Translated by Nicholas Williams

Yma daswel gans Ian Jackson awoles. / There is a review by Ian Jackson below.

Extract on this website: The Sermon on the Mount

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An Pregoth wàr an Meneth

The text of this New Testament is that of An Beybel Sans 'The Holy Bible in Cornish' of 2011. The translation was based upon the Greek together with a collation of other versions. Where passages of the New Testament were forthcoming in traditional Cornish, they were incorporated into the translation to increase its authenticity. Wherever possible, personal and geographical names are those attested in traditional Cornish. The spelling used is Standard Cornish, which aims both to follow the norms of traditional Cornish orthography while being wholly phonetic. The translation aims to be both idiomatic, accurate and easy to read.

Text an lyver-ma yw text an Testament Nowyth in An Beybel Sans dyllys i'n vledhen 2011. Y feu an trailyans growndys wàr an Grêk gwredhek hag y feu va comparys inwedh gans nebes trailyansow erel. Pàn veu kefys darnow a'n scryptour sans i'n textow tradycyonal, an darnow-na a veu gorrys aberth i'n trailyans rag y rendra dhe voy warrantus. Mar bell dell ylly bos, yth yw henwyn personek ha henwyn tyleryow i'n trailyans-ma an re-na neb yw kefys i'n tavas hengovek. I'n lyver-ma an spellyans ûsys yw Kernowek Standard, lytherednans usy ow sewya ûsadow an tavas istorek hag yw i'n kettermyn fonetyk yn tien. Yma an trailyans porposys dhe vos kewar, teythiak hag êsy dhe redya.

Published by Evertype 2020


An English version appears below.  

An Testament Nowyth – The New Testament in Cornish. Trailys gans Nicholas Williams. Dyllys gans Evertype 2020. Aden vedhel, 374 folen. ISBN 978-1-78201-284-9.

Wàr ven ryb an fordh in Penrîn why a yll redya an ger a sew (text obma chaunjys dhe Gernowek tradycyonal y gis): Yma hebma ow cofhe an coll a goljy Glasneth ha’n mernans a vilyow a wlascaroryon a Gernow a wrug defens a’ga fÿdh, aga thavas ha’ga ûsadow Keltek. An “vilyow a wlascaroryon”-ma o pobel a Gernow, ha pobel a Bow Densher inwedh, esa ow sconya an Lyver Pejadow Kebmyn nowyth ha’n defendyans a dhevosow Catholyk dhe ves. In 1549 anjy a sordyas in rebellyans, ha dybyta veu gorthyp an government. Wosa hedna, gyllys veu pùb govenek a gubmyas dhe drailya an Lyver Pejadow dhe’n tavas Kernowek, ha ny veu an Beybel Sans trailys naneyl.

Ken experyens a gafas an bobel in Kembra. Dyw vledhen warlergh an rebellyans in Kernow, Robert Crowley a wrug dylla lyver in Kembrek gans William Salesbury, scolheyk mabdenyl, geryadoryth, ha trailyor: Kynniuer llith a ban or yscrythur lan ac a d’arlleir yr eccleis pryd commun, y sulieu a gwilieu trwy’r vlwyd’yn: o Cambereiciat. Hèm o an devydnow a’n epystlys hag a’n awaylow, myns o dhe redya acordyng dhe’n Lyver Pejadow orth an oferen. Act Seneth in 1563 a erhys dhe’n epscobow a Gembra ha Henfordh gwetyas parusy trailyans a’n Beybel ha’n Lyver Pejadow kyns mis Merth 1567, ha Salesbury a wrug kesobery gans Richard Davies ha Thomas Huet rag gwil trailyans a’n Testament Nowyth in mes a’n mabmdext Grêk. Ugans bledhen moy dhewedhes, William Morgan a gemeras an gweyth-na aberth in y gowl-drailyans y honen a’n Beybel. Ha Beybel Morgan re beu selven dhe’n lien arnowyth i’n Kembrek bys i’gan dedhyow ny.

Orth dallath an kensa cansvledhen warn ugans, scolheyk aral, geryadoryth, ha trailyor a wrug settya y honen dhe’n ober kellys nans o pell in Kernow: parusy trailyans a’n Testament Nowyth dhe’n tavas Kernowek in mes a’n mabmdext Grêk. An den o Nicholas Williams, is-professour i’n tor-na in Kevadran Yêthydhieth, Coljy Ûnyversyta, Dulyn. Ha’n gweyth a veu kemerys aberth i’n cowl-drailyans a’n Beybel dyllys in 2011. An Testament Nowyth yw dastyllys lebmyn avell lyver y honen oll.

