The following is a lightly edited transcript
William Tyndale had one driving passion. He was accused of singing only one note in his life; namely, he wanted to see the Bible in English — a common language, printed version, translated from the Greek and the Hebrew — so that ordinary folks would have access to it.
The year was 1531 and Tyndale was 37 years old. He was hiding on the continent. He was English. He was in exile, out of his own country, and King Henry VIII wanted to get him and bring him home. So the king sent a leggett and Tyndale read the letter he gave that mercy would be extended if he came back to England.
And he sings his one note with this response to the king:
I assure you, if it would stand with the king's most gracious pleasure to grant only a bare text of the Scriptures, like as is put forth among the subjects of the emperor in these parts, and of other Christian princes.
I shall immediately make a faithful promise never to write more, and not abide two days in these parts after the same…
In other words, after the king pledged that he will produce this translation.
…but immediately to repair unto his realm, and there most humbly submit myself at the feet of his royal majesty, offering my body to suffer what pain or torture, yea, what death his grace will, so this translation be obtained. Until that time I will abide the asperity of all chances whatsoever shall come, and endure my life in as many pains as it is able to bear and suffer.
The king refused, and Tyndale never went home again. He was strangled and burned at the stake five years later at age 42.
The Legacy of William Tyndale
Let's go back a few years to when he was 28 years old. It was 1522. He was living as a tutor in the home of a man named John Walsh, and he was an ordained Roman Catholic priest. Coming through this home were notable Roman Catholic spokesmen, and they were entering into dialogue with Tyndale over dinner. All the while Tyndale was reading the Greek New Testament, which had been printed for the first time in the history of the world six years earlier in 1516 by Erasmus. Up until that time, they had just been copied out by hand.
Now there exists a printed Greek New Testament, and it was absolutely explosive. Europe was exploding because of this printed Greek New Testament, and Tyndale knew his Greek well and was immersed in it and it was changing everything in his mind.
One day one of the visitors in John Walsh's house was getting very uptight about Tyndale's comments regarding what he was reading in the Greek New Testament, concerning the gospel and justification in particular. This was simultaneous with Martin Luther; they're contemporaries. This guest said this in Tyndale's ears, “We were better without God's law than the Pope's,” to which Tyndale responded, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God should spare my life for many years, I will cause a boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than you do.”
Four years later, in 1526, Tyndale finished the English translation of the Greek New Testament in Germany, where he had to flee.
He began to smuggle the leaves of it back into England wrapped in bales of cloth. He had grown up in Gloucestershire, which was a cloth making district, not realizing in those days the amazing Providences of God; there's nothing that happens by accident in your life. He was growing up in a place that was by design so that he would know the cloth trade and know people in it; the leaves of his New Testament were contraband and making their way to England in bales of cloth — remarkable providence. There were 3,000 in that first edition and they were making their way home. For the first time in history, the Greek New Testament had been translated into English.
Before Tyndale, the only availability in English of the Bible were written efforts from Wyclif and his followers, the Lollards. For a thousand years, the only translation had been the Latin Vulgate, and hardly anybody could read it and they had no access to it anyway. You just can't believe how dark that made things. Before he was martyred in 1536, Tyndale had translated into English the whole New Testament and the first five books of the Bible in the Old Testament, Joshua to 2 Chronicles and Jonah.
That material, including the New Testament and part of the Old, made its way into the Great Bible, as it was called. The Great Bible then made its way into the Geneva Bible, and the Geneva Bible was a stunning success, selling a million copies before it was replaced by the King James Version.
Now, you don't get a clear idea of Tyndale's accomplishment in this until you start making some comparisons. When people think about the most dominant Bible for the last 300 years, most would say it's the King James Version, and that would certainly be right. But what people don't know is that nine-tenths of it, wherever it overlapped with Tyndale, is the very same wording of William Tyndale. You cannot understand the impact of a man's life and words until you realize that nine-tenths of the bible, that for 300 years shaped the language and theology of the Western world, came from the pen of one single man. It is simply stunning.
