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Wessex Gospels c.1175




9:1Ða se hælend for; þa ge-seah he ænne man. þe wæs blind ge-boren.
9:2& hys leorning-cnihtes hyne axoden and cwæðen. Lareow. hwæt synegede þes. Oððe his mages þæt he were blind ge-boren.
9:3Se hælend andswerede; & cwæð. ne synegede he ne hys magas. ac þæt godes weorc wære ge-swutolod on hym.
9:4Me ge-bereð to wercen þas weorc þe me sende þa hwile þe hyt daig ys. nyht cymð þonne nan man wyrcan ne mayg.
9:5Ic eom middan-eardes leoht. þa hwile þe ic on middan-earde eom.
9:6Ða he þas þing sægde. þa spette he on ða eorðen & worhte fenn of hys spatle ænd smerede mid þa fenne ofer hys eagen.
9:7& cwæð to hym. Ga & þweag þe on syloes mere. he for & þweah hyne & com ge-sond.
9:8Witodlice hys neah-ge-buras & þa þe hyne ge-seagen þa he weadle wæs; cwæðen. hu nys þis se. þe sæt & wædlede.
9:9Sume cwæðen he hyt ys. Sume cwæðen nese; ac ys him ge-lich. he cwæð soðlice ic hyt eom.
9:10Ða cwæðen hyo to hym. Hwu wæron þine eagen ge-openedo. (sic)
9:11He andswerede & cwæð. Se mann þe ys genemned hælend worhte fen. & smerede mine eagen. & cwæð to me. gä to syloes mere ænd þweah þe. & ic eode & þwoh me. & ge-seah.
9:12Ða cwæðon hy to hym. hwær ys he. þa cwæð he; ic nat.
9:13Hyo læddon to þam farisean þonne þe þær blind wæs.
9:14Hyt wæs reste-daig; þa se hælend worhte þæt fenn. & hys eagen un-tynde.
9:15Eft þa farisei hyne axoden. hu he ge-sawe. he cwæð to heom. He dyde fenn ofer mine eagen. & ic þwoh. & ic ge-syo.
9:16Sume þa farisei cwæðen. nis þes mann of gode; þe reste-daig ne healt. Sume cwæðon. hwu maig syn-ful mann þæs taken wercann. & hyo fliten heom be-tweon.
9:17Hyo cwæðen eft; to þam blindan. Hwæt segst þu be þam þe þine eagen un-tynde. he cwæð. he ys wytega.
9:18Ne ge-lyfde þa iudeas be hym. þæt he blind wære & ge-sawe; ær þam þe hy clypedon hys mæges. þe ge-sæwen
9:19ænd axodon hyo. & cwæðon. Is þis eower sune þe ge segged þæt blind wære akenned. hu-mæte ge-sehð he nu.
9:20Hys magas heom andsweredon & cwæðen. we witen þæt þes ys ure sunu. & þæt he wæs blind akenned.
9:21we nyten hu-mæte he nu ge-syhð. ne hwa hys eagen un-tynde. Axiað hyne sylfne. ylde he hæfð spreke for hyne sylfne.
9:22Hys mages spræken þas þing for-þam þe hyo on-dreddan þa iudeas. Ða ge-dihton þa iudeas gyf hwa crist andette þæt he wære buton heore ferredene.
9:23For-þam cwæðen hys mages. he hafð ylde axioð hyne sylfe.
9:24Ða cleopedon hyo eft þanne mann þe ær blind wæs. & cwæðon to hym. Seige godes wuldor we wyten þæt he ys synful.
9:25& he cwæð gyf he synfull ys þæt ich nat. an þing ic wat. þæt ich blind wæs. & þæt ic nu ge-syo.
9:26Ða cwæðen hyo to hym; hwæt dyde he þe. hu untende he þine eagen.
9:27He andswerede heom & cwæð. Ich saigde eow ær. & gyt segge. & ge ge-hyrdon. hwy wille ge hit eft ge-heran. cweðe ge. wille ge beon hys leorning-cnihtas;
9:28Ða wæregeden hye hyne & cwæðen. Syo þu hys leorning-cniht. we sende moyses leorning-cnihtas.
9:29We witon þæt god spræc wið moysese. nyton we hwanon þes ys.
9:30Se mann andswerede & cwæð to heom. þæt is wunder-lich þæt ge nyton hwanon he ys. & he untynde mine eagen.
9:31we witon soðlice þæt god ne ge-herð synfulle. Ac gyf hwa ys gode ge-coren & hys willan wercð. þane he ge-herð.
9:32Ne herde we næfre on worlde þæt anyg un-tynde þas eagen þe wære blind ge-boren.
9:33Ne myhte he þas þing don gyf he nære of gode.
9:34Hyo andsweredon ænd cwæðen to hym. Eall þu ert on sinnen ge-boren. & þu lærst üs. & hyo drifen hyne ut.
9:35Ða se hælend ge-hyrde þæt hyo hine drifen ut. Þa cwæð he to hym. þa he hine ge-mette. Ge-lefst þu on godes sunu.
9:36He andswerede & cwæð. Hwilc is drihten þt ich on hine ge-lyfe.
9:37And se hælend cwæð to hym. Þu hyne seage ænd se þe wið þe spræc se hyt ys.
9:38Þa cwæð he. drihten ic ge-lefe. & he fell nyðer. & ge-eadmedede hine.
9:39& se hælend cwæð. to hym. Ic com on þisne midden-earde to demenne. þæt þa sculon ge-seon; þe ne seoð. & beon blinde þa þe ge-seoð.
9:40Ða þet ge-hyrdon þa farisei þe mid hym wæron. Ða cwæðen hyo to hym. Cwæðst þu synt we blinde.
9:41se hælend cwæð to heom. gyf ge blinde wæron nafde ge nane sinne. Nu ge seggeð þæt þæt ge ge-seon. þæt ys eowre synn.
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)