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The Tyndale Bible *

With only seven printing presses in London, it is impossible to get anything controversial past the authorities, so William Tyndale takes a boat to Hamburg, Germany and drops out of sight. Martin Luther's German translation has been filtering into England, but Tyndale thinks an English translation from the original is needed. German presses publish his translation of the New Testament and it's a best seller. Tyndale's translation will eventually become the Authorized Version as he works on the rest of the Bible with additions from Bishop Coverdale. Tyndale is risking his life so he is watching his steps. It will be another 9 or 10 years before they catch him and when they do, he will be strangled to death at the stake and his body burned. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Tyndale had a wicked sense of humor but his puns won't make sense to the modern reader without context. He also has a smooth rhythmic writing style that does not come through to the modern reader but it made his translations very easy to read. To give you a sense of his style, I've selected Matthew 5:29-30, but as you read it, think of what someone might do if they took it literally. Here we go...

Wherefore if thy right eye offend thee, pluck him out, and cast him from thee. Better it is for thee that one of thy members perish than that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Also if thy right hand offend thee, cut him off and cast him from thee. Better it is that one of thy members perish, than that all thy body should, be cast into hell. [3]

The Beretta Weapons Factory ... A Family Business Since 1526

Weapons master Bartolomeo Beretta sells 185 arqebuses (ARK-keh-buses) to the Venetian military for 296 ducats (a little over $200 per firearm). The war business runs hot and cold, but it never seems to run out. The family business will be passed down from father to son until the modern day when the sons will go childless leaving the succession in doubt. Ugo Gussalli will marry one of the Beretta daughters and take on the Beretta name. The family name will live on. Beretta's original bill of sale from 1526 will remain in the family's archives into the modern day. [4] [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
An arquebus is a primitive muzzle-loading musket that will likely burn you as blind you when you fire one. $200 many seem cheap for a military-grade weapon, but the value of the gold content of a ducat varied due to market conditions. In the 1500s there was a severe shortage of gold so the value of gold shot up. When gold and silver were discovered in America, it had a warping effect on the European and Chinese economies, driving the price of gold down but with existing contracts remaining the same. It's like when you take out a mortgage at a static interest rate. Inflation makes your money worth less for buying food and fuel BUT your mortgage payment remains the same. During the days of Jimmy Carter, inflation was so bad that people were paying off their mortgages with worthless dollars. That was when variable interest rates came into being.

Solving Cubic Equations Is a Secret!

It is not known exactly when the mathematician, Scipione del Ferro (ship-pee-OWN-ay del FAIR-oh) solved the problem of cubic equations mathematically. He found a general solution but doesn't know it because negative numbers haven't been invented yet. Nevertheless he almost takes his formula to the grave. The mathematician is a lecturer at the University of Bologna, and he dies this year after he hands over his secret formula to a student. [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The secret formula is... ahhhhhhhhhhh! Just kidding. The formula is x3 + mx = n. Why is this such a secret? His father was a printer. Why didn't he publish his finding! Well... in those days mathematicians tended to challenge one another to solve difficult math problems. If you lost, then you often lost all credibility with your students and thus lost your job. Being a student was a pay-as-you-go proposition and if they wouldn't pay then OFF YOU GO! (The professor goes.) These math challenges are career busters so having a card up the sleeve, so to speak, made sense at the time. In the modern day it is "publish or perish" for college professors.[10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1526, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. William Tyndale - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “Tyndale's translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, the first English one to take advantage of the printing press, and first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation.”
  2. Moynahan, Brian (August 2003). God's Bestseller: William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible (BOOK), 50-52. ISBN 0312314868. 
  3. (1526) The Project Gutenberg eBook of The first New Testament printed in English, William Tyndale (translator). Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “Wherefore if thy right eye offend thee, pluck him out, and cast him from thee. Better it is for thee that one of thy members perish than that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Also if thy right hand offend thee, cut him off and cast him from thee. Better it is that one of thy members perish, than that all thy body should, be cast into hell.” 
  4. Beretta - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “Beretta has been owned by the same family for five hundred years. The Beretta company was established in 1526, when gunsmith Maestro Bartolomeo Beretta of Gardone Val Trompia (Brescia, Lombardy, Italy) was paid 296 ducats for 185 arquebus barrels by the Arsenal of Venice. The bills of sale for the order of those barrels are in the firm's archive.”
  5. Beretta Since 1526. Beretta.com (OFFICIAL WEB SITE). Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “In 1526 Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta (1490--1565/68) of Gardone received 296 ducats as payment for 185 arquebus barrels sold to the Arsenal of Venice.”
  6. Define ducat. Dictionary and Thesaurus (2014). Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “The ducat is a gold coin that was used as a trade currency throughout Europe before World War I. Its weight is 3.4909 grams of .986 gold, which is 0.1107 troy ounce, AGW, actual gold weight.”
  7. The Ducat. World Internet Numismatic Society (2010). Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “In later years, these coins came to be known as zecchinno d'oro, so called after la zecca - the mint. The design continued basically the same until 1797 until Venice was captured by Napoleon.”
  8. Cubic function - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “In the early 16th century, the Italian mathematician Scipione del Ferro (1465--1526) found a method for solving a class of cubic equations, namely those of the form x3 + mx = n. In fact, all cubic equations can be reduced to this form if we allow m and n to be negative, but negative numbers were not known to him at that time. Del Ferro kept his achievement secret until just before his death, when he told his student Antonio Fiore about it.”
  9. Yordan Petrov Petrov (Dancho) (2015). The solution of cubic and quartic equations. Math10.com. Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “The person credited with the solution of a cubic equation is Scipione del Ferro (1465-1526), who lectured in arithmetic and geometry at the University of Bologna from 1496 until 1526. He wrote down a solution of the cubic equation in a manuscript, which passed to his student Annibale dalla Nave. The manuscript is now lost, and no work of del Ferro has survived. News of the solution spread by word of mouth and reached the mathematician Niccol`o Tartaglia (whose surname means 'The Stammerer' [...])”
  10. Scipione del Ferro - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 23 February 2015. “It is suspected that this is due to the practice of mathematicians at the time of publicly challenging one another. When a mathematician accepted another's challenge, each mathematician needed to solve the other's problems. The loser in a challenge often lost funding or his university position. Del Ferro was fearful of being challenged and likely kept his greatest work secret so that he could use it to defend himself in the event of a challenge.”

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