Anns an toiseach bha am Facal, agus bha am Facal còmhla ri Dia, agus b’ e am Facal Dia.
Eòin 1:1

The New Testament was first translated into Scottish Gaelic by Rev James Stuart, minister of Killin, and published in 1767 – barely 20 years after the battle of Culloden. His son John, minister of Luss, was the main translator of the Old Testament, completed in 1801. In recent years, the future of Gaelic in education and public life has received much attention as the language flourishes. However, the gap between everyday Gaelic in common use and the Gaelic in the most recent Bible edition continues to widen.

The distinction between ‘Bible Gaelic’ and ‘everyday Gaelic’ has become more marked with time, especially among younger Gaelic speakers, who tend to be less familiar with ‘pulpit Gaelic’ than their forebears.
Professor Donald Meek

The Scottish Bible Society, which has been the principal publisher of Gaelic Scriptures for over 150 years, consulted with scholars and church representatives before initiating a project to translate the New Testament. In November 2008, a team comprised of translators from the Church of Scotland, Free Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church, began their work.

We want to make the gospel message as clear today as when it was first written. Therefore we accepted it was time for a new translation from Greek into Gaelic. This fresh translation is aimed at a younger generation.
Elaine Duncan, Chief Executive, Scottish Bible Society

The new translation aims to combine faithfulness to the Greek original with vocabulary in normal use, and clarity with dignity. The work comes at a time of opportunity in the development of Gaelic.

As the translators worked through the New Testament they were very much aware of the importance that this new translation will have for education and for the churches.

Published products

The New Testament translation was completed in November 2017.

Initially it will be published digitally – on the website and You Version Bible app.

Print copies will be available to purchase in early 2018.  Sign up to our Gaelic translation work updates for the latest news, including when print copies will be available.

The Gospel of John was published in 2010.  The A6 size print copy is available to purchase from our online shop.

Scottish Gaelic website

For Scottish Gaelic speakers, please visit our Gaelic / English language website:



You may also like...