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Wessex Gospels c.1175




17:1Þas þing se hælend spræc & a-hof up hys eagen to heofene æend cwæð. Fader tid ys cuman ge-swutele þine sunu þæt þin sune ge-swutelige þe.
17:2& swa þu hym sealdest anweald. ælches mannes þæt he sylle eche lyf. ealle þan þe þu hym sealdest.
17:3Ðis ys soðliche eche lyf þæt hyo on-cnawen. þæt þu ert an soð god. & se þe þu sendest hælend crist.
17:4Ic þe ge-swutelode ofer eorðan. Ic ge-endede þæt weorc þe þu me sealdest to donne.
17:5Ænd nu þu fæder ge-brohte me mid þe sylfen. þare brihtnysse þe ic hæfde mid þe ær þan þe midden-eard wære.
17:6Ic ge-swutelode þinne naman þam mannan þe þu me sealdest of middan-earde. Hyo wæran þine. & þu hyo sealdest me. & hyo ge-heoldan þine spræce.
17:7Nu hyo ge-cneowen þæt ealle þa þing þe þu me sealdest synd of þe.
17:8for-þam ic sealde heom þa word þe þu sealdest me; & hy underfengen. & on-cneowan soðlice þæt ic eom of þe. & hye ge-lefdon þæt þu me sentest.
17:9Ic bidde for hyo ne bidde ic for middan-earde. ac for þa þe þu me sealdest for-þan hyo synde þine.
17:10& ealle þine synde mine. Mine synde þine. & ic eom ge-swutelod on heom.
17:11& nu ic ne eom on middan-eard. & hye synd on middan-earde & ich cume to þe. On þare tide se hælend be-heold hys leorning-cnihtes. & cwæð. Halig fæder heald on þinen naman. þæt þu me sealdest. þæt hyo syn an; swa wit synde.
17:12Þa ic wæs mid heom ic heold hyo on þinan namen. ic heold þa þe þu me sealdest. & ne for-warð here nan buton for-spillednysse bearn. þæt þæt halige writ syo ge-fylled.
17:13Nu ic cume to þe & þas þing ic spræce on midden-earde. þæt hyo habben mine fean. ge-fellende (sic) on heom sylfan.
17:14Ic sealde heom þine spræce. & middan-eard hyo hafð on hatienge for-þan hyo ne synde of middan-earde. swa eac ic nem of middan-earde.
17:15Ne bidde ic þæt þu hyo neme of middan-earde. ac þæt þu hyo healde of yfele.
17:16Ne synde hyo of middan-earde swa ic ne eom of middan-earde.
17:17Ge-halege hyo on soðfæstnysse. þin spræce is sodfestnysse.
17:18Swa þu me sentest on middan-earde. Ic sende hyo on middan-eard.
17:19& for hyo ic halegie me sylfne. þæt hye eac syen ge-halegede on sodfæstnysse.
17:20Witodlice ne ge-bidde ic for hyo ane. ac eac for þa þe gyt sculon ge-lefan þurh heore word on me.
17:21Þæt ealle syn an. swa þu fæder ert on me. & ic eom on þe. þæt hyo syn eac an on unc. þæt midden-eard ge-lefe þæt þu me sendest.
17:22Ænd ic sealde heom þa brihtnysse þe þu me sealdest þæt hy sien an; swa wit synd an.
17:23Ich eom on heom. & þu ert on me. þæt hye syen endod on an. þæt midden-eard on-cnawe þæt þu me sændest. & lufedest hye swa þu me lufedest.
17:24Fader ic wille þæt þa þe þu me sealdest syen mid me þær ich eom. þæt hye ge-syen mine brihtnysse þe þu me sealdest. for-þan þu lufedest me; ær midden-eard ge-set wære.
17:25La rihtwise fæder middan-eard þe ne ge-cneow. witodlice ich þe ge-cneow & hyo on-cneowen þæt þu me sendest.
17:26& ich heom kydde þinne nama. & gyt wille kyþan. þæt syo lufe þe þu me lufedest syo on heom; ænd ich eom on heom.
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)