Information about this edition
Edition: Original manuscripts from 1380's
Source: Wesley Center Online
Contributor(s): BirgitteSB David Haslam
Level of progress: Complete
Notes: Information about Wycliffe's Bible on Wikipedia.
A more authorative source to proofread from may be this Oxford: University press, 1850. scholarly edition.
Scanned facsimiles thereof in several formats:

vol. 1 (Genesis-2 Samuel) • vol. 2 (1 Kings-Psalms) • vol. 3 (Proverbs-2 Maccabees) • vol. 4 (New Testament)


Versification of 3 Esdras edit

Today I made some corrections to the versification of 3 Esdras. Details described in its talk page. Recorded here too in case anyone who has used this source in the past. David Haslam (talk) 17:08, 25 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

This was followed by versification corrections to several further books, mainly consisting of shifting misplaced chapter headings and adjusting the chapter numbers in corresponding verse tags. David Haslam (talk) 08:08, 27 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Missing verses in the Wycliffe Bible edit

Here is a list of missing verses, relative to the versification of the Vulgate: (using more familiar book names)

Genesis 3:21
Genesis 8:8
Genesis 46:34
Exodus 15:27
Exodus 29:43
Exodus 35:34-35
Leviticus 15:33
Leviticus 22:17-18
Numbers 2:2
Numbers 28:30
Numbers 30:17
Numbers 33:23
Judges 4:6
Judges 4:16
Judges 4:24
I Samuel 4:3
I Samuel 16:17
I Samuel 17:4
I Samuel 20:43
I Samuel 21:15
I Kings 13:34
I Kings 21:29
II Chronicles 9:31
II Chronicles 26:12
II Chronicles 35:26-27
Ezra 10:38
Nehemiah 7:73
Nehemiah 11:9
Tobit 7:20
Judith 1:11
Judith 8:5
Esther 3:15
Job 6:7
Job 8:9
Job 42:16
Psalms 15:11
Psalms 42:6
Psalms 66:8
Psalms 91:16
Psalms 125:7
Psalms 135:27
Psalms 146:11
Song of Solomon 6:6
Sirach 8:22
Sirach 42:26
Jeremiah 11:9
Baruch 4:3-4
Baruch 4:20
Ezekiel 43:15
I Maccabees 11:4
II Maccabees 3:40
Matthew 10:32
Matthew 20:27
Matthew 22:6
Mark 2:28
Luke 7:42
John 11:57
John 15:27
Acts 5:42
Romans 6:23
Romans 15:33
II Corinthians 1:24
Galatians 3:20
Galatians 5:26
I Thessalonians 4:18
II Thessalonians 2:17
II Timothy 3:17
I Peter 4:19
III John 1:15
Revelation of John 10:11
I Esdras 1:38

These two books usually found in the Vulgate are not present in this document:

II Esdras (1:1-16:78)
Additional Psalm (1:1-7) – also known as Psalm 151.

The Prayer of Manasses appears as II Chronicles 37.1 (as a single verse rather than 15 verses).

David Haslam (talk) 08:16, 27 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

The prayer of Manassas has 14 verses(verse 15 is part of verse 14) JustinCB (talk) 15:52, 28 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

Verses present that are not in the Vulgate versification edit

The following verses are present, but have verse numbers beyond the versification for the Vulgate in the respective chapters.

Deuteronomy 27:27
II Chronicles 37 (extra chapter inappropriately assigned for the Prayer of Manasses)
Esther 5:15
Psalms 38:15
Psalms 147:10
Luke 10:43

David Haslam (talk) 08:22, 27 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

I should note that verse numbers were not used in either the earlier or later version of the Wycliffe Bible in the fourteenth century. Each chapter consisted of one unbroken block of text. There were not even any paragraphs. Hence whatever verse numbers we now have in modern editions have been added retrospectively by comparison with other English Bibles and the Latin Vulgate. David Haslam (talk) 08:48, 27 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
Furthermore, there are a few instances where the end of a sentence in one Wycliffe verse actually corresponds to the beginning of the next KJV verse (and most other translations too). I have not attempted to list these locations. David Haslam (talk) 08:55, 27 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

