Latin translation of the Bible made almost entirely by St. jerome and declared the official (authentica ) edition of the Bible for the Latin Church. The word Vulgate comes from the Latin term versio vulgata meaning the popular, widespread version. This term was used by the early Fathers of the Church, particularly by St. Jerome, to designate the septuagint version of the Bible, both in its Greek form and in its Latin translation that is now commonly called the Old Latin Version (Vetus Latina ). But in the early Middle Ages, when Jerome's version had everywhere supplanted the pre-Jerome version, the former began to be called the Vulgate. The Council of trent decreed that, among the various Latin versions then (1546) in circulation, the Vulgate (of Jerome) was to be received as the official one (pro authentica habeatur ), and referred to it as the vetus et vulgata editio (old and widespread edition).
Old Latin Versions
These versions consist of the Latin texts of the Bible that precede those revisions and fresh translations, largely produced by St. Jerome, that form the complete Latin Bible known for centuries as the Vulgate. In broad terms, then, the Old Latin Bible is the pre-Hieronymian Latin Bible—the body of the Latin Scripture that first came into being when the Church spread among people who were not at home in Greek. In the New Testament the Old Latin presents translations from the Greek original; in the Old Testament, retranslations of Greek versions of Semitic originals.
Origin. The following statement made in 1963 by the scholar perhaps best qualified to speak, Pater Bonifatius Fischer of Beuron, summarizes certain essential points: "The Old Latin translation of the Bible came into being little by little during the 2d century, perhaps in Africa, perhaps in Rome or Gaul, probably in different places, in any event not in one effort and not as the work of one single translator. It underwent rapid and extensive development and differentiation."
Characteristics. A number of characteristic features stand out in the Old Latin texts, with their abundant richness of forms, generated by a freedom of approach to the Scriptures that readily permitted adaptations, modifications, or changes. The language itself is peculiar, reflecting Greek syntax, and expecially the Latin coinages produced to represent in neo-Latin form the Greek words that the translator saw before him (thus, e.g., salvator, sanctifico, glorifico ), coupled with the transliterations from the Greek (e.g., apostolus, baptizo, parabolor ). The vulgar and colloquial flavor in the Old Latin versions makes clear that they were prepared not for a cultured elite but for the ill-educated. The widespread influence of this Old Latin Biblical text has naturally been felt in subsequent writings, the effect being sometimes direct, sometimes through the absorption of Old Latin readings into the Vulgate, and quite regularly through quotations in patristic texts.
Typically, the production of the Old Latin text of the Bible is the work of unknown writers (even though certain of the Fathers produced their own renderings as occasion demanded and Augustine in particular came to revise a large portion of the Latin Scriptures).
Work of St. Jerome. The production of the body of renderings that are called the Vulgate, however, is dominated by one individual, St. jerome (d. 420), Father and Doctor of the Church, acting as reviser, acting as translator, and in some instances refusing to act at all. If these distinctions are made one may with reasonable accuracy call the Vulgate his work. It is providential that what was to become the standard Bible of the Latin Church reflects in so large a measure the religious conviction, the critical acumen, the learning and scholarship, and the writing skill of such a man.
Revision of Old Latin Gospels. Jerome's production of the Latin Bible text extends over a period of some 22 of his middle years, from 383 to 405. Most of it took place in the first two decades of his long, final residence in Bethlehem; but it began during the nearly three years that he spent in Rome in his late 30s, largely occupied as secretary to Pope St. Damasus. According to Jerome, it was the Pope himself who directed him to the most impressive of these Roman achievements, the correction of an Old Latin text of the Gospels against the Greek in order to erect a standard of correctness among a welter of widely divergent and often faulty copies. In acceding to the Pope's invitation—official commission it hardly can have been—Jerome produced what is now known as the Vulgate Gospels, the four texts that in due course became and still remain official in the Latin Church.
Partial Revision of Old Latin Old Testament. Settled in Bethlehem, Jerome found in the library of nearby caesarea in palestine the stupendous work of Biblical erudition that Origen achieved in his Hexapla. The fifth of the six columns in this massive assemblage contained Origen's own edition of the Septuagint (LXX), with its spits (obeli ) and asterisks to mark redundancies or deficiencies in the LXX. It would seem that Jerome felt impelled to translate the whole of this into Latin or at least to revise existing Latin in the light of it, continuing his Roman procedures but now using an authoritative and critical Greek text. Some modern scholars hold that he fully achieved this exacting task, even if little now remains of it; others, that his Hexaplaric recension was applied only to 1 and 2 Chronicles, the so-called books of Solomon (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs), Job, and the Psalms. In these four cases the evidence is compelling. The text of the Hexaplaric 1 and 2 Chronicles is lost, but the preface that Jerome prefixed to it is preserved.
Gallican Psalter. The most fruitful result of Jerome's concern with Origen's Hexapla was the Psalter that he based on it—Jerome's second (Vat. Vulg. ). This was the Psalter that gradually achieved an ascendancy even over Jerome's own direct translation from the Hebrew. It was probably introduced in the liturgy in Gaul before Alcuin, who was led by this fact to adopt it for his recension of the Bible. It thus won its place in the typical Bible of the Middle Ages, and was absorbed into the Roman Breviary, where it reigned supreme until the coming of the New Latin Psalter in 1945. (The term Gallican applied to it came from the popularity the Psalter received in Gaul in the early Middle Ages.) As the Vulgate Psalter par excellence, this Hexaplaric Psalter was retained by the Benedictines of S. Girolamo to form part of the Vatican Vulgate, where it appeared in 1953 as v.10, furnished with Origenic critical signs such as Jerome had noted down in Caesarea. For all its popularity the Gallican Psalter contains a large number of verses that trouble readers. Some of these readings resist comprehension because they are faulty translations; others are hard to understand either because they are slavish translations or because of difficulties inherent in the original Hebrew or because of the reader's lack of familiarity with Biblical locutions or Christian Latin vocabulary. Pius XII's new Psalter of 1945 came into being partly for the purpose that those who recited the Psalter might have an intelligible text in every verse. There were many who thought that its editors had gone much too far, showing little tendency to conserve the excellencies of Jerome's work. Consequently, in 1961, at Clervaux, Dom Robert Weber, OSB, brought out pro manuscripto a "new recension" of the Gallican Psalter (Psalterii secundum Vulgatam Bibliorum Versionem nova recensio ) in which only those verses are reworded that required it for intelligibility.
