English reformer William Tyndale was born around 1494 and died this day in 1536. He was the key figure in translating the Bible into the English language so that lay people could read the text on their own. He was influenced by Erasmus who had made the Greek New Testament available in England. Although some partial English translations were around at the time, Tyndale was the first to use the original Greek and Hebrew, and was also the first to take it to print. He was labeled a heretic by both the Catholic Church and the Church of England, who at the time thought the “uneducated” populous could not be trusted to interpret Scripture correctly, and saw an English translation of the Bible that lay people could read as a threat to their authority. For his heroic translating of Scripture into the language of the people, Tyndale was arrested by church authorities and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels for over a year in 1535. He was subsequently tried for heresy, strangled, and burnt at the stake on October 6, 1536. A good thing for us to remember as we read the Bible in English today. We benefit to this day from the sacrifice of great saints who have run the race prior to us.