Saturday 2 February 2019

Mass readings in Scots: Fourth Sunday of the Year (Year C)

First reading
Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19

[The word o the Laird cam ti me i the days o Josiah, sayin:]
"Afore ye war formit i the bodie o yer mither A kent ye,
an afore yer birth A made ye halie;
A hae gien ye the wark o bein a prophet ti the nations.

"Sae mak yeirsells reddie,
an gae an say ti thaim awthing A gie ye orders ti say:
dinna be owercum bi fear o thaim,
or A wul send feir on ye afore thaim.
For see, this day hae A made ye
a wallit toun,
an an iron pillar,
an waws o brass,
agin aw the laund,
agin the keengs o Judah, agin its heid yins,
agin its priests, an agin the fowk o the laund.
Thai wul be fechtin agin ye,
but thai wulna owercum ye:
for A im wi ye, says the Laird,
ti gie ye salvation."

[Own translation, level 2 (22/2/19) methodology here]

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 70 (71): 1-6, 15, 17 (resp. v.15)

Ma mou will cry furth yer salvation.

In ye, O Laird, A hae pit ma howp;
lat me niver be shamed.
Haud me sauf in yer richtousness and come tae ma help;
tak tent tae ma vyce an sauf me.

Ma mou will cry furth yer salvation.

Be ma strang Fundament, 
the stranghaud o ma salvation;
for ye ar ma Fundament an ma girth an refuge.
O ma God, tak me oot the haund o the sinner, oot the haund o the ill an bad-myndit man.

Ma mou will cry furth yer salvation.

For ye ar ma howp, O Laird God;
A hae haen faith in ye frae A wis young.
Ye hae been ma uphaud frae the day o ma birth;
ye taen me oot ma mither's wame; ma ruise will aye be o ye.

Ma mou will cry furth yer salvation.

Ma mou will cry furth yer richtousness
an yer salvation the lee-lang day;
O God, ye hae been ma dominie frae A wis young;
An A hae been talkin o yer warks o wunner e'en till nou.

Ma mou will cry furth yer salvation.

[From Psalm 71, The Old Testament in Scots, vol. 3, The Books of Wisdom, [Job, Psaums, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Sang o Sangs] trans. Gavin Falconer and Ross G. Arthur (2014) (translation into Plain Scots under the auspices of the Ullans Academy) ISBN 978-1-78324-006-7. Amazon US here. Amazon UK here.]

Second reading
1 Corinthians 12: 31-13: 13

Bot follow ye the bettir spirituale giftis. And yit I schaw to yow a mare excellent way. 

Gif I speke with tungis of men and of angelis, and I haue nocht cheritee, I am made as bras soundand, 
or as a cymbale tinkiland.  And gif I haue prophecie, and knaw al mysteries, and al cunnyng, and gif I haue al faith, sa that I moue hillis fra thar place, and I haue nocht cheritee, I am nocht. And gif I depart al my gudis into the metis of pure men, and gif I betak my body, sa that I brenne, gif I haue nocht cheritee, it proffitis na thing to me. Cheritee is pacient, it is benigne; cherite inuies nocht, it dois nocht wickitlie, it is nocht blawnne, it is nocht couatous, it sekis nocht tha thingis that ar his awne, it is nocht sterit to wraithe, it thinkis nocht euile, it ioyis nocht on wickitnes, bot it ioies togiddir to treuth; it sufifris althingis, it beleues althingis, it hopes althingis, it sustenis althingis. 

Cherite fallis neuir downe, quhethir prophecies salbe voidit, outhir langages sal ceese, outhir science salbe destroyit. For a party we knaw, and a party we prophecie; bot quhen it sal cum that is perfite, that thing that is of party salbe avoidit. Quhen I was a litil child I vndirstude as a litil child, I thoucht as a litil childe: bot quhen I was made a man, I avoidit tha thingis that war of a litil child. And we se now be a myrrour in mirknes, bot than face to face, now I knaw of party, bot than I sal knaw as I am knawne.

And now duellis faith, hope, and cheritee, thir thre; bot the maast of thame is cheritee.

[From The New Testament in Scots Murdoch Nisbet [c.1520] (1903) vol 2 here]

Gospel reading
Luke 4:21-30

[Jesus entrit into a synagog and he began to say to thame,] "For in this day this scripture is fulfillit in your eres." And almen gaue witnessing to him, and wonndrit in the wordis of grace that com furth of his mouth . And thai said, "Quhethir this is nocht the sonn of Joseph?"

And he said to thame, "Suthlie, ye sal say to me this liknes, 'Leche, heil thi self.' " The Phariseis said to Jesu, "How gret thingis haf we herd done in Capharnaum, do thou alsa here in thi cuntree."

And he said, "Trewlie I say to you, that na prophet is resauet in his awne cuntree.

"In treuth I say to you, that mony wedois ware in the dais of Helie in Israel, quhen heuen was closit thre yeris and sex monethis, quhen gret hungire was made in al the erd; and to naan of thame was Helie send, bot into Sarepta, of Sidon, to a wedou. And mony lepirmen war in Israel vndire Helisee the prophet; and naan of thame was clenget, bot Naaman of Sirie.

Ande al in the synagog, herand thir thingis, ware fillit with jre (or greef), and thai raase, and drew
him out without the citee, and led him to the top of the hill on quhilk thare citee was biggit, to cast him doun. Bot Jesus passit and went throu the middis of thame.

[From The New Testament in Scots Murdoch Nisbet [c.1520] (1901) vol 1 here]


  1. Goodness, Lazarus; I didn't realise you had taken to rendering your own Scots translations of Scripture. Well done to you - and thank you for setting out your various methodologies with such clarity too.

    I guess I would argue that Lorimer has set the standard for Bible translation into a 'dense' Modern Scots, in a sense making a Scots truly fit for this purpose; therefore, any contemporary translator should be steeped in the NTS (although I would accept that Lorimer's use of accents is a debatable innovation).

    I know that if I was to attempt to translate parts of the Bible into Scots I would have to use the Nova Vulgata as my source text; otherwise I suspect the pull of English would be too strong to overcome.

    1. Thank you! To be honest, I've been trying to put it off producing my own versions as long as possible: Lorimer is indeed the gold standard and I can't live up to that. In truth, I'm more inspired by the Ulster-Scots (or as they put it 'Common Scots') version of much of the Old Testament by Falconer and Ross which adopted the belt and braces approach of getting something produced, however inadequate, rather than waiting for another Lorimer to come along. But if nothing else, it forces me to pay more attention to the Mass readings each Sunday, which can't be a bad thing!

    2. That's a very good point about the futility of waiting for another Lorimer: it would be to make the perfect an enemy of the good, I guess. I daresay that future decades may well see committed individuals fluent in Biblical Hebrew and/or NT Greek and capable of rendering Scripture into contemporary literary Scots; however, it's hard to imagine these translators - though they would be very welcome indeed on the Scottish scene - having the breadth and depth of Lorimer's learning (re. NTS Appendix III!).