Use the “Vulgate” or the inspired text?


While the Vulgate has “a” correct sense, which should not be not considered, one is to strive to get the fullest sense from the inspired text, whatever language that is, whether Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician. That‘s the teaching of the Church. We Catholics don’t consider the Vulgate to be inspired, as many non-Catholics think somehow that the King James Version is inspired. Some people complain that this is archeologism, a kind of heresy in their eyes even for the inspired Biblical text, but that’s when such complainers become heretics. The inspired text is part and parcel of the revelation, which is unchanging, complete. Yes, let’s see what Jerome did for textual criticism, for he was brilliant. But he himself wasn’t too concerned about the fullest sense, bowing instead to just wanting to keep the status quo inasmuch as he could, even against his better judgment. But that’s Jerome. Then there’s Augustine, who attacks the persnicketiness of language trolls. But then there’s the teaching of the Church about the beauty of what’s inspired. Let’s take everything we can from the Fathers and the Vulgate, but let’s also follow after the Holy Spirit, as those very Fathers of the Church would have us do. They would have wanted to know back in the day what we know about language today.

By the way, the Nova Vulgata is absolutely not the Vulgate!


Filed under Vulgate

3 responses to “Use the “Vulgate” or the inspired text?

  1. If there was a “like” button, I would have used it. One of the reasons I enjoy the Knox translation is all of the notes. He translates the Vulgate, but has many informative notes in which he uses textual criticism.

  2. monicaharris58

    This reminds me of that kryptos palimpsest thing. I am reading the short autobiography of st robert bellarmine now and one time he put two choices into a chalice and drew one of them out to figure out what God wanted him to do. He was correct most of the time but he had some rare gifts!
    So uncertain when you say “follow after the Holy Spirit” because we need good guides too at the present time. The Church, the Fathers, and people like you.

    • Father George David Byers

      The Holy Spirit forms us to be members of the Body of Christ. Jesus, the Head, is the Word of God, most reasonable, most certain.

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