Discover the Lives & Teachings of the Protestant Reformers

William Tyndale Quotes

William Tyndale gave his life for the cause of the Protestant Reformation. He was passionate about getting the Scriptures into the language of the common people. He is not quoted as often as other more famous reformers like Martin Luther or John Calvin. However, his influence on the Reformation can not be marginalized. I hope you enjoy these William Tyndale quotes.

  • And as the circumcised in the flesh, and not in the heart, have no part in God’s good promises; even so they that be baptized in the flesh, and not in heart, have no part in Christ’s blood.
  • As Christ compareth the understanding of scripture to a key, so compareth he it to a net, and unto leaven, and unto many other things for certain properties. I marvel, therefore, that they boast not themselves of their net and leaven, as well as of their keys; for they are all one thing. But as Christ biddeth us beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, so beware of their counterfeited keys, and of their false net; which are their traditions and ceremonies, their hypocrisy and false doctrine, wherewith they catch, not souls unto Christ, but authority and riches unto themselves.
  • By grace I understand the favor of God, and also the gifts and working of his Spirit in us; as love, kindness, patience, obedience, mercifulness, despising of worldly things, peace, concord, and such like. If after thou hast heard so many masses, matins, and evensongs, and after thou hast received holy bread, holy water, and the bishop’s blessing, or a cardinal’s or the pope’s, if thou wilt be more kind to thy neighbor, and love him better than before; if thou be more obedient unto thy superiors; more merciful, more ready to forgive wrong; done unto thee, more despisest the world, and more athirst after spiritual things; if after that a priest hath taken orders he be less covetous than before; if a wife, after so many and oft pilgrimages, be more chaste, more obedient unto her husband, more kind to her maids and other servants; if gentlemen, knights, lords, and kings and emperors, after they have said so often daily service with their chaplains, know more of Christ than before, and can better skill to rule their tenants, subjects, and realms christianly than before, and be content with their duties; then do such things increase grace. If not, it is a lie. Whether it be so or no, I report me to experience. If they have any other interpretations of justifying or grace, I pray them to teach it me; for I would gladly learn it.
  • Christ forbiddeth his disciples and that oft… not only to climb above lords, kings, and emperors in worldly rule, but also to exalt themselves one above another in the kingdom of God: but in vain; for the pope would not hear it, though he had commanded it ten thousand times.
  • Christ is with us until the world’s end. Let his little flock be bold therefore.
  • Christ made the bread the sacrament of his body only: wherefore as the bread is no similitude of his blood, so am I not bound or ought to affirm, that his blood is there present.
  • For if God be on our side, what matter maketh it who be against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes, or whatsoever names they will?
  • For no man by sprinkling himself with holy water, and with eating holy bread, is more merciful than before, or forgiveth wrong, or becometh at one with his enemy, or is more patient, and less covetous, and so forth; which are the sure tokens of the soul-health.
  • He will not work until all be past remedy, and brought unto such a case, that men may see, how that his hand, his power, his mercy, his goodness and truth, hath wrought altogether. He will let no man be partaker with him of his praise and glory. His works are wonderful, and contrary unto man’s works.
  • Here is also to be noted, that the cause of the institution was to be a memorial, to testify that Christ’s body was given, and his blood shed for us.
  • I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus, that I never altered one syllable of God’s Word against my conscience, nor would do this day, if all that is in earth, whether it be honor, pleasure, or riches, might be given me.
  • I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy who drives the plough to know more of the scriptures than he does.
  • I had perceived by experience, how that it was impossible to stablish the lay people in any truth, except the scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue, that they might see the process, order, and meaning of the text.
  • I know divers, and divers men know me, which love me as I do them: yet if I should pray them, when I meet them in the street openly, they would abhor me; but if I pray them where they be appointed to meet me secretly, they will hear me and accept my request.
  • I perceived how that it was impossible to establish the lay people in any truth except the Scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue.
  • I will cause a boy who drives a plow to know more of the scriptures than the pope.
  • If God promise riches, the way thereto is poverty. Whom he loveth, him he chasteneth: whom he exalteth, he casteth, down: whom he saveth, he damneth first. He bringeth no man to heaven, except he send him to hell first. If he promise life, he slayeth first: when he buildeth, he casteth all down first. He is no patcher; he cannot build on another man’s foundation.
  • If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy who drives the plough to know more of the scriptures than you do
  • In the old covenants the people were sprinkled with blood of calves without, in their bodies, to bind them to keep the law; else we were bound to just damnation, for the breaking of it.
  • Let Christian kings therefore keep their faith and truth, and all lawful promises and bonds, not one with another only, but even with the Turk or whatsoever infidel it be. For so it is right before God; as the scriptures and ensamples of the bible testify.
