Geddes, Alexander

Geddes, Alexander a Roman Catholic divine, was born in 1737, at Arradowl, Banffashire, Scotland. He studied theology at the Scotch College in Paris, and, after his return to Scotland, he officiated at various chapels till 1782, when he desisted entirely from clerical functions. For many years he was engaged on as new translation of the Old and New Testament, and Lord Petre allowed him a pension of £200 a year to enable him to carry it into effect. "The prospectus, which contained an account of his plan, was published in 1786; this was soon followed by a letter to the bishop of London, containing ' Queries, doubts, and difficulties relative to a vernacular version of the Holy Scriptures, by a specimen of the work, and by a 'General Answer to the queries, counsels, and criticisms' which his prospectus and specimens had called forth. It was not, however, till 1792 that the first volume of the translation was published under the title of 'The Holy Bible, or the Books accounted Sacred by the Jews and Christians, otherwise called the Books of the Old and New Covenants, faithfully translated from corrected texts of the originals, with various readings, explanatory notes, and critical remarks.' The second, which contained the translation to the end of the historical books, appeared in 1793; and the third, which contained his critical remarks upon the Pentateuch, in 1800. The remainder of the work was never finished; he was employed, at the time of his death, on a translation of the Psalms, which he had finished as far as the 118th Psalm, and which was published in 1807." In 1800 he published Critical Remarks on the Hebrew Scriptures (Lond. 4to). He died February 26, 1802. A Memoir of his Life and Writings, by Dr. John Mason Goode, appeared in 1803 (London, 8vo). See Graves, On the Pentateuch; British Critic, volumes, 4, 19, 20; English Cyclop.; Cotton, Rheims and Douay, Oxford, 1864.

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