If the Prayer of Manassass was there in the original Wycliffe bible, it should not be moved on wikisource. JustinCB (talk) 15:58, 28 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

Typography and source text edit

The document at present does not make use of any archaic letters found in Middle English orthography. This is unlike the above linked Oxford University 1850 edition which does at least make use of "ȝ" the small Latin letter Yogh. It seems to me that the Oxford 1850 editon is not based on the same version of the Wycliffe Bible as this document, and not merely on account of typography differences. Wycliffe's Bible was edited during the fourteenth century by John Purvey, such that it's possible to speak of a later edition as well as an earlier edition. David Haslam (talk) 08:43, 27 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Evidently, in the text from the Wesley Center Online, the letter Yogh was simply replaced by the letter 'y'. David Haslam (talk) 10:31, 27 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
The text from the Wesley Center Online was based to a large extent on the earlier digitisation work of Sergej A. Fedosov at his now defunct Slavic Bible website - which was displayed in Russian but the menu includes an English page option. The old site can be explored via the Wayback Machine using Slavic Bible instead. The last snapshot was on 2010-02-22 and the earliest on 2001-12-04.
The English page gave this information:
We prepared new CD-ROM with next Bible translations in HTML format:
   West Saxon Gospels 990, 1175
   John Wycliffe Bible 1384, 1395
   William Tyndale (Pentateuch, Jonah & NT) 1530-1534
   Coverdale Bible 1535
   Great Bible 1540
   Thomas Matthew B 1549
   Bishops' Bible 1568
   Geneva Bible 1587
   Rheims-Douai Bible
   Richard Challoner 1750-52
   New Testaments: D. Mace (1729), J. Wesley (1755) & J. Worsley (1770)
   Webster Bible 1833
   Leicester Ambrose Sawyer (NT) 1858
Aside: Version 1.0 of the SWORD module Wycliffe Bible was made from the text obtained from Slavic Bible in 2002. David Haslam (talk) 13:43, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
An issue with Fedosov's work was that he didn't transcribe the line over vowels that represented a n, or m -- so some of the Middle English texts had a lot of hi meaning him, the meaning them, wet meaning went etc..., where these are not spellings that the printer used. He also transcribed the þt, þe and such thorn symbols as ye, yt instead of the, that, etc..., but he also transcribed the ampersand symbol (&) as "and". This affects some of the other texts, and not so much the Wycliffe. Even so, the transcription of the letter Yogh as Y is probably down to Fedosov. David Haslam (talk) 13:50, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
Here is a still working link to one 2009 snapshot of the Wycliffe Bible from the Slavic Bible site at the Wayback Machine. David Haslam (talk) 13:57, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

As is often the case on the World Wide Web, websites disappear entirely, or they merely move to a different URL. Fedosov's website did the latter, but I only just found out. Here is the current Slavic Bible site. David Haslam (talk) 14:40, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Online for Wycliffe he still only has the Pentateuch and four Gospels. See [1] David Haslam (talk) 12:53, 31 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

I think that we should try to use the original spelling with the original letters. Transcribing yogh as y is not always correct, as it was sometimes pronounced as the ch in loch. Thorn as th is always correct, though, but I would prefer that we use the original spelling. Another, slightly more correct way would be to transcribe yogh as y or gh depending on which one is right; although, if we did that, we might as well modernise v and u and j and i. JustinCB (talk) 15:19, 28 July 2017 (UTC)Reply

The Prayer of Manasses edit

I just have versified the Prayer of Manasseh into 14 separate verses in 2 Paralipomenon 37. See the respective talk page for rationale. David Haslam (talk) 15:48, 28 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Useful links for Wycliffe Bibles edit

The Wycliffe Bibles section of this page has some useful research links. Links last updated in 2011. David Haslam (talk) 14:47, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Here are its links to scanned facsimiles for the OUP 1850 Forshall and Madden edition of the Wycliffe Bible versions:
These are available to download in multiple formats. David Haslam (talk) 16:22, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Inline notes (Fedosov transcription) edit