New Version of Old Testament Protocanonical Books. While he was still occupied with his revisions according to the Hexapla, Jerome had entered upon the most important phase in his provision of Latin Bible text, the translation from the Hebrew itself. His awareness of the apologetic value of presenting the Hebraica veritas directly, bypassing even Origen's Septuagint, is found in a letter (Ep. 32.1) written before he left Rome, where he seems to have had at his disposal at least the greater part of the Hebrew text of the Bible, and it is elsewhere explicit [see Praef. in Isa., Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne 28:774 (828): Adv. Rufin. 3.25, Patrologia Latina 23:476 (498)]. At Bethlehem he provided himself with Hebrew teachers, especially a certain Baranina (Ep. 84.3).
The basic chronology of Jerome's activity is reasonably clear. If ch. 134 of the De viris illustribus of 392–393 is a later addition of the author and hence does not prove that Jerome had already by then completed the Psalms and the Prophets (less Baruch), it at least groups these books together as occupying the translator in the first stages. What prompted the order in which Jerome proceeded was less the scheme of any Biblical canon than the promptings of friends eager to have one or another book translated. If one adopts the chronology determined by F. Cavallera, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and Job were grouped with the Psalter and the Prophets in the early period from 389 to 392. Ezra and Nehemiah followed in 394; 1 and 2 Chronicles, two years later. In 398 the three books of Solomon were rendered in eight days, but Jerome was busy also at the Octateuch, which was completed by 405. The prefaces and dedicatory letters that accompanied Jerome's translations show that most frequently the unit of publication was the single book (the four Major Prophets separately, the Psalms, Job, Ezra and Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Tobit, Judith, and Esther), but in some cases the books were published in groups, as had been the Gospels at Rome (1 and 2 Samuel with 1 and 2 Kings, the Minor Prophets, the books of Solomon, the Pentateuch, Joshua with Judges and Ruth).
New Version of Some of the Old Testament Deuterocanonical Books. Having done so much, Jerome regarded his work on the Old Testament text as complete, for he declined to issue translations of five books that had a place in the canon of the Greek-speaking Jews but were lacking in the Palestinian—Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. These books, consequently, came into the Latin Bible only in Old Latin texts that had received not even revisory attention from Jerome. To Tobias (Tobit) and Judith, which were in the same position, he was more receptive, for he produced Latin versions from Aramaic sources available to him. If Jerome is to be taken literally in what he says in his preface to Tobias, he had the Aramaic text of that book translated to him orally by a person who knew both Aramaic and Hebrew, and both prefaces stress the rapidity with which he worked at these two versions. Jerome was similarly receptive toward certain sections of Daniel and Esther that were not to be found in the Hebrew. For the well-known passages in Daniel—the Song of the Three Youths in the fiery furnace and the stories of Susanna and of Bel and the Dragon (Dn 3.24–90; 13.1–14.42)—Jerome drew upon the Greek of the so-called Theodotion recension (presumably as found in the sixth column of Origen's Hexapla ), as he himself tells us in notes before3.24, after 3.90, and after 12.13. The parts of Esther that Jerome found present in the LXX Greek but wanting in the Latin he set out after 10.3 with full notes accompanying the several excerpts to indicate the places from which they had been assembled.
Books of the New Testament after the Gospels. To the evolving complete Latin Bible that was eventually to become known as the Vulgate, all three periods of Jerome's application to the sacred text contributed. From the triennium at Rome came the Gospels: from the earlier years at Bethlehem, with their special dedication to Origen's Hexapla, came the Psalms (the Gallican Psalter); from Jerome's continued residence there, centered in rendering the Hebraica veritas, came all the Old Testament except the five deuterocanonical books, which he declined to translate or revise. The Vulgate was thus complete except for the second half of the New Testament—the Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation. What is the origin of the Vulgate text of these books? There is no consensus on this question. The common opinion has been that these books, showing in any event a correction of Old Latin text from the Greek, received this treatment from Jerome himself, who would have continued in their case the process he began with the Gospels. This position is consistent with, but not proved by, Jerome's twice uttered declaration that he had indeed revised the New Testament after the Greek. A strong denial to Jerome of the Vulgate Pauline Epistles made by D. De Bruyne in the early decades of the 20th century still has its effect and tends moreover to involve the other Epistles and the Acts and Apocalypse as well. De Bruyne held that the Vulgate text of St. Paul goes back to Pelagius. However, the editor of Ephesians in the Vetus Latina, H. J. Frede, has shown that, although Pelagius was the first to use the Vulgate St. Paul, he did not compose it—and neither did Jerome. Among Frede's positive conclusions are these (Vet. Lat. 24.36*): "The Vulgate text of St. Paul's letters came into being in the last years of the 4th century at the latest…. Its author is unknown, although he is identicalwith the man who gave to the Vulgate at least the Catholic Epistles and perhaps the whole of the New Testament outside of the Gospels."
Psalterium Romanum. It remains here to return briefly to the Psalter that Jerome produced at Rome c. 384. The common opinion is an attractive one: that this Psalter is the Psalterium Romanum, whose use, once widely extended, is now virtually limited to the canons of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, but which was the source of many of the older chants (Introits, etc.) of the Roman Missal. Once again it was Dom De Bruyne who in recent times (1930) most effectively contested the tradition. Studies made or reported by Vaccari (Scritti 1:211–221) have modified De Bruyne's conclusions and give reason to believe that the Romanum, while indeed not Jerome's work, was used and studied by him and ought to be regarded as the text on which he based his now long lost, first rapid correction and revision of the Psalms.
Transmission of the Vulgate Text. The universal use that St. Jerome's new versions and revisions would ultimately receive could hardly have been predicted from the person-to-person basis in which he issued his works one by one as he executed them or from the reactions of influential contemporaries. In one quarter were the objections collected by rufinus and answered by Jerome in his Contra Rufinum [2.24–35, Patrologia Latina 23:447 (468)]; and in another was St. Augustine, with his loyalty to the LXX, who first showed himself disturbed by the new venture (Epist. 71.4–5; 82.35; Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 34.2: 252, 386) and only gradually changed his position (Doctr. christ. 4.15, Patrologia Latina 34:96; Civ. 18.43, Corpus Christianorum. Series latina 47:638). In one of his letters (Epist. 71.5) Augustine tells Jerome of the tumult aroused at Oea (present-day Tripoli in North Africa) when passages from the new version were used in public worship.
Gradual Acceptance. Enthusiasts, however, were not lacking; one of them, Jerome's friend Sophronius of Bethlehem (d. after 392), rendered part of the new translation into Greek. Possibly the staunchest supporters of Jerome's versions in the 5th century were the disciples of Pelagius (notably, julian of eclanum); it is in works of Pelagians that the earliest witness to the Vulgate text of certain of the New Testament Epistles is to be had. In the Gaul of the 5th and 6th centuries a selective use of the Vulgate was made by John cassian, St. eucherius of lyons, Salonius (d. after 451), St. avitus of vienne, and St. gregory of tours.
