Texts

Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna‘The book of the Old Testament’

Ó Cionga (Muircheartach) • Bedell (William)
  • Modern Irish
  • prose
17th-century Irish translation of the Old Testament, commissioned and supervised by the Anglican bishop William Bedell (d. 1642) and published posthumously in 1685, financed by Robert Boyle.
Title
Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna
‘The book of the Old Testament’
In full: Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna, ar na dtarruing on teanguidh ughdarach go Gaidhlig tré chúram agus sáothar, an doctúr Uilliam Bhedel.
Author
Muircheartach Ó CiongaÓ Cionga (Muircheartach)
(c.1562– c.1639)
King (Murtagh)
Member of an Irish family of bardic poets and scribes, whose services were enlisted by William Bedell for the translation of the Old Testament into Irish.
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William BedellBedell (William)
(d. 1642)
English churchman, bishop of Kilmore, Co. Cavan (Church of Ireland); commissioned and assisted an Irish translation of the Old Testament (Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna), printed in 1684.
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William Bedell appointed Muircheartach Ó Cionga (Murtagh King), together with an assistant (Séamas de Nógla), to carry out the translation. Bedell would then edit the text.
Contributors
Séamas de Nóglade Nógla (Séamas)
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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(translating, assisting)al. James Nangle, assistant to Muircheartach Ó Cionga
Donnchadh Ó SioradáinÓ Sioradáin (Donnchadh)
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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(assisting)Donnchadh Ó Sioradáin, whose anglicised name appears as Dennis (O')Sheridan. According to Anthony Dopping, bishop of Meath, he collaborated with Ó Cionga. After Bedell died in 1642, he rescued some of his papers and manuscripts, including one of the Irish translation of OT.
Narcissus MarshMarsh (Narcissus)
(1638–1713)
English churchman in the Church of Ireland, who served as bishop of Ferns and Leighlin (1683–1689), archbishop of Cashel (1691–1694), archbishop of Dublin (1694–1703) and finally as archbishop of Armagh (1703–1713). He founded Marsh's Library in Dublin.
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Andrew FitzJohn SallSall (Andrew FitzJohn)
(1624–1682)
Irish Jesuit, Church of Ireland convert, who was involved in bringing the Irish Bible to publication.
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Pól Ó hUiginnÓ hUiginn (Pól)
(1628–1724)
Higgins (Paul)
Irish Jesuit and scholar, Church of Ireland convert, who was involved in bringing the first Irish translation of the Old Testament to publication.
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(publishing)
Robert BoyleBoyle (Robert)
(1627–1691)
Anglo-Irish scientist, natural philosopher, a son of Richard, first earl of Cork (d. 1643); a devout Anglican who financed the printing of the Irish Bible.
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(patronage, financing)Boyle financed the printing of ‘Bedell's Bible’, including the Old Testament in Irish, but excluding the translations made of the apocryphal books. He commissioned an Irish font based on Louvain A, which was cut by Joseph Moxon.
Robert EveringhamEveringham (Robert)
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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(printing)London, 1685.
Manuscripts
Language
  • Modern Irish
Date
17th century
Form
prose (primary)

Classification

Sources

Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[print] Bedell, William, Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna: ar na dtarruing on teanguidh ughdarach go Gaidhlig tré chúram agus sáothar, an doctúr Uilliam Bhedel, 1685.
The original printed book
[reprint] Bedell, William, and William O'Domhnuill, Biobla naomhtha: ann a bhfuilid an tSean Tiomnadh...Uilliam Bhedel / agus an Tiomna Nuadh...Uilliam O Domhnuill, London: British and Foreign Bible Society, 1817.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive – NT: <link>
19th-century print
[reprint] Bedell, William, Leabhuir an tSean Tiomna: ar na dtarruing on teanguidh ughdarach go Gaidhlig tré chúram agus sáothar, an doctúr Uilliam Bhedel, Dublin: British and Foreign Bible Society, 1827.
Internet Archive: <link>
19th-century print
[ed.] Ó Cuinn, Cosslett, Scéalta as an apocrypha, Dublin: Stationery Office, 1971.
Edits a number of texts excluded from the printed publication: Bel and the dragon, Susanna and the Elders, and the Book of Tobit.
[ed.] Ó Madagáin, Breandán, “[Review of: Ó Cuinn, Cosslett, Scéalta as an apocrypha, Dublin: Stationery Office, 1971]”, Studia Hibernica 14 (1974): 181–187.
184–187 Text of Book of Baruch ch. 2, from Cambridge MS, ff. 342-343 (with variants from Marsh, Z 4.2.4).

Secondary sources (select)

Ó Fearghail, Fearghus, “The first Irish translation of the Old Testament”, Biblicum Jassyense: Romanian Journal for Biblical Philology and Hermeneutics 4 (2013): 103–124.
McCaughey, Terence, Dr. Bedell and Mr. King: the making of the Irish Bible, Dublin: DIAS, 2000.
Williams, N. J. A., I bprionta i leabhar: na Protastúin agus prós na Gaeilge, 1567–1714, Dublin: An Clóchomhar, 1987.
Herbert, Máire, and Pádraig de Brún, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in Cambridge libraries, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
1–3; Appendix I
Contributors
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
February 2013, last updated: July 2020