Let me give you some examples of phrases that virtually everybody in this room knows, and they're straight out of the head of William Tyndale from almost 500 years ago. Don't assume that Greek and Hebrew come into English ready-made. They come through heads and thoughts, asking the question, “How do you put this into English?” It is not easy. When you read something in English you're reading a translator's art, which hopefully is faithful. Here are some examples:
Let there be light. (Genesis 1:3)
Am I my brother's keeper? (Genesis 4:9)
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be merciful unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24–26)
In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. (John 1:1)
There were shepherds abiding in the field. (Luke 2:8)
Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:3)
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. (Matthew 6:9)
The signs of the times… (Matthew 16:3)
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
He went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:62)
A law unto themselves… (Romans 2:14)
In him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels… (1 Corinthians 13:1)
Fight the good fight. (2 Tim 4:7)
The little phrase, “wept bitterly,” is preserved by the NIV, NASB, ESV, and NKJV; only a few knucklehead translations try to change it. One of them with the translation: “He went out and cried hard.” That's weak. Leave it alone if it's really good. That's William Tyndale, and almost all modern versions say you can't improve it. That’s just a smattering. Daniell, the biographer that I leaned on most for these, remarks that newspaper headlines today still quote Tyndale, though unknowingly, and he has reached more people than Shakespeare, though nobody knows. That's amazing.
Luther's translation of the Bible into German in 1522, just a few years earlier, is often praised as creating the modern German language because it exerted such tremendous power over the shaping of modern German. Most people would say that about the King James Version as well, which is, in fact, nine-tenths taken from Tyndale's translation. Here's what Daniell says:
In his Bible translations, Tyndale's conscious use of everyday words without inversions, his neutral word order, and his wonderful ear for rhythmic patterns, gave to the English, not only a Bible language, but a new prose. England was blessed as a nation in that the language of its principle book, as the Bible in English rapidly became, was the fountain from which flowed the lucidity, suppleness, and expressive range of the greatest prose thereafter.
His craftsmanship with the English language amounted to genius. He translated two-thirds of the Bible so well that his translations endured until this day.
Now, this was not merely a literary achievement; it was a spiritual explosion, and this is vastly more important. Tyndale's Bible and his writings were the kindling that set off the Reformation in England. These were days of reformation. You've all heard of the Reformation, mainly associated with Calvin and Luther, but in England, the kindling was laid in the Bible by William Tyndale, and indeed, the fire was put to the kindling by some of his works as well.
Two Keys to Achieving Spiritual Goals
Now, here's what I am thinking and why I want you to be like him and this is why I’m posing this for you to think about. There are things yet to be done with the Bible in this world that you should do so that when somebody gives a talk like this in a hundred years, they'll tell your story. Or maybe it won't be told on this earth and it will only be told in heaven, which is more important. Most of the important things in this world have not been told by men. They're just written in heaven and we will spend eternity recounting those stories to God's grace.
So what was the key here? What would be the key for you in order to follow Tyndale in a life like his? There are two things. We must die in two ways to advance God's cause through the Bible.
First, we must die to the notion that we don't have to work hard, or think hard, to achieve spiritual goals. We must die to that. That is, we must die to laziness. There are so many people who think that if you have spiritual goals, and you believe in the Holy Spirit, you don't have to work hard and you don't have to think hard because that's going to rob God of his glory. That's the first thing Tyndale died to.
Second, he also died to the notion that thinking hard and working hard are decisive in achieving spiritual goals. Those two things are not contradictory. He died to the notion that thinking hard and working hard are decisive for achieving spiritual goals. They are not decisive, though they are necessary.
Now, here's the Bible verse from which I'm drawing out those two lessons to apply to Tyndale. It's 2 Timothy 2:7. This is Paul writing to Timothy, and he says:
Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
The first half of the verse is think — think about my inspired, apostolic writing. That means use your brain, Timothy, read and think hard about what I say. And then the second part of the verse is because. Now, a lot of people would consider thinking to be unnecessary because the Lord is the one who gives the understanding. But that’s not what Paul says. He says, “Use your brain. Work hard with the Bible, though it's not decisive — that thinking is not decisive. But God, in and through that, sometimes in spite of that, gives understanding.
I want to work with those two deaths in Tyndale's life. I think that will be key to your achievement of all spiritual triumphs, as it was key for Tyndale.
