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God's Outlaw: The Story Of William Tyndale

A true story, God's Outlaw is about international politics, church intrigue, cold-blooded betrayal, and false justice ending in a criminal's death. But it's also about victorious faith and spiritual triumph over some of the greatest political and religious forces known in the 16th century.

  • Item 4737D
  • Region: All
  • Media Type: DVD
  • Running Time: 1 hr 33 min

Alternate formats: Digital Video - $4.99

Retail: $19.99
Price: $9.99
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  • Gold Award

    Houston International Film Festival 1989

  • Best Cinematography

    Christian Film Distribution Association 1989

  • Chris Plaque

    Columbus International Film Festival 1988


A true story, God's Outlaw is about international politics, church intrigue, cold-blooded betrayal, and false justice ending in a criminal's death. But it's also about victorious faith and spiritual triumph over some of the greatest political and religious forces known in the 16th century.

A simple God-seeking man, William Tyndale somehow became one of the most wanted men in England and all of Europe. Pursued by King Henry VIII, Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More, and the Pope's personal legate Cardinal Wolsey, Tyndale darted across Europe to avoid capture -- always pushing to complete the task that obsessed him.

The task was translating the Bible into English and publishing it for his fellow countrymen -- Englishmen who lived in a country where the Bible and even prayers in English were outlawed by a harsh and rigid religious establishment. Today William Tyndale is renowned as "the father of the English Bible," and is recognized as one of the major leaders of the English Reformation. But the tale of how he lived and died as "God's Outlaw" is a compelling "rest-of-the-story," and is especially a moving encouragement for modern people of faith.

Starring Roger Rees, Willoughby Goddard, Keith Barron, Oona Kirsch, Bernard Archard and more.

DVD Features:
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese and Korean
Subtitles: English
Viewing Format: Fullscreen
Bonus Material:
- Chapter titles for easy scene access
- Biographical information on director and leading actors
- In the DVD-ROM folder: Christian History magazine article and study guide/worksheets in PDF format
- Abridged version with commentary by Ken Curtis

Other William Tyndale Sites:

Editorial Reviews

God's Outlaw is an enthralling true history of one man who eluded the forces of King Henry VIII who ordered his capture while translating the Bible into English. As the escapee, William Tyndale had just the goal of publication of his English translations of the Bible, his home county forbade translations to English of even prayers. Highly recommended to Christians of all practices and to any seeking an understanding of the whole story behind "the father of the English Bible," William Tyndale.

Many dissatisfied people in the 15th and 16th century worked slowly for church reform. Others, such as William Tyndale and John Hus, eagerly promoted salvation as totally through faith in Jesus Christ. Tyndale and Hus translated the Holdy Scriptures, and wanted each person to read the Bible in their own language. Vision Video offers two films about these times: John Hus: A Powerful, True Story, and God's Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale. Hus quoted Romans 4 and 5, as he preached in a Bohemian chapel. He spoke of peace with God through Jesus Christ. John Hus asked, "Where does it say in Scriptures that a man can buy his way into Heaven?" The established church intensely disliked Hus. He was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415. William Tyndale also worked against the established church, the tradition of keeping all Scripture in Latin. Tyndale wrangled with colorful Henry VIII, fled the Europe, and was eventually betrayed. Both DVD's offer touching scenes. Hus languished in a filthy prison, and remembers his mother's teachings. Another encouraging scene involved workmen preparing the stake and the wood to burn John Hus. One worker marveled, "He believes it's not necessary to pay for a blessing. He thinks faith is enough to be forgiven." That conversation should encourage all Christians. Hus never met the workmen, yet he influenced them greatly. While in prison, Tyndale requested his friends to bring a warm hood, and cloth to patch his leggings. He especially wanted a Hebrew grammar. Such was the man's devotion to translating the Scripture. He paid for his views at a fiery stake. Excellent study materials are included in pdf format. I especially like the articles linked to Christian History magazine. Both films have received significant awards, including recognition from the Christian Film Distributors Association.

This feature-length production, filmed in England, highlights the life of William Tyndale as he worked to translate the Bible into English. The story of how he lived and died seeks to emphasize the importance of living according to one's convictions. An ardent supporter of church reform, Tyndale traveled across Europe eluding capture wile he worked on the translation. in the end, he was betrayed by a friend and tried for heresy. Some of the historical events and conversations presented here are simplified to make a point, rendering some of them only marginally historically accurate. This lengthy production can be utilized with young adults who have a fair grasp of history and where classes have an opportunity to discuss the more complicated aspects of 16th-century English history, politics, and religion.

You can thank the 16th century rebel William Tyndale -- the "father of the English Bible" -- for not having to read scripture in Latin, the preferred language of Tudor England’s Catholic Church, which kept rigid control over the dissemination of God's word (the Latin Bible assured church leaders that the rabble who formed their congregations would never sully the Word of God with their sweat-stained fingers). William Tyndale changed all of that with his desire to make the Bible available to all, eventually becoming the most hunted man in England (Tyndale would complete his English translation of the New Testament in 1525 in Germany; a decade later he would be executed). Roger Rees (The Emperor's Club, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby) vividly brings Tyndale to life in this feature-length historical drama that draws on the spectacularly beautiful English countryside to tell its story. DVD extras include an abridged version with commentary by religious scholar Ken Curtis, and a DVD-ROM-accessible article and study guide/worksheets in PDF format. Recommended.