Early Pandects. As an effective agent in the dissemination of Vulgate text, Gaul was surpassed in the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries by Italy. The ecclesiastical writers, in their quotations from Scripture, furnish important evidence, but not a little is based on what has been shown—especially by B. Fischer—of the origins of early editions of the Bible, whether these present single books (or groups of books) or the whole Bible in one volume (pandect). Fifth-century Italy was probably the source of an edition of the Vulgate 1 and 2 Samuel that carried in its margins 114 Old Latin readings. No portion of the original still exists, but few subsequent Vulgate manuscripts of these books are free of its influence. The Spanish Bishop Peregrinus produced in the 5th century an edition of the letters of Paul that was based in part on a Vulgate text of Italian origin. To northern Italy of the 7th century probably belongs the source of the two-volume 9th-century Bible known complete to Robert estienne at St. Germain-des-Prés in Paris in the early 16th century but now reduced to its second volume (B.N. lat. 11553). Among all Bibles this Sangermanensis has been found by Fischer to give a "reasonably accurate reproduction of an ancient pandect." From cassiodorus (d. c. 580) comes the earliest-known evidence of such Latin pandects; but as will at once be clear, his copies have not themselves survived or, in their text, been reproduced in later codices. Important as being preserved in its original form is a New Testament produced under the direction of Bishop Victor of Capua (d. 554) in Campania and completed in 547, a volume that has been at Fulda since St. boniface owned it there. In this book the Gospels are represented only in a harmony, based, it seems, on an Old Latin form of Tatian's Diatessaron. Only in the Gospel harmony did Victor's New Testament exercise discernible influence, becoming in time the model for the first Biblical translations into Old High German and Italian.
Italy, north and south, was not unique in this early period in owning pandects of the Vulgate. Spain also had them, but only one has thus far been identified—one in the underscript of 82 leaves of a manuscript (15) of the León Cathedral chapter (Lowe 11:1636), these forming less than one-eighth of the 7th-century original. Certain later Spanish Bibles of the 9th and 10th centuries may well reflect more or less faithfully models close in date to the León fragments.
Supplanting of the Old Latin. While none of these Spanish Bibles has been satisfactorily linked with St. isi dore of seville, this influential bishop (600–636) handed down more than one strong commendation of the Vulgate. He declared Jerome's translation "justly preferred to all others" (Etym. 6.4.5), stating his reasons in the very language—as Dom Gribomont has noted—used by St. Augustine (Doctr. christ. 2.22, Patrologia Latina 34:46) in praise of the "Itala." The tone Isidore employed elsewhere (De ecclesiasticis officiis 1.12.8, Patrologia Latina 83:748C) in commending Jerome's version for liturgical use suggests approbation of the status quo rather than a newly proposed position. And, indeed, a generation earlier St. gregory i at Rome had given strong support to the Vulgate Old Testament through his prevailing use of it in his commentaries. Farther to the north—in Ireland and England—the Vulgate had long before penetrated, in some cases in the best texts of southern Italy. The liturgical agreements reached in the synod of Clovesho (747) tended to terminate local Celtic usages in favor of the Roman—the beginning of a reform that would, in turn, through the missionaries, affect both Germany and Gaul. The insular shift in Bible text may be seen in the writings, on the one hand, of Saints patrick and columban, who still used the Old Latin, and on the other, in the De excidio, attributed to St. gildas, where a mixed Biblical text shows strong Vulgate infusion. Wax tablets of c. 600 found in an Irish bog and reported on by D. H. Wright in 1962 show Psalms 30–32 in a basically Gallican text.
Such diversity in the Biblical text found in ecclesiastical writers comes about in more than one way but partly reflects the Bible manuscripts themselves, to which the crosscurrents of transmission often brought a pattern of mixture. Thus, in a single volume a set of the Prophets may show Jeremia in St. Jerome's translation along with the others in the Old Latin; or the canticles that are scattered through the books of the Bible may appear as Old Latin set in a Vulgate context.
The supremacy of the Vulgate, which had begun to be quite clear in the 6th and 7th centuries, was by the 8th established beyond question, and Italian books had played the major part in it.
Alcuin. The reign of charlemagne was eventful and, in at least one point, decisive for the editing and copying of the Vulgate Bible. Attention commonly focuses here upon alcuin of York, who migrated to France in 793 and died there in 804; he was abbot of St. Martin's, Tours, from 796 on and for more than 20 years was a close associate of Charlemagne. In a letter for Easter 800 Alcuin declared himself occupied in the"emendation of the Old and New Testaments" at the "king's instruction [praeceptum ]" (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Epistolae 4.322–323), but the Biblical manuscripts associated with him carry no foreword or title page to mark them as officially sponsored.
The manuscript on which Gutenberg was to draw some 650 years later was little more than a somewhat debased descendant of the Alcuin Bible. The Alcuin text, Vulgate throughout, was not formed with very great care. In correctness and orthography, the books from Alcuin's own time in particular are deficient and lag behind the Bibles of Maurdramn and Angilramnus; but some improvement appeared under Alcuin's successors at St. Martin's.
The Alcuin Bible was not based upon a preexisting pandect. Like the Amiatinus, it was a composite of different texts assembled into one. A distinctive component was its Psalter—Jerome's revision after Origen's Hexapla, not his translation from the Hebrew. The preference in Charlemagne's realm for the Psalter that thereafter was to be called "Gallican" may have been initially independent of Alcuin. However, the Alcuin Bible put the seal upon the choice and, in the Latin rite, determined the near universality of the Gallican Psalter for a millennium.
Theodulf. One subject and adviser of Charlemagne who withstood the preference for the Gallican Psalter—choosing rather Jerome's rendering from the Hebrew—was theodulf, Bishop of Orléans (d. 821) and Abbot of the nearby monasteries of Fleury and Micy. From him have come down a series of six or eight Bibles, small in format and written in small script. Equipped with additional texts to assist the interpretation of the Scripture and beautifully transcribed, these Bibles are at once works of art and truly scientific editions of the sacred text. Characteristic are the variants set in the margin with indication of source. With the help of a baptized Jew, Theodulf went back to the Hebrew and dared to improve upon Jerome.
The 10th to the 15th Century. The long period that falls between the reign of Charlemagne and the stabilization of the Vulgate text through the use of printing has its special importance for the prescholastic and scholastic interpretation (see exegesis, biblical) but is less significant for the study of the text, since recension leading to the recovery of the archetype can draw but little from these six and a half centuries. Only certain salient matters from this period will be touched on here.
