The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the Vetus Latina (old Latin translations). Its widespread adoption eventually led to the eclipse of these older latin translations. By the 13th century this revision had come to be called the versio vulgata, that is, the “commonly used translation”. In the 16th century it became the definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible in the Roman Catholic Church.
The Vulgate has a compound text that is not entirely the work of Jerome. Its components include:
Jerome’s independent translation from the Hebrew: the books of the Hebrew Bible, usually not including his translation of the Psalms. This was completed in 405.
Translation from the Greek of Theodotion by Jerome: The three additions to the Book of Daniel; Song of the Three Children, Story of Susanna, and The Idol Bel and the Dragon. The Song of the Three Children was retained within the narrative of Daniel, the other two additions Jerome moved to the end of the book.
Translation from the Septuagint by Jerome: the Rest of Esther. Jerome gathered all these additions together at the end of the book of Esther.
Translation from the Hexaplar Septuagint by Jerome: his Gallican version of the Book of Psalms. Jerome’s Hexaplaric revisions of other books of Old Testament continued to circulate in Italy for several centuries, but only Job and fragments of other books survive.
Free translation by Jerome from a secondary Aramaic version: Tobias and Judith.
Revision by Jerome of the Old Latin, corrected with reference to the oldest Greek manuscripts available: the Gospels.
Old Latin, more or less revised by a person or persons unknown: Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, 3 Esdras, Acts, Epistles, and the Apocalypse.
Old Latin, wholly unrevised: Epistle to the Laodiceans, Prayer of Manasses, 4 Esdras, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.
The Clementine Vulgate (Biblia Sacra Vulgatæ Editionis Sixti Quinti Pontificis Maximi iussu recognita atque edita) is the edition most familiar to Catholics who have lived prior to the liturgical reforms following Vatican II.
After the Reformation, when the Catholic Church strove to counter the attacks and refute the doctrines of Protestantism, the Vulgate was reaffirmed in the Council of Trent as the sole, authorized Latin text of the Bible. To fulfill this declaration, the council commissioned the pope to make a standard text of the Vulgate out of the countless editions produced during the Renaissance and manuscripts produced during the Middle Ages. The actual first manifestation of this authorized text did not appear until 1590. It was sponsored by Pope Sixtus V (1585–90) and known as the Sistine Vulgate. It was based on the edition of Robertus Stephanus corrected to agree with the Greek, but it was hurried into print and suffered from many printing errors.
The Sixtine edition was soon replaced by Clement VIII (1592–1605) who had ordered Franciscus Toletus, Augustinus Valerius, Fredericus Borromaeus, Robertus Bellarmino, Antonius Agellius, and Petrus Morinus to make corrections and a revision. This new revised version was based more on the Hentenian edition. It is called today the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate, or simply the Clementine, although it is Sixtus’ name which appears on the title page. Clement published three printings of this edition, in 1592, 1593 and 1598.
The Clementine differed from the manuscripts on which it was ultimately based in that it grouped the various prefaces of St. Jerome together at the beginning, and it removed 3 and 4 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasses from the Old Testament and placed them as Apocrypha into an appendix following the New Testament.
The Psalter of the Clementine Vulgate, like that of almost all earlier printed editions, is the Gallicanum, omitting Psalm 151. It follows the Greek numbering of the Psalms, which differs from that in versions translated directly from the Hebrew.
The Clementine Vulgate of 1592 became the standard Bible text of the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church until 1979, when the Nova Vulgata was promulgated.
The sources of the text used in the BibleGet project are:
An example quote from the Clementine Vulgata using the BibleGet Gutenberg block (in the WordPress sense of the term):
1 Intellectus Asaph. [Ut quid, Deus, repulisti in finem, iratus est furor tuus super oves pascuæ tuæ ? 2 Memor esto congregationis tuæ, quam possedisti ab initio. Redemisti virgam hæreditatis tuæ, mons Sion, in quo habitasti in eo. 3 Leva manus tuas in superbias eorum in finem : quanta malignatus est inimicus in sancto ! 4 Et gloriati sunt qui oderunt te in medio solemnitatis tuæ ; posuerunt signa sua, signa : 5 et non cognoverunt sicut in exitu super summum. Quasi in silva lignorum securibus 6 exciderunt januas ejus in idipsum ; in securi et ascia dejecerunt eam. 7 Incenderunt igni sanctuarium tuum ; in terra polluerunt tabernaculum nominis tui. 8 Dixerunt in corde suo cognatio eorum simul : Quiescere faciamus omnes dies festos Dei a terra. 9 Signa nostra non vidimus ; jam non est propheta ; et nos non cognoscet amplius. 10 Usquequo, Deus, improperabit inimicus ? irritat adversarius nomen tuum in finem ? 11 Ut quid avertis manum tuam, et dexteram tuam de medio sinu tuo in finem ? 12 Deus autem rex noster ante sæcula : operatus est salutem in medio terræ. 13 Tu confirmasti in virtute tua mare ; contribulasti capita draconum in aquis. 14 Tu confregisti capita draconis ; dedisti eum escam populis Æthiopum. 15 Tu dirupisti fontes et torrentes ; tu siccasti fluvios Ethan. 16 Tuus est dies, et tua est nox ; tu fabricatus es auroram et solem. 17 Tu fecisti omnes terminos terræ ; æstatem et ver tu plasmasti ea. 18 Memor esto hujus : inimicus improperavit Domino, et populus insipiens incitavit nomen tuum. 19 Ne tradas bestiis animas confitentes tibi, et animas pauperum tuorum ne obliviscaris in finem. 20 Respice in testamentum tuum, quia repleti sunt qui obscurati sunt terræ domibus iniquitatum. 21 Ne avertatur humilis factus confusus ; pauper et inops laudabunt nomen tuum. 22 Exsurge, Deus, judica causam tuam ; memor esto improperiorum tuorum, eorum quæ ab insipiente sunt tota die. 23 Ne obliviscaris voces inimicorum tuorum : superbia eorum qui te oderunt ascendit semper.]