Tyndale And John Calvin Essay

1343 Words 6 Pages
William Tyndale and John Calvin were both essential and influential figures in the Protestant Reformation (when Martin Luther took the initiative to break away from the Catholic Church). Calvin was a pastor and a theocratic ruler of Geneva, and Tyndale was simply a scholar who mastered many languages and translated the Bible so that the common people could read it for themselves. They lived their lives in different parts of Europe, but still both supported and impacted the separation from Catholicism which led to their belief in Christianity. They both expressed their views of God through their works which were in the forms of numerous writings and translations. Though William Tyndale and John Calvin both rejected Catholicism in their works, …show more content…
Calvin believes that one may follow the examples of church leaders, for their judgement is important as well. His point is understandable if one takes Calvin’s background into consideration. As previously stated, John Calvin was a theocratic ruler over Geneva. He enjoyed religion, but he enjoyed being a leader/political figure in theology even more. He was pastor himself, so it was natural for him to consider the judgement of church leaders to be important. Not only this, but he also established the Presbyterian Church. This is a church that has a structured form of government headed by councils of elders who have a dominant role in the operations of the church. With such a large role placed on leaders of the church, Calvin underlined the importance of respecting the judgement of good church leaders. Calvin even believes that one should disregard the bible and let the church leaders be their examples at times, which is also understandable because Calvin believed that church leaders should follow the example of God and serve as good examples to the community (Greef 32, 202). This is very different from Tyndale’s theological views, which have a stricter interpretation of the bible than Calvin’s. Tyndale believes the bible should be interpreted literally and that nothing should be taken out of its tense, even allegories and metaphors, which he thinks should be carefully translated (678). He is …show more content…
Although some may consider their beliefs of religious “works” to be the same, in actuality, they are not. John H. Leith wrote about Calvin and his beliefs on “works” saying that Calvin had nothing against works but rather somethings against the false understandings about them. He believed that if one has repented and has a clean heart then the works are good (Leith 103). This differs from Tyndale’s belief of “sola fide” or justification by faith alone, because Tyndale discounts the act of “works” altogether, whereas Calvin accepts them if they are of the clean heart. To add to their interpretations of lifestyle, one would have to consider the way each of them lived. John Calvin had his five points of Calvinism that broke down the doctrines that he taught, and lived a very public life being viewed in the eyes of many. Not only was he a public figure, but he was known to execute many people in Geneva for religious purposes. Calvin seems to be someone who simply wanted to do something new, so he combined his love for government and his scrutiny of the bible to create Calvinism. Calvin did not seem like he really enjoyed religion but rather felt that religion was a way to be a great leader. However, Tyndale seemed to have a genuine passion for Protestantism. His reason for breaking from the Catholic Church was legitimate. Tyndale truly wanted commoners to be able to read the bible for themselves and

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