First in a succession of revisers is St. peter damian. lanfranc, too, is declared to have taken pains to correct both Testaments and also the "writings of the Holy Fathers … in accordance with the orthodox faith" (see E. Mangenot, Dictionnaire de la Bible, ed. F. Vigouroux, 5:2478). St. stephen harding prepared a Bible at Cîteaux as a model for Cistercian use. Not long afterward another Cistercian, Nicholas Maniacoria (d. c. 1145), worked at the text of all three principal Latin Psalters.
In the central stream of the tradition lay the study of Scripture in the schools and universities and especially that study as practiced in the University of Paris. It was here around 1225 that the present usual system of chapter division in the Bible, introduced by stephen langton, came into being.
Vulgate Manuscripts. In listing here the principal manuscripts of the Vulgate—a few out of the thousands that exist—those will be selected that have been found by recent editors to be the most important for establishing the text.
Genesis through Esther. For the Old Testament the report will be confined largely to the well-advanced but still unfinished Benedictine revision (Vat. Vulg. ) of the Vulgate. Here an average of 30 manuscripts are reported for each Biblical book, but generally the text chosen depends on a very small number—in the typical case, and especially in the Octateuch (Genesis through Ruth), the three that represent as many families (Quentin, Mémoire, 453–456).
Psalter and Protocanonical Wisdom Books. With the Psalter (the Gallican), the manuscripts in the top rank are entirely new, partly because a number of the familiar manuscript Bibles, notably the Amiatinus, show as Psalter not the Gallican but Jerome's Iuxta Hebraeos.
Deuterocanonical Books. With the deuterocanonical books Wisdom and Sirach, the Vulgate offers its first non-Hieronymian elements.
Gospels. The 30 manuscripts used by Wordsworth and White (WW) in their critical edition of the Gospels are divided into three classes: (1) the old, uninterpolated manuscripts (with texts written in Italy or traceable thereto); (2) those whose text shows clear local characteristics (three groups: Celtic, Irish-Gallic, and Spanish); (3) those that supply the recensions (Theodulfian, Alcuinian), plus a Salisbury Bible of 1254 (W) as an example of a scholastic text.
Acts. In the Acts WW used 17 manuscripts (aside from the ten with Old Latin text), of which ten were used for the Gospels and seven were new. In respect of their textual value, four classes are indicated: the principal witnesses, the derivative witnesses, the recensions, and again W. the medieval manuscript from Salisbury.
Epistles and Apocalypse. The manuscripts used by WW for the Epistles (Pauline and Canonical) and the Apocalypse were mainly those already drawn on in editing the Gospel and the Acts.
Printed Editions. The first book of importance to be produced with movable type, the 42-line Bible printed at Mainz between the years 1452 and 1455 by Johann Gutenberg, had as its model a typical Bible of the University of Paris; no manuscript closer to this presumably lost model has been found than Mainz Stadtbibl. II 67 (14th century). The editions that appeared up to 1511 all derived from this Gutenberg Bible except one printed at Vicenza in 1476. From this period the printed Bibles may be reduced, in terms of text recension, to the 42-line Bible of Mainz.
Early Attempts at Critical Editions. The first attempts at criticism in the printed Bibles begin in 1511; that year, under the editorship of Albert Castellano, OP, there appeared at Venice a Bible with a system of marginal variants. Up to this point corrections brought into thetext were not assigned to their source, and frequently none had been used. A new period, however, began with the scholar-printer of Paris and Geneva Robert Estienne (Étienne), whose Bibles run from 1528 to 1556–57. Some of these show a variety of critical signs, and that of 1540 shows in the margin readings from 20 identifiable manuscripts and editions. One of Estienne's Bibles, printed by Badius in Geneva in 1555, is celebrated as being the first to carry the numbered division of verses within the chapters (those of Stephen Langton) that is still in use.
Having in mind criticisms of the Vulgate voiced as early as Lorenzo valla, then by erasmus, and in turn by the Reformers, the Council of Trent in 1546 issued a decree that assigned to that Bible the character of "authenticity" and called for the printing of a carefully corrected text.
Sistine Edition. The work of revision called for by the fathers of Trent—introduced by extensive and minute collations made under now unknown auspices by the Benedictines of Monte Cassino in the period 1550–69—was carried out through three pontifical commissions, appointed, in turn, by Pius IV, Pius V, and Sixtus V. The first of these was not specialized to the Vulgate and left nothing of importance for it. The commission of pius v, which had the revision of the Vulgate as its sole objective, began its work April 28, 1569 and lasted into December 1569; it came to little. Under Gregory XIII, who succeeded to Pius V, more was done for the Septuagint than for the Vulgate. The leader of the Septuagint project, Cardinal Antonio carafa, was named by Gregory's successor, sixtus v, as president of the third commission concerned with the Vulgate. This held its first session on Nov. 28, 1586.
By November 1588 Pope Sixtus had become impatient with what he regarded as the slow progress of the commission, and, having himself practiced the critical art earlier on the works of St. Ambrose, he took personal charge of the edition, thus beginning a sorrowful chapter in the history of the Vulgate text. In his quite energetic, personal, and often arbitrary corrections, Sixtus only rarely followed the recommendations of his own commission. After hardly more than 6 months of work the near septuaginarian had completed his almost singlehanded work of correction. With less than six months consumed at the presses, the printing was complete on Nov. 25, 1589.
Clementine Edition. The bull Aeternus ille caelestium that introduced the folio volume is dated March 1, 1590. On August 27 came the sudden death of the Pope, occurring when only the first copies had been distributed. In view of the criticism that had been raised against the edition even in Sixtus's lifetime and that was to become more intense thereafter, the cardinals, hardly a week after the Pope's death, suspended the new Bible. Many of the changes that the Pope had made were in opposition to the manuscripts. Hence the edition was considered likely to have a disturbing effect among Catholics and to have propaganda value for the heretics. Sixtus's successor, Gregory XIV, taking counsel from St. Robert bellarmine, decided, therefore, to have a new revision made in which the faulty changes of the Sistine text might be removed and the Bible republished, still under Sixtus's name. After Gregory's death in the next October and the two-month pontificate of Innocent IX it was upon clement viii, elected Jan. 30, 1592, that the task of publishing the revised Bible fell. In the mid-autumn of 1592 the new Bible appeared. It was not until 1604 that the now regular form Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis Sixti V Pont. Max. iussu recognita et Clementis VIII auctoritate edita is found, and even then it did not at once displace the original shorter title. But there were in fact some 4,900 differences between the two editions, many, of course, all but negligible yet forming a mass of divergence large enough to arouse among Protestant controversialists such a work as the satirically entitled Bellum Papale of Thomas James (London 1600). Official printings of 1593 and 1598 brought in numerous largely mechanical improvements, to produce what remained, in its successive reappearances, the official Vulgate of the Church until 1979 with the issue of the Neo-Vulgate under Pope John Paul II.
