¶ Then resorted unto him all the publicans and sinners, for to hear him. And the pharises, and scribes grudged saying: He received to his company sinners, and eateth with them. Then put he forth this similitude to them saying: What man of you having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them doth not leave ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after him which is lost, until he find him? And when he hath found him, he putteth him on his shoulders with joy: And as soon as he cometh home he calleth together his lovers, and neighbours saying unto them: rejoice with me for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Other what woman having x. grotes, if she lose one, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently, till she find it? And when she hath found it she calleth her lovers, and her neighbours saying: Rejoice with me, for I have found the grote which I had lost. Likewise I say unto you, joy shall be in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
¶ And he said: a certain man had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father: father give me my part of the goods that to me belongeth. And he divided unto them his substance. And not long after, the younger son gathered all that he had together, and took his journey into a far country, and there he wasted his goods with riotous living. And when he had spent all that he had, there rose a great dearth thorowout all that same land. And he began to lack. And he went, and clave to a citizen of that same country, which sent him to his field, to keep his swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the cods, that the swine ate: and no man gave him.
¶ Then he came to himself and said: how many hired servants at my father's have bread enough, and I die for hunger. I will arise, and go to my father, and will say unto him: father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, now am I not worthy to be called thy son, make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran unto him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him: father I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, neither am I worthy henceforth to be called thy son. Then said the father to his servants: bring forth that best garment, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring hither that fatted calf, and kill him, and let us eat and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is now found. And they began to make good chear.
¶ The elder brother was in the field, and when he came and drew nye to the house, he heard minstrelsy, and dancing, and called one of his servants, and asked what those things meant. He said unto him: thy brother is come, and thy father had killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in. Then came his father out, and entreated him, he answered and said to his father: Lo these many years have I done thee service, neither brake at any time thy commandment, and yet gavest thou me never so much as a kid to make merry with my lovers: but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy goods with harlots, thou hast for his pleasure killed the fatted calf. And he said unto him: Son, thou wast ever with me, and all that I have is thine: it was meet that we should make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again: and was lost, and is found.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526