I am greatly honored to speak about William Tyndale who is one of the most distinguished old members of my College. He was born 500 years ago in Gloucestershire near Slim bridge, just where the Cotswolds descend into the valley of the Severn. At the age of 12 he went to Oxford to study at Magdalen Hall, which is one of the predecessors of Hertford College, and stayed there 11 years until he was 23. He studied languages, literature, philosophy and theology, becoming a great scholar, and eventually taking holy orders. Then he may have gone to Cambridge for a while to study under Erasmus, before returning to Gloucestershire at the age of 27, where he worked at little Sodbury Manor for two years as priest and tutor. There he found himself clashing with the local clergy: for example one day he was arguing with a learned man who said to him:
"We were better be without God's law than the pope's." Tyndale was appalled and made his famous reply:
"I defy the Pope and all his laws. 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 dost".
In Jesus' day the custom in the synagogues was to stand for the reading of the Scripture and to sit down for the teaching of it, Lk. 4:16, 20; Mat. 5:11. The official synagogue-attendant handed the scroll of Isaiah to Jesus, which He unrolled and read from Isaiah 6:1-2 and Isaiah 58:6. When He finished reading He gave the scroll back to the attendant. As far as we know Jesus read the Scripture in Hebrew and translated it into Aramaic, the common spoken language of the people at that time.
At 6:45 a.m. we boarded the plane and flew to Darwin, leaving beautiful Perth behind. Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, and also the northernmost city (closest to the equator) we visited in Australia. It was hot and humid, and as soon as we stepped off the plane we knew we were in the tropics. It was monsoon season, and rain would fall suddenly and then stop as quickly as it had begun. We battled the flies for possession of our hotel room. Altogether, we decided -- this definitely was not going to be as enjoyable as Perth!
Robert, the man who organized our meetings, was a weary warrior who alone had been trying to organize the "Call to Australia" party in Darwin. Without much help or support, he was discouraged and didn't expect more than a handful of people to come to the meeting that night. He was pleasantly surprised, however, and greatly encouraged when approximately 150 people came.
From time to time I receive letters from men declaring themselves "reconstructionist" and "consistent preterist." The "consistent preterist" believes that all prophecy is fulfilled in the A.D. 70 destruction of the Temple, including the Second Advent, the resurrection of the dead, the great judgment, and so forth. Due to my primaary writing ministry against rapidly changing dispensationalism, I have not had time to deal extensively with the issue, but I do have some random thoughts that I will make public in this article. These thoughts are based on readings from their monthly publications and books, of which I have a great number.
Q. Dr. Lee, we welcome you back to the United States.
A. Thank you, Byron. It is great to be back and see many old friends, including yourself, of course. Americans are asking me: "Have you ever missed living here in the States, and particularly in Dixie?" Having lived in Australia now for the past fourteen years, I reply: "Only once - namely all the time!"