The Lord’s Prayer in Early English

Le "Pater Noster" by James Tissot

Le “Pater Noster” by James Tissot

I found these interesting. See how the English language has changed through these samples of the Lord’s Prayer:

Old English (7th cent):

Fader usær thu arth in Heofnas sic gehalgad noma thin to cymeth ric thin, sie willo thin suæ is in Heofno and in Eortho. Hlaf userne oferwistlic sel us to dæg, and forgef us scyltha usra suæ use forgefon scylgum usum. And ne inlead usith in costnunge. Ah gefrig usich from yfle.

Middle English (13th cent):

Fader oure that art in heve, i-halgeed bee thi nome, i-cume thi kinereiche, y-worthe thi wylle also is in hevene so be on erthe, oure iche-dayes bred ȝif us to day, and forȝif us oure gultes, also we forȝifet oure gultare, and ne led ows nowth into fondingge, auth ales ows of harme. So be it.

Early Modern English (16th cent):

Oure fadir, that art in heuenes, halewid be thi name : thy rewme come to thee : be thi wille do as in heuene and in erthe : oure eche daies breed ȝyue us to day : and forȝyue us oure dettis, as we forȝeuen to oure dettouris : and ne lede us into temptacioun : but delyuere us fro yuel. So be it.

Early Modern English – King James Version (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 thine is the kingdome, and the power, and the glory, for euer, Amen.


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