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Bible translations into Scots

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The Bible has been completely translated into Lowland Scots, with parts also translated. In 1513-39 Murdoch Nisbet, associated with a group of Lollards, wrote a Scots translation of the New Testament, working from John Purvey's Wycliffite Bible. However, this work remained unpublished, in manuscript form, and was known only to his family and Bible scholars. It was published by the Scottish Text Society in 1901–5.[1][2] The first direct translation of a book of the Bible from one of the original languages, rather than a pre-existing English model was Peter Hately Waddell's The Psalms: frae Hebrew intil Scottis, published in 1871.[3][4]

William Lorimer, a noted classical scholar, produced the first New Testament translation into modern Scots from the original koine Greek (though, in an appendix, when Satan speaks to Christ, he is quoted in Standard English), and this work too was published posthumously, in 1983.

In the 1990's, Jamie Stuart published A Glasgow Bible, which is a collection of paraphrased Biblical stories into the Glaswegian dialect of Scots.

The Gospel of Luke has been published in Ulster Scots under the title Guid Wittins Frae Doctèr Luik. It was published in 2009 by Ullans Press, with the copyright held by the Ulster-Scots Language Society.

Gordon M. Hay, a retired solicitor, translated the both testaments into Doric. The New Testament in 2012, and then the Old Testament in 2023.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vincent, Helen (3 November 2010). "The first Scottish printed Bible". Rare Books @ NLS. Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  2. ^ G. Tulloch (1989). A history of the Scots Bible.
  3. ^ The Psalms in Scots : reprint of P Hately Waddell's The Psalms: frae Hebrew intil Scottis. Waddell, P. Hately (Peter Hately), 1816-1891. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. 1987. ISBN 0-08-035075-5. OCLC 16080959.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "The Psalms frae Hebrew intil Scottis – Wee Windaes". Archived from the original on 10 September 2019. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  5. ^ Scotland, The Church of (21 June 2023). "Retired solicitor completes 17-year translation of the Bible into Doric". The Church of Scotland. Retrieved 13 April 2024.