should be accessible to everyone including lay people.
On 6 October 1536, after being betrayed by his friend Henry Phillips, Tyndale was convicted of heresy and treason, before being strangled and burned at the stake.
Andrew donated the Bible to the College as, ‘tangible evidence of the life of this great and courageous Englishman who defied overbearing authority to bring through the translations of the word of New Testament in English to everyday worshippers regardless of place and status,’ says Andrew.
Each year the contributions of William Tyndale are celebrated within the Anglican Church on the date of his death (6 October). Trinity College Chapel, which has a service on most days of the week and following the patterns of the Anglican Church, also remembers and celebrates this significant hero of the Christian faith. The Bible is currently being held at Trinity College’s Leeper Library and is available to be viewed on request.