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Fire in the Bones: William Tyndale – Martyr, Father of the English Bible

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  943 Ratings  ·  268 Reviews
The leading personalities of his century would draw upon all their resources to stop him, from the brilliant Sir Thomas Moore to King Henry VIII; from Charles V, ruler of half of Europe, to the Pope. Both church and state hunted him relentlessly—at a time when the church held power over both soul and body and could condemn the heretic to execution by fire. His crime? Trans ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Shadow Mountain (first published January 1st 2004)
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Aug 01, 2011 TJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While undoubtably LDS in nature, this is an absolutely amazing account of the life of William Tyndale, the 16th century reformer who's life work it was to translate the Bible into English. Insisting scripture should be available to even the common man, Tyndale is responsible for most of the beautiful wording in the King James Bible, as well as it's accurate translations. As history attests, Tyndale paid for his work with his life - as those in authority in England, along with the Roman Catholic ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Sue rated it it was amazing
Now I have one more reason to admire Michael Wilcox. This biography of William Tyndale is exceptional! I have such a great appreciation now of this reformer who fought valiantly to make the scriptures available in the English language and ultimately gave his life to the cause. He was a genius in languages and spoke seven fluently. He translated the New Testament from Latin and gave us the beautiful lyrical language which we love. While in exile, he studied Hebrew and translated much of the Old T ...more
Dec 23, 2008 Bob rated it did not like it
(Review I wrote for Amazon)
At first blush this book may appear to be an academic historical treatment of William Tyndale, who's life is indeed worthy of further study. However, the reader will find that the book is really meant to be a faith-promoting narrative for a Mormon audience. The experiences of William Tyndale are regularly compared to Joseph Smith, the Mormon church's founder, in attempt to make Joseph appear more credible and divine. This may be fine for an LDS audience, but anyone els
Mar 06, 2011 Tamhack rated it liked it
I was very impressed with how Tyndale held onto his mission in life up to the very end that he was martyred. I liked the book!. It would have been even better if it focused solely on Tyndale and his life and his importance in history. The author always tried to slip in comparison to Joseph Smith--which were not pertinent to the story of Tyndale (The message of the book would have been stronger and held up on its own without these comparison's.). Tyndale was a very courageous man and was truly di ...more
Sep 24, 2007 Cayenne rated it it was amazing
This was a beautiful, well written book about the miracle of William Tyndale's life and his super-human efforts to translate the Bible into English for his fellow countrymen. His dream was to see an English Bible in the hands of every ploughboy and Wilcox points out that his dream was fulfilled in the hands of Joseph Smith. Wilcox draws a lot of parallels between the lives of William and Joseph. I found the arguments compelling and the facts well researched. Fascinating story. It also had short ...more
Nov 17, 2009 Marlene rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in knowing how we got the English translation of the Bible. I didn't have any idea how much sacrifice was involved in getting it into its present form. This book gave me a greater appreciation for the Bible and the influence it has had on many generations of people. No wonder it is the most read book in the world!
Jul 05, 2010 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious-nonlds
"Fire in the Bones" is a remarkable account of the life William Tyndale, known as the "father of the English Bible." A brilliant scholar who mastered several languages, he dedicated his life to translating the New and Old Testaments into the English language so that every English speaking person might read the Bible in his native tongue. He did so at a time when such an endeavor was almost always punishable by death. Ninety percent of wording of the King James Bible was taken directly from Tynda ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Debbie rated it it was ok
I was really disappointed in "Fire in the Bones" by S. Michael Wilcox. I was excited to read more about William Tyndale and I really hoped to come away from the book with a deeper understanding of his life and that period in history. Quite frankly, most of the book turned out to be a poorly written and edited commentary on William Tyndale's life, rather than the facts. I was especially troubled by the constant presentation of opinion as fact and the stretching of fact to fit opinion. I won't tro ...more
Kris Irvin
Aug 27, 2012 Kris Irvin rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Blah blah blah blah. This book could have been 75% better if 75% had been cut out. There's a ridiculous amount of repeating information in here. The book is written interestingly enough (especially for a history book, hooray novel-ish format!) but holy verbose, Batman.

