Bible (Early Wycliffe)/Þe prolog of Joſue and of Judicum and of Ruþ
At þe laſt endid þe fyue bokis of Moiſes, as of greet boond delyuered, to Joſue, þe ſone of Naue, we putten hoond, whom Ebrews clepen Joſue Ben Nun, þat is, Joſue, þe ſone of Nun; and to þe book of Jugis, whom þei clepen Sophyn; and to Ruþ, and to Heſter, þe whiche wiþ þe ſame names þei tellen out. And we moneiſhen þe reder, þat þe wode of Ebrew names, and diſtyncciouns bi membris dyuydid þe biſy wryter keep wel, leſt and oure traueyl and þe ſtudie of hym peryſhe; and þat in þe fyrſt, þat oft Y haue witneſſid, wite he me not in to repreuynge of oold men newe þingis to ſtiþie, as my freendis putten blame; but for foul paart to offre of my tonge, to men, whom neuerþelater oure ſaumpleers delyten, þat for þe ſixe ſaumpleers of Greekis, þe whiche and neden coſt and mooſt traueil, haue þei oure makynge. And ȝife where euere þei dowten in redynge of oold volyms, þei togidre berynge þes to þilk, fynden þat þei ſechen; mooſt ſiþ anentys Latyns ſo feele ben ſaumpleers, how feele bokis, and echon after his doom oþer addide or wiþdrewe, þat is ſeen to hym; and forſoþe it may not be ſooþ þat diſcordiþ. Wherfor þe ſcorpioun ceeſe to ful ryſe aȝens vs wiþ crokid wounde, and leeue he of hooli werk to reproue wiþ venymyd tonge, or takynge if it pleſe, or diſpiſynge if it diſpleſe; and haue he mynde of þo verſe, Þi mouþ aboundide wiþ malice, and þi tonge wrouȝte trecheries; ſittynge aȝens þi broþer þow ſpeek, and aȝens þe ſone of þi moder þou puttiſt ſclaundre; þes þingis þow didiſt, and Y heelde my pees; þou eymediſt wickidli, þat Y ſhal be of þe lijk; Y ſhal vndurnyme þee, and ſette þee aȝens þi face. Forſoþe what profit is of þe herer, or of þe reeder, vs to ſweete in traueilynge, and to traueile in bacbytynge? oþer to ſoru þe Jewis, þat of chalengynge of hem and of ſcornynge Criſten be doon a wey occaſioun, and men of þe chirche it to diſpiſe, alſo and to tere, wherof aduerſaries ben tourmentid? And if þe oold oonliche interpretacioun pleſe to hem, þe which and to me diſpleſiþ not, and no þing þei wiþ out wenen to be taak; whi þo þingis þat vndur ſignes of a ſterre, and vndur ſignes of an arowe, or ben addyd, or kut awey, þei reden, and diſpiſen? Whi Danyel after þe tranſlacioun of Theodoſiun chirchis han reſſeyued? Whi Origen þei merueilen, and Euſebe of Pamphili, alle makyngis alſo expownynge? Oþer what foli was, after þat þei ſeiden ſooþ þingis, to brynge forþ þo þat ben fals? Where of forſoþe in þe Newe Teſtament þei mowen preue þe taken witneſſyngis, þe whiche in oold bokis ben not had? Þeſe þingis we ſeyn, leſt we ben ſeen vtterli to be ſtil to wrongful chalengers. Ferþermore after þe deeþ of þe holi womman Paule, whos lijf is ſaumple of vertue, and þes bokis, þe whiche to þe mayden of Criſt, Euſtochie, Y myȝte not denye, we han demed, while þe ſpiryt ſhal gouern þes lymes, to ſitten to þe explanacioun of þe prophetis, and to turnen aȝen to þe now long laft werk, as bi a maner turnynge aȝen after outlawynge; nameli ſiþ Pawmachie, an hooli man and merueilows, þis ſame þing aſkiþ bi lettres, and we, hiynge to þe contre, owen to ouerpaſſe wiþ a deef eer þe deþ berynge ſongis of mermynns.
Here eendiþ þe prolog of Joſue and Judicum and of Ruþ, and nowe bigynneþ þe book of Joſue.