God’s Word- The Vulgate?

A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. The Bible was written in Belgium in 1407 AD, for reading aloud in a monastery.


3:16 omnis scriptura divinitus inspirata et utilis ad docendum ad
arguendum ad corrigendum ad erudiendum in iustitia
3:17 ut perfectus sit homo Dei ad omne opus bonum instructus
(2 Timothy 3:16,17 Vulgate)

The vulgate Bible landed in the church in the year 405 when Jerome erstwhile known as Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius completed it so that there would be one single Latin Translation, taken from the original Sources.

In 5th century Italy many residents Spoke Koine Greek and so understood the Scriptures in the original Language and if they had no Hebrew they used the Septuagint which was written in Greek. Anyone who spoke Greek therefore had access to the entire Bible.

Jerome’s motivation for a Latin Bible was to provide Scripture for those members of the  Empire who had no Greek – Thus, early translations appeared in various languages, notably Latin (becoming the standard language of the Western Empire), Syriac, and Coptic in the East.

However there were a great many different Latin Translations containing errors because of the poor Greek possessed by their translators.

Pope Damasus, who wanted the Language of the Western Church to be Latin encouraged Jerome to produce such a Bible.

Working in Rome and then in Bethlehem Jerome utilized the Septuagint for the Old Testament, and as he did so he noted the difference in the Canon between the two versions. i.e Hebrew and Greek. Working then from Hebrew, Jerome translated the entire Scriptures with the notation that the extra Books were to be of Deuterocanonical Purposes for edification rather than Doctrine which is the decision reached by the leaders of the Protestant Reformation over 1000 years Later.

Unfortunately what was a People’s Bible in the 5th Century persisted in being acclaimed as such a reliable translation that eventually it remained with the Church like an Albatros because finally very few could read and understand it.