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Wessex Gospels c.1175




11:1Þa he ge-nehlahte ierusalem & bethania to oliuete dune. he sende his twegen leorning-cnihtes.
11:2& quoth. to heom. Fareð to þam castele þe on-gean inc ys & gyt þær sone ge-meteð assen fole ge-teidne; ofer þane nan man geot ne sæt. unteigeð hine & to me ge-lædeð.
11:3And gyf hwa to ginc aht cweð; seggeð þt drihten hæfd his neode. & hyo hine sona hider læt.
11:4& þa hyo ut ferden hyo ge-metten þanne fole ut on twi-cinan be-foran dure ge-teigdne. þa unteigden hyo hine.
11:5& sume þe þær stoden þus saigden heom. Hwat do gyt þan folen unteygende.
11:6þa cwæðen hyo swa se hælend unc bead. & hyo leten hyo þa.
11:7Ða lædden hyo þanne folan to þam hælende. & hyo heora reaf on aleigden. & he on sæt.
11:8Manega heore reaf on þane weig strehten. sume þa boges of þam trewen heowan. & streoweden on þanne weig.
11:9& þa þe be-foren eoden & þa þe æfter folgeden cwæðen þus. osanna; syo ge-bletsed se þe com on drihtenes name.
11:10sy bletsed þæt rice þe com ures fæder dauiðes osanna on hehnyssen.
11:11& he eode þa on ierosolima temple. & ealle þing he be-sceawede. Ða afen time wæs he ferde to bethania mid his twelf leorning-cnihten.
11:12And oþren daige þa hyo ferden fram bethanie him hingrede.
11:13Ða he ferren ge-seah an fic-treow þe leaf hæfde. he com & sohte hwæðer he þær on aht funde. þa he him to com; ne funde he þær buton leaf ane. Sodlice hit wæs þas fic-treowes time.
11:14Ða cwæð he. heonen forð on ecnysse ne æte anig man wæstme of þe. & his leorning-cnihtes þt ge-hyrden.
11:15Ða comen hyo eft to ierusalem & þa he on þt tempel eode. he gan drifen of þam tempel syllende & byggende. & munetera þrocu. & heah-setle. þe þa culfran cheptan he to-bræc.
11:16& he ne ge-þafode þt anig man anig fet þurh þa tempel bære
11:17& he þa lærende þus cwæð to heom. Nis his awriten þt min hus fram eallen þeoden beoð ge-nemned bed hus. soðlice ge dyden þt to scaþene scerefe.
11:18Ða þare sacerde ealdres & þa boceres þis ge-hyrden. hyo þohten hu hyo hine for-spilden. þeah hyo heom on-drædden hine. for þan eall syo manigeo wundrede be his lære.
11:19& þa hit æfen wæs he eode of þare ceastre.
11:20On morgen þa hyo ferden. hyo ge-seagen þt fic-treow for-scruncen of þam wert-rumen.
11:21Ða quoth. petrus. Lareow. loca hu for-scranc þt fic-treo þe þu wergedest.
11:22þa cwæð se hælend him andsweriende. hæbbed godes truwan
11:23ic segge eow to soðe. swa hwilc swa cwæð to þise munte. syo þu aferred & on sæ aworpen. & on his heorte ne tweoneð ac ge-lyfð swa hwæt swa he cweð ge-wurðe þis. hit ge-wurð.
11:24for þan ic eow segge swa hwæt swa ge gyrnende bydðed ge-lyfað þt ge hit on-foð & hit eow be-cymð.
11:25And þanne ge standed eow to ge-byddenne. for-gyfeð gyf ge hwæt agen anigene hæbbeð. þæt eow eower senne for-gieue. eower hefenlice fæder se þe on heofene ys.
11:26Gyf ge þanne ne for-gyfeð. ne eow eower senne ne for-gyfð ower heofenlice fæder.
11:27Þa com he eft to Ierusalem. & þa he on þam temple eode him to ge-neahlacten þa heah-sacerdes. & boceres & ealdres.
11:28& þus cwæðen. On hwilcen anwealde dest þu þas þing. & hwa sealde þe þisne anweald þt þu þis do.
11:29Þa cwæð se hælend. & ic axie eow anre spræce andsweriað me. & ic segge eow þanne on hwilcen an-wealde ic þis do.
11:30Hwæðer wæs iohannes fulluht þe of heofene þe of mannen andsweried me.
11:31Ða þohten hyo & cwæðen be-tweoxe heom. gyf we seggeð of heofene. he segð us hwi ne ge-lyfde ge hym.
11:32gyf we seggeð of mannen. we on-drædeð þis folc. ealle hyo hafden Iohannem þt he wære soðlice witege.
11:33Ða andswereden hyo þam hælende & cwæðen. we nyten. Þa cwæð se hælend ne ic eow ne segge on hwilcen anwealde ic þas þing do.
Wessex Gospels c.1175

Wessex Gospels c.1175

The Wessex Gospels (also known as the West-Saxon Gospels) are a full translation of the four gospels of the Christian Bible into a West Saxon dialect of Old English. Designated Royal MS 1 A XIV, it is historically important.

  • The Wessex Gospels are the oldest translations into English without the Latin.
  • The gospels are written in the Old English West Anglo-Saxon dialect of Northumbria.
  • Royal MS 1 A XIV is written on parchment and is also known as the Codex Evangeliorum Anglice.
  • The title written at the top of the page, ‘Text[us] iv evangelior[um] anglice’, is reproduced in the 14th-century catalogue of the Benedictine Christ Church library, but at the Reformation this book was one of many acquired from religious houses by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1532 to 1534, whose name is written at the top of the page.
  • Seven extant copies exist today. The earliest version dates from 990AD.
  • Royal MS 1 A XIV was copied directly from MS 441 in the Bodleian library at Oxford. We know this as the same passages have been omitted from both. It has a transmission jump of 185 years.
  • MS 441 (990AD) is extant and still resides in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, England. It was given to the library by Baron Hatton in 1671. Paleographical evidence suggests a Canterbury origin. The earliest extant evidence of ownership is through Archbishop Matthew Parker (1504-75).
  • MS Corp. Ch Coll Camb 140 (1000AD) is in Corpus Christi College Cambridge.
  • Royal MS 1 A XIV (1175AD) is in the British Library and was presented to the British Museum by King George II in 1757 from the Old Royal Library.
  • Royal MS 1 A XIV once belonged to the Prince of Wales: Henry Frederick, (1594-1612), eldest child of King James the First.

Why is this important?

  • Desiderius Erasmus had access to these MSS before starting his translation of the Textus Receptus. In the five years prior to starting his translation work Erasmus was Professor of Divinity at Cambridge at a time when the university's benefactors owned these manuscripts.
  • The King James Bible translators had access to these manuscripts. All the six KJV translation companies where housed at Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster and all had access to the Wessex Gospels.
  • The codex contains the long ending in Mark chapter 16.
  • The codex contains the Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53-8:11)