Tyndale’s translation was based on the original Greek of the New Testament, and he used free idiomatic English, enriching the English language with over 250 phrases still in use today, such as ‘am I my brother’s keeper?’, ‘feet of clay’, ‘the patience of Job’, and ‘reap the whirlwind’.
He finished the New Testament and half of the Old Testament before being martyred in 1536.
His last words were “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!
According to C. S. Lewis, Tyndale was ‘the best prose writer of his age’.
Comparison between Wycliffe translation and Tyndale
Genesis chapter 1:1-3
Wycliffe Translation 1380
In the bigynnyng God made of nouyt heuene and erthe. Forsothe the erthe was idel and voide, and derknessis weren on the face of depthe; and the Spiryt of the Lord was borun on the watris. And God seide, Liyt be maad, and liyt was maad.
Tyndale Translation 1526
In the begynnynge God created heaven and erth. The erth was voyde and emptie ad darcknesse was vpon the depe and the spirite of god moved vpon the water. Than God sayd: let there be lyghte and there was lyghte.