In Conclusion


Ye be light of the world…for many be called, but few be chosen…a prophet is not without honour, but in his own country…He that is not against us, is for us…Suffer ye little children to come to me, and forbid ye them not, for of such is the kingdom of God…how hard it is for men that trust in riches to enter in to the kingdom of God…My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?…Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to each creature…And Mary said, Lo! the handmaid of the Lord…ask ye, and it shall be given to you; seek ye, and ye shall find; knock ye, and it shall be opened to you…for lo! the realm of God is within you…Those things that be impossible with men, be possible with God…Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do…In the beginning was the word…He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not…And the word was made man, and dwelled among us…Truly, truly, I say to thee, but a man be born again, he may not see the kingdom of God…For God loved so the world, that he gave his one begotten Son, that each man that believeth in him perish not, but have everlasting life…I am bread of life…I am the light of the world…ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…I am a good shepherd…I and the Father be one…And Jesus wept…I am way, truth, and life…As my Father loved me, I have loved you…I have overcome the world…My kingdom is not of this world…What is truth?…For in him we live, and move, and be…For we deem a man to be justified by faith, without works of the law…For the wages of sin is death…If God be for us, who is against us?…ye be the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you…If I speak with tongues of men and of angels, and I have not charity, I am made as brass sounding, or a cymbal tinkling…When I was a little child, I spake as a little child, I understood as a little child, I thought as a little child…and I shall walk among them; and I shall be God of them, and they shall be a people to me…And now live not I, but Christ liveth in me…I have kept the faith…be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only…as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is deadfor your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion goeth about, seeking whom he shall devour… that one day with God is as a thousand years, and a thousand years be as one day…Lo! I stand at the door, and knock; if any man heareth my voice, and openeth the gate to me, I shall enter to him, and sup with him, and he with me…And he said to me, It is done; I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. 


     John Wycliffe and John Purvey wrote all of these famous words more than 600 years ago.  More than two centuries later, the most beloved and revered Bible translation of all time, the “King James” or “Authorized” Version, was published.  It contains many similar, and numerous identical, phrases.  But no where are the brilliant contributions of Wycliffe and Purvey credited.   Bible historians followed the lead of the KJV translators and denigrated and dismissed their masterful work.

     These particular phrases are far from obscure.  In fact, they constitute the very essence of the New Testament.  After modernizing the spelling, only four replacement words – appropriate, understandable modern words substituting for obsolete, “dead” Middle English words – were needed to make all of these 14th century passages fully comprehensible.  (The replacement words are printed in boldface: “with”, “know”, and “one” are found in both their obsolete and modern forms throughout the “Later Version”; “omega” is only found in its obsolete form.)  All of the other words, in precisely the order that you see them here, are found in the “Later Version” of the “Wycliffe Bible”Clearly, the replacement words do not create the consistency between the “Later Version” and the KJV.  Even if no replacement words were utilized, the dependence of the latter upon the former would be undeniable.  That is intrinsic to both.

     As previously stated, translation is an inexact science.  Phrases, even individual words, can be rendered numerous ways (witness the multiplicity and diversity of translations of the New Testament currently available).  So when we find so many similar sentences in the King James Version of the New Testament, it is no accident and it is more than mere coincidence.

     Simply put, based on these passages alone, one can unequivocally state that the KJV could not have been written without careful study of the “Later Version” of the “Wycliffe Bible”.  The foregoing 600+ pages demonstrate this point ad infinitum.  They also provide ample evidence that the “Early Version” of the “Wycliffe Bible” was also utilized innumerable times.  The word choice, word order, verb forms, phrase order, even the punctuation of the KJV New Testament, could not have been written as is, without repeated reference to both versions of the “Wycliffe Bible”.  That is the great discovery found within Wycliffe’s New Testament.  And that is the historical wrong that has now been righted.

     But let us go one step further.  Put aside all considerations of influence upon the KJV, and simply judge the Wycliffe New Testament on its own merits.  In this regard alone, it stands as a work of genius, deserving our respect, indeed our awe.  The Wycliffe New Testament is an honourable, memorable, worthy, first English vernacular translation of the New Testament.  And its authors, John Wycliffe and John Purvey, have earned their standing in the pantheon of English Literature, alongside such luminaries as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Tyndale, and the translators of the King James Version of the Bible.