Council of Trent and the Vulgate. On April 8, 1546, after more than a month of deliberation, the Fathers of the Council of trent issued two decrees on Sacred Scripture. The second of them, called Insuper from its opening word and inspired in no small part by a work published in 1533 by the Louvain theologian J. Driedo[d. 1535; see R. Draguet, "Le maître louvaniste Driedo inspirateur du décret de Trent sur la Vulgate," Miscellanea historica in honorem Alberti De Meyer (Louvain and Brussels 1946) 836–854], declares that of the then circulating Latin editions of the sacred books, "precisely the ancient and widely current [vulgata ] edition that had been approved by long use within the Church for so many centuries … should be held as authentic"; it also determined that that edition "should be printed in as correct a form as possible" (H. Denzinger, Enchiridion symbolorum, ed. A. Schönmetzer 1506, 1508; Encyclopedia biblica, ed. T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black 61, 63). If effective action toward the production of a correct edition of the Vulgate came only slowly—with the Sisto-Clementine Bible of 1592 and, definitively, with the Neo-Vulgate, in 1979, there was an immediate critical response toward the declaration of authenticity, as there already had been toward reports of the council's preliminary deliberations on the point. The criticisms introduced from the Roman Curia and reflected and enlarged in controversies that flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries, especially in Catholic Spain but in Protestant circles as well (a treatise from melanchthon appeared in the very year of the decree), embraced many elements, some of them grounded in misconceptions—e.g., did not the decree debase the scriptural originals and ignore the manifest faults of the Vulgate? [See B. Emmi, "Il Decreto Tridentino sulla Volgata nei commenti della prima (seconda) polemica protestanticocattolica," Angelicum 30 (1953) 107–130, 228–272.] A dissertation by St. Robert Bellarmine published posthumously in 1749 largely anticipated the now clear, official interpretation but could not check the continuing criticism of the council's action.
As recently as 1941 a long letter had to be addressed by the pontifical biblical commission to the archbishops and bishops of Italy to put them on their guard against an anonymous attack, made earlier in the year, upon the scientific study of Scripture, that claimed justification in the Tridentine decree Insuper (Enchiridion symbolorum 3794; Encyclopedia biblica 526). This letter, issued under the authority of Pope Pius XII, and especially two paragraphs of the same Pontiff's encyclical of September 1943, divino afflante spiritu (par. 21–22; Enchiridion symbolorum 3825; Encyclopedia biblica 549), state plainly the meaning of the council's use of the term "authentic": that the decree applied only to the Latin Church and to its public use of the Scriptures; that it diminished in no way the authority and value of the original texts, Hebrew or Greek; that the decree in effect affirmed that the Vulgate was free from any error whatever in matters of faith and morals and so could be quoted with complete authority in disputations, lectures, and preaching—that, in short, the term had been used primarily in a juridical rather than a critical sense; and that there had been no intention to prohibit the making of vernacular versions from the original texts rather than from the Vulgate.
Critical Studies. The Vulgate of the 1590s was not, then, the carefully amended recension prescribed by the Council of Trent. It remained for pius x, in 1907, to impose the task that would in fact bring this edition into being—a Vatican Vulgate. Much in the intervening three centuries had taken place in the world of scholarship that would help the 20th-century project toward its success. Only a few of these events can be mentioned here.
As early as 1618 there were the Romanae correctiones of the Lucas of Bruges. The Maurists A. Pouget and J. Martianay, in editing (1693) the works of St. Jerome, produced a new text of the Vulgate, largely based on the Theodulfian recension. Lacking a certain balance, therefore, this edition was not worthy to replace the Clementine and, fortunately, did not do so (in D. Vallarsi's reediting it occupies Patrologia Latina v.28, 29). Monumental work on the Old Latin text was done in the early 18th century by another Maurist, Pierre Sabatier. In England Richard bentley and J. Walker projected a New Testament (Greek and Latin). Although their plan did not mature, their extensive collections were preserved at Cambridge and proved useful to later scholars. At Leipzig in 1850, Konstantin von tischendorf, known also in Latin Biblical scholarship for editions of more than one Old Latin text, printed that of the Amiatinus. In 1873 he produced also an Old Testament begun by T. Heyse, in which the Clementine text was divided according to the cola et commata of the Amiatinus (also, the capitula of that manuscript were printed here). In 1893 Samuel Berger, a young Protestant pastor, encouraged to studies in the Latin Bible by Léopold V. Delisle (d.1910), produced his invaluable Histoire de la Vulgate pendant les premiers siècles du moyen âge (Paris 1893). Near at hand was the professorship at Munich of Ludwig traube (d. 1907), pregnant with blessing for those paleographical and historical studies in "the age of photography" that brought about and made fruitful the vast collections of facsimiles of manuscripts on which so much of 20th-century Biblical scholarship depends.
New Testament of Wordsworth and White. This rapid survey may serve to introduce a brief account of the two projects in the critical editing of Latin Vulgate text that are here called for—the Oxford edition of the New Testament of Wordsworth-White-Sparks (WWS) and the Benedictine work at Rome on the whole of the Vulgate Latin Bible (Vat. Vulg. ). Three scholars, helped indeed by many friends and assistants (among them Baron Von hÜgel), were the makers of this edition. Its first leader, John Wordsworth, when made Anglican bishop of Salisbury, found an able collaborator in another Oxford scholar, Henry J. White, at whose death (1934) yet a third Oxonian, H. F. D. Sparks, brought to completion in 1954 what had been started in 1889 and dedicated then to Queen Victoria. As the three-volume work progressed, the attention given by the editors to the Old Latin sources became greater, so much so that in the second and third volumes WWS goes far toward replacing Sabatier. Valuable supplements to the edition itself are the seven volumes (1883–1923) of Old-Latin Biblical Texts. In his assessment of WWS, Fischer (op. cit. ) pointed out various ways in which advances must still be made in editing the Vulgate New Testament.
