Latin Critical Text History

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"Jerome’s Vulgate is also unique in occupying the first place in
the history of Western printing.   The Gutenberg Bible, of which
47 copies are still known, employed a version of the Vulgate
known as the Paris Recension
, which thereafter was the basis for
nearly all printed Latin Bibles until comparative critical texts
began to appear in the late 1520’s."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
Heretick Jerome produced a corrupt Latin text.]

"It is recognized that the Itala was-translated from the Received Text (Syrian, Hort calls it); that the Vulgate is the Itala with the readings of the Received
Text removed." per Jack A. Moorman, p. 108.

   "We have now to speak of the version of Jerome.   The labours of this most learned of the Fathers
will be described most clearly by mentioning, in chronological order, the respective versions and
revisions which he undertook.
   His first labour was the correction [revision] of the Latin text of the New Testament, beginning with the
Four Gospels, which he undertook at the request of Pope Damasus: this was executed about the year
382, after Jerome's return to Rome from the East.   He used the old Latin version, then in common
use, as a basis; but as it was incorrect in many ways, and passages in one gospel had been inserted in
another, etc., he amended it in accordance with ancient Greek MSS.   He feared innovating too much,
and thus he did not correct every thing which he thought inaccurate.   In his other works, he often
mentions renderings and readings which he preferred to those which he allowed to remain in his version.
   Soon after this revision of the Latin New Testament, he corrected [revised] the Psalter then in common
use at Rome, by amending some of the places in which it was wide of the LXX. text, from which it
had been originally translated.   This revision obtained the sanction of the church at Rome, and it was
widely used at one time in the Latin Church: in this country it was used at Canterbury alone until the
.   The Council of Trent, however, rejected this version in favour of the Gallican Psalter,
of which we have next to speak; its use was henceforth confined simply to the city of Rome.
   After the return of Jerome to the East in 384, he employed himself, in his retreat at Bethlehem,
in carefully making a recension of the Old Testament, in accordance with the Hexaplar text of the
LXX.   The Psalter, with which he seems to have begun, obtained a wide use in the Latin Church,
under the name of the Gallican Psalter: the Council of Trent adopted it as of authority, as it had then
a place in the Latin Bibles.   Jerome proceeded in his revision of the Old Testament, in accordance
with the Hexaplar text of the LXX.: the whole of this version, however (except the Psalms, Job,
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, and Chronicles), was, as he says in a letter to Augustine, lost by fraud.
Job is the only book of this version which we possess, besides the Psalms, as already stated.
   But even while Jerome was occupied with the recension according to the LXX., he had com-
menced and made considerable progress in a far more important work.   With great pains he had
acquired a very fair knowledge of Hebrew, and several of his friends were anxious to profit by his
superior attainments: at their solicitations he translated book after book of the Old Testament, between
the years 385 and 405.   This important work was looked on by many as an innovation; loud were
the outcries against any departure from the LXX., which was then commonly believed to be possessed
of divine authority.   It proves that Jerome's strength of purpose must indeed have been great; or
else a person so sensitive as to his own reputation for orthodoxy would never have stemmed the
opposition that was raised.   His energy in acquiring the Hebrew language was very remarkable; he
obtained all the information he could from Jewish teachers, and he made diligent use of all the Greek
versions then extant.   His Latinity, though not classical, is vigorous; indeed his version is refined
and elegant, when compared with the translation into that language which was current in the days of
   Jerome's labours were gradually appreciated; after a lapse of about two centuries, his version from
the Hebrew of all the Old Testament, except the Psalms, and his revision of the New, were adopted
pretty generally: the Psalms were taken from his version from the LXX.   The adoption, however, of
Jerome's version occasioned its corruption, by the admixture of the older renderings, and by other
mistakes of copyists.   The first reviser of whom we read was the celebrated Englishman, Alcuin, who
about the year 802, at the command of Charlemagne, endeavoured to correct the Vulgate, as Jerome's
version, as transmitted, was called.   It was formerly thought by some, that he revised with the Hebrew
and Greek texts; but it has been shown that this was not his object: he only endeavoured to restore
the text as it stood in ancient Latin copies.   A noble MS. of Alcuin's recension in now in the British
Museum.   Other revisions were undertaken by Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury (ob. 1089), and others,
for the text was continually injured by copyists.
   After the invention of printing, the first book to which this almost divine art was applied was the

