Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tyndale will meet Praiz' in Tallahassee

My buddy Praiz' and his family of six are in the house for a few days. Last night after the wives and kids all had gone to bed, we sat up late talking about the usual stuff, music, creativity, the spirit. He was talking about wanting to take his faith back to the ground and rebuild it right. I can always relate to that - that was the great gift of my education in philosophy: first principles come first.

I follow a faith I learned in Sun Dances and sweat lodges and in the woods and on the rivers, but I could connect with Praiz's Christian faith. I recently cracked back open my William Tyndale. Tyndale was the first writer to go back to the Hebrew and Greek primary sources to translate the ancient Jewish scriptures and the very early modern Greek gospels of Jesus Christ into English.

I always love to talk about Tyndale - his Bible was William Shakespeare's Bible, and his Bible was to a large extent the Bible of the King James translators, even though the king told them to work from the Latin, and they did - just enough to fool the king, or appease the pope, or both.

I'm not sure if it's known or not whether the king or pope were fooled by the consummate gesture of respect accorded Tyndale by the King James translators, who took advantage of a blank page between the Old Testatment and the New, in the first edition, to send to the printer a page with only two letters, "WT," the initials of Tyndale - Tyndale who did not work on salary from the king, Tyndale who fled England for his life because of his unauthorized translation, Tyndale who lost his life on the continent, also over his gall to bring Jesus' words into the plain language of the plowboy.

Praiz' took in the Tyndale story. He liked what Tyndale said to the papist, who warned him of the wrath of the pope, before the translator ever fled from England. Tyndale told the fearful papist, "When I am finished, the plowboy will know the truth of Jesus Christ better than you," or something close to that.

"I'm going to use that," Praiz' said. "I'm going to use that in my ministry."

Then we get online and I ordered Praiz' his own cheap used copy of Tyndale. It will meet him in Tallahassee when he gets back home.

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