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The Lord's Prayer and the Evolution of English
Take what follows as a suggestion. Feel free to modify it in any way you think appropriate given the group with which you work. When you've finished, go to the main activity.
- Should you want to use oral versions of the Old or Middle English Lord's Prayer, either in place of or as supplements for the written versions above, they are available on the audio recording Documentary History of Broadcasting: 1920-1950: Radio Before Television from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Available on both CD and cassette (catalog #F-9171), this recording is a gem. It excerpts two programs from the Ways of Mankind, a series designed to explain key anthropological concepts to laymen. The shows on this recording deal with language (A Word in Your Ear) and art (I Know What I Like). Track 2 contains the Old and Middle English versions of The Lord's Prayer, as well as other tidbits relevant to this activity. If you want to present an audio recording of the King James version, find Kate Smith's rendition. It is great.
- The Lord's Prayer read (and written) in Old English is also available for online listening. To hear the entire prayer, visit http://www.pastperfect.org.uk/sites/yeavering/archive/prayerclip.html.
- In April 2001, Benson Bobrick published
Wide As the Waters : The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired
Hardcover - 384 pages (April 2001)
Simon & Schuster
It is a fascinating tale. Students will find it hard to believe that one was subject to execution for translating the Bible. If you want to listen to an exceptional interview with Bobrick, you can hear Terry Gross discuss the book with him on a Fresh Air program originally broadcast on April 18, 2001. Pay especially close attention to Terry's question at 25 minutes into the interview, and Bobrick's answer. The battle over the Bible is clearly not over, and Terry's question shows why.
On July 25, 2001, Bobrick was interviewed by Ray Suarez on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. You can read a transcript of that interview. You may also watch it in streaming video via a link on the transcript page.
On July 26, 2001, Paul O. Williams wrote a crystal clear overview of Bobrick's book in The Christian Science Monitor.
Bobrick's book is written for adults. If you're looking for a young adult version of part of his story, Scott O'Dell's The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt By Day should fill the bill. It is an action-packed mystery novel built around the life of William Tyndale.
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original web posting: Monday, December 20, 1999
last modified: Friday, April 02, 2010