September 5th, 2014

lindisfarne gospels

A selection from Wycliffe's translation

This is my sermon text for Sunday. Every now and then, I like to read it in another translation -- except I don't go much for modern translations. I like to read it in older translations. This is is from John Wycliffe, the first English translation. (Well, since Anglo-Saxon days, but then, the Old English versions had been pretty much lost. Wycliffe started fresh from the [Latin] text.)

And if the mynystracioun of deth write bi lettris in stoonys was in glorie, so that the children of Israel myyten not biholde in to the face of Moises, for the glorie of his cheer, which is auoidid, hou schal not the mynystracioun of the spirit be more in glorie? For if the mynystracioun of dampnacioun was in glorie, myche more the mynysterie of riytwisnesse is plenteuouse in glorie. For nether that that was cleer was glorified in this part for the excellent glorie; and if that that is auoidid, was bi glorie, myche more that that dwellith stille is in glorie. Therfor we that han suche hope, vsen myche trist; and not as Moises leide a veil on his face, that the children of Israel schulden not biholde in to his face, which veil is auoidid. But the wittis of hem ben astonyed; for in to this dai the same veil in reding of the olde testament dwellith not schewid, for it is auoidid in Crist, but in to this dai, whanne Moises is red, the veil is put on her hertis. But whanne Israel schal be conuertid to God, the veil schal be don awei. And the spirit is the Lord; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is fredom. And alle we that with open face seen the glorie of the Lord, ben transformed in to the same ymage, fro clerenesse in to clerenesse, as of the spirit of the Lord.

Therfor we that han this admynystracioun, aftir this that we han getun merci, faile we not, but do we awei the preue thingis of schame, not walkinge in sutil gile, nether doynge auoutrye bi the word of God, but in schewynge of the treuthe comendynge vs silf to ech conscience of men bifor God. For if also oure gospel is kyuerid, in these that perischen it is kyuerid; in which God hath blent the soulis of vnfeithful men of this world, that the liytnyng of the gospel of the glorie of Crist, which is the ymage of God, schyne not. But we prechen not vs silf, but oure Lord Jhesu Crist; and vs youre seruauntis bi Jhesu. For God, that seide liyt to schyne of derknessis, he hath youe liyt in oure hertis, to the liytnyng of the science of the clerenesse of God, in the face of Jhesu Crist.

-- 2 Corinthians 3:7-4:6, Wycliffe's translation