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Wessex Gospels c.1175




15:1Note: Ego sum uitis uera & pater meus agricola est. Ic eom soð wingearð. & min fæder ys eordtilia.
15:2he deð ælc twig aweig on me. þe blæde ne byrð. & he fermað ælc þare þe blæde berð. þæt hyt bere blæde. þe swiðor.
15:3Nu ge synd clæne for þare spræce þe ic to eow spræc.
15:4wuniað on me & ic on eow. Swa swa twig ne mæg blede beran hyt self buton hyt wunige on wingearde. swa ge ne magen eac buton ge wunigan on me.
15:5Ic eom wingeard & ge synd twigan. Se þe wunað on me. & ic on him; se berð mycele blæde. for-þan ge ne magon nan þing don buton me.
15:6Gyf hwa ne wunað on me. he byeð ge-worpen ut swa twig. & for-druwað. & he ge-gaderiað þa. & doð on fer & hyo for-bernað.
15:7Note: Si manseritis in me & uerba mea in uobis manserint. quodcumque petieritis fiet uobis. Gyf ge wuniað on me. & mine word wuniað on eow. biddað swa hwæt swa ge willed. & hyt beod eower.
15:8On þam ys min fæder ge-swutelod. þæt ge beran mychele blæde. & beon mine leorning-cnihtas.
15:9& ic lufede eow swa fader lufede me. wunieð on mine lufe.
15:10Gyf ge mine be-bode ge-healdeð. ge wuniað on minre lufe. Swa ic ge-heold mines fæder beboda. & ic wuniga on his lufa.
15:11Þas þing ic eow sægde. þæt min ge-fea is on eow. & eower ge-fea syo ge-fyllæd.
15:12Note: Hoc est preceptum meum ut diligatis inuicem sicut dilexi uos. Ðys is min bebod þæt ge lufigan eow gemenlice. swa ic eow lufede.
15:13Nafeð nan man mare lufe þanne þeos is þæt hwa sylle hys lyf for hys freondan.
15:14Ge synd mine freond gyf ge doð þas þing þe ic eow be-beode.
15:15Ne telle ic eow to þeowan. for-þan se þeowa nat hwæt se hlaford deð. Ic tealde eow to freonden for-þan ic kydde eow ealle þa þing þe ic ge-hyrde æt minen fæder.
15:16Ne ge-chure ge me ac ic ge-cheas eow. & ic ge-sette eow þæt ge blæden bæren & eowra blæda ge-læsten. þæt se fæder sylle eow swa hwæt swa ge biddað on minan naman.
15:17Note: Hec mando uobis ut diligatis inuicem. Ðas þing ic eow beode; þæt ge lufion eow ge-mænlice.
15:18Gyf midden-eard eow hateð witað þæt he hatede me ær eow.
15:19Gyf ge on midden-eardan wæren. middan-eard lufede þæt hys wæs. For-þan þe ge ne synd of middan-earde. ac ic eow ge-cheas of middan-earde. for-þi middan-eard eow hateð.
15:20Ge-muniað mine spræce þe ic eow sægde. nis þe þeowa mare þanne hys hlaford. Gyf hy me hehton. hye willað hehton eowre. Gyf hyo mine spræce heoldan. hyo healdeð eac eowre.
15:21Ac ealle þas þing hyo doð eow for minan namen. for hyo ne cunnan þanne þe sende me.
15:22Gyf ic ne come & to heom ne spræce. nafden hyo nane synne. Nu hy nabbeð nane lade be heora synna.
15:23Se þe me hateð. hateð minne fader.
15:24Gyf ic nane weorc ne worhte on hym þe nan oþer ne wrohte. næfdan hyo nane synne. Nu hyo ge-sæwon & hyo hateden me & minne fæder.
15:25Ac þæt syo spræce syo ge-fyllad (sic) þe on heora lage ys awritan þæt hyo hatedan me buton ge-werhtan.
15:26Note: Cum uenerit paraclitus spiritus ueritatis quam (sic) ego mittam a patre. Ðonne se frefriend cymð þe ic eow sende fram fæder soðfæstnisse gast þe cymð fram fæder. he kyð ge-witnysse be me.
15:27& ge cyðad witnesse for-þam ge wæren fram frumen mid me.
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)