Tuesday, December 02, 2008

William Tyndale's "Atonement"

Tyndale Bible
Leaf from 1552 Printing
Matthew Chapter 6
(Image from Gospel Hall)

Let me continue the topic of my past two days' entries on William Tyndale and his use of "atonement." He also uses his "at-one-ment" coinage in 2 Corinthians 5:18, but in this instance, he spells it "atonement":
Neverthelesse all thinges are of god which hath reconciled vs vnto him sylfe by Iesus Christ and hath geven vnto vs the office to preach the atonement.
Tyndale uses the same Greek word as we have previously seen, as the verse in the Blue Letter Bible's excerpt from the Textus Receptus shows:
τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ καταλλάξαντος ἡμᾶς ἑαυτῷ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ δόντος ἡμῖν τὴν διακονίαν τῆς καταλλαγῆς
As before, the word for "atonement" is "katallagēs" (καταλλαγῆς). Interestingly, Tyndale uses his coinage again in the very next verse, 2 Corinthians 5:19, but spells it "atonmet":
For god was in Christ and made agrement bitwene the worlde and hym sylfe and imputed not their synnes vnto them: and hath comitted to vs the preachynge of ye atonmet.

ὡς ὅτι θεὸς ἦν ἐν Χριστῷ κόσμον καταλλάσσων ἑαυτῷ μὴ λογιζόμενος αὐτοῖς τὰ παραπτώματα αὐτῶν καὶ θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν τὸν λόγον τῆς καταλλαγῆς
The Greek behind "atonmet" is exactly the same as in verse 18, and in the very next verse, 2 Corinthians 5:20, Tyndale uses the form "ye be atone":
Now then are we messengers in the roume of Christ: even as though God did beseche you thorow vs: So praye we you in Christes stede that ye be atone with God:

ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ οὖν πρεσβεύομεν ὡς τοῦ θεοῦ παρακαλοῦντος δι᾽ ἡμῶν δεόμεθα ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ καταλλάγητε τῷ θεῷ
The Greek here is the verb form katallagēte (καταλλάγητε). Although the King James Version (KJV) borrowed Tyndale's coined word "atonement" (and "atone") for the Greek word katallagēn in Romans 5:8, as we have previously seen, in these three verses, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, the KJV prefers "reconciliation" (and "reconciled"):
18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Tyndale could easily have used variants on "reconciliation" (and "reconciled"), for the careful reader will have noticed that he uses "hath reconciled" (καταλλάξαντος) in verse 18, precisely as does the later KJV. That he does not do so but chooses his own coinage based on the expression "at one" means that he wants to make a point about the results of God's reconciliation (further on such results, see also verse 19, "made agrement bitwene," for καταλλάσσων).

I suppose that I will need to clarify all of this sometime, but not today. Instead, I'll post a couple of excerpts from Robert Demaus's William Tyndale: A Biography, found online, which shows Tyndale's use of "atonement":
232 Tindale at Marburg

Christ, when He had fulfilled His course, anointed His Apostles and disciples with the Spirit, and sent them forth, without all manner disguising [i.e., as he explains it, neither shaven nor shorn, nor anointed with oil], like other men, to preach the atonement and peace which Christ had made between God and man.

. . .

Extracts from the Exposition 403

Matthew 5:14-16

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candle- stick, and so giveth it light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and praise your Father that is in heaven

Christ goeth forth and describeth the office of an apostle and true preacher by another likeness; as he called them before the salt of the earth, even so here the light of the world: signifying thereby that all the doctrine, all the wisdom, and high knowledge of the world, whether it were philosophy of natural conclusions, of manners and virtue, or of laws of righteousness, whether it were of the Holy Scripture and of God Himself, was yet but a darkness, until the doctrine of His apostles came; that is to say, until the knowledge of Christ came, how that He is the sacrifice for our sins, our satisfaction, our peace, atonement and redemption, our life thereto, and resurrection. Whatsoever holiness, wisdom, virtue, perfectness, or righteousness, is in the world among men, howsoever perfect and holy they appear; yet is all damnable darkness, except the right knowledge of Christ's blood be there first, to justify the heart, before all other holiness.
That's enough for now.

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At 6:28 AM, Blogger Kevin Allard said...

Thanks for your posts on this subject. They helped me in thinking through the problems with the phrase "limited atonement" - see http://thinkingoutloud321.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-main-problem-with-limited-atonement.html (I couldn't get the hyperlink to work).

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

You're welcome. Here's your link: "limited atonement."

Jeffery Hodges

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