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Why We Need a Modern-Day Tyndale Moment

The call and need for regular scripture study are ever-present.

However, the scriptures as we now know them have not always been so readily accessible.

Centuries ago, a brave man stood against the traditions of his time. He saw the desperate need millions of humans had for access to the word of God. He lived in a society where the word of God was safely stored away in books, inaccessible except to the few who had access to libraries or church repositories. 

Even then, if a commoner would have been so privileged to hold a Bible in their hands, the words would have been unintelligible to them. The Bible was only available in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin—the sacred languages of its composition and transmission. 

In stepped William Tyndale in 1494.

In Tyndale’s day, law and tradition forbade, on pain of death, making a new, vulgar (common tongue) translation of the Bible. 

But Tyndale defied false tradition, he defied damning law: “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than he doust.” 

Tyndale produced the first full translation of the Bible in English.

For his heroic and innovative efforts, the King of England executed Tyndale.

Think of it!

Today, we are awash in access to the scriptures. At a moment’s notice, and thanks to modern hand-held technology, we can access the Bible without so much a thought. 

Yet some of us may rather feel to die than actually have to take the time to read scriptures. I say this tongue-in-cheek. Still, because of our fallen nature, regular, serious, sustained scripture study can be hard because scripture study takes time, dedication, and effort. 

Excitingly, however, we are living in a tremendous time, what I call the modern-day Tyndale moment.

Just as Tyndale worked to make the scriptures easily accessible to everyone, we live in an age where everyone has easy access to scriptures.

But most people do not have ready access to the best resources about the scriptures that support, deepen, and expand scripture study, scripture application, and scripture engagement.

Consider this: I completed my Master’s degree in Biblical studies at the Yale Divinity School nearly two decades ago. At the time, the Yale Divinity School library had more than 500,000 books about the Bible. Who had access to that incredible wealth of content, knowledge, and love of the scriptures? The few hundred students and faculty at the school. 

Like Tyndale, I have a vision of democratizing the best thinking on the scriptures, to bring the wealth of scripture knowledge to the world.

I envision tools and resources that encourage, enhance, and strengthen scripture engagement for millions if not billions of people worldwide.

I envision tools that put at the fingertips of all who are interested, the very best resources and thinking about the scriptures, contextually placed to expand hearts, minds, and spirits. 

We live in a day when that vision is possible and is already underway.

One group who is working diligently to build this vision is Book of Mormon Central

The vision is a substantial undertaking that will require the efforts of many individuals and will require significant monetary resources to bring to fruition.

To see a short video of the possibilities of the Modern-Day Tyndale moment, check out the video at the end of this article.

And if you have interest in supporting this cause, learn more here.

May we create new and inspired traditions of scripture study, engagement, and application.

May our day be long remembered as the Modern-Day Tyndale moment when the spiritual descendants of Tyndale joined together to build a more expansive future of scripture learning.



Lead image from Getty Images
Taylorhalverson

Dr. Taylor Halverson

Taylor Halverson is a BYU Teaching and Learning Consultant. He recently helped edit the new book Knowing Why: 137 Evidences that the Book of Mormon is True and has published and presented widely on scripture, innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, teaching, and learning and has PhDs in Biblical Studies and Instructional Technology. Click here to request a free eBook Memoirs of the Ward Rumor Control Coordinator, a light-hearted look at our beloved Mormon culture. More at taylorhalverson.com.

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