The Wessex Gospels


The Wessex Gospels

About the year 1000 the four Gospels were first translated into Anglo-Saxon. This version was done in the dialect of Wessex (southern England), and it is preserved in six manuscripts. Nothing is known about the translators. The version must have had little circulation, because it is not mentioned by any contemporary sources. Below I give two pages from the “Bath” manuscript, now at Corpus Christi College Cambridge, and designated MS Corpus Christi College Cambridge 140.

Luke 23:18-48 from the “Bath” Manuscript

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MS Corpus Christi College Cambridge 140 anne to hyra freols-dæge. 18 þa hrymde eall ꝥ folc
æt-gædere ⁊ cƿæþ; Nim þisne ⁊ forgyf us barrabban
19 se ƿæs for sumere tƿyrædnesse ⁊ man-slyhte on cƿer
tern asend; 20 Eft spæc pilatus to him ⁊ ƿolde for-lætan
þæne hælend; 21 Ða hrymdon hig ⁊ cƿædon ahoð hine
ahoð hine; 22 Ða cƿæð he to him þiddan siðe. hƿæt dyde
þes yfeles. ne mette ic nan þing yfeles on þissum men
ꝥ he si deaþes scyldig. ic hine þreage ⁊ forlæte; 23 And
hig astodon ⁊ mycelre stëfne bædon ꝥ he ƿære
ahangen; ⁊ hyra stëfna sƿiðredon. * 25 ⁊ he for-gef him
þæne þe ƿæs for man-slyhte ⁊ sumere sace on cƿer
terne. þone hi bædon ⁊ þæne hælend he sealde to
hyra ƿillan; 26 And þa hig hine læddon hi gefengon
sumne cyreniscne simonem. se com of þan tune ⁊
þa rode him on-setton ꝥ he hi bære æfter þam hælende.
27 him fylide mycel ƿered folces ⁊ ƿifa þa hine heofun
⁊ ƿeopun; 28 Þa cƿæþ se hælend beƿend eala dohtra
hierusalem. nelle ge ofer me ƿepan. ac ƿepað ofer
eoƿ sylfe. ⁊ ofer eoƿer bearn. 29 forðam þa dagas cumað
on þam hig cƿeþað. eadige synt þa untymyndan ⁊ in-no
þas þe ne cendun ⁊ þa breost þe ne sictun. 30 þonne agynnað
hig cƿeðan to þam muntum feallað ofer üs. ⁊ to beorgum
ofer-ƿreoð üs. 31 forþam gif hig on grënum treoƿe þas þing
doð hƿæt doð hig on þam drigean; 32 And mid him ƿæron
gelædde tƿegen manfulle ꝥ hig ƿæron ofslegene;
33 And syððan hig comon on þa stoƿe þe is genemned caluarie
MS Corpus Christi College Cambridge 140 ꝥ is heafod-pannan stöƿ. þar hig hine hengon ⁊ anne
sceaþan on his sƿiðran healfe ⁊ oðerne on his ƿynstran;
34 Ða cƿæð se hælend. fæder. forgyf him forþam hig nyton
hƿæt hig doð; Soðlice hig dældon hys reaf ⁊ ƿurpun
hlötu. 35 ⁊ ꝥ folc stod geanbidiende. ⁊ þa ealdras hine tældon
mid him ⁊ cƿædon; Oþre he ge-hælde gehæle hine sylfne
gif he sïg godes gecorena; 36 And þa cempan hine by[s]mredon
⁊ him eced brohton 37 ⁊ þus cƿædon; Gif þu si iudea cining ge-
do þe halne; 38 Ða ƿæs his ofer-geƿrit ofer hine aƿrïten.
greciscum stafum ⁊ ebreiscum. þis is iudea cining; 39 Án of þam
sceaþum þe mid him hangode hine gremede ⁊ cƿæþ; Gif þu
crist eart gehæl þe sylfne ⁊ unc; 40 Ða ⁊ sƿarude se oþer
⁊ hine þreade ⁊ cƿæþ; Ne þu god ne ondrætst ꝥ ðu eart on
þære ylcan genyðerunge. 41 ⁊ ƿyt ƿitodlice be uncer ærdæ-
dum on-foð; Soðlice þes naht yfeles ne dyde 42 ⁊ he cƿæþ to
þam hælende; Drihten. gemun þu me þonne þu cymst on þin
rïce; 43 Ða cƿæþ se hælend to him; To-dæg þu bist mid me
on paradiso; 44 Þa ƿæs nean seo syxte tïd. ⁊ þystro ƿæron
ofer ealle eorþan oð þa nigoþan tïde. 45 ⁊ sunne ƿæs aþys-
trod ⁊ þæs temples ƿahryft ƿearð toslyten on middan;
46 Ða cƿæð se hælend clypiende mycelre stëfne; Fæder
ic bebeode minne gast on þinre handa. ⁊ þus cƿeþende
he forþ-ferde; 47 Þa se hundred-man geseah ꝥ þar geƿor-
den ƿæs. he god ƿuldrode ⁊ cƿæð; Soþlice þes man ƿæs
riht-ƿis. 48 ⁊ eall ƿered þe æt þisse ƿæfer-synne ƿæron ⁊
gesaƿon þa þing þe ge-ƿurdon. ƿæron agen geƿende hyra
* verse 24 is omitted in the manuscript. In the Vulgate it reads, Et Pilatus adjudicavit fieri petitionem eorum.

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