Tyndale and Erasmus
Let's compare him and Erasmus, which will get at the key to his life. When I was in college, in Western Civilization or Literature of the Western World, we read Enchiridion and In Praise of Folly. I remember those two Erasmus books and how I wish somebody had said to me more than, “This is an example of the flourishing of renaissance humanist liberty. Read and wonder.” I wish they had said more than that. I had to wait, but I'm going to say more than that.
Erasmus was a remarkable man. He was 28 years older than Tyndale, though they died in the same year. One was killed by the Roman Catholic Church, and the other was a respected member of the Roman Catholic Church to his dying day. Here are some similarities between the two, before I state the massive difference. To begin, both were huge scholars. Erasmus was a Latin scholar, and produced the first Greek New Testament that was printed. In spite of himself, he exploded the Roman Catholic Church in England.
Tyndale also knew eight languages: Latin, Greek, German, French, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, and English. Both of them loved the natural power of language. They were both part of the rebirth and awakening in those days that produced Shakespeare. It is such an interesting illustration of that period, and how language was exploding. It would be wonderful if this could happen today without the craziness that might go with it. Erasmus wrote a book called De Copia (from where we get the word copious), and it was a textbook that Tyndale, no doubt, used at Oxford, concerning the fullness and large possibilities of the English language.
One of the assignments from this book that students had to do was to write down 150 alternate ways of saying, “Your letter has delighted me very much.” Where would an assignment like that come from? Why would anybody give you an assignment like that? Well, this is what Daniell said: “It was to train the students to use all the verbal muscles in order to avoid any hint of flabbiness.” You are flabby, and I'll tell you the word that marks your flabbiness, above all other words: “Like”.
Well, I got to be careful here because I really get bent out of shape about Christian low standards for communication. These guys really believed in the power, and the beauty, and the effectiveness, and the lasting relevance, and the preciousness of words on our tongue, imaging our King Jesus, who was, not a flabby word, but the Word. I get too serious about this. My wife warns me, “Don't go there.” I was a literature major.
So Shakespeare was born out of that milieu. One historian said without Erasmus there would be no Shakespeare; meaning, that kind of jealousy to find the fullness of language to say “yours truly” in 150 ways, produced a Shakespeare. Nobody has ever used the English language like Shakespeare.
Now, all of that was just to say that Erasmus and Tyndale have a common craftsmanship. They loved language. So the first two similarities are that they were scholars and they were craftsmen.
The third similarity is that they both believed that the Bible should be translated into the vernacular; Erasmus said that, and Tyndale lived for it.
The fourth similarity is that both wrote about Christ and the Christian life. Erasmus wrote Enchiridion Militis Christiani and Philosophia Christi, a philosophy of Christ.
Now here's the difference, and this is all important. The difference between Tyndale and Erasmus, and I'm getting at how Tyndale died to laziness and self-confidence; that is, that craftsmanship, or hard work, or scholarship are decisive in bringing about spiritual reformation.
Tyndale loved the theology of Martin Luther, and Luther was an abomination to Erasmus. Here the river divides, and Erasmus goes his comfortable, philosophical way to his grave, esteemed by the Roman Catholic Church, and Tyndale goes to the flames hated by the Roman Catholic Church. Scholarship won't get you crucified. Craftsmanship won't get you crucified. It's teaching the right things about the gospel that will get you crucified.
The book Martin Luther wrote that he loved most was On the Bondage of the Will. Tyndale was with him 100%. Here's what Tyndale wrote in that regard; and the reason it's important is to set the stage for sovereign grace — a great phrase.
Our will is locked and knit faster under the will of the devil than could a hundred thousand chains bind a man to a post, because by nature we are evil. Therefore, we both think and do evil, and are under vengeance under the law, condemned to eternal damnation by the law, and are contrary to the will of God in all our will and in all things consent to the will of the fiend. It is not possible for a natural man to consent to the law, that it should be good, or that God should be righteous, which maketh the law.
The view of human sinfulness that Luther wrote in Bondage of the Will was echoed exactly by Tyndale's own grasp of our fallenness and our sin.
