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What is in a name?


The Very Reverend Doctor R E McIntyre M.A., D.D.

In the early 1920's, when my late father was a very young minister of the Church of Scotland, his first charge was to the United Free church in Callander, Perthshire, Scotland.

My father believed in visiting the parishioners, and any others to whom he could give guidance or help.

With a wide spread parish, and no car, therefore visiting was mainly carried out on foot.

One day he went to visit an elderly parishioner who lives in a small house in the country. The lady was bed-ridden and relied on friends for help. The ladies name was Mrs McIntyre, but of no relation to our family.

My father was vexed to find the lady very sad, and depressed at her state of health.

Just what could the young minister do that would give her strength.....  well at her bedside he noticed a Gaelic Bible, which he lifted up and opened to Mathew chapter 13 and read aloud verse 55

From a Gaelic Bible of 1879

Mat 13:55 Nach a so mac an t-saor? nach e ainm a mhathar Muire?
nach iad a bhraithre, Seumas, agus Ioses, agus Simon, agus Iudas?

The lady could hardly believe her name was written in the Holy Book, her spirits returned, and after a little chat my father left her house.

On making another visit some weeks later, the lady was still very cheerful, something that gave my father great joy. He did however learn that everyone who subsequently paid a visit, was handed the Gaelic Bible to read for themselves the name 'mac an t-saor'.

For those not conversant with the passage in the present day Bible, it has not change since the Self-Interpreting Bible 1778 (?) (Same as in those printed in 1966)

MAT 13:55  Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

And the general translation: mac an t-saor = son of the carpenter = macintyre.


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