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Fast-Paced Plot

School Library Journal, Jul 2006
This realistically animated production describes the devotion of William Tyndale, a Christian. Tyndale was a language scholar in England in the 1500s, a time when all copies and readings of the Bible were in Latin. The church and government authorities made it illegal to read or speak the Scripture in English, and those who did were prosecuted. However, Tyndale felt that the Bible was for all people, not only those who understood Latin, so he felt that it was his duty to translate it into English. After he was denied support from the Church, he secretly traveled to Germany to print his translation. Tyndale was eventually betrayed and put to death in England. Soon after his death, however, the King approved the translation of the Bible into English, which led to the King James version. Bonus features of the DVD include English and Spanish languages with optional English subtitles, reproducible student handouts, quizzes, and more. The realistic animation, energetic characterizations, and fast-paced plot will keep viewers engrossed.


The William Tyndale Story.

Reviewed by Tim Challies (Oakville, Ontario Challies.com) Note: Christian History Institute and Torchlighters has no connection with Tim Challies. We found his reviews at Amazon.com and at his personal web site and asked him if we might use them.

The Torchlighters video series is a new series of animated DVDs dedicated to “Highlighting the honor, integrity and life-changing experiences of those well-known and little-known Christian men, women and children who in response to God’s call, dedicated their lives to a life of whole-hearted commitment and passionate service to Jesus.” It is a production of Christian History Institute along with International Films and Voice of the Martyrs.

The first in this series was The Jim Elliot Story and this has recently been followed by The William Tyndale Story. These films are a lot like a standard animated Disney film. Well, except that in The William Tyndale Story the hero has no cute and hilarious sidekick and the film ends not with a stirring overture and a passionate kiss, but with the hero being strangled and burned at the stake (much to the chagrin of my son, I might add).

All right, so these films bear no resemblance to a Disney film! While the animation is not nearly as advanced, the stories are far more serious and far more uplifting. The William Tyndale Story follows Tyndale as he works on a translation of the Scriptures into English. We see William furtively moving from town-to-town, desperately seeking to protect his work while attempting to evade capture, knowing all the while that his work carries with it the penalty of death. And we see the tragic events that led to his martyrdom. He utters his famous cry and the film ends with a reflection on the significance of God opening the king of England’s eyes to see the value of permitting Scripture in the common tongue.

The William Tyndale Story is an excellent film and, clocking in at 30 minutes, is ideal for children. The recommended age range is eight to twelve, but my six-year old liked it well enough and the film provided us a wonderful opportunity to talk about how blessed we are to have the freedom to read and study God’s Word.

Future titles in the Torchlighters series include The John Bunyan Story (set for a 2006 release) and The Eric Liddell Story (also set for a 2006 release). This looks like a wonderful little series and I am sure each of the titles will be a valuable addition to any church or personal library. I hope to make each of these titles available to my children.


I’ve just watched the William Tyndale Story — great stuff! The interview with actor Russell Boulter was particularly powerful. Well done! — Dillon Cocks

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