William Tyndale (c. 1495-1536) on the gospel as “good, merry, glad and joyful tidings”


“The New Testament is a book, wherein are contained the promises of God and the deeds of them which believe them, or believe them not.

Evangelion (that we call the gospel) is a Greek word and signifieth good, merry, glad and joyful tidings, that maketh a man’s heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance, and leap for joy.

Just as when David had killed Goliath the giant glad tidings came unto the Jews, that their fearful and cruel enemy was slain and that they were delivered out of all danger.

In like manner is the Evangelion of God (which we call gospel; and the New Testament) joyful tidings. The gospel is published by the apostles throughout all the world, of Christ, the right David, who hath fought with sin, with death, and the devil, and overcome them.

Whereby all men that were in bondage to sin, wounded with death, overcome of the devil, are, without their own merits or deservings, loosed, justified, restored to life and saved, brought to liberty and reconciled unto the favor of God, and set at one with Him again, which tidings as many as believe laud, praise, and thank God and are glad, sing and dance for joy.

This Evangelion or gospel (that is to say, such joyful tidings) is called the New Testament because man, when he shall die, appointeth his goods to be dealt with by testament and distributed after his death among them which he nameth to be his heirs.

Even so Christ before His death commanded and appointed that such Evangelion, gospel, or tidings should be declared throughout all the world, and therewith to give all His goods unto all that repent and believe.

What goods? That is to say, His life, wherewith He swallowed and devoured up death; His righteousness, wherewith He banished sin; His salvation, wherewith He overcame eternal damnation.

Now the wretched man (that knoweth himself to be wrapped in sin, and in danger to death and hell) can hear no more joyous a thing, than such glad and comfortable tidings of Christ so that he cannot but be glad, and laugh from the low bottom of his heart, if he believe that these tidings are true.”

– William Tyndale (c. 1495-1536), “A Pathway into the Holy Scripture”, in Doctrinal Treatises, 8-9

William Tyndale (c. 1494–1536) on breaking the great command to “love thy neighbour”


“If I hate the law, so I break it in mine heart, and both hate and dishonour God the maker thereof. If I break it outwardly, then I dishonour God before the world, and the officer that ministereth it. If I hurt my neighbour, then I dishonour my neighbour and him that made him, and him also that bought him with his blood. And even so, if I hate my neighbour in mine heart, then I hate him that commandeth me to love him and him that hath deserved that I should at the leastway for his sake love him. If I be not ready to help my neighbour at his need, so I take his due honour from him, and dishonour him, and him that made him, and him also that bought him with his blood, whose servant he is. If I love such things as God hath lent me, and committed unto mine administration, so that I cannot find in mine heart to bestow them on the uses which God hath appointed me, then I dishonour God and abuse his creature in that I give more honour unto it than I should do, and then I make an idol of it, in that I love it more than God and his commandment, and then I dishonour my neighbour from whose need I withdraw it.”

– William Tyndale (c. 1494–1536), “Answer to Sir Thomas Moore’s Dialogue,” in Works, 2:60