The Roots of William Tyndale’s Theology

By Ralph S. Werrell

A study of the theology of the English Reformer William Tyndale, emphasising his originality and showing that he was little influenced by Continental Reformers.

ISBN: 9780227174029


In this follow-up to his previous work, The Theology of William Tyndale, Ralph Werrell draws on his close acquaintanceship with Tyndale’s writings to develop a new understanding of the foundations of the great English Reformer’s theology.

The common assumption that the Reformation started with Luther has, in the author’s opinion, harmed research into the English Reformation and a consideration of the Reformation theology of William Tyndale in particular. The author asserts that Tyndale was not influenced by the Continental Reformers to the substantial extent that academics have claimed, and that his theology was fully developed by the time he wrote the ‘Preface’ and marginal notes for his 1525 translation of the New Testament. The author considers the possible influences of many theologians on Tyndale’s theology to reveal the primary importance of the thought of the Wycliffites and John Trevisa. The influence of the Church Fathers, Luther, Erasmus, and other humanists is also considered. The second half of the book outlines the various areas of Tyndale’s theology (the place of the sacraments, the doctrine of the Trinity, the church and state) and emphasises the paramount importance of his ‘blood of Christ’ doctrine and its effective role in creation, the Fall, and man’s salvation.

The Roots of William Tyndale’s Theology reveals a Tyndale whose only true theological source was Scriptural truth, and will be of great interest to those seeking a fresh perspective on the theology of Tyndale and the English Reformation.

Additional information

Dimensions234 × 156 mm

Paperback  |  ePub

Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Ralph Werrell is an Anglican priest. He participated in the foundation of the Tyndale Society in 1995, and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. He is married and has a grown-up daughter.



1. Introduction

Part One
2. Lollardy, Trevisa, the Church Fathers and Tyndale
3. Tyndale, the Continental Reformers: Sola Scriptura
4. Erasmus and Humanism

Part Two
5. The Blood of Christ
6. God the Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – the Covenant
7. Creation, the Fall, and Man’s Slavery
8. Man’s Salvation
9. The Christian Life
10. The Sacraments
11. The Church and State
12. Conclusion



Endorsements and Reviews

This is a scholarly work, dealing with deep theological issues, but it is not a difficult read and its thesis is an exciting one … In all this is an excellent book, and we are indebted to its author.
Dr. S. Westcott, in British Church Newspaper, No 269, 15 November 2013

What Werrell has given us is a Tyndale firm in his own doctrine but aware of contemporary opinion and a man seeking the best way to express his own views … I think that any scholar interested in the English Reformation (or with Tyndale in particular) will benefit from reading this book.
Andrew Chibi, in Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol XLV, Issue 2

Mr. Werrell’s … overall argument is a convincing one.
Archive for Reformation, 2014

Tyndale is seen as moving toward a Reformed theology, but seeking to ground everything he believed on his interpretation of Scripture … Scholars will continue to debate the foundations of Tyndale’s theology. Werrell’s work with its distinctive voice will be part of these discussions.
Donald K McKim, in Theological Book Review, Vol 26, No 1

Werrel’s work is fascinating and erudite. He makes a compelling case for Tyndale’s theory being an indigenous one having been formed by previous English Wyclifite influences with none exerted by Luther. … Werrel’s work provides an interpretation of Tyndale’s theology that scholars in the field of the English Reformation asa well as others interested in the work of Tyndale need to consider seriously. It is an invaluable achievement.
Andre A.Gazal, in Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal, Vol 19