Latin Vulgate.   The first edition has no indication of place or date: the earliest which is dated is that
of Mayence, 1462.   The first printers just followed the copy which they could most conveniently
procure.   Cardinal Ximenes took some pains to give the text more carefully in the Complutensian
Polyglot, 1514-17; and yet farther care was taken in the editions of Robert Stephens, 1528-46; of
Hentenius, 1547; and of the Louvain divines in 1573.   Meanwhile, in 1546, the Council of Trent
had decreed the Latin Vulgate to be "authentic;" and it was considered to be the prerogative of the
Popes to issue an authoritative edition.   In 1590 this was done by Sixtus the Fifth, a little before his
death.   Although he threatened with excommunication any one who should vary from his text, his
third successor, Clement the Eighth, in 1592, published a very different text: he professed in this
merely to correct the errata of the Sixtine text; but this does not explain the variations.   In 1593,
another edition was published with some alterations, which, with a few corrections made soon after,
is the standard Vulgate of the whole Romish Church.
   It is not regarded, even by Romanists, as altogether the genuine version of Jerome; and some
renderings are palpably corrupt, so as to suit false dogmas.
  The Benedictine editors of Jerome in 1693,
Martianay and Poujet, used MS. authority for printing his biblical versions, as also did the Verona
editors, Vallarsi and Mattei, in 1734-42.
   There are also other MSS. of Jerome's translation extant, of great antiquity and excellence;
particularly the Codex Amiatinus at Florence, of which an imperfect collation has been published.
It has since been twice collated in the New Testament part; and from this and similar sources the
version of Jerome might be restored to nearly the condition in which it left his hand.
   As Jerome's own translation of the Psalms from the Hebrew is not contained in the Vulgate, it
has been given, as well as that of the Vulgate, in the Biblia Polyglotta Ecclesiæ and the Hexaplar
, under the name which it usually bears, Psalterium Hebraicum.
   Although no version but the Vulgate has ever been received as "authentic" by the Romish
Church, yet, on account of the many errors and corruptions by which that text is disfigured, several
attempts have been made, by Catholics as well as by Protestants, to produce more correct Latin versions.
The following is a brief description of these modern translations:--

  1. [See 1528 S. Pagninus text below.]
  2. [See A. Montanus text below.]
  3. The version of Malvenda, a Spanish Dominican, printed at Lyons in 1650, was never
    regarded with any estimation, on account of its obscure and ungrammatical diction, and
    it has now completely fallen into oblivion.
  4. The version of Cardinal Cajetan comprises only the Old Testament, and was published at
    Lyons in 1639.   Cajetan had no knowledge of Hebrew, but he employed two trans-
    lators well acquainted with that language, the one a Jew and the other a Christian, to
    execute the version under his superintendence.   This, like the preceding translations,
    adheres rigidly to the very letter of the text.

  5. The version of Houbigant, celebrated for the elegance and freedom of its style, was published
    at Paris in 1753, in a critical edition of the Hebrew Bible.   This version, which com-
    prises only the Old Testament, is executed from Father Houbigant's emended Hebrew

   These five modern versions were all produced by Roman Catholics."--1860   S. Bagster   [Info only]

"1456? [b]ible Gutenberg, Mainz
The first Bible printed in the West, and probably the second printed
  (There is evidence that Gutenberg printed a Missal c. 1450.)
The Bible is also known as the 42-line Bible, or the Mazarin Bible,
because it was ‘rediscovered’ by bibliographers in the library of
Cardinal Mazarin.   Printing started in 1452 and is thought to have
been completed in 1456.   The book itself is not dated.
-- 1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: RCC.
GUTENBERG BIBLE   "1456" Mark 1:2 incorrect (ysaia [pro]pheta = Isaiah prophet).]

"1457 Psalms Fust & Schoeffer, Mainz
The ‘Mainz Psalter’, the first book which contained the date of printing
and name of printer.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]

"1459? Bible ?publisher
The 39-line Bible, of controversial date.   It is thought by some to ante-
date the Gutenberg Bible.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]

"1460? Bible Mentelin, Strassburg
The ‘Strassburg Bible’, the first book printed in that city, but of un-
certain date
(not later that 1460).   Other early editions of the Bible
were printed in Strassburg in 1460 by W. Eggensteyn.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
See German Bible History.]

"1462 Bible Fust & Schoeffer, Mainz
The first Bible in which the date of printing and name of printer occur.
During the 15th century 94 editions of the Latin Vulgate appeared,
nearly all based on Gutenberg’s text.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]

"1514-1517 Bible Alcala
The Complutensian Polyglot, first of the great polyglots; Latin text
in the Vulgate
, as well as later translations of the Greek and Chaldee.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin Vulgate text.]

"1517 Psalms Porrus, Genoa
The Latin Vulgate, as well as Latin translations of the Hebrew and
(Chaldee).   Other important Polyglot Psalters appeared in
1518 in Cologne and Basel.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]

  1. "The version of Pagninus, containing the Old and New Testaments, was published at Lyons in
    1528.   This is a very close and servile representation of the original texts, and the
    diction is often obscure and barbarous.   Pagninus was a Dominican monk of great
    learning, and he executed this version under the patronage of the Popes, Leo X.,
    Adrian VI., and Clement VII.   His version of the Old Testament was reprinted by
    Stephens in 1557."
    --1860   S. Bagster   [Info only: a Roman Catholic.]

