A Children’s Bio of Tyndale

Bible Smuggler, Louise Vernon
(Herald Press, 1967), pb., 137 pp.

Wow! Having read and not been real impressed with four other Vernon Bio’s I was not expecting a whole lot from this one, but we had no other biographies of Tyndale. However, we were pleasantly surprised. This book worked well as a story. It was compelling, flowed well and communicated well the basic points of Tyndale’s life. After the first chapter I was already impressed and my boys were longing for more. In fact in this book practically each chapter ended at a cliffhanger- something which I don’t think the other books did.

In this story Collin Hartley, an English peasant boy, gets the opportunity to learn from William Tyndale preaches against the abuses of the Church. When Tyndale begins his work on translating the Bible into English and moves to the Continent Collin goes with him. The danger of the time and persecution of those who sought to read and translate the Bible is communicated well. With spies chasing Tyndale, Tyndale’s dogged determination, and the overcoming of various hurdles this was a compelling read! It is of a significantly different sort of the other Vernon volumes we have read.

It still would be nice to have a brief note on what was historical. There wasn’t much to question here, but the one thing was significant. Mrs. Vernon has Tyndale meeting Luther and spending time with him. I have not read elsewhere of this happening. It could be true but things of this significance should be clear. Still, we would highly recommend this book.

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