Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Lord's Prayer, Old School

Something reminded me this week of a story told by some friends who own a book store. A Caucasian American lady asked them to help her locate a Spanish version of the King James Bible so she might give it to a Hispanic person she knew. It may take you a minute to think through that. The King James is an (old) English version. It can't be translated into Spanish and still get the "Thees" and "Thous" the woman wanted. That's like buying an English dictionary so you can translate it into Spanish. Why not just buy a Spanish dictionary to begin with?!

Anyway, that got me to thinking about Bible versions, and I came across the following version of the Lord's Prayer as translated and written by William Tyndale in the 1520s:

"O oure father which arte in heve halowed be thy name. Let thy kyngdome come. Thy wyll be fulfilled as well in erth as it ys in heven. Geve vs this daye oure dayly breede. And forgeve vs oure treaspases eve as we forgeve oure trespacers. And leade vs not into teptacion: but delyver vs fro evell. For thyne is ye kyngedome and ye power and ye glorye for ever. Amen." (Matthew 6:9-13)

The picture to the right is from Tyndale's version, although not the Lord's Prayer passage; it's Matthew 26 and 27. Remember, this pre-dates the King James Version by nearly 100 years. And Tyndale wasn't the first. John Wycliffe translated the Gospels into English in the 1380s! (I promise, this really is an English version!)

So for all those who swear the 1611 KJV is the first and only "God-approved" version, that it's never been revised or changed, to the left is a page from Hebrews. Note Hebrews is ascribed to Pauline authorship. In current editions of the KJV, no such claim is made. Let me know how your devotional goes trying to read this.

As for me, I'm thankful God sees fit to make his word made available in every era, every tongue and dialect, and I'm praying for those who are seeking to make that a reality in our world today!

No comments: