Fire in the Bones
By S. Michael Wilcox

Category: Biography, history

Themes: Doing God’s work, faith, translation of the Bible

Rating: 10 out of 10 

Who Might Like This: Adults

Reviewed By: Tim Carver


Most people are unaware (as was I) that a person living in the 1500’s could have been sent to prison or burned at the stake for reading the Bible in English. The prevailing church considered English a vulgar, common language and had forbidden any translation (or reading) of the Bible in English.

But the English-speaking people hungered for the word of God. William Tyndale felt it was God’s desire for him to translate the Bible into English. The passion to do so became a “fire in his bones”.

Much of his life was spent in hiding in order to accomplish the task. Thomas More and other high-ranking church officials sought to hunt him down and bring him to “justice”.

Tyndale was betrayed by a man he thought to be his friend, imprisoned and then burned at

the stake. Tyndale’s final words were, “Lord! Open the King of England's eyes."

That prayer was answered when permission was later granted by the king to make an English translation. Numerous translations were made by scholars. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of the language from Tyndale’s translation was used in the New Testament portion of the King James Version.

Michael Wilcox provides wonderful insights as to the effect Tyndale’s work had on the Restoration, even comparing the work of Tyndale to that of Joseph Smith.

My gratitude in reading this book takes two forms: gratitude for being able to read the Bible in my own language, and gratitude for the man who paid an incredible price to make it possible.

This is not a quick, easy read. But it is a very powerful one and very much worth the effort.

Tim Carver

Quote: “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou doest.”

William Tyndale speaking a clergyman