1 Peter (Wycliffe – 1382)

The 1st Epistle of Peter
Wycliffe: The Early Version (1382)
1:01 Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen comelings of dispersion, of Pontus, of Galatia, of Cappadocia, of Asia, and of Bithynia,
1:02 after the prescience of God, the Father, into hallowing of the Spirit, into obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, grace and peace to you be multiplied.
1:03 Blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which after his great mercy begat us again into living hope, by the again-rising of Jesus Christ from dead,
1:04 into heritage uncorruptible, and undefouled, and that shall not fade, kept in heavens for you,
1:05 that in the virtue of God be kept by the faith into health, made ready to be shewed in the last time.
1:06 In which ye shall make joy, though it behooveth now a little to be sorry in diverse temptations;
1:07 that the proving of your faith be much more precious than gold, that is proved by fire; and be found into praising, and glory, and honour, in the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1:08 Whom when ye have not seen, ye love; into whom also now ye not seeing, believe; forsooth ye believing shall have joy withoutforth in gladness unnarrable, and glorified,
1:09 bringing again the end of your faith, the health of your souls.
1:10 Of which health prophets sought out, and ensearched, that prophesied of the grace to come into you,
1:11 seeking which or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ signified in them, before-telling the passions, that be in Christ, and the latter glories.
1:12 To whom it is shewed, for not to themselves, but to you they ministered those things, that now be told to you by them that evangelized to you by the Holy Ghost sent from heaven, into whom angels desire to behold.
1:13 For which thing be ye gird the loins of your soul, sober, perfect, and hope ye into that grace that is offered to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ,
1:14 as sons of obedience, not together likened to the former desires of your ignorance,
1:15 but like him that hath called you holy; that and yourselves be holy in all living;
1:16 for it is written, Ye shall be holy, for I am holy.
1:17 And if ye inwardly call him Father, the which without acception of persons deemeth after the work of each man, live ye in dread in the time of your pilgrimage in earth;
1:18 witting that not by corruptible gold, or silver, ye be bought again of your vain living of fathers’ tradition,
1:19 but by the precious blood as of the lamb undefouled and unspotted, Christ Jesus,
1:20 that was known before the making of the world, but he is shewed in the last times, for you
1:21 that by him be faithful in God; that raised him from dead men, and gave to him everlasting glory, that your faith and hope were in God.
1:22 Ye making chaste your souls in obedience of charity, in love of brotherhood; of simple heart love ye together more busily.
1:23 And be ye born again, not of corruptible seed, but of uncorruptible, by the word of living God, and dwelling into without end.
1:24 For each flesh is hay, and all the glory of it is as the flower of hay; the hay drieth up, and the flower fell down;
1:25 but the word of the Lord dwelleth into without end. Soothly this is the word, that is evangelized to you.
2:01 Therefore putting away all malice, and all guile, and simulations, and envies, and all detractions;
2:02 as now born young children, reasonable, without guile, covet ye milk of full teaching, that in it ye wax into health;
2:03 if nevertheless ye have tasted, that the Lord is sweet.
2:04 To whom ye going nigh, a quick stone, reproved soothly of men, but chosen of God, and honoured;
2:05 and yourselves as quick stones be above builded into spiritual houses, and an holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
2:06 For which thing the scripture holdeth, Lo! I shall put in Sion the highest stone, a corner stone, chosen, precious; and he that shall believe in him, shall not be confounded.
2:07 Therefore honour to you that believe; but to men that believe not, the stone whom the builders reproved, this is made into the head of the corner;
2:08 and the stone of hurting, and the stone of offence, to them that offend by word, neither believe, in which and they be put.
2:09 But ye be a chosen kin, a kingly priesthood, holy folk, a people of purchasing, that ye tell the virtues of him, that called you from darknesses into his wonderful light.
2:10 Which sometime were not a people of God, but now ye be the people of God; which had not mercy, but now ye have mercy.