Now, Erasmus and Thomas More, who had a rabid hatred for William Tyndale. If you have seen A Man for All Seasons, either the movie or play, it makes much of Thomas Moore. He hated William Tyndale. He wrote three quarters of a million words, using scatological language to damn William Tyndale. He and Erasmus abominated this theology that I just read from Tyndale, and they operated at a kind of high, philosophical, academic, nuanced level that had a twain of irony and cleverness about it. Listen to what Daniell says:
Something in Enchiridion is missing. It is a masterpiece of humanist piety, but the activity of Christ in the gospels, and especially his work of salvation, so strongly detailed there in the Epistles of Paul, is largely missing. Christologically, where Luther thunders, Erasmus makes a sweet sound. What to Tyndale was an impregnable stronghold, feels in the Enchiridion like a summer pavilion.
That's what I remember when I was reading in college. When I read the two works of Erasmus that we had to read when I was a freshman in college, I heard no thunder. I was just fascinated by language. That doesn't change anybody. It makes prigs. The word sophomoric is an adjective not by accident. It means fool by implication.
Consider this. Erasmus and Thomas More joked and bantered, when Luther risked his life and nailed his 95 theses to the wall. Erasmus wrote in a “jocular letter including the anti-papal games, and witty satirical diatribes against abuses within the church, which both of them loved to make.” It was all a big game.
Now, I linger here over this difference between Tyndale and Erasmus, because of how amazingly it sounds to me like today. Tyndale wrote his books and translated the New Testament, and there was a thundering effect; Erasmus wrote his, and there was an entertaining effect — a kind of highbrow, elitist, layered, nuancing of church tradition. They satirized the monasteries, and so they had a ring of radical nature about them. They criticized clerical abuses, but the gospel wasn't at the center.
I'm not going to name any names, but there are elitist, cool, avant-garde, marginally evangelical writers and scholars today for whom what I'm about to read here, which was written to describe Erasmus and Moore, is amazingly parallel.
Not only is there no fully realized Christ or devil in Erasmus's book, there's a touch of irony about it all. With the feeling of the writer cultivating a faintly superior ambiguity, as if to be dogmatic, for example, about the full theology of the work of Christ was to be rather distasteful.
I just feel that in book after book today — to be robust and strong and full about what Christ has achieved feels rather distasteful.
By contrast William Tyndale is ferociously single-minded. The matter in hand, the immediate access of the soul to God without intermediary, is far too important for hints of faintly ironic superiority. Tyndale is as four-square as a carpenter's tool, but in Erasmus's account of the origins of his book, there is a touch of the sort of layering of ironies found in the games with personae.
This is a warning. It is ironic and sad that today, supposedly avant-garde Christian writers strike a cool evasive, imprecise, artistic, superficially reformist pose of Erasmus and call it postmodern when in fact it is totally pre-modern, because it is totally permanent. It happens in every single age. It's a clever way of writing for unsuspecting people like you, who don't have a lot to measure it by, because your roots aren't deep yet in church history and in reading things from the 19th, 18th, 17th, 16th, and 15th century so that when you open up this contemporary, post-modern thing, you say what in the Sam Hill is new about that?
Don't be duped. Be thoughtful. Be a thinker. Go deep. Know your history. What drove Tyndale to sing one note — “I want the Bible available to everyone in English, even the plow boy in England. I want it available” — was his total conviction of the lostness, bondage, blindness, deadness, and condemnation of helpless people, who need access to the gospel. There were about five words in his translation of the Bible that made him so outrageous to Thomas More. Tyndale said:
We've been plucked out of Adam, the ground of all evil and grafted into Christ, the root of all goodness.
He loved the doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works of the law as our only hope. For Tyndale, hell, sin, atonement, and sovereign grace were weighty realities and at the center of them, justification by faith. For Erasmus and Moore, it wasn't on the horizon, and it was very threatening.
Don't bank on the lack of craftsmanship, the lack of scholarship, and the lack of hard thinking. Give yourself to think hard, but die to that as the decisive thing in achieving a reformation or receiving some great spiritual purpose that you have. Give yourself entirely to thinking hard about the Bible and depending on God in the Bible. The doctrine of justification by faith embodies that so clearly that Tyndale was willing to die for it.