Although further research is required, I know for a fact that for the Pentateuch and the Gospels, the Fedosov transcription included 299 inline notes (as of 2002). It's likely that the complete Wycliffe Bible available at the Slavic Bibles site still has these and more. The fact that the conversion from the text at the Wesley Center Online has meant that the Wikisource document currently lacks these notes really ought to be remedied. I'm fairly confident that the already observed notes can be inserted by means of an offline scripting method. Meanwhile, we should find out how much more content is now available in the online text these 15 years later. David Haslam (talk) 16:33, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Just added 10 such inline notes in Genesis. My proposed method was 100% successful. The notes are in chapters 6,29,30,39,41,43. I will leave it for a while before adding notes to the other 4 books in the Pentateuch. David Haslam (talk) 17:36, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
Also added 4 notes in Mark 8, Luke 8,14, John 5. David Haslam (talk) 17:49, 29 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
Yesterday, I discovered that there were already a few notes in this Wikisource document. These are in the books 2 Kings, Job and Tobit. Before I add any further notes, I will change these to use wiki markup. David Haslam (talk) 07:44, 30 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
Done! A total of 14 existing notes have been marked up. David Haslam (talk) 07:58, 30 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
Added notes to Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Not quite finished, as some search patterns failed, possibly due to line breaks within verse text, or some such niggle. I can use my offline log files to locate the places where notes still need to be added. David Haslam (talk) 13:17, 30 March 2017 (UTC)Reply
The "niggle" turned out to be multiple whitespace within verse text. After I reduced each of these to a single space and reran my offline replacement filter, the remaining search patterns were caught OK. David Haslam (talk) 14:26, 30 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Summary of added notes per book:

Genesis		 11
Exodus		 61
Leviticus	 58
Numbers		 79
Deuteronomy	 86
Mark		  1
Luke		  2
John		  1
	Total	299

David Haslam (talk) 14:41, 30 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Words containing the gh digraph edit

If the letter Yogh was largely replaced in Modern English orthography by the gh digraph, then we should expect very few words in the Wycliffe Bible containing gh. Here are the results:

00001	brought
00001	donghille
00009	dunghil
00001	flight
00001	Ghost
00001	light
00001	neighbore
00001	stronghold
00001	Though
00001	upright
00001	wrought

Three of these can be discounted immediately as being not the digraph but the junction of a two syllable word.

00001	donghille
00009	dunghil
00001	stronghold

That leaves just these:

00001	brought
00001	flight
00001	Ghost
00001	light
00001	neighbore
00001	Though
00001	upright
00001	wrought

Eight words in total. Quite remarkable!
David Haslam (talk) 12:48, 31 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Many words, yogh is incorrectly transcribed as y, and it's possible those were slightly more correctly transcribed and yoghs, or fully correctly transcribed. JustinCB (talk) 23:08, 11 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Pronunciation of Middle English edit

There are several places online where one can learn how to pronounce Middle English words. Here's one that's useful:

It's oriented to Geoffrey Chaucer rather than John Wycliffe. David Haslam (talk) 12:46, 31 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

The grave accent in this transcription edit

Within the document there are many words that are prefixed by the grave accent. Out of a vocabulary size of 21953, only 1122 words ever have the accent prefixed in this way, or just over 5.1%. It's not yet clear to me what quality the grave accent was used to denote phonetically. David Haslam (talk) 13:04, 31 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

It's possible that they were used to denote the beginning of a short multi-word phrase with an alternate reading(in other manuscripts), as (apperently) in the 1850 transcription(the end and single word and longer variations being signefied by a superscript letter, or [more rarely] two letters) JustinCB (talk) 23:08, 11 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Front matter, end matter and prologs in the Oxford 1850 edition edit

The Oxford 1850 edition contains several further parts in addition to the Biblical text.

Before Genesis it has:

omitted front matter

At the start of Joshua, it has:

The prolog of Josue.

At the start of I Kings, it has:

Here bigynneth the prolog of the foure bokis of Kyngis.