  • Many things there be in the scripture, which have a carnal fulfilling, even there where they be spoken or done; and yet have another spiritual signification, to be fulfilled long after in Christ and his kingdom, and yet never known till the thing be done.
  • Mark this also, if God send thee to the sea, and promise to go with thee, and to bring thee safe to land, he will raise up a tempest against thee, to prove whether thou wilt abide by his word, and that thou mayest feel thy faith, and perceive his goodness. For if it were always fair weather, and thou never brought into such jeopardy, whence his mercy only delivered thee, thy faith should be but a presumption, and thou shouldest be ever unthankful to God and merciless unto thy neighbor.
  • Marriage was ordained for a remedy and to increase the world and for the man to help the woman and the woman the man, with all love and kindness.
  • My overcoat is worn out; my shirts also are worn out. And I ask to be allowed to have a lamp in the evening; it is indeed wearisome sitting alone in the dark.
  • Neither was there any heresy, or diversity of opinion, or disputing about the matter, till the pope had gathered a council to confirm this transubstantiation: wherefore it is most likely that this opinion came up by them of latter days.
  • No more doth it hurt to say that the body and blood are not in the sacrament.
  • No more, of likelihood, do they of soul. Yea, we see also by experience, that no man receiveth health of soul thereby. For no man by sprinkling himself with holy water, and with eating holy bread, is more merciful than before, or forgiveth wrong, or becometh at one with his enemy, or is more patient, and less covetous, and so forth; which are the sure tokens of the soul-health.
  • Oh Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!
  • Take heed, therefore, wicked prelates, blind leaders of the blind; indurate and obstinate hypocrites, take heed …. Ye will be the chiefest in Christ’s flock, and yet will not keep one jot of the right way of his doctrine …ye keep thereof almost naught at all, but whatsoever soundeth to make of your bellies, to maintain your honour, whether in the Scripture, or in your own traditions, or in the pope’s law, that ye compel the lay-people to observe; violently threatening them with your excommunications and curses, that they shall be damned, body and soul, if they keep them not. And if that help you not, then ye murder them mercilessly with the sword of the temporal powers, whom ye have made so blind that they be ready to slay whom ye command, and will not hear his cause examined, nor give him room to answer for himself.
  • The Church is the one institution that exists for those outside it.
  • The church of Christ is the multitude of all those who believe in Christ for the remission of sins, and who are thankful for that mercy and who love the law of God purely, and who hate the sin in this world an long for the life to come.
  • The morality of clean blood ought to be one of the first lessons taught us by our pastors and teachers. The physical is the substratum of the spiritual; and this fact ought to give to the food we eat, and the air we breathe, a transcendent significance.
  • The preaching of God’s word is hateful and contrary unto them. Why? For it is impossible to preach Christ, except thou preach against antichrist; that is to say, them which with their false doctrine and violence of sword enforce to quench the true doctrine of Christ. And as thou canst heal no disease, except thou begin at the root; even so canst thou preach against no mischief, except thou begin at the bishops.
  • There is no work better than to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a cobbler, or an apostle, all are one; to wash dishes and to preach are all one, as touching the deed, to please God.
  • This word church has diverse significations.
  • Though that at the beginning miracles were shewed through such ceremonies, to move the infidels to believe the word of God, as thou readest how the apostles anointed the sick with oil, and healed them; and Paul sent his pertelet or jerkin to the sick, and healed them also; yet was it not the ceremony that did the miracle, but faith of the preacher and the truth of God, which had promised to confirm and stablish his gospel with such miracles.
  • To have a faith, therefore, or a trust in any thing, where God hath not promised, is plain idolatry, and a worshipping of thine own imagination instead of God.
  • To scatter Roman darkness by this light. The loss of land and life I’ll reckon slight.
  • To see how Christ was prophesied and described therein, consider and mark, how that the kid or lamb must be with out spot or blemish; and so was Christ only of all mankind, in the sight of God and of his law.
  • Understand therefore, that one thing in the scripture representeth divers things. A serpent figureth Christ in one place, and the devil in another; and a lion doth likewise. Christ by leaven signifieth God’s word in one place; and in another signifieth thereby the traditions of the Pharisees, which soured and altered God’s word for their advantage.
  • Where no promise of God is, there can be no faith, nor justifying, nor forgiveness of sins: for it is more than madness to look for any thing of God, save that he hath promised. How far he hath promised, so far is he bound to them that believe; and further not. To have a faith, therefore, or a trust in any thing, where God hath not promised, is plain idolatry, and a worshipping of thine own imagination instead of God. Let us see the pith of a ceremony or two, to judge the rest by. In conjuring of holy water, they pray that whosoever be sprinkled therewith may receive health as well of body as of soul: and likewise in making holy bread, and so forth in the conjurations of other ceremonies. Now we see by daily experience, that half their prayer is unheard. For no man receiveth health of body thereby.

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