Benedictine Edition. The stimulus to the Benedictine revision of the Vulgate came with a letter addressed by Pope Pius X on April 30, 1907, to the abbot primate asking the united efforts of the Benedictines of the Confederated Congregations toward realizing the truly adequate edition of the Vulgate that the Council of Trent had entrusted to the Holy See. A commission was set up under the direction of Dom Aidan (Francis Neil) gasquet (d.1929), the well-known historian. Among the members of the commission were Dom De Bruyne and Dom Henri quentin (d. 1935). Publication began in 1913 with a series of Collectanea Biblica Latina. The sixth in this series is of outstanding importance, Dom Quentin's Mémoire sur l'établissement du text de la Vulgate, providing conclusions and directives valid for all the future work of revision, and describing a method for classifying the manuscripts that, though not without its partisans, embroiled scholars on both sides of the Atlantic and has for the most part been rejected. In 1926 came the first volume of the new revision, presenting the text of Genesis. The form of presentation there adopted has continued throughout the dozen volumes that appeared. Horizontally the page is divided into four parts: at the top is the text in double columns, underneath is a triple apparatus. The first part of the latter presents the reading of the key manuscripts, whose relations generally determine the choice of reading; next, below, comes the full apparatus of variants, in double columns; the apparatus at the bottom presents from selected manuscripts the evidence for the cola et commata divisions of the text. Edited with no less diligence than the Scripture itself are the prologues or prefaces (especially those of St. Jerome) found in the manuscripts reported and the various sets of chapter headings or summaries (ten series in the case of the Book Genesis, which are subdivisible into 18 types).
New Editions of the Vulgate. In 1959, from the publishing house of Marietti in Rome, appeared a new Vulgate, noteworthy on several counts. One novelty is the generous provision of Psalter texts. The customary Gallicanum is joined in parallel columns not only by the New Psalter of Pius XII (1945; see below) but also by St. Jerome's Iuxta Hebraeos in the text of Dom H. de Sainte-Marie [Coll. Bibl. Lat. 11 (Vatican City 1954)]. More remarkable, the Marietti edition presents, in a critical apparatus attributed to the monks of S. Girolamo, the significant differences between the Clementine text and that of the Oxford New Testament, that of the Vat. Vulg. (through v.11: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs), and Dom De Bruyne's edition of the Maccabees (Vulgate column). The appearance of such an assembly of variants in an official edition of the Vulgate is noted by S. Garofalo in his preface as a first occurrence, permitted under a declaration of the Pontifical Biblical Commission of Nov. 17, 1921. These critical studies of the Vulgate gave impetus to the creation of the Neo-Vulgate, or New Vulgate, which became in 1979 the edition authorized by the Church. The New Vulgate replaced the Sisto-Clementine edition, which had prevailed since the Council of Trent.
New Vulgate. At the close of the Second Vatican Council, on Nov. 29, 1965, Pope Paul VI established the Pontifical Commission for the Neo-Vulgate, "an edition made desirable by the progress of biblical studies and the necessity of giving the Church and the world a new and authoritative text of Holy Scripture." (Paul VI in L'Ossservatore Romano, Dec. 8, 1977). Paul VI did not intend a new Latin translation but rather a restoration of St. Jerome's Vulgate, corrected in light of the "healthy critical requirements of our times." A team of exegetes and textual critics, working for just over 12 years, corrected the text on the basis of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts witnesses, supplemented by comparison with recent critical editions (including that of R. Weber, Stuttgart, 1969). The New Testament of the New Vulgate was published in three volumes in 1970–71 and the Old Testament in four volumes in 1976–77. Although the work came to a close in 1977 under Paul VI, it was Pope John Paul II, on April 25, 1979, who formally decreed and promulgated the new edition in an apostolic constitution Scripturarum Thesaurus (The Treasury of Scriptures). The New Vulgate would be the editio typica, the normative edition of the Church, serving as the text for liturgical books and official documents. The Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship first incorporated the psalms of the New Vulgate into the Liturgy of the Hours in 1971; the New Vulgate again served as the editio typica for the Liturgy of the Hours in 1985. In 1983 the New Vulgate supplied the Latin text for the Greek-Latin bilingual edition of Nestle-Aland's New Testament (Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine, ed. 26. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, 1983). The New Vulgate's status as the editio typica for the Church had thus been established; it is presupposed by the recent church document Liturgiam Authenticam (2001) which advises that Sacred Scriptures for liturgical use follow the Church's approved translation.
Bibliography: New work on the Latin Bible annually reported in the Année philologique (s.v. "Testamenta, -um") and in Biblica (in the "Elenchus bibliographicus biblicus," III, 5 and 6). Critical reports on the yield of successive periods of years in the "Bulletin d'ancienne littérature latine chrétienne" (supplement to Revue Bénédictine ), in the section "Bulletin de la Bible Latine"; latest installment (m. bogaert's report on 298 items) published with Revue Bénédictine 74 (1964) and 75 (1965). See also b. m. metzger, Annotated Bibliography of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament 1914–1939 (Copenhagen 1955) 30–45 (nos. 352–527); cf. New Testament Studies 2 (1955–56) 3–5; "Latin Versions," New Testament Manuscript Studies, ed. m. m. parvis and a. p. wikren (Chicago 1950) 51–61. Latin Bible in general. k. t. schÄfer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. 