Bible translations into Scots

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To date, the Bible has not been completely translated into Lowland Scots. 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 However, this work remained unpublished, in manuscript form, and was known only to his family and Bible scholars.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.

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.

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.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "The Psalms frae Hebrew intil Scottis – Wee Windaes". Archived from the original on 10 September 2019. Retrieved 2020-08-23.