Monday, November 25, 2019

What is the Vulgate?

From Aleteia:
At the time there were various versions of the Gospels and the letters of St. Paul, as well as of the Old Testament. Christians in Europe used either Greek translations or local Latin translations that were copied and shared among the various communities. However, it didn’t take long for some of the translations to become corrupt and alter the original meaning of the text. This is why Pope Damasus I commissioned St. Jerome in 382 to take a look at the Gospels and revise the Latin translations based on the oldest Greek manuscripts. He did exactly that, but after completing the Gospels, St. Jerome’s curiosity was piqued and he began a new translation of the Psalms. Then he traveled to Jerusalem and once in the Holy City he embarked on an ambitious project to translate the entire Old Testament, based on the original Hebrew texts. It took him around 16 years to complete his attempt, but he didn’t translate every book, skipping Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch and Maccabees I and II. Jerome took great lengths to translate the Hebrew text and to render it into a Latin equivalent that would make sense, yet was faithful to the original. He was one of the first “scripture scholars” to take such care in translating the Bible that his work eventually became known as the vulgata editio (the “common edition”). (Read more.)

No comments: