Reference Number184
Title(1) Admhail an Chreidimh, Air an do Reitigh air ttus Coimhthionol na nDiaghaireadh Aig Niarmhoinister, an Sasgan; Leis an Daontuighe Ard-seanadh Eagluis na Halbann, Chum a bheith na Chuid egin, do Choimhreite Creidimh, edir Eaglaisaibh Chriosd annsna tri Rioghachdaibh. Ar na chur a Ngaoidheilg, le Seanadh Earraghaoidheal. (2) The Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, with the Assistance of Commissioners from the Church of Scotland, as a Part of the Covenanted Uniformity in Religion betwixt the Churches of Christ in the Three Kingdoms Scotland, England, and Ireland. Translated into the Irish Language by the Synod of Argyle.
AuthorN/A (Translated work)
Date Of Edition1725
Date Of Languageearly 18c
Date Of Language Ed18th c.
DateMacroEarly 18th c.
Date Of Language Notes
PublisherThomas Lumisden and John Robertson (Air na Chlodhbhualadh … le Thomais Lumisden agus Eoin Robertsoin)
Place PublishedEdinburgh (Duineuduin)
LocationNational, academic, and local libraries (Inverness Reference).
Geographical OriginsVarious Argyll
Geographical Origins EdUnknown
GeoMacroArgyll mainland
Geographical Origins Notes
RegisterLiterature, Prose (Religious)
Register EdReligion, Prose
The Westminster Assembly’s Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and three prayers.
This volume contains the first Gaelic edition of the Confession of Faith and the Larger Catechism.
The language of this edition is transitional between Classical Gaelic and vernacular Scottish Gaelic.
Alternative Author NameN/A
Manuscript Or EditionEd.
Size And Condition14cm x 8cm
Short TitleAdmhail an Chreidimh
Reference DetailsNLS: H.M.283
Number Of Pagesviii, 276
Gaelic Text BySynod of Argyll
Social ContextThis is the first edition of the Gaelic translation of the Westminster Confession of Faith. The Confession of Faith itself was first adopted by the Church of Scotland in 1647. The first Gaelic translation of the Westminster Assembly’s Larger Catechism was also included in this volume. The Westminster Assembly’s Shorter Catechism had first appeared in Gaelic in 1653. No copy of this first edition is known to survive. For further details of the circumstances in which these early religious texts were commissioned and brought to completion see MacTavish 1943-4, R. L. Thomson 1962, 1971 and 1976.
ContentsThis volume contains three main sections as follows:

Admhail an Chreidimh (pp. 1-103): the Confession of Faith, comprising 33 chapters.

An Cataichiosm Foirleathan, Na an Leabhar Ceastnuighe is Mó (pp. 105-239): the first publication of the Larger Catechism, comprising 196 questions and answers.

Foirceadul Aithghear Cheasnuighe (pp. 241-274): the Shorter Catechism, comprising 107 questions.

This volume ends with three short texts: Na deich Aitheanta (pp. 274-75), Urnuigh an Tighearna (p. 276), and A Chred (p. 276).
SourcesSee Social Context above.
LanguageThe following points relate to the language and orthography of Admhail an Chreidimh, and of An Cataichiosm Foirleathan. The language and orthography of the other texts in this volume are dealt with in the discussion of the first edition of the Gaelic psalms (Text 188), where they were first published.

The language of these texts is comparable to that of the 1659 and 1694 editions of the Psalms. For example, the pre-verbal particle do is written in full with the past tense of independent verbs, e.g. do chuir, do orduigh. Again, nasalisation is written in a way that falls between Classical and Modern Gaelic usage, e.g. o a Noibrighibh, o a Mbriathraibh agus o a Nsmuainteadhaibh (p. 73). ‘Double nasalisation’ is seen in a Ngcroidhthe (ibid.). As R. L. Thomson concluded in his discussion of the 1659 version of the Shorter Catechism, the basically Classical element in the Gaelic of these texts co-exists with some peculiarly Scottish traits, as the following passages show.

Admhail an Chreidimh
Admhail an Chreidimh: ‘Ni hann uatha fein idir atá a Ngcomas air Deaghoibrighe do dheanamh, achd gu hiomlan o Spiorad Chriosd. Agus chum go mbithid air na ndeanamh comasach chuige sin, a bharr air na Grása dfuair siad cheana, as féudhmoil san cheart am Feart an Spioraid Naoimh chéuna.’ (p. 50) Here Ni hann and go mbithid show distinctly Scottish Gaelic characteristics.

An Cataichiosm Foirleathan, Na an Leabhar Ceastnuighe is Mó
An Cataichiosm Foirleathan: ‘C[eist] 16. Cionnas do chruthaigh DIA na Haingil? F[reagra]. Do chruthaigh DIA na Haingil uile, na Nspiorada Neamhbhásmhur, Naomhtha, ag tabhairt barr ann a Neólas, Cumhachdacha ann a Neart, chum Aitheantasan do chur a ngníomh, agus Ainmsin do mholadh.’ (p. 113)

There are footnotes throughout the text providing biblical authority for statements made. There are also occasional notes in the margins offering alternative wordings, e.g.: ‘Ma †Thuitim an Duine man Pheacadh, agus mu †Pheanus air a shon’ (p. 22), where Thuitim is glossed as Leagadh and Pheanus as Dioghaltas.
OrthographyThe orthography of this text is fairly true to the norms of Classical Gaelic, at least where the vocabulary and grammatical forms used are themselves well-established in Classical usage. There are some inconsistencies, e.g. achd and acht are both used. The acute accent is employed fairly regularly to mark historically long vowels. The hyphen is rarely used, e.g. gu hiomlan, not gu h-iomlan; in the same way, the emphatic-contrastive suffixes are attached directly to the word which they accompany, e.g. gu mbiadsan (p. 23), as are unstressed demonstratives, e.g. on Truaillidheachd gheinse (ibid.).
EditionThis volume contains the first edition of the Confession of Faith, Admhail an Chreidimh, and of the Larger Catechism, An Cataichiosm Foirleathan. The earliest extant edition of the Shorter Catechism, Foirceadul Aithghear Cheasnuighe, and of the three prayers at the end of this volume, is the 1695 edition of the first fifty Psalms (see Text 188). Because of the linguistic gradation between Classical and vernacular Scottish Gaelic which is discernible in these early texts of the Psalms and Catechisms and the Confession of Faith, editors may find it expedient – exceptionally – to cite text from an edition other than the earliest, or from more than one edition.
Other Sources
Further ReadingMacTavish, D. C. (ed.), Minutes of the Synod of Argyll, 2 vols (Edinburgh, 1943-44: University Press for the Scottish History Society).
Thomson, R. L., Adtimchiol an Chreidimh (Edinburgh, 1962: Scottish Gaelic Texts Society).
Thomson, R. L., ‘The language of the Shorter Catechism, Scottish Gaelic Studies, 12.1 (1971), 34-51.
Thomson, R. L., ‘The language of the Caogad’, Scottish Gaelic Studies, 12.2 (1976), 143-82.

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