A prayer – I agree, really

So I was preparing text samples for a History of English class. One of the few texts that are really accessible in multiple variants, is this Matthew 6: 9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer) Just for the insight, three variants I liked (if one may say so) best:

West-Saxon (c( a.d.) Wycliffe (1395) The Message (2002)

Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum, Si þin nama gehalgod.

to becume þin rice, gewurþe ðin willa, on eorðan swa swa on heofonum. urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg, and forgyf us ure gyltas, swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum. and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge, ac alys us of yfele. soþlice.

Oure fadir that art in heuenes, halewid be thi name; thi kyngdoom come to; be thi wille don in erthe as in heuene; yyue to vs this dai oure breed ouer othir substaunce; and foryyue to vs oure dettis, as we foryyuen to oure dettouris; and lede vs not in to temptacioun, but delyuere vs fro yuel. Amen.

Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best– as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.

You know, I would go for the Message version. It is alive, ir burns, it.. lifts up the spirit in song. And then all those thyne honours and glories etc suddnely become comprehensible, understandable, live-able.

And also, I liked the soþlice in the WS version. “this is so” – no more, and no less. the Amen is a wonderful words, but this has a ring to it that no borrowing can achieve ever in the world.

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