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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Gaelic Version of the Scriptures

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This language is spoken in the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland. It was not till the year 1767 that a New Test. in the Gaelic tongue was provided for the Scotch. Highlanders in the translation of the Rev. James Stuart of Killin. The work was published at the expense of the Society in Scotland for Promoting Christian Knowledge. The first edition consisted of 10,000 copies, and a larger edition of 21,500 copies was issued by the same society in 1796. The next step of the society was to obtain a Gaelic version of the Old Test. To, facilitate the work, the Old Test. was divided into fourparts, two of which were allotted to the Reverend Dr. John Stuart, of Luss, the son of the translator of the New Test.; a third part, also, afterwards fell to his share, although it had in the first instance been executed by another hand. The remaining fourth part, consisting of the prophetical books, was translated by the Reverend Dr. Smith, of Campbelltown, and, on its completion, was found to differ altogether in style and execution from the other portion of the Bible translated by Dr. Stuart. The whole version was completed for the press in 1801. In consequence of many complaints concerning the discrepancy in style between the prophetical and the other books, the society resolved in their next edition to subject the prophetical books to a thorough revision,, that they might be rendered conformable to the other parts of the version. This plan was effected in 1807, and 20,000 copies of the Old together with the New Test. were printed at Glasgow, under the care of the Reverend Alexander Stewart, of Dingwall. In the same year the British and Foreign Bible Society published, in London, an edition, consisting of 20,000 Bibles and 10,000 Testaments, but not being sufficient to satisfy the urgent demands for more copies, from time to time other editions followed. The total number of Gaelic Bibles; and Testaments printed by the British and Foreigic Bible Society up to March 31, 1884, was 160,126. This number, however, does not include a supply of 50,500 Bibles and Testaments furnished to the Highlanders by other societies between 1810 and 1829. See Bible of Every Land, page 158. (B.P.)


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Gaelic Version of the Scriptures'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/g/gaelic-version-of-the-scriptures.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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