Prohibition on Translating the Bible
Now, let me get toward those five words that Thomas Moore was so upset about. Why was the Roman Catholic Church so furious at those who tried to put the Bible into English — so furious that it would burn people alive who tried? Can you even fathom it? What explains that? In 1401, England’s parliament passed a law called “De Heretico Comburendo”, which means, “On the Burning of Heretics,” It made heresy punishable by burning people at the stake, and they had Bible translators in view.
In 1408, the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel, created “The Constitutions of Oxford,” and this is a quote from those.
It is a dangerous thing, as Saint Jerome witnessed, to translate the text of Holy scripture out of one tongue into another. For in the translation, the same sense is not always easily kept. We, therefore, decree and ordain that no man, hereafter, by his own authority translate any text of the Scripture into English, or any other tongue, and that no man can read any such book in part or in whole.
You know what the effect of that was?
John Bale, as a boy of 11, watched the burning of a young man in Norwich for possessing the Lord's prayer in English.
John Foxe records seven Lollards burned at Coventry in 1519 for teaching their children the Lord's prayer in English. This is the church of Rome burning parents alive for teaching the Lord's prayer in English to their children. You ever wonder why there was a reformation? Tyndale hoped to escape condemnation for his work, but he had to flee persecution and go to Europe, the continent, in order to escape. Why this hostility? Could you explain it? It takes your breath away and makes you want to weep.
Here are the reasons given by the church:
“The English language is rude and unworthy of the exalted language of God.” That's crap. Erasmus knew that New Testament Greek is a common language — really common. There’s nothing highfalutin about it, and they knew it.
“When one translates, errors can creep in, so it is safer not to translate.”
“If the Bible is in English, then each man will become his own interpreter.” That's a lot closer to the truth. I have some sympathy with that.
“Only priests are given the divine grace to understand the Scriptures.”
“There is a special, sacramental value to the Latin service in which people cannot understand, but grace is given.” That makes me want to rage against sacramentalism. You can't understand a thing going on here, but there's a “sacrament” in the Latin that mediates grace to the uncomprehending. There were deeper reasons as well, much deeper.
I mentioned that there were five words in Tyndale's English translation of the Greek New Testament that caused Thomas Moore to fulminate against him and to bring down the wrath of the Roman Church on Tyndale. Here are those words:
He translated presbuteros as elder, not priest.
He translated ekklesia as congregation, not church.
He translated metanoeo as repent, not do penance.
He translated exomologeo as acknowledge, rather than do confession.
He translated agape as love, not charity.
Here's what Daniell commented on. He said this:
Tyndale could not possibly have been unaware that those words in particular undercut the entire sacramental structure of a thousand years of church life throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It was the Greek New Testament that was doing the undercutting.
What got undercut was the priesthood, the penance, and the confession. In other words, the power of the church to control was broken. England would not be a Roman Catholic country. It became a Protestant country.
The Cost of Bible Translation
Now, I draw things toward a close by asking this, what did it cost Tyndale to rescue the Bible for the common people and to rescue the gospel, the church, justification by faith for the common man in England. What did it cost him?
He left his homeland in 1524, 12 years before his death., and ever went home again. He was killed in 1536. It gives a little glimpse of his exile life, always knowing he could be betrayed, always knowing somebody could turn him in, always knowing he could be extradited because the Roman Church covered the whole of Europe.
He wrote back to England once:
…My pains, my poverty, my exile out of my natural country, bitter absence from my friends, my hunger, my thirst, my cold, the great danger wherewith I am everywhere encompassed, and finally, innumerable other hard and sharp fightings, which I endure.
The climax of these sufferings came in two stages. First, on May 21st 1535 he was a guest in the Netherlands, and a man named Henry Phillips betrayed him. He had weaseled his way into the trust of William Tyndale, like Judas, and then one evening the plot was laid. I'll read you how it happened.
When it was dinnertime, Master Tyndale went forth with Phillips, and at the going forth of Poyntz's house was a long narrow entry so that two could not go in front. Mr. Tyndale would have put Phillips before him, but Phillips would in no wise, but put Master Tyndale before him, for that he pretended to show great humanity.
