KEY Commentary Side Textual Bibliographic Scriptural
¶What the church is

¶] ed., What the church is] running title 1531, ¶] What the Church is 1573

Thys worde church hath dyuerse significacions. First it signifyeth a place or housse / whether christen people were wont in the olde time to resorte at tymes conuenient / for to heare the worde of doctryne / the lawe of God and the faith of oure sauioure Ihesus christ / and how and what to praye and whence to axe power and strength to lyue goodly. For the officers therto appoynted preached the pure worde of god onlye and prayed in a tonge that all men vnderstode. And the people herkened vnto his prayers / and said therto Amen and prayed with him in their hertes / and of him lerned to praye at home and every where / and to instructe euery man hys howsholde.

10/2 Thys . . . significacions. CWM 8/1.145/18.

10/2–6 signifyeth . . . praye. Summarized at CWM 8/1.145/20–23.

goodly] godly 1573

10/2–7 it . . . goodly. Quoted almost verbatim at CWM 8/1.148/ 15–18.

10/7–8 the officers ... vnderstode. Cf. CWM 8/1.150/13–14, 161/14–15.

1 TIMOTHY: 3.4: 10/11

10/11 instructe . . . howsholde. Cf. 1 Tim. 3.4.

Where now we heare but voyces with out significacion and buzsinges / howlinges and crienges / as it were the halowenges of foxes or baytinges of beres / and wonder at disguisinges and toyes wheroff we know no meaninge.

10/12–14 buzsinges . . . beres. Cf. CWM 8/1.150/10–12.

By reason wherof we be fallen in to soch ignorauncye / that we know of the mercie and promyses which are in christe nothynge at all.

2 CORINTHIANS: 1.20: 10/17

10/17 promyses . . . christe. Cf. 2 Cor. 1.20.

10/16–18 we . . . all. Cf. CWM 8/1.148/21–22.

And of the lawe of god we thinke as do the turkes / and as did the olde hethen people / how that it is a thinge which euery man maye doo of his awne power / and in doynge therof becometh good and waxeth rightuouse and deserueth heven: ye and are yet more mad then that. For we ymagen the same of phantasyes and vayne ceremonies of oure awne makynge / neyther nedefull vn to the tamynge of oure awne flesh / neyther profytable vn to oure neyboure / neyther honoure vnto god.


10/20 olde hethen people. Tyndale names Aristotle the chief of philosophers because of his great learning (Obedience H6v). Tyndale rejects as works-righteousness Aristotle's definition of virtue as the habit of performing good acts, the foundational principle of the Ethics (Mammon G5r—v, Obedience B8v—C1), as well as Aristotle 's position on the eternal existence of the world (On the Heavens 1.3; Obedience B8v). Tyndale also makes general references to Aristotle's Logic (Obedience C2v) and Metaphysics (152/32n, Mammon G5, Obedience C2v). A sidenote to Deut. 4 urges subordinating Aristotle to Scripture and not vice versa (Mombert 536; TOT 262). Tyndale alludes to Socrates and Plato (Mammon G4v) reduces Plato and Aristotle to the same level as Robin Hood (Obedience H8v), and notes with approval that Augustine corrected his early attachment to Plato by diligent study of Scripture (Obedience B8v).

10/19–21 And of the lawe . . . power. Cf. CWM 8/1.149/15–17. Tyndale attacks Catholic works-righteousness by likening it to Turkish, i.e. Muslim, and pagan beliefs in the natural power of free will to obey God's will, supposedly without the intervention of God's grace and help. For an account of Luther's critique of works-righteousness, cf. Wicks, Luther's Reform 7–9,16–21, 30–33, and 63–70. (JW)

10/24–26 neyther . . . god. Cf. CWM 8/1.149/31–32, 159/32–33.