1957–65) 2:380–384. w. thiele, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 1957–65) 1:1196–97. a. robert and a. tricot, Guide to the Bible, tr. e. p. arbez and m. p. mcguire, 2 v. (Tournai-New York 1951–55; v.1 revised and enlarged 1960) 1:637–664, 674–676 (includes references on Biblical Latinity). a. allgeier, "Haec vetus et vulgata editio," Biblica 29 (1948) 353–390. "Prooemium," Biblia Polyglotta Matritensia (Madrid 1957). l. bieler, The Grammarian's Craft: An Introduction to Textual Criticism (Worcester, Massachusetts 1964) 21–27 (on Quentin's method), reprinted from (Classical) Folia 10.2 (1958) 13–19. l. brou, ed., The Psalter Collects from V–VIth Century Sources … from the Papers of the Late Dom André Wilmart (Henry Bradshaw Society 83; 1949). d. de bruyne and b. sodar, eds., Les Anciennes traductions latines des Machabées (Anecdota Maredsolana 4; Maredsous 1932). Clavis Patrum latinorum, ed. e. dekkers (2d ed. Steenbrugge 1961), Nos. 1947–94 (on Lectionaries), with Elenchus codicum, 462–467. o. eissfeldt, Einleitung in das Alte Testament (3d ed. Tübingen 1964) 973–977. b. fischer, "Die Bibel im Abendland," Vetus Latina: Arbeitsbericht 4 (1955) 12–23; "Bibelausgaben des frühen Mittelalters," La Bibbia nell'alto medioevo (Settimane di studio del Centro di studi sull'alto medioevo 10; Spoleto 1963) 519–600, 685–704; abr. in Vetus Latina: Arbeitsbericht 12 (1963) 10–38; "Codex Amiatinus und Cassiodor," Biblische Zeitschrift 6 (1962) 57–79. h. j. frede, Die lateinischen Texte des 1. Petrusbriefes (Vetus Latina: Aus der Geschichte der lateinischen Bibel 5; Freiburg 1965); Pelagius, der irische Paulustext, Sedulius Scottus (ibid. 3; 1961). j. gribomont, "Conscience philologique chez les scribes du haut moyen âge," La Bibbia nell'alto medioevo, op. cit. 601–630, 705–714; "L'Église et les versions bibliques," Maison-Dieu 62 (1960) 41–68. f. g. kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, 5th ed. rev. a. w. adams (New York 1958) 138–144, 238–264. m. j. lagrange, Introduction à l'étude du N.T., pt. 2: Critique textuelle 2: La Critique rationelle (2d ed. Études bibliques ;1935) 240–312, 421–441, 488–515, 539–568, 598–616. e. a. lowe, Codices latini antiquiores. A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts Prior to the Ninth Century (Oxford 1934–). e. a. lowe, English Uncial (Oxford 1960); "Codices rescripti," Mélanges E. Tisserant (Studi et Testi 5; 1964) 67–113, with six plates. p. mcgurk, Latin Gospel Books from A.D. 400 to A.D. 800 (Les Publications de Scriptorium 5; Paris 1961). a. merk, ed., Novum Testamentum Graece et Latinum (9th ed. Rome 1964). b. m. metzger, The Text of the New Testament (New York 1964) 72–79 and (on Quentin's method) 163–165. Richesses et déficiences des anciens psautiers latins (Collectanea Biblica Latina 13; Vatican City 1959). p. salmon, Les "Tituli Psalmorum" des manuscrits latins (ibid. 12; 1959). h. rÖnsch, Itala und Vulgata (2d ed. Marburg 1875). h. rost, Die Bibel im Mittelalter: Beiträge zur Geschichte und Bibliographie der Bibel (Augsburg 1939); Die Bibel in den ersten Jahrhunderten (Westheim bei Augsburg 1946). k. t. schÄfer, "Pelagius und die Vulgata," New Testament Studies 9 (1962–63) 361–366. b. smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (2d ed. New York 1952; repr. Notre Dame, Indiana 1964). f. stegmÜller, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi, 7 v. (Madrid 1949–61), especially v.1. o. stegmÜller, in Geschichte der Textüberlieferung der antiken und mittelalterlichen Literatur, ed. h. hunger et al., 2 v. (Zurich 1961–64) 1:190–194. f. stummer, Einführung in die lateinische Bibel (Paderborn 1928). e. f. sutcliffe, "The Name Vulgate," Biblica 29 (1948) 345–352. w. thiele, Wortschatzuntersuchungen zu den lateinischen Texten der Johannesbriefe (Vetus Latina: Aus der Geschichte der lateinischen Bibel 2; 1958). a. vaccari, Scritti di erudizionee filologia, 2 v. (Rome 1952–58). h. j. vogels, ed., Codicum Novi Testamenti specimina (Bonn 1929), plates 19–41, 50, 52–54; Handbuch der Textkritik des NT (2d ed. Bonn 1955) 78–110. a. vÖÖbus, Early Versions of the New Testament: Manuscript Studies (Stockholm 1954) 33–65. w. wikenhauser, New Testament Introduction, tr. j. cunningham (New York 1958) 93–108. Old Latin. b. botte, Dictionnaire de la Bible, supplemental ed. l. pirot, et al. 5:334–347. l. mÉchineau, Dictionnaire de la Bible, ed. f. vigouroux (Paris 1895–1912) 4:97–123. Vetus Latina: Die Reste der altlateinischen Bibel nach Petrus Sabatier neu gesammelt und herausgegeben von der Erzabtei Beuron, ed. b. fischer et al. (Freiburg 1949–) v.1, Verzeichnis der Sigel; v.1.1 (2d ed. 1963, with suppls.); v.2, Genesis; v.24.1–5, Ephesians; v.26.1–3, James, 1 and 2 Peter. Vetus Latina: Arbeitsbericht 1 (1951–52) and annually thereafter. a. jÜlicher et al, eds., Itala: Das Neue Testament in altlateinischer Überlieferung, 4 v. (Berlin 1938–63). t. ayuso marazuela, ed., Psalterium Visigothicum-Mozarabicum (Biblia Polyglotta Matritensia 7, L.21; Madrid 1957); La Vetus Latina Hispana: Prolegómenos (Madrid 1953); v.5 in three parts, El Salterio (Madrid 1962). d. de bruyne, "Le Problème du psautier romain," Revue Bénédictine 42 (1930) 101–126; "Saint Augustin reviseur de la Bible," Miscellanea Agostiniana 2 (Rome 1931) 521–606; Revue Bénédictine 45 (1933) 20–28. h. j. frede, Altlateinische Paulus-Handschriften (Vetus Latina: Aus der Geschichte der lateinischen Bibel 4; 1964). j. gribomont, "Le Calendrier en latin du Sinaï," Analecta Bollandiana 75 (1957) 110, with nn. 1 and 2. j. schildenberger, "Die Itala des hl. Augustinus," Colligere fragmenta: Festschrift A. Dold (Beuron 1952) 84–102. a. vaccari, "St. Augustin, St. Ambroise et Aquila," Augustinus Magister 3 (Paris 1955) 471–482. r. weber, Les Anciennes versions latines du deuxième livre des Paralipomènes (Collectanea Biblica Latina 8; Vatican City 1945); ed., Le Psautier romain et les autres psautiers latins (ibid. 10; 1953). Vulgate. e. mangenot, Dictionnaire de la Bible 5:2456–2500. Biblia sacra iuxta Latinam vulgatam versionem ad codicum fidem … cura et studio monachorum (Sancti Benedicti) edita … (Rome 1926–) v.1–12 embrace Genesis through Sirach. j. wordsworth et al., eds., Novum Testamentum Domini Nostri Iesu Christi Latine secundum editionem Sancti Hieronymi, 3 v. (Oxford 1889–1954); see review by b. fischer, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissencraft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche 46 (1955) 178–196. L'attività della Santa Sede, v.12–(1950–), annual reports on the work of the S. Girolamo