A central aim of Tyndale's polemical works was to convert the mass of the populace to a more rigorous and meaningful engagement with Christ's teaching. In this he shared the concerns of most early-sixteenth-century religious reformers. Alongside this pastoral desire, however, Tyndale articulated a radical anticlericalism. It is in this context that the relation between Tyndale and Lollardy needs to be reexamined. This article examines Tyndale's work, particularly The Obedience of a Christian Man, The Practice of Prelates, and his translation of the New Testament, in relationship to a number of contemporary works, including Lollard writings, Stephen Hawes's The Conversion of the Swearers, the anonymous The Passion of Christ, and A sermon concernynge certayne heretickes by John Fisher. Within this context, it is possible to see that Tyndale was not a Lollard, and yet his work displays a clear and unambiguous engagement with many of Lollardy's central concerns, including the aspiration that individual Christians study scripture and debate with fellow believers its meaning as it relates to the godly life. Tyndale's work is driven above all by a pastoral desire to teach Christ's gospel.
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Thomas Betteridge; William Tyndale and Religious Debate. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 September 2010; 40 (3): 439–461. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-2010-002
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