2:11 Most dear, I beseech you, as comelings and pilgrims, to abstain you from fleshly desires, that fight against the soul;
2:12 having your conversation good among heathen men, that in that thing that they backbite of you, as of misdoers, they behold you of good works, and glorify God in the day of visitation.
2:13 Be ye subject to each creature of man, for God; either to the king, as precellent,
2:14 either to dukes, as to those that be sent of him to the vengeance of misdoers, forsooth to the praising of good deeds.
2:15 For so is the will of God, that ye doing well, make the unknowingness of unwise men to be dumb.
2:16 As free men, and not as having freedom the covering of malice, but as the servants of God.
2:17 Honour ye all men, love ye brotherhood, dread ye God, honour ye the king.
2:18 Servants, be ye subject in all dread to lords, not only to good and mild, but also to tyrants.
2:19 Forsooth this is grace, if for conscience of God any man suffereth sorrows, suffering unjustly.
2:20 For what grace is it, if ye sin, and be buffeted, and suffer? But if ye do well, and suffer patiently, this is grace with God.
2:21 For to this thing ye be called. For also Christ suffered for us, leaving to you example, that ye follow the steps of him.
2:22 Which did not sin, neither guile was found in his mouth.
2:23 Which, when he was cursed, cursed not; when he suffered, he menaced not; but he betook himself to him, that deemed him unjustly.
2:24 Which he himself suffered our sins in his body on the tree, that we be dead to sins, and live to rightwiseness, by whose wan wound ye be healed.
2:25 For ye were as sheep erring, but ye be now turned to the shepherd, and bishop of your souls.
3:01 Also women be subject to their husbands; that if any believe not to the word, by the conversation of women they be won without word.
3:02 And behold ye in dread your holy conversation.
3:03 Of which be not withoutforth curious adorning of hair, or doing about of gold, or adorning of clothing of vestments;
3:04 but that that is the hid man of heart, in uncorruptibility of quiet and mild spirit, which is rich in the sight of God.
3:05 For so sometime holy women hoping in God adorned themselves, and were subject to their own husbands.
3:06 As Sara obeyed to Abraham, calling him lord; of whom ye be daughters well doing, and not dreading any perturbation.
3:07 Also men together dwelling, after science, giving honour to the woman’s vessel, as to the more sick, as and to even-heirs of grace of life, that your prayers be not letted.
3:08 Forsooth in faith all of one understanding, in prayer be ye compassionate, lovers of fraternity, merciful, mild, meek;
3:09 not yielding evil for evil, neither cursing for cursing, but on the contrary blessing; for in this thing ye be called, that ye wield blessing by heritage.
3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, constrain his tongue from evil, and his lips, that they speak no guile.
3:11 And bow he from evil, and do good; seek he peace, and perfectly sue it.
3:12 For the eyes of the Lord be on just men, and his ears on the prayers of them; forsooth the cheer of the Lord is on men doing evils.
3:13 And who is it that shall harm you, if ye shall be good followers?
3:14 But and if ye suffer any thing for rightwiseness, ye be blessed; but dread ye not the dread of them, that ye be not distroubled.
3:15 But hallow ye the Lord Christ in your hearts, and evermore be ye ready to do satisfaction to each man asking you reason of that faith and hope that is in you, but with mildness and dread,
3:16 having good conscience; that in that thing that they backbite of you, they be confounded, which challenge falsely your good conversation in Christ.
3:17 Soothly it is better, if the will of God will, ye well doing, to suffer, than evil doing.
3:18 For also Christ once died for our sins, he just for unjust, that he should offer us to God, made dead in flesh, but made quick in Spirit.
3:19 For which thing he came in Spirit, and also to them that were closed together in prison;
3:20 which were sometime unbelieveful, when they abided the patience of God in the days of Noah, when the ark was made, in which a few, that is to say, eight souls were made safe by water.