I did not realize this was an LDS book. I almost fainted when the first page was talking about Joseph Smith. Being LDS I didn't mind it, but it definitely narrows down the audience. Actually, I did kind of mind it, because this boo
Nov 21, 2009 Brenda rated it it was ok
While William Tyndale and his story are incredibly interesting, I found this book tedious and annoying. The author's constant comparisons between Tyndale and Joseph Smith were off-putting and his insistence on "guessing" Tyndale's motives and reasoning irritated me. With all that said, the story is one that gave me great thankfulness for those people willing to sacrifice themselves for truth, for freedom, and for their fellow men. I also was so interested to learn how Tyndale shaped our present- ...more
May 22, 2015 Christi rated it liked it
Shelves: church, biography
I really wanted to love this book, since I like S. Michael Wilcox and most history/biographies. But it just sort of missed the mark for me. I enjoyed learning about Tyndale and it's a quick primer on his life, but I felt it was light and more of a survey course than an in-depth study. It felt like the author realized that Tyndale is an amazing man and wanted to explain that to people--but without any scholarship. The story is great, but I just felt it was missing something--the inspiration maybe ...more
Jan 02, 2011 Kayla rated it it was ok
This book came highly reccomended, more because it's about William Tyndale than because it's a good book. This is not a good book. I should have put it back when I realized it was an LDS author and printed by Deseret Book, but I didn't. I suffered through the book. The writing is...horrible. Just horrible.

I am interested by William Tyndale and will read his story by a different author, hopefully one that can actually write.
May 04, 2009 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious
I loved learning about William Tyndale. A man placed in that particular time to help everyone read, from a truer translation, the bible we have today. He was frustrated with the church changing the definitions and meaning of words and leaving so much out from the original text of Greek and Hebrew. So he translated from those original forms. He even stated that he had a "fire in my bones" to do this work. A man truely inspired.
Jan 16, 2016 Brett added it
A fascinating story of the life and death of not only William Tyndale, but many who spent and gave their lives so that the Bible would be available in the "vulgar" English language. I was most interested in the dueling that went on between those in the camp of Sir Thomas More and the reformers such as Tyndale. What a dark time in European history. I did like how the author, while really beating up on More for the majority of the book (rightly so, I might add), also pointed out the many fine qual ...more
Jonathan Plowman
Apr 22, 2013 Jonathan Plowman rated it it was amazing
William Tyndale sacrificed more to bring about the King James Version of the Bible than I could have possibly imagined. This is a great read and one that will make you truly grateful for Tyndale's life and efforts.
Nov 22, 2015 Kristen rated it liked it
3.5 rating. Wow, reading this book makes you soooo grateful for the sacrifices that the reformers had to go through to bring about the bible. Thought the views of the Catholic leaders of the day who burned the heretics were NUTS. Their logic was so backward.
Tyndale was an incredible man who was led by God in all the work he did. Wish there had been more about his life and translation rather than other men, but so many great parts! I'd never thought about how intricate and thoughtful you have to
Aug 06, 2012 Liff rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Of all the people I've read about, William Tyndale is among those I admire most.
Aug 20, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious, history
This is the story of the life and work of William Tyndale, an early Christian reformer who was martyred because of his extensive work in translating the Bible into English in the early 1500s. It is told from and LDS perspective, but is meaningful to anyone who loves the scriptures and word of God.

It's amazing to consider the sacrifices and faithfulness of many individuals who prepared, preserved, and shared the word of God with His help. We owe a great debt of gratitude to these people who made
Keli Wright
Jun 19, 2014 Keli Wright rated it really liked it
In Fire in the Bones, Wilcox presents a brief, readable account of William Tyndale’s experience in making the first English translation of the Bible. As an LDS scholar, Wilcox draws occasional parallels between and connections with Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the LDS Church. This may enhance the reading of those interested in these areas. It would be a shame, however, if readers interested in the book solely as a history of William Tyndale, the Bible, and the Reformation, or even the p ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Luisa rated it liked it
This book was amazing, but in all reality a bit more factual and documentary style than I normally prefer. I learned SO much about the Reformation (especially since it inspired in me my own personal studies of Luther and his 95 Theses, the Inquisition, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn... Everything about that period in Europe). I loved the parallelisms that Wilcox drew about Tyndale and Joseph Smith. Types and shadows. And i also loved the realization that we OWE much of our gospel language and favorite ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Paula rated it liked it
Shelves: religious
First I must say that I love the subject matter of this book. Learning about the trials suffered by the first man to translate the Bible to English from its purest tongues, and his passion and dedication in spite of the dangers during the early 16th century when biblical studies by laymen was considered heresy, punishable by death, was very engrossing to say the least. It is clear that a lot of research was done on the matter and was impressively presented in this book.

