Wycliffe's Bible

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Crist tolde how a man hadde two sones...
He was perishid, and is founden

Wycliffe's Bible, Wycliffite Bibles and Wycliffian Bibles (WYC) are names given to a sequence of Middle English Bible translations believed to have been made under the direction or instigation of English theologian John Wycliffe of the University of Oxford. They are the earliest known literal translations of the entire Bible into English (Middle English). They appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395.


Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed., The Oxford Book of English Prose (1925), pp. 4–5
  • Luk seith that Crist tolde how, A man hadde two sones; and the yonger of hem seide unto his fadir, Fadir, gyve me a porcioun of the substance that fallith me. And the fadir departide him his goodis. And soone aftir this yonge sone gedende al that fel to him, and wente forth in pilgrimage into a fer contre; and ther he wastide his goodis, lyvynge in lecherie. And after that he hadde endid alle his goodis, ther fel a gret hungre in that lond, and he bigan to be nedy. And he wente oute, and clevede to oon of the citizeins of that contre, and this citisein sente him into his toun, to kepe swyn. And this sone coveitide to fille his beli with these holes that the hogges eten, and no man gaf him. And he, turninge agcn, seide, How many hynen in my fadirs hous ben ful of loves, and Y penshe here for hungre. Y shal rise, and go to my fadir, and seie to him, Fadir, Y have synned in heven, and bifore thee; now Y am not worthi to be clepid thi sone, make me as oon of thin hynen. And he roos, and cam to his fadir. And yit whanne he was fer, his fadir sawe him, and was moved bi mercy, and rennyng agens his sone, fel on his nekke, and kiste him. And the sone seide to him, Fadir, Y have synned in hevene, and bifore thee; now Y am not worthi to be clepid thi sone. And the fadir seide to his servauntis anoon, Bringe ye forth the firste stole, and clothe ye him, and gyve ye a ryng in his hond, and shoon upon his feet. And bringe ye a fat calf, and sle him, and ete we and fede us; for this sone of myn was deed, and is quykened agen, and he was perishid, and is foundun. And thei bigunne to feede hem. And his eldere sone was in the feeld; and whanne he cam, and was nygh the hous, he herde a symphonie and other noise of mynystralcye. And this eldere sone clepide oon of the servauntis, and axide what weren thes thingis. And he seide to him, Thy brothir is comen, and thi fadir hath slayn a fat calf, for he hath resceyved him saaf. But this eldere sone hadde dedeyn, and wolde not come in; therfore his fadir wente out, and bigan to preie him. And he answeride, and seide to his fadir, Lo, so many yeeris Y serve to thee, Y passide nevere thi mandement; and thou gavest me nevere a kidde, for to fede me with my frendis. But after that he, this thi sone, that murtheride his goodis with hooris, is come, thou hast killid to him a fat calf. And the fadir seide to him, Sone, thou art ever more with me, and alle my goodis ben thine. But it was nede to ete and to make mery, for he, this thi brothir, was deed and lyvede agen; he was perishid, and is founden.
    • Sermons: The Saturday Gospel in the Secunde Weke in Lente
    • [The Prodigal Son]
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