Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Scriptures in Scots

A few people have asked me recently about Scots language translations of the Bible. Here are my recommendations, with links to Abebooks where you should be able to buy a copy (if the sellers currently have any copies listed).

1. For a general overview of the various translations there have been:
• Graham Tulloch's A History of the Scots Bible (first edition 1989) - click here

2. For the most accessible and most appropriate for Ulster readers:
• William Wye Smith's New Testament in Braid Scots (1901) - click here
• William Wye Smith's Four Gospels in Braid Scots (1979 edition, extracted from the above New Testament) - click here

3. For the technically brilliant, but hard to read (in my own opinion)
• William L Lorimer's New Testament in Scots (first edition 1983) - click here

4. A more recent paraphrase (ie, not a verse-by-verse translation, but a blend of all four Gospels into one story)
• Jamie Stuart's A Scots Gospel (first edition 1985) - click here

5. An old classic:
• P Hateley Waddell's The Psalms in Scots (1987 reprint of 1871 first edition) - click here

6: Obscure but very good:
• Henry Scott Riddell's The Book of Psalms in Lowland Scotch (1857) - click here

There are many more (including a reprint of Murdoch Nisbet's translation which he may have worked on for a time in Ulster) but these are the most well known.

For first timers I'd advise getting Smith's Four Gospels in Braid Scots as a starter and then see how you get on from there.