I seem to have conflated Wycliffe and Tyndale in my opening post. (Image of Wycliffe's Bible shown at right.)
I wrote: "The first English Bible was not published until the time of Wycliffe in the 14th century. Wycliffe received martyrdom for his troubles, and the papist authorities sought to destroy the copies of the Bible that he printed."
The Wycliffe Bible was hunted by authorities, but while the papists dug up Wycliffe's bones and burnt them, it was technically Wycliffe's assistant Purvey (who completed the work) who ended up being martyred, Wycliffe himself dying apparently of natural causes (1384). Printed is also not be quite the right word. For, you see, the Wycliffe Bible had to be published by handwriting. Printed suggests mechanical reproduction.
Tyndale, on the other hand, provided the first truly printed English Bible. He was martyred in 1536 by strangling. His body was then, like that of Wycliffe his predecessor, burnt (in the case of Tyndale it was burnt at a stake).
The followers of Wycliffe, known as the Lollards, are a fascinating case study for those who vainly imagine that reformation of the Western church started in 1517 with a German monk complaining about abuse of indulgences.
Nevertheless, I somehow managed mentally to conflate Wycliffe and Tyndale in my opening post, much to my shame, and so I hereby publicly retract that erroneous passage in favor of:
"The first English Bible was not published until the time of Wycliffe/Purvey in the 14th century.
I'm not sure whether Mr. Bellisario will permit correction of my opening post, the deadline having past. Nevertheless, I hope he will, for I have no interest in spreading further the unsubstantiated claim that Wycliffe was martyred or the misleading claim that the Wycliffe Bible was mechanically printed (when, in fact, it was copied by hand).
One reader also noted that I had made the following simpler typo (shown corrected):
Usually the objection is more practical, though: how can we convince someone of
Mr. Bellisario has approved correction of that error, and so I have updated the post accordingly. These things go to show that, even with the aid of a computer, I am fallible. Thus, no one should trust what I have to say. The Scriptures, on the other hand, being the Word of God are infallible and inerrant. Therefore, we properly use them as our rule (canon).