His translation of the Satires of Horace made him known as a scholar, but his liberalism led to his suspension. He then went to London, where he became known to Baron Petre, who enabled him to proceed with a new translation of the Bible for English Roman Catholics, which he carried on as far as the Book of Second Chronicles and the Prayer of Manasseh which was published in 2 volumes (1792–1797). A translation of Psalms was published in 1807.
This was followed by Critical Remarks on the Hebrew Scriptures (1800), in which he largely anticipated the German school of Higher Criticism. The result of this publication was Geddes's suspension from all ecclesiastical functions.
He died without recanting, but received absolution at the hands of a French priest, though public mass for his soul was forbidden by the ecclesiastical powers.
He is buried next to the south-east corner of St. Mary's Church in Paddington, London.
- The Holy Bible, or the Books accounted sacred by Jews and Christians, otherwise called the books of the Old and New Covenant; faithfully translated from corrected texts of the originals. With various readings, explanatory notes, and critical remarks. By Alexander Geddes. (J. Davis, London. 1797).
- English translations of Homer
- "Geddes, Alexander (1737-1802)," from Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th Edition, 1911 (Online Encyclopedia asserted to have scanning errors, like LoveToKnow below). Site © 2006 - Net Industries.
- Alexander Geddes (LoveToKnow's Free Online Encyclopedia, © 2003, 2004 LoveToKnow.)
- History of Biblical Criticism (Higher)
- Geddes Bible Editions
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource
- According to The Cambridge history of eighteenth-century philosophy Geddes "was one of the great literary and biblical scholars of his day". (Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 704)
- Cf. Reginald C. Fuller, Alexander Geddes: A Pioneer of Biblical Criticism, 1737-1802, Toronto 1984, ISBN 0-907459-26-9).