Scottish Gaelic Bible

The Scottish Bible Society has been the principal publisher of Gaelic Scriptures for over 150 years

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 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.

The new translation aims to combine combines faithfulness to the Greek original with vocabulary in normal use, and clarity with dignity. 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.

New Testament in the New Gaelic Translation

Printed in 2019, this translation aims to put the Word of God into contemporary Gaelic to enable every person who reads it to hear God’s voice speaking to them.

Hearing God’s Word in Scotland

In Summer 2022, we are working with Faith Comes by Hearing to produce an audio recording of this new translation, which will be made available free of charge on a variety of digital platforms. The recordings will take place in Edinburgh during July and Lewis in August.  

This new audio resource presents an incredible opportunity for the Bible to be heard in modern Gaelic in schools, churches, and the wider community.  

But the greatest resource that will make this recording possible are the Gaelic speaking community here in Scotland. All the characters and books of the New Testament will be voiced by Gaelic speakers from the community, bringing to life the Biblical text. It is a recording by the Gaelic speaking community for the Gaelic community.  

There are many practical aspects of the project in which we are seeking help. But our greatest need is prayer.  

Please pray for:  

  • Confident Gaelic readers and speakers who can read the different characters and texts.  
  • Gaelic “proof listeners” who will review the recording each day, checking the wording and pronunciation to ensure that what is recorded is clear and faithfully reflects the Biblical text.  
  •  A project assistant to work with the team during August in Lewis.  

For more information, or if you can help in any of these areas, please contact Adrian Armstrong, Head of Bible Engagement or call 0131 347 9814. 

Support the Gaelic Translation Work

Your support is vital to help the translation work continue. We appreciate any gift regardless of the amount.

Updates on the Gaelic Translation work

Volunteer Opportunities

For the project to be truly successful we need an army of volunteers! Could you help us in Edinburgh or Lewis as we look to record the Scottish Gaelic Audio New Testament?