3:21 The which thing and baptism of like form maketh us safe; not the putting away of the filths of flesh, but the asking of a good conscience in God, by the again-rising of our Lord Jesus Christ,
3:22 that is in the right half of God, he swallowing death, that we should be made heirs of everlasting life. He gone into heaven, and angels, and powers, and virtues, be made subject to him.
4:01 Therefore for Christ suffered in flesh, be ye also armed by the same thinking; for he that suffered in flesh ceased from sins,
4:02 that he live not now to the desires of men, but to the will of God, that that is more of time in flesh.
4:03 Soothly the time passed is enough to the will of heathen men to be ended, which walked in lecheries, and lusts, in much drinking of wine, in oft eatings, and drinkings, and unleaveful worshippings of idols.
4:04 In which now they be astonished, in which thing they wonder, for ye run not together into the same confusion of lechery, blaspheming.
4:05 And they shall give reason to him, that is ready to deem the quick and the dead.
4:06 For why for this thing to dead men it is evangelized also, that they be deemed soothly after men in flesh, but that they live after God in spirit.
4:07 Forsooth the end of all things shall nigh. Therefore be ye prudent, and wake ye in prayers;
4:08 before all things have ye charity each to other in yourselves all-gates lasting; for charity covereth the multitude of sins.
4:09 Hold ye hospitality together without grutching;
4:10 each man as he hath received grace, ministering each to other, as good dispensers of the manifold grace of God.
4:11 If any man speaketh, speak he as the words of God; if any man ministereth, as of the virtue which God ministereth; that God be honoured in all things by Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom is glory and lordship into worlds of worlds. Amen.
4:12 Most dear, do not ye go in pilgrimage in fervor, that is made to you into temptation, as if any new thing befall to you;
4:13 but ye communing to the passions of Christ, have joy, that and ye gladding withoutforth, have joy in the revelation of his glory.
4:14 If ye be despised for the name of Christ, ye shall be blessed; for that that is of the glory and virtue of God, and the Spirit that is his, resteth on you.
4:15 Forsooth no man of you suffer as a manslayer, or a thief, or curser, or desirer of other men’s things;
4:16 but if he suffer as a christian man, shame he not, but glorify he God in this name.
4:17 For time is, that doom begin of God’s house; and if it begin first at us, what end shall be of them, that believe not to the gospel?
4:18 And if a just man scarcely shall be saved, where shall the unpious man and sinner appear?
4:19 And so, and they that suffer after the will of God, betake their souls in good deeds to the faithful maker of nought.
5:01 Therefore I, even-elder and a witness of Christ’s passions, beseech the elder men that be in you, which also am a communer of that glory that shall be shewed in time to come,
5:02 feed ye the flock of God, that is among you, purveying not constrainingly, but willfully, after God; not for love of foul winning, but willfully,
5:03 neither as having lordship in the clergy, but made form of the flock, and of intent.
5:04 And when the prince of shepherds shall appear, ye shall receive the crown of glory, that shall never fade.
5:05 Also ye younger men, be subject to elder men, forsooth all shew ye together meekness; for the Lord withstandeth proud men, but he giveth grace to meek men.
5:06 Therefore be ye meeked under the mighty hand of God, that he raise you in the day of visitation,
5:07 ye casting into him all your busyness, for to him is care of you.
5:08 Be ye sober, and wake ye, for your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion goeth about, seeking whom he shall devour.
5:09 Whom against stand ye, strong in the faith, witting the same passion to be done to that your brotherhood, that is in the world.
5:10 And God of all grace, that called you into his everlasting glory, you suffering a little in Christ Jesus, he shall perform, shall confirm, and shall make firm.
5:11 To him be glory and lordship, into worlds of worlds. Amen.
5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother to you as I deem, I wrote shortly; beseeching, and witnessing that this is the very grace of God, in which ye stand.
5:13 The church that is gathered at Babylon greeteth you well, and Marcus, my son.
5:14 Greet ye well together in holy kiss. Grace be to you all that be in Christ. Amen.
1. Terence P. Noble