However, I had a lot of tr
Nov 04, 2011 Janene rated it liked it
The King James Bible is all the talk this year among Christian circles, with the celebration of 400 years. This book gave me the opportunity to learn more about the history behind it's translation into English.

I'll be honest, for me it was a slow moving book to get into... like the author couldn't decide where to start. One thing that bothered me was the repeated comparisons between Tyndale and Joseph Smith. I didn't mind it being mentioned the first time, I get that there is a comparison there,
Feb 07, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and am really glad that I read it. William Tyndale translated the bible into English at the expense of his life. I have a new found appreciation for the bible, and an increased desire to study and ponder it.

I'm sure there are many, or at least several, other biographies of William Tyndale, but I believe this is the only one written from an LDS perspective, which I think helped me understand connections that I may not have made on my own. The beginning of the book was a littl
Aug 25, 2013 KyneWynn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Book Group
Recommended to KyneWynn by: Challe
Shelves: biography
This was an interesting look at William Tyndale, Martyr and Father of the English translation of the bible from the Greek (New Testament) and Hebrew (Old Testament). I am not a huge fan of the writing style (not that it's bad writing, it's not, it just sounds too much like a lecture or sermon to me, and the author is a professor which is probably why it comes across that way); but, it was a fascinating look at the Reformation, and Tyndale's place in it.

It is fully annotated (which I like) and w
Sep 05, 2008 Mimi rated it liked it
I would have NEVER finished the book were it not for Book Club. It felt like he gave a 227 page General Conference talk. The information I gathered from the book is priceless and I wish he would have edited it more. A good book does not need to be a certain length.

The writing was way too forced (according to someone here on GoodReads who had him as a prof said he does not talk like that. Go figure.)

Funny enough in later chapters he mentions how William Tyndale and Joseph Smith were praised for
Jan 08, 2010 ShaLisa rated it really liked it
Tyndale proved to be a man of prayer, a humble man who wanted the word of God to be available to all seeking neither glory nor riches for himself, and a martyr for the word of God.

I loved, loved, loved the description of the beautiful language Tyndale was able to produce skillfully speaking seven language (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, French and German). The English language was flourishing needing a new dictionary every year to capture the creation of the new words (many of which wer
May 21, 2010 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rebecca by: Holly and Elaine
(Probably 3 1/2 stars is more accurate)

Having taken half-a-dozen or more institute classes during college from Michael Wilcox, I can vouch for his ability to enlighten and elucidate the most complicated of texts. His research and learning of William Tyndale is no exception, and is only increased by his known infatuation and understanding of English grammar, literature and history. He is a Master of Words. His articulate voice is present throughout this biography.

Though there were a few moments o
Feb 26, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never fully thought through what it takes to translate scripture. You can't help but color the translation with your own beliefs and understandings. From what I've learned of Tyndale, he is the type of person I would want to add that color.

Why do we use the King James Bible today?

"Clarity of expression was not the only goal. Wisdom and insight were ideally presented in emotive language, which was designed to be pleasurable to hear or read. The enjoyment increase the likelihood that the id
Dec 05, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it
This was such an interesting book. Beyond knowing his name, and that he had been martyred for translating the Bible into English, I really had no idea who Tyndale really was and how significant his contribution to our culture and language were, or how great his sacrifice was. This gave me a whole new outlook on the history of this period. This book definitely has an LDS perspective, which will be a plus for some readers, and make others a bit gun shy, but it is interesting. The author has a grea ...more
Nov 03, 2008 Rochelle rated it really liked it
LOVED this book. Powered through it in a weekend. I just couldn't put it down. I was fascinated by the story of this and other early reformers in the mid 16th century. It was really fun for me to note many authors that I read back in college (good ol' 16th century Brit Lit). I really feel my college education was wasted on a stupid girl in her 20's. Ah, to do it again...

Anyway, Tyndale was just incredible in his humility and perserverance. It was also totally interesting that his main 'enemy' wa
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S. Michael Wilcox is an instructor at the institute of religion adjacent to the University of Utah. A frequent speaker at Brigham Young University Education Week, Michael also conducts tours of the Holy Land, Church history sites, Europe, China, and Central America. He received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brigham Young University, a master’s in media from the University of Arizo ...more
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