Master Tyndale, being a man of no great stature, went before, and Phillips, a tall comely man followed behind him, who had set officers on either side of the door upon two seats, who being there might see who came in the entry. Coming through the same entry, Phillips pointed with his finger over Tyndale's head that the officers who sat at the door might see that it was he who they should take. Then they took him and brought him to the emperor's attorney, a procurer general, where he dined then came the procurer general to the house of Poyntz, and sent away all that was there of Master Tyndale's, as well as his books and other things, and from thence Tyndale went to the castle of Filford, 18 English miles from Antwerp, And there he remained until he was put to death, 18 months later.
Now, during these 18 months, he was being examined. His examiners, the Roman Catholic scholars, wrote three books full of responses and criticisms as they argued doctrine. What was his charge? What would be the charge against this man that would result in his execution? The charge was heresy by not agreeing with the Roman holy emperor, in a nutshell, with being a Lutheran. That is, a lover and a teacher of justification by faith alone apart from works of the law.
He had a chance to write one book before he died in prison. Here's the name of it in Latin, Sola Fides Justificat apud Deum, faith alone justifies before God. This is why he was dying. This is why he wanted to translate the Bible. This is the message that the whole world in every culture needs to hear. We are dead in Adam, we can live, if our faith is in Christ, because Christ fulfilled our righteousness and covered our sin. If we, by faith, are united to Christ, our sins are covered, our righteousness is provided. This is the central message that the world so desperately needs, and it’s in the Bible, when properly translated. Tyndale was willing to lay down his life for the Bible and for this doctrine.
These were hard months for him. I will read you the one letter we have from him in prison. It was addressed to an unnamed officer in the castle, and it is full of pathos.
I beg your lordship, and that of the Lord Jesus, that if I am to remain here through the winter, you will request the commissary to have the kindness to send me, from the goods of mine which he has, a warmer cap. For I suffer greatly from cold in my head, and am afflicted greatly by a perpetual catarrh, which is much increased in this cell; a warmer coat also, for this which I have is very thin; a piece of cloth too, to patch my leggings.
My overcoat is worn out. My shirts are also worn out. He has a woolen shirt, if he will be good enough to send it. I have also with him leggings of thicker cloth to put on above. He also has warmer night-caps, and I ask to be allowed to have a lamp in the evening. It is indeed wearisome sitting alone in the dark.
But most of all, I beg and beseech your clemency to be urgent with the commissary that I will be kindly permitted to have a Hebrew Bible, a Hebrew grammar, and a Hebrew dictionary, that I may pass the time in that study. In return, may you obtain what you most desire, so only that it be for the salvation of your soul. But if any other decision has been taken concerning me to be carried out before winter, I will be patient, abiding the will of God, to the glory of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, whose Spirit, I pray, may ever direct your heart. Amen.
We don't know if he ever got those requests: a cap, a coat, some leggings, a lamp, and a Hebrew Bible and a grammar to press on with his translation work. What we know is that the verdict was sealed in August 1536. He was condemned. He was stripped of his priestly ordination. On October 6, he was sent to the stake, and because he had held office in the church, was mercifully strangled and then burned, instead of being burned alive like so many.
He was 42 years old. He never married, and was never buried. I’m going to end with a letter that he wrote to his best friend, John Frith, who died being burned alive.
Your cause is Christ's gospel, a light that must be fed with the blood of faith. If when we are buffeted for well doing, we suffer patiently and endure, that is thankful to God. For to that end we are called. For Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow in his steps, who did no sin.
Hereby have we perceived love, that he laid down his life for us, and therefore we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Let not your body faint. If the pain be above your strength, remember “Whatever ye shall ask in my name, I will give it to you,” and pray to our Father in heaven that he will ease your pain, or shorten it. Amen.
Young people, you are the heirs of an amazing legacy. The Bible that you hold in your hand, or having your pack, or back in your room cost Tyndale and many others their lives. Don't spare any effort in thought, or any effort in work, to know it, and dare I say for several hundred of you, to give your lives to translating it.
There are many languages left. Wycliffe has a goal for 2025, to have them all started by the year 2025. I wonder if you'd be part of that. Don't ever think that your hard work is the decisive key. The decisive key is the sovereign grace of God. He can work through you. He can work in spite of you. I just plead with you, don't waste your life. Male or female, be like William Tyndale.