THE 23RD PSALM—HOW ENGLISH HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST 1000 YEARS. Annalisa sent me this example of how English has changed in the last 1000 years.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He lets me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me to still waters.
King James Bible (1611)
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
Middle English (1100 to 1500)
Our Lord gouerneth me and nothyng shall defailen to me.
In the sted of pastur he sett me there.
He norissed me upon water of fyllyng.
Old English (800 to 1066)
Drihter me raet ne byth me nanes godes wan.
And he me geset on swythe good feohland.
And fedde me be waetera stathum.
I posted here about different views on when a language equivalent to modern English first appeared. John McWhorter thinks late 1600’s; Annie Mabillard thinks 1450. These excerpts provide more support for the 1600’s.
Of course, differences in interpretation of the sense of the language being translated should be taken into account.