News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Gordon M Hay Doric Bible banner.png
Church of Scotland
Gordon M Hay Doric Bible.png
Church of Scotland
World News

Churchgoer finishes a 17-year translation of the Bible into Doric

by Kelly Valencia

A retired solicitor and churchgoer has finished translating the Bible into Doric, the popular name for the Mid-Northern Scots language.

Born into a Doric-speaking farming family in Inverkeithny, Banffshire, Gordon M Hay has spent the last 17 years translating the Scriptures, first finishing the New Testament in 2012 and more recently, the Old Testament.

The 77-year-long has worked in translating books into the dialect for decades, publishing English nursery rhymes and the visitor’s guide to Aberdeen’s Gordon Highlanders’ Museum. He also translated Charles Dicken’s work for a world conference in Aberdeen in 2016.

Hay says he is delighted to have finished the mammoth task.

The final Old Testament translation is 758 pages long and has over 570,000 words.

Speaking about why Doric sounds so distinctive, Hay explained that it has elements from other European languages including French, and German from the links in the North East to trade with the Hanseatic League.

"To some extent it's Anglo-Saxon still in use in the North East. Until about 150 years ago when proper roads were built the North East was very cut off from the rest of the country," he added.

Since 2010 Mr Hay has had his text revised by Rev Melvyn Wood, a Church of Scotland minister based in Glasgow.

Rev Sheila Kirk, the Presbytery Clerk for the Presbytery of the North East and the Northern Isles, said: "This translation is a significant contribution to the cultural life of the north east and represents Gordon's deep love, knowledge and understanding of the language he grew up with.

"We are immensely proud of Gordon."

An extract from the Doric Bible reads:


“Aathin his it's sizzon, an for ilka thing ye dee aneth e hivvens there's a time:

2A time tae be born, an a time tae dee; a time tae shaav, an a time tae hairst; 3a time tae dee awa wi, an a time tae mak aa better; a time tae pu doon, an a time tae bigg up; 4a time tae greet, an a time tae lauch; a time tae moorn an a time tae dance; 5a time tae scatter steens, an a time tae gaither them up; a time tae gie a bosie, an a time tae haud back fae gien a bosie; 6a time tae sikk, an a time tae tine; a time tae haud on tae things, an a time tae fling awa; 7a time tae rive, an a time tae sort; a time tae be quait, an a time tae spik oot; 8a time tae loo, an a time tae hate; a time for waar, an a time for peace. 9Fit gweed dis e warker get fae aa his trachles? 10A've seen e birn att God his gien fowk tae keep them thrang. 11He's made aathin bonnie in it's time. He's gien fowk e sense o fit's gaen afore an fit's tae come, bit naebody can unnerstan God's wark fae e yokin till e hinnerein.”


A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email