LATIN.   PAGNINUS'S VERSION.--The Bible of Every Land. (1860, Second Edition)   Samuel Bagster   [Info only: n.d. Exodus 15:1-13 unknown; used Iehouæ & Iehouáh.]

"1528 Bible A. du Ry, Lyons[, France]
Translated by Sanctes Pagninus of Lucca, the first Latin version in
modern times to be made from the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
SP, an Italian Catholic theologian.]

"1528 Bible R. Stephanus, Paris
The first modern Latin version representing a scholarly attempt at the
preparation of a critical text, by collating several existing texts.   Later

revisions by Stephanus appeared in 1530 and 1538-1540.   Slightly
variant texts were also published by other printers.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
FIRST STEPHANUS EDITION   "1528" Mark 1:2 is incorrect (Isaia propheta = Isaiah prophet).]

"1541 [b]ible S. Colines, Paris
A recension of the Vulgate edited by J. Benedictus.   Revisions were
prepared by H. Bendist
(Paris, 1564) and J. Faber, or Lefèvre (Paris,
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: incorrect Latin text.
Simon de Colines was the step-father of Robert Stephanus.]

"1542 Bible Trechsel, Lyons
A revision of the Vulgate, prepared by the controversial theologian
Michael Servetus, who may have prepared a slight redaction of the
Stephanus text, published in 1532 by Trechsel.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.
MS, anti-Trinitarian per CC.]

"1547 [b]ible B. Gravius, Louvain
The ‘Louvain Latin Bible’, prepared by the Theological Faculty of the
Roman Catholic University of Louvain, and edited by Johannes
Hentenius.   It varied little from the Stephanus version.   The Louvain
text and its revision in 1574 served as the standard text of the Roman
until the appearance of the Sixtine Vulgate.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.]

"1572 New Testament Antwerp
The Antwerp Polyglot, containing a translation of the N.T. from the
Syriac, by G. Boderianus.
-- 1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only: ?]

  1. "The revision of the version of Pagninus by Arias Montanus was published in the Antwerp,
    Paris, and London Polyglots.   In this revision the most literal signification of the
    Hebrew words is given without any reference to the context, and even the number of
    Latin words is accommodated to that of the Hebrew.   The chief use of this revision is
    therefore that of a grammatical commentary for Hebrew students.   In the New Testa-
    ment, Montanus chiefly made use of the Vulgate, contenting himself with correcting
    it in a few places according to the Greek."
    --The Bible of Every Land. (1860, Second Edition)   Samuel Bagster   [Info only: a Roman Catholic.]

"1590 [b]ible Vatican, Rome
The Sixtine Vulgate, prepared by a committee of scholars, directed by
Antonio Caraffa, and under the direct supervision of Pope Sixtus V.
The work was envisioned by Sixtus’ predecessors, Pius IV and Pius V,
who collected several ancient Mss. for this purpose.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.]

"1592 [b]ible Vatican, Rome
The Sixtine-Clementine Vulgate, or ‘Clementine Bible’.   It was pre-
pared, because of critical reception of the Sixtine Vulgate, by a com-
mission under the direction of Marco A. Colonna.   It remains the basis of
the standard Roman Catholic edition.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
CLEMENTINE VULGATE   "1593" Mark 1:2 incorrect (Isaia propheta = Isaiah prophet).]

"1738-1740 [b]ible Verona
Vols. 9 and 10 of Domenico Valarsi’s edition of Jerome’s works, in-
cluding a version of Jerome’s Vulgate based on a comparison of early
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.]

"1824 [b]ible Tübingen
An edition of the Clementine Vulgate with variations, prepared by
Leander van Ess.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.]

"1861 [b]ible Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, Rome
A revision of the Clementine text by Carlo Vercellone."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.]

"1873 [o]ld [t]estament Leipzig
The Clementine text with variants, edited by Theodor Heyse and L.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.]

"1889-1954 [n]ew [t]estament Oxford
A reconstruction of Jerome’s text, prepared by John Words-
worth and H. J. White."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.]

"1906 [b]ible Innsbrück
The Clementine [b]ible, edited by Michael Hetzenauer."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text.]

"1906 [n]ew [t]estament Württemberg BS, Stuttgart
A critical edition of the N.T., edited by Eberhard Nestle.   It presents
the Clementine Vulgate of 1592, with the variants of the Sixtine
edition, Wordsworth and White, and other editions.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text & Greek CT.]

"1943 [n]ew [t]estament (with Greek)   Madrid
Prepared by J. M. Bover, on the basis of the Clementine Vulgate."
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only:
incorrect Latin text & Greek CT.]

"1945 [p]salms Pontifical Institute, Rome
Revised by a committee of Roman Catholic scholars.   [e]cclesiastes and
[s]ong of [s]olomon were also further edited by Fr. Bea.
--1000 Tongues, 1972   [Info only]