Friday, January 21, 2011

How the English Language has developed over time.

As I learn Spanish I have been curious as to how languages have developed and changed over the years.  The English language was so different only 500-600 years ago that we could never understand it.  Below is the Lords Prayer from Matthew 6.  It shows how the English language has changed over the years.  The translators of the 1611 KJV were very wise to translate the Bible into modern English.  This shows that the Bible must be translated and read in the modern language so we can understand it.  The KJV folks are so afraid to translate the Bible into 21st century English and away from Old English of the 1600's but they should look at their mentors, the translators of the 1611.  The translators of the 1611 rightly translated the Bible into new English so the people could understand it.  As the English language continued to change and develop the translators of the KJV again came out with a revision of the KJV in 1769 to adapt to the changing language in order for the people to understand.  Now I don't think that we should translate the Bible into slang but we should revise the translation of English in the Bible if the English language changes enough that people have a hard time understanding it.  The KJV is an outstanding translation and has been a pilliar of Bible translation for 400 years but since 1611, the English has changed enough that people have a hard time understanding Old English.  I know when I read the original 1611, I have a harder time trying to figure out the English than what the passage is saying.  Here is a short history of how the English language has developed over time.
The Lords Prayer

(Matthew 6:9-13)

Late 9th century: Þū ūre fæder, þe eart on heofonum, sīe þīn nama gehālgod. Cume þīn rīce. Sīe þīn wylla on eorþan swā swā on heofonum. Syle ūs tōdæg ūrne dæghwāmlican hlāf. And forgief ūs ūre gyltas swā swā þē forgiefaþ þæ¯m þe wiþ ūs āgyltaþ. And ne læ¯d þū nū ūs on costnunge, ac ālīes ūs fram yfele.

Late 15th century: Oure fadir, þat art in heuenys, halewid be þi name. Þi kingdom come to. Be þi wile don ase in heuene and in erþe. ʒiue to us þis day oure breed ouer oþer substaunse. And forʒiue to us oure dettes, as and we forʒiuen to oure dettouris. And leede us not into temptaciouns, but delyuere vs from yuel.

The Year 1611: Our father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdome come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heauen. Giue vs this day our daily bread. And forgiue vs our debts, as we forgiue our debters. And lead vs not into temptation, but deliuer vs from euill: For thineis the kingdome, and the power, and the glory, for euer, Amen.

The Year 1769: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you must change the background color instead of using black background and white print just use it the other way around..