Wella Rowe, Eglos Sancres, a wrug trailya dew dharn cot a’n Testament Nowyth i’n seytegves cansvledhen: Chaptra 2, 1-20 ha Chaptra 4 a Sen Mathew. Ev a drailyas Chaptra 3 a Jenesys inwedh. Professour Williams re wrug aswon gis an darnow-ma, kefrës devydnow kefys in homylys Jowan Tregear hag in ken textow Kernowek, spessly Pascon agan Arluth, Passio Christi ha Resurrexio Domini. An tavas Grêk i’n mabmdext o yêth teythiak an weryn, heb pretendya bos lien meur y afînans warlergh scantlyn an oos. Professour Williams re wrug trouvya maner a screfa yêth plain, neb yw êsy orth lagas ha scovarn, lel dhe’n text gwredhek, ha sensytyf dhe’n otham remainya pòr glos dhe’n tradycyon kesgwlasek a’n Testament Nowyth in gwysk trailys, ha’y dhalathfos in Martin Luther ha William Tyndale.

Mara pe an Testament Nowyth trailys dhe Gernowek in termyn an kensa Elysabeth, pàn o Beybel tra moyha y bris in mesk oll an bobel, y fia chauns dâ dhe’n tavas bêwa bys i’n jëdh hedhyw, heb bos goderrys ha dylës dhywar gebmys gonysegeth a Gernow. In 1800 Mary Jones, myrgh pymthek bloodh, a wrug kerdhes noth hy threys 52 mildir dres menydhyow Kembra rag perna copy a’n Beybel in hy thavas hy honen, an Kembrek, ha’n lyver-ma kebmys kerys gensy. Nyns eus caletter a’n par-na namoy. Rag perna copy a’n Testament Nowyth in Kernowek, nyns eus otham ma’s clyckya wàr folen Amazon i’n gwias. Boneyl owgh why Cristyon bò nag owgh, an Beybel yw carrek may ma gonysegeth Kernow byldys warnedhy. Y tal keworra an Testament Nowyth in y dhyllans nowyth dhe estyll agas lyverva.

Ian Jackson, mis Genver 2021

An Testament Nowyth – The New Testament in Cornish. Translated by Nicholas Williams. Published by Evertype 2020. Paperback, 374 pages. ISBN 978-1-78201-284-9.

On a stone beside the road in Penryn you can read the following words: This commemorates the loss of Glasney College and the death of thousands of Cornish patriots in defence of their faith, language and Celtic customs. The “thousands of ... patriots” were Cornish people, and people of Devon too, who rejected the new Book of Common Prayer and the abolition of Catholic devotions. In 1549 they rose in rebellion, and met with a ruthless response from the government. Afterwards all hope was gone of permission to translate the Prayer Book into the Cornish language, and the Holy Bible was not translated either.

The experience of the people in Wales was different. Two years after the rebellion in Cornwall, Robert Crowley published a book in Welsh by William Salesbury, a humanist scholar, lexicographer, and translator: Kynniuer llith a ban or yscrythur lan ac a d’arlleir yr eccleis pryd commun, y sulieu a gwilieu trwy’r vlwyd’yn: o Cambereiciat. This comprised the extracts from the epistles and gospels that were to be read according to the Prayer Book at the communion service. An Act of Parliament in 1563 ordered the bishops of Wales and Hereford to see that a translation of the Bible and the Prayer Book was ready by March 1567, and Salesbury cooperated with Richard Davies and Thomas Huet to make a translation of the New Testament from the Greek original. Twenty years later, William Morgan incorporated that work into his own complete translation of the Bible. And Morgan’s Bible has been a foundation for modern Welsh literature right down to our own day.

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, another scholar, lexicographer, and translator set himself the task lost long ago in Cornwall: to prepare a translation of the New Testament in the Cornish language from the original Greek text. That man was Nicholas Williams, at that time associate professor in the Faculty of Linguistics, University College, Dublin. And this work was incorporated into the complete translation of the Bible published in 2011. The New Testament is now republished as a separate volume.

William Rowe of Sancreed had translated two short pieces from the New Testament in the seventeenth century: Chapter 2, 1-20 and Chapter 4 of St Matthew. He also translated Chapter 3 of Genesis. Professor Williams has acknowledged the fashion of these pieces, as well as extracts found in John Tregear’s homilies and in other Cornish texts, especially Pascon agan Arluth, Passio Christi and Resurrexio Domini. The Greek of the original was the everyday language of ordinary folk, with no claim to be refined literature by the standards of that time. Professor Williams has found a prose style that is easy on eye and ear, true to the underlying original, and sensitive to the need to adhere strictly to the international tradition of New Testament translations, reaching back to Martin Luther and William Tyndale.

If the New Testament had been translated into Cornish in the reign of Elizabeth the First, when a Bible was something highly valued by everyone, there would have been a fair chance that the language might have stayed alive to the present day, without interruption, without being erased from so much of Cornwall’s culture. In 1800 Mary Jones, a fifteen year old girl, walked 52 miles barefoot across the mountains of Wales to buy a copy of the Bible in her own language, Welsh, because this book was so dear to her. There is no need to undertake such hardhship any more. To buy a copy of the New Testament in Cornish, all you need to do is click on Amazon’s internet site. Whether you are a Christian or not, the Bible is a rock on which Cornwall’s culture was built. The New Testament in this new edition deserves to be added to your bookshelf.

Ian Jackson, January 2021