The Parable of the Prodigal Son in Middle English and Present-Day English

Wycliffe Bible (1389)     Audio

New International Version (1975) Audio

11 Forsothe he seith, Sum man hadde tweye sones;
12 And the 3ongere seide to the fadir, Fadir, 3yue to me the porcioun of substaunce, that byfallith to me. And the fadir departide to him the substaunce.
13 And not aftir manye dayes, alle thingis gederid to gidre, the 3ongere sone wente in pilgrymage in to a fer cuntree; and there he wastide his substaunce in lyuynge leccherously.
14 And aftir that he hadde endid alle thingis, a strong hungir was maad in that cuntree, and he bigan to haue nede.
15 And he wente, and cleuyde to oon of the citeseyns of that cuntree. And he sente him in to his toun, that he schulde feede hoggis.
16 And he coueitide to fille his wombe of the coddis whiche the hoggis eeten, and no man 3af to him.
17 Sothli he turned a3en in to him silf, seyde, Hou many hirid men in my fadir hous, han plente of looues; forsothe I perische here thur3 hungir.
18 I schal ryse, and I schal go to my fadir, and I schal seie to him, Fadir, I haue synned a3ens heuene, and bifore thee;
19 Now I am not worthi to be clepid thi sone, make me as oon of thi hyrid men.
20 And he rysinge cam to his fadir. Sothli whanne he was 3it fer, his fadir sy3 him, and he was stirid by mercy. And he rennynge to, felde on his necke, and kiste him.
21 And the sone seyde to him, Fadir, I haue synned a3ens heuene, and bifore thee ; and now I am not worthi to be clepid thi sone.

11 He said, "There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'
20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 The son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son."

Luke XV: 11-32

Old English (ca. 1000)

Middle English (1389)

Early Modern English (1611)

Present-Day English (1975)


Old English - Middle English

Middle English - Early Modern English

Old English - Modern English

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