The name Tyndale’s Ploughboy is taken from the reply that William Tyndale, while at Little Sodbury Manor, stated to a fellow priest that he would make a boy who driveth the plough know more of Scripture than the priest himself.
In some senses, we all can be called Tyndale’s Ploughboys because the Word of God in English came from his work of translation. The rationale for this site is the need to know the Word of God. We need to know it doctrinally, experientially, and practically in our lives. The knowledge of Scripture includes not only the cardinal doctrines such as the doctrine of God, of man, of Christ and His work – but also a clear understanding of the doctrine of the Word itself.
- What does the Bible claim about itself?
- What role do the Scriptures play in my life?
- How important do I believe the Word of God is?
- How is my view of God’s Word reflected in my life?
These are important questions. Many Christian leaders are convinced that an ignorance of God’s Word lies at the root of many of the problems the church is facing today.
The aim of this web site is to encourage people to become students of the Word of God. Because we must start somewhere, the initial step will be to begin a systematic reading of God’s Word to gain a basic idea of its structure and teachings. There are a number of Bible reading programs that enable a person to read through the entire Bible in one year based on a thirty minute reading period each day. An investment of thirty minutes per day will repay eternal dividends. The Banner of Truth Trust publishes a Bible reading program drawn up by Robert Murray McCheyne, a godly Presbyterian pastor of the 19th century. Also The Navigators provide a similar guide. There are a number of others that are just as good but the key point is to use them.
The encouragement for people to read and study God’s Word by means of a daily Bible reading program will follow an historical and theological method. The site is divided into five categories, none of which is an end in itself. The end or goal is the dedicated and systematic study of the Word of God. All information contained on this web site is for the purpose of encouraging that goal. If this purpose is not attained, it has no practical value. It will be mere learning and the increase of intellectual knowledge but will not change the person’s heart.
If such is the case, why not just encourage people to read the Bible and permit that to be its sole purpose? It is because people often respond positively to different approaches to a subject. It is also true that people have questions that merit an answer. Although intellectual knowledge is not an end in itself, it can be used to create a curiosity in people that leads to action. Such, we trust, will be the end result.
Categories included on this web site are the following:
- An in-depth study of the major reformers beginning with William Tyndale, the first translator of the English Bible from the original source languages. However when we speak of William Tyndale we must remember that while he was the first to translate from the source languages, John Wyclif had translated the Bible from the Latin Vulgate in the previous century. He was known as the Morning Star of the Reformation and the knowledge of his life opens a real understanding to subsequent events that took place in England. We can add to the list persons who lived outside of England such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and others. These biographies will be written in serial form and each segment will be limited to approximately fifteen hundred words. This will enable the reader to grasp an overall view of the person’s life and work. The biographies are intended to supplement the major biographies of these individuals with the hope that interest will be stirred to tackle the major books.
- The second segment will include book descriptions from the Van Kampen Collection presently housed in the Scriptorium at the Holy Land Experience, Orlando, Florida. The writer had the privilege of working with the collection for a number of years. The collection contains items that are extremely rare. However, the value of the collection is not only in the rarity of the books, but in the demonstration of God’s providence in preserving His Word. It is also the story of people who labored to see God’s Word transmitted throughout the ages. An illustration of this would be the anonymous monks in medieval Scriptoria who copied the Scriptures faithfully. However, in addition to copying the Scriptures, we trust they also read them and believed by faith in the God Who inspired them to be written. Not all of the participants were as faithful, but all had part in the preservation and transmission of the Word of God.
- The third part will give brief biographies of minor figures in the work of the Reformation, although it is not proper to classify anyone’s contribution as minor. Some of these individuals are well known such as Miles Coverdale who was responsible for translating portions and printing the first complete English Bible in 1535. Others may not be as familiar but played an important role in having the Bible circulate freely to the English people. It is possible that some of these brief biographies may be expanded to give a more in depth view of the individual and his work.
- The fourth part will give reviews of books pertaining to the transmission of the Word of God. Two of the most interesting books the writer has read in recent years are Wide as the Waters by Benson Bobrick and God’s Bestseller by Brian Moynahan. Both of these books were published by secular publishers. It has puzzled the writer why major secular publishing houses are willing to publish books dealing with the history of the Bible when Christian book publishers appear to be indifferent. These are major works characterized by profound scholarship and intense research.
It is important to note that only published books will be reviewed. There are a number of websites available that provide excellent material but our reviews will be limited to published works. Also a book will only be reviewed if the reviewer has read it in its entirety. The review will reflect his opinions and should not be considered an official endorsement or evidence of wisdom beyond his capability! Hopefully, this section will include books that can be considered as standards in the field and we will not limit ourselves to just recently published works.