While God's Outlaw might seem at first like a fictitious adventure story, this award-winning drama is the true story of William Tyndale. Tyndale was a brilliant 16th-century linguist capable of speaking seven languages. His passion was to translate the Bible into English so that even a plowman could have the word of God available to him. At that time, the Bible and even prayer were denied to the English people in their own language. Because of Tyndale's work, he was declared a heretic and an outlaw, and was pursued by Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More and Cardinal Wolsey. For ten years he eluded capture until his betrayal by a trusted friend landed him in prison. At his trail he sounded very much like Martin Luther in his refusal to recant his works. He was declared a heretic and, eventually, burned at the stake. In an ironic twist two years later, Henry VIII ordered copies of Tyndale's Bible be placed in every church. Today, Tyndale is recognized as the father of the English Bible.

This story of the life of early English Bible translator William Tyndale is a gem in the crown of Vision Videos’ Church History series. Roger Rees is excellent as the man variously called “The Father of the English Reformation” and “The Apostle of England.” Most of us have a vague idea that his translation of the English Bible was opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, but little else. This fine film will melt away our ignorance and introduce us to the flesh and blood man who was the object of a manhunt that finally ended with his martyrdom. Ordained as a Catholic priest, Tyndale showed an early aptitude for scholarship, but his appeal to the scholarly Bishop of London to translate the New Testament into English was turned down. Only Jerome’s Latin translation of the Bible was allowed, church authorities fearing that if the laity could read the Scriptures for themselves they would fall into errors and confusion. Unable to achieve his goal in England, Tyndale journeyed to Germany, where he found a printer willing to undertake the printing of his work. Soon after the publication of his New Testament he had to flee from the authorities. His work was read by thousands despite the efforts of the English church to destroy them. Tyndale had to constantly keep one step ahead of the authorities, fleeing to Holland, and then to Belgium. The film also deals with King Henry VIII (Keith Barron) and Anne Boleyn (Oona Kirsch), the latter who comes off as a much more educated woman than usually portrayed. It seems that she was a devotee of Tyndale, one of his theological books being a favorite of hers. The controversy between Sir Thomas More and Tyndale is also depicted briefly, More turning down any payment to write his refutations of the man now considered to be a dangerous heretic. (More, heavily influenced by Martin Luther’s writings, had come to deny the doctrine of purgatory, and placed the authority of the Bible over that of the church and its councils.) When we look at the historical record, More turns out to be far less than the noble man who defies King Henry depicted in A Man For All Seasons. He advocated the burning of both books and heretics, with Tyndale accusing his opponent of having traded his earlier humanist scholarship for wealth and power. The sad tale of how the deceitful Henry Phillips was sent to befriend Tyndale and betray him to the authorities is dramatically told, this followed by the translator’s trial and execution by strangulation and burning, even though by now King Henry had broken with the Church of Rome. Tyndale triumphs anyway, the King shortly afterward authorizing the publication of Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament. Historians claim that this book, far more than Chaucer, shaped the English language as Shakespeare came to know it – Chaucer’s works were read by a few thousand, but Tyndale’s translation by millions. For those wanting further information on this great man, go to the William Tyndale Home Page at: http://www.william

Customer Reviews

- God's Outlaw The Bible's champion

In the year of our Lord the first month of 2011 we mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version Bible. For us to truly appreciate what treasure we have so accessable to us in the free world we need not go further than to examine the life of William Tyndale a true champion of God's inspired Word. And what a wonderful way of introduction to his life story is the retelling of his dedication through the film God's Outlaw. I have seen this movie several times and it still stirs up the spirit of the reformer in the Christian viewer and makes one's heart to burn as it did in the original Protestants. We are a blessed generation here in North America where it has not seen the persecution of the Catholic Church of those who both translated and witnessed the Word of God in our native tongue. As a Bible believing Christian you owe it to yourself to watch this incredible tale of the man whose lifelong work is the main uncredited translation of the KJV Bible. And for this my friend he gave his life. Would that we all had the heart to stand up for our convictions as he did. The producer/director of the film Tony Tew is still an avid Bible student planning on presenting lectures on the subject of our beloved English Bible in his native England. May we all endeavor to carry on the work of men like Wm. Tyndale this year to witness to this Divine Book's legacy to the glory of God Most High. Peter Wisniowski, Toronto Canada Jan. 26 2011

- God's Outlaw

Excellent account of the life of one of our Fathers of the Faith. Watching this movie would stir most anyone to appreciate the price paid by those who came before us and the luxury of having our own copy of the scriptures.

- Tyndale God's Outlaw

All the Tyndale movies from the catalog tell you what you do not already know. The acting is sincere and top quality. I think about what I learned from the Tyndale movies all the time.

- Outstanding

Received this DVD with my order of a Geneva Bible. I was skeptical of any modern depiction and dramatization of one who walked the 'old paths' and took such a stand against Roman Catholicism. How pleasantly surprised I was. . . . even rejoicing that brother Tyndale was accurately quoted in his boldness for the truth. This film as far as films go is profitable to make us know something of what it took for us to have God's Word in English.

- God's Outlaw

Everyone needs to watch this movie to appreciate that we have God's word available to us in our language.
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