Vulgate. t. ayuso marazuela, ed., Psalterium S. Hieronymi de Hebraica veritate interpretatum (Biblia Polyglotta Matritensia 8, L.21; Madrid 1960). s. berger, Histoire de la Vulgate pendant les premiers siècles du moyen âge (Paris 1893; repr. New York 1958); see review by p. corssen, Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen (1894) 855–875. t. j. brown and r. l. s. bruce-mitford, The Lindisfarne Gospels: A Complete Facsimile …, 2 v. (Olten-Lausanne 1956–60) 2:3–104, 281–295. f. cavallera, Saint Jérôme: Sa vie et son oeuvre, 2 v. (Spicilegium sacrum Lovaniense 1, 2; 1922). l. cottineau, "Chronologie des versions bibliques de Saint Jérôme," Miscellanea Geronimiana (Rome 1920) 43–68. d. de bruyne, "Étude sur les origines de notre texte latin de Saint Paul," Revue biblique 12 (1915) 358–392; "La Reconstitution du psautier hexaplaire latin," Revue Bénédictine 41 (1929) 297–324, especially 299 on the name "Gallican." h. de sainte-marie, ed., Sancti Hieronymi Psalterium iuxta Hebraeos (Collectanea Biblica Latina 11; Vatican City 1954). b. fischer, Die Alkuin-Bibel (Vetus Latina: Aus der Geschichte der lateinischen Bibel 1; 1957); "Bibeltext und Bibelreform unter Karl dem Grossen," in Karl der Grosse: Werk und Wirkung, ed. w. braunfels, v.1, Das geistige Leben, ed. b. bischoff (Düsseldorf 1965) 156–216. e. b. garrison, "Notes on the History of Certain Twelfth-Century Central Italian Manuscripts of Importance for the History of Printing," La Bibliofilia 54 (1952) 1–34; Studies in the History of Mediaeval Italian Painting, 4 v. (Florence 1953–60). h. h. glunz, History of the Vulgate in England from Alcuin to Roger Bacon (Cambridge, England 1933). j. gribomont, "Les Éditions critiques de la Vulgate," Studi medievali, 3d set., 2 (1961) 363–377. Libri Iudicum capitula selecta [10.1–12.15] iuxta Latinam Vulgatam versionem ad codicum fidem (Vatican City 1939), useful guide to the new Vatican Vulgate, with valuable adnotationes on the text and apparatus. r. loewe, "The Mediaeval Christian Hebraists of England," Hebrew Union College Annual 28 (1957) 205–252. g. morin, "Saint Jérôme et ses maîtres hébreux," Revue Bénédictine 46 (1934) 145–164. m. b. ogle, "The Way of All Flesh," Harvard Theological Review 31 (1938) 41–51; "Bible Text or Liturgy," ibid. 33 (1940) 191–224. w. e. plater and h. j. white, A Grammar of the Vulgate (Oxford 1926). h. quentin, Essais de critique textuelle (Paris 1926); Mémoire sur l'établissement du texte de la Vulgate (Collectanea Biblica Latina 6; Rome-Paris 1922). f. rosenthal, Christian Hebraists of Western Europe: The Hebrew Scriptures in Christian Learning from the Time of the Vulgate of Jerome to the "Opus Grammaticum" of Münster (University of Pittsburgh Bulletin 42.1; 1946). j. o. smit, De Vulgaat … (Roermond 1948), rich in illustrations especially of manuscripts and the working materials of the Benedictine Vulgate project. d. h. wright, American Journal of Archaeology 67 (1963) 219, on the Springmont Bog Psalter tablets. New Vulgate. john paul ii, "Letter to Biblical Symposium: From Revelation the Church Draws Faith and Rule of Life," L'Osservatore Romano 41 (Oct. 14, 1985) 10. t. stramare, "The Neo-Vulgate: an Extraordinary Historical Event," L'Osservatore Romano 49 (Dec. 8, 1977) 9–10, 12. t. stramare, "The Second Edition Typical of the New Vulgate," L'Osservatore Romano 51–52 (Dec. 22 to 29, 1986) 16,12.
[l. f. hartman/
b. f. peebles/
Vulgate (vŭl´gāt) [Lat. Vulgata editio=common edition], most ancient extant version of the whole Christian Bible. Its name derives from a 13th-century reference to it as the
The official Latin version of the Roman Catholic Church, it was prepared c.AD 383–AD 405 by St. Jerome (c.342–420) at the request of Pope St. Damasus I, his patron. The Vulgate was intended to replace the Old Latin version (the
), which was translated from the Greek. Jerome first revised the Old Latin Gospels, translating them in 383–84. Using the Septuagint and Origen's Hexapla, he set to work (385–89) on Job, the Psalms, Chronicles, the books attributed to Solomon, and chapters 40–55 of Isaiah. From 390–405, Jerome used the Hebrew Masoretic text, with the aid of several rabbis, for the basis of his translation. Regarding the Psalms, Jerome made three versions: the Roman Psalter, a mild revision of the Old Latin translation of the Septuagint, used in the Roman liturgy until c.1570; the Gallican Psalter, a revision of the Old Latin to parallel it with the Hebrew Masoretic text; and the later Hebrew Psalter, a new translation of the Hebrew Masoretic text. Texts of the Vulgate now contain the Gallican Psalter. As to the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament, Jerome made hasty translations of Tobit, Judith, and the additions to Daniel and Esther; the rest he did not touch, hence the Vulgate includes Old Latin versions of them. From the 5th cent. the Vulgate was popular in the West; by the early Middle Ages it was used everywhere by the Latin churches of the West. All the early vernacular translations were from the Vulgate, which was the first Bible printed on Gutenberg's press. In 1546 the Council of Trent made the Vulgate the official version of the Catholic Church, and in 1592 the official text with no variants was promulgated by Clement VIII. All subsequent editions of the Vulgate published with the church's imprimatur represent this Clementine edition.
See J. N. D. Kelly, Jerome (1975); B. M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament (1977). See also the Benedictine and the Stuttgart editions.
Vul·gate / ˈvəlˌgāt; -gət/ • n. 1. the principal Latin version of the Bible, prepared mainly by St. Jerome in the late 4th century, and (as revised in 1592) adopted as the official text for the Roman Catholic Church. 2. (vul·gate) [in sing.] formal common or colloquial speech: I required a new, formal language in which to address him, not the vulgate. 3. (vul·gate) the traditionally accepted text of any author.
VULGATE (Latin Vulgata (versio); "common version"), *Jerome's translation into Latin of the Bible, Apocrypha, and New Testament. Jerome's translation enjoyed general appreciation and acceptance in Western Christendom during the Middle Ages, thus becoming known as the Vulgate. Until recently the Vulgate was the only text used in the Roman Catholic liturgy. For a full discussion, see *Bible, Translations.