Have you heard of Humphrey Monmouth? Probably not. But, humanly speaking, if Humphrey had not done what he did, you would not likely be reading your Bible. Humphrey is one of the great unsung heroes of the faith – a man to whom we are indebted, even if we have never heard of him.
Humphrey Monmouth lived in the sixteenth century. He was not a renowned theologian. He was a wealthy merchant who had made a fortune in the cloth business. Humphrey Monmouth’s invaluable contribution arose out of his relationship with William Tyndale. Tyndale’s name has gone down in the history books as the father of the English Bible. He pioneered the translation of the Scriptures into English from their original languages of Hebrew and Greek.
So where does Humphrey Monmouth fit into the story? When Tyndale embarked on his mission, he needed more than textbooks and inspiration. He needed food and clothing and a place to stay; he needed an income to survive. This is where we meet Humphrey. The wealthy businessman gave young Tyndale room and board and financial support as the young man labored intensely in his translation of the New Testament for six months.
In England, Monmouth had introduced Tyndale to a secret society of London merchants called The Christian Brethren. This clandestine group was financing and importing Christian literature to advance the cause of the Reformation in England. Tyndale’s personal financial support came out of this group – as did the investment which enabled him to print his Bibles. In fact, his Bibles were smuggled into England in the bundles of cloth that were the basis of Humphrey Monmouth’s wealth.
Every financial gift you give, every prayer you ask, every word of encouragement you utter – these are your contribution to what God has called us to do in this ministry. While our name will probably never be recorded in a history book, the calling God has given us is just as important as Tyndale’s. And your partnership with us does not go unnoticed.
Men may say, “Humphrey Who?” But God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” to you also.