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828 B582

107

THE

GOTHIC AND ANGLO-SAXON

GOSPELS

WITH

THE VERSIONS

OF

WYCLIFFE AND TYNDALE.

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THE REV. JOSEPH BOSWORTH, D.D. F. R. S. F.S.A.

PROFESSOR OF ANGLO-SAXON, OXFORD;

CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF THE NETHERLANDS:
HONORARY F.R.S. OF SCIENCES, NORWAY: F.S.A. COPENHAGEN:

F. OF LIT. S. LEYDEN, UTRECHT, ROTTERDAM, ETC.

ASSISTED BY

GEORGE WARING, ESQ., M.A.

OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, AND MAGDALEN HALL, OXFORD.

SECOND EDITION.

London:

JOHN RUSSELL SMITH, SOHO SQUARE.

MDCCCLXXIV.

674

Orford:

BY E. B. GARDNER, E. PICKARD HALL, AND J. H. STACY,

PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.

PREFACE.

THE Scriptures contain the revelation of God's will to man,-God's word addressed to all mankind. As the Scriptures are Truth, the closer we adhere to them, the nearer we are to Truth. But the nearest approach we can make to the inspired originals, is in faithful translations, as they express the sense with the greatest brevity and precision. Hence good translations afford the best helps for obtaining a true knowledge of the Scriptures, and different versions, by learned and religious men, must be the best and shortest commentaries. The same truths are there expressed in different words. Where some are too brief and obscure, others may be more full and clear, while together, being the same in sense, they mutually illustrate and confirm each other.

The present volume contains four translations of the Gospels. These translations were made by the leading men,-the intellectual aristocracy of their day. The first version is the Gothic by Ulphilas, in the 4th century. What vigour and decision of mind,-what a clear view of the future extension and influence of the Germanic race, must Ulphilas have had to induce him to translate the Scriptures into the vulgar tongue of his people, in an age when Greek and Latin were the only languages employed for literary purposes! Ulphilas deeply felt, from his own experience, that the power of the word of God to convince the understanding and to influence the conduct would be limited, unless it was not only preached, but read in the mother tongue, through which the best affections of the heart are most easily touched.-These remarks are equally applicable to the translation of the Gospels in the 8th or 10th century from the Vetus Italica into Anglo-Saxon, and to the Wycliffe version of the whole Bible from the Vulgate into English in the 14th century, which was the dawn of that scriptural light that preceded the Reformation. In the 16th century, Tyndale presented the Gospel in a still clearer light by his translation of the New Testament from

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