patty kirk

patty kirk lying down, getting up, sitting at home, walking down the road doing deuteronomy 6:7

Monday, March 18, 2013

therfore be ye parfit, as youre heuenli fadir is parfit

Before I go on to chapter 6 of Matthew—the next big chunk of Jesus’ mountainside sermon—I thought I’d read back through chapter 5 in John Wycliffe’s translation (made in 1382) to see if I discovered anything instructive or interesting.

Here are some of Wycliffe’s turns of phrase from that I especially liked:

“Blessid ben mylde, for thei schulen welde the erthe.” (Matheu 5:4). Or, to spell it according to modern English, “Blessed be the mild, for they shall wield the earth. To wield, in those weapon-wielding days, meant to control, rule, or manage.

And, “Blessid ben thei that hungren and thristen riytwisnesse, for thei schulen be fulfillid" (Matheu 5:6). Riytwisenesse = right-wiseness. What a good word for righteousness—that is wisdom about what’s right!

And here’s the last sentence of chapter 5, pretty much the same as modern translations but just so wonderful-sounding, and somehow slightly less impossible-seeming, in Wycliffe’s original spelling: “Therfore be ye parfit, as youre heuenli fadir is parfit” (Matheu 5:48).