The Difference a Translation Makes

The Lord gouerneth me, and no thing schal faile to me;

in the place of pasture there he hath set me.

He nurshide me on the watir of refreischyng;

he conuertide my soule.

He ledde me forth on the pathis of rightfulnesse; for his name.

For whi though Y schal go in the myddis of schadewe of deeth;

Y schal not drede yuels, for thou art with me.

Thi yerde and thi staf; tho han coumfortid me.

Thou hast maad redi a boord in my sight;

agens hem that troblen me.

Thou hast made fat myn heed with oyle;

and my cuppe, fillinge greetli, is ful cleer.

And thi merci schal sue me; in alle the daies of my lijf.

And that Y dwelle in the hows of the Lord; in to the lengthe of daies.

Coverdale Bible (1535)

The Lorde is my shepherde, I can wante nothinge.

He fedeth me in a grene pasture,

and ledeth me to a fresh water.

He quickeneth my soule,

& bringeth me forth in the waye of rightuousnes for his names sake.

Though I shulde walke now in the valley of the shadowe of death,

yet I feare no euell,

for thou art with me:

thy staffe & thy shepehoke comforte me.

Thou preparest a table before me agaynst mine enemies:

thou anoyntest my heade with oyle,

& fyllest my cuppe full.

Oh let thy louynge kyndnes & mercy folowe me all the dayes off my life,

that I maye dwell in the house off the Lorde for euer.

Bishop’s Bible (1568)

God is my sheephearde, therfore I can lacke nothyng:

he wyll cause me to repose my selfe in pasture full of grasse,

and he wyll leade me vnto calme waters.

He wyll conuert my soule:

he wyll bring me foorth into the pathes of righteousnesse for his name sake.

Yea though I walke through the valley of the shadowe of death,

I wyll feare no euyll:

for thou art with me, thy rodde and thy staffe be the thynges that do comfort me.

Thou wylt prepare a table before me in the presence of myne aduersaries:

thou hast annoynted my head with oyle,

and my cup shalbe brymme full. Truely felicitie and mercie shal folowe me all the dayes of my lyfe:

and I wyll dwell in the house of God for a long tyme.

King James Bible (1611)

The LORD is my shepheard, I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie downe in greene pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soule:

he leadeth me in the pathes of righteousnes, for his names sake.

Yea though I walke through the valley of the shadowe of death,

I will feare no euill:

for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staffe, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me, in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oyle,

my cuppe runneth ouer.

Surely goodnes and mercie shall followe me all the daies of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for euer.

By Wycliffe Bible (Purvey Edition, 1388)

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #43 in 1994]

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