Biblical scholar renowned for his work on the Old Latin Version of the Bible; b. Poitiers, France, 1682; d. Reims, March 24, 1742. After his studies under T. rui nart at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, he became a Maurist Benedictine at Meaux (1700). From 1702 to 1709 he collaborated with Ruinart on the Annales bénédictines, but after Ruinart's death he devoted his energies to the study of the text of the Old Latin Version of the Bible. These labors were not interrupted by his transfer to the Abbey of Saint-Nicaisse, Reims, when, like many of his confreres, he was suspected of Jansenism after the publication of the bull Unigenitus (1713). For more than 30 years Sabatier gathered quotations taken from the Old Latin Version as found in the MSS and printed editions of the Church Fathers and liturgical documents. In 1735 he began preparing for the publication of the gigantic work, but he died shortly before it appeared under the title Bibliorum sacrorum Latinae versiones antiquae, seu Vetus Italica … (3 v. Reims 1743–49, Paris 1751). Although Sabatier labored under the false opinion that before St. Jerome's version there was only one Latin version of the Scriptures, which he called Italica, and despite certain other defects in his method, his work still remains of immense value for restoring the pre–Jerome Latin translations of the Bible. J. Denk (1849–1927) began work on a "New Sabatier," which since 1949 has been continued on a much more scientific basis by the Vetus Latina Institute of the Abbey of beuron. See B. M. Peebles, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 16 (1954) 210–225; 20 (1958) 105–108.
Bibliography: g. heer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 9:188. e. mangenot, Revue des sciences ecclésiastiques 58 (1888) 97–132. j. denk, "Sabatier, sein Itala-Sammelwerk und dessen Neubearbeitung," Theologie und Glaube 1 (1909) 787–791; Der neue Sabatier (Leipzig 1914).
[l. f. hartman]