The Theology of William Tyndale

By Ralph S. Werrell

A major and original account of the theological importance of the father of the English Bible.

ISBN: 9780227679852


Ralph Werrell acknowledges that the great reformer was undoubtedly influenced by continental theology, but he focuses on the richness of the man’s intellectual background. Tyndale’s theological roots lie in the Lollard tradition, but the expression and thrust of his writings show that there was a lot more to this man. Werrell scrutinizes all these factors, presenting a fresh and original picture of the martyr.

Tyndale opened up a new strand in Reformation theology. He should be recognised not only for his contribution to the development of the English language, but also for providing us with a reformed theology that brought new scriptural insights into Christian and academic thinking. Tyndale’s contribution to English thought has all too often been under-played – in this book Werrell readdresses the balance.

Werrell’s work is the first study of the man which seeks a full theological understanding of his thinking, and according to Professor David Daniell, Chairman of the Tyndale Society, is a study “urgently needed”, given that Tyndale is increasingly appreciated as the father of the English Bible. Werrell has provided an essential basis for a better understanding of Tyndale’s reading of the New Testament, as well as for further works on the subject.

Aimed primary at academics, as well as at students concerned with the theology and history of the early Reformation, and those interested in William Tyndale, this long-waited study is also suitable for non-specialist readers.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 242

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Ralph Werrell is an Anglican priest whose doctoral thesis forms the basis for this book. He participated in the foundation of the Tyndale Society in 1995. As an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, Dr. Werrell is currently studying the roots of Tyndale’s theology.

He is married and has a grown-up daughter.


Foreword by Rowan Williams

1. Introduction
2. The Background to Tyndale’s Theology
3. The Covenant Revealed
4. The Covenant Envisaged
5. The Means to Achieve the Covenant
6. The Covenant – Law and Gospel
7. The Covenantal Signs
8. The Covenant in Action
9. The Covenant People
10. The Covenant Broken
11. Conclusion

Appendix 1: The Supper of the Lord
Appendix 2: The Temporal and Spiritual Regiments

Tyndale’s Works


Endorsements and Reviews

This book has put Tyndale back on the map as an important theologian whose views have to be considered in their own right. By its nature, this is a pioneering work which raises a number of significant issues and provides us with a framework for studying them more deeply. For this reason alone it deserves to have a wide circulation
Gerald Bray, in The Churchman

… readable and well-documented. It is an important addition to the literature of the theology and history of the early English Reformation.
Renaissance Quarterly

Werrell’s study is primarly relevant to students of the history and theology of the early Reformation, but it provides fascinating reading for systematic theologians, indeed for anyone interested in the Reformation, or the development of Reformed theology. In an academically sound and astute volume he certainly shows that it is time to reassess Tyndale’s role and theological contribution to the English Reformation.
The Heythrop Journal

This fascinating re-evaluation of one of the Reformation’s most interesting and original thinkers sets itself three tasks: to challenge the Clebsch thesis that Tyndale was basically a Lutheran; to refute theories that claim that Tyndale changed his theological stance between 1525 and 1536; and to explain Tyndale’s development of an entirely new strand of Reformation theology. In doing so, often through copious quotation from the entire corpus of Tyndale’s writings, Werrell challenges the opinions of a number of well-respected historians and theologians with a confident literary composure.
Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol XXXVIII, No 4