At the start of I Paralipomenon, it has:

The Prolog in the first boke of Paralipomenon.
An other Prolog.

At the start of II Paralipomenon, it has:

Here bigynneth the Prologe in the secounde Paralipomenon

At the start of I Esdras, it has:

[Prologue to the books of Esdras.]
Another prolog.

At the start of Tobit, it has:

Here begynneth proloug of Tobie.

At the start of Judith, it has:

An nother prolog of Judith.

At the start of Esther, it has:

Here bigynneth a prolog on the booc of Ester.

At the start of Job, it has:

Incipit prologus in libro Job.
Anothir prolog.

At the start of Psalms, it has:

Incipit prologus in librum Psalterij.
Another prolog.

At the start of Proverbs, it has:

Heere bygyneth the prologe in the booc off Prouerbys.

At the start of Ecclesiastes, it has:

Heere gynneth the prologe in the boc of Ecclesiastes, that is to sey, boc of talker to the puple, or togidere clepere.

At the start of Wisdom, it has:

Heer gynneth the prolog in the booc of Wisdam.

At the start of Ecclesiasticus, it has:

Heer gynneththe prologe in the booc of Ecclesiastici.
This section is not yet completed.

David Haslam (talk) 13:52, 31 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Those prologues were omitted from the transcription which also incorrectly transcribes yogh(Ȝ/ȝ) as y. JustinCB (talk) 13:58, 9 January 2018 (UTC)Reply

You also didn't mention the Prologue(which is part of the Wycliffe Bible, not the front matter). It's translated at Translation:Wycliffite Prologue(mostly my work). JustinCB (talk) 12:01, 10 April 2018 (UTC)Reply

Should the Preier of Jeremye be Baruch chapter 6 ? edit

That book is usually (in Catholic Bibles) put there. Should we put it there? JustinCB (talk) 22:05, 1 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

Having it as a separate book is correct if this is how it appeared in the originally distributed copies during the Lollard period. For present day practical purposes, moving it into Baruch 6 would only be required "down stream" by developers that use this as the source text to make a Bible software module, where perhaps the Vulgate versification is the only close approximation available. e.g. For the purposes of making a SWORD module, this was done in the derived USFM and OSIS XML files. Even so, it was not deemed appropriate to "back engineer" this adaptation by making the same change here in WikiSource. David Haslam (talk) 21:58, 11 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Is this why we added versification to the book? JustinCB (talk) 23:08, 11 October 2017 (UTC)Reply

Yes - it's why the complete Bible has chapter and verse numbers applied here, even though the original work had no verse numbers. David Haslam (talk) 15:18, 9 January 2018 (UTC)Reply

Burgh town edit

Does this phrase(burgh is probably spelled "bury" or "buroy", and town is "town" or "toun") appear more than once in this version? JustinCB (talk) 14:06, 9 January 2018 (UTC)Reply

The word "town" with these variants is found: (from my counted words list)
00011 toun
00001 tounes
00005 tounnes
00001 tounnus
00008 town
00087 townes
00001 townus
Neither the word "bury" nor any variants were found. David Haslam (talk) 15:15, 9 January 2018 (UTC)Reply
I was wondering if 3 Esdras 6:23 is the only verse with this phrase. It reads(phrase in bold): "Thanne kyng Darie comaundid to ben ynwardly souyt in the libraries; and ther was founden in Egbathanys, a borouy town, that is in the myddil regioun, a place, in the whiche weren wreten thes thingis." This phrase appears in the early version as follows:
00001 burȝtouns
00002 burȝ town
00002 burȝ towns
00003 burȝ toun
00004 burȝ touns
00001 burȝtoun
00001 burȝ townes
00002 burȝ tounys
00001 burȝtoun
00001 borow townes
Note that the dialect is slightly different in the early version and this version, and it incorrectly transcribes "Ȝ" as "Y" and "ȝ" as "y". JustinCB (talk) 20:50, 9 January 2018 (UTC)Reply
@David Haslam: Can you confirm that it doesn't appear anywhere else? JustinCB (talk) 11:58, 10 April 2018 (UTC)Reply