What's so bad about the Vulgate?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Pete Richert, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    So I enjoy studying Biblical languages just as a hobby and I am thinking about adding Latin to my two other conquests (don't worry KJVO boys, I wouldn't trust my own understanding to correct Frank's Internal Revised Living Translation). Of course, I am really only interested in theological writings and probably at most reading the Latin Vulgate. So a question arises, what is so bad about this translation? I'm not being rhetorical, I really want to know. For those of you who have studied this and know, what passages have such a RC bias that they are clearly mistranslated. Thanks.
     
  2. BrianT

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    I look forward to seeing what kind of responses you get. I personally don't think the Vulgate is bad at all. I think many people think it is bad, simply because of the RCC connotation it carries.
     
  3. Pastor_Bob

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    The first Latin translation of the Bible is known as the "Old Latin" and was made no later than than 157 A.D. for the young churches established throughout the Italian Alps. This translation is also referred to as the Italia Bible. It is closely allied with the Textus Receptus .

    In 382 A.D., Roman Bishop Damascus commissioned Jerome to revive the "archaic" Old Latin Bible. This revision became known as the Latin Vulgate.

    It is my opinion that this revision was used to usher in the Dark Ages.

    One of the biggest problems with the Latin Vulgate is that it is the work of a single man - Jerome, who used Pamphilus' library for his primary source in this translation.

    The Latin Vulgate is to the Old Latin Bible what the MVs are to the KJV. Just an unnecessary and unsuccessful attempt to revise the Word of God.

    This is a very interesting study that I am thoroughly enjoying digging into to. Thank you for the thread Pete.

    Pastor Bob
     
  4. HankD

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    From the Vulgate came the Douay-Rheims Catholic English version of the Scriptures which pre-dates the KJV. Many many readings in the Douay and the KJV are identical. Hmm, who copied who?

    The Vulgate is a mixed bag of text families.
    All in all its not so bad (IMO).

    The Vulgate includes the Apocrypha, but then again so did the original 1611 KJV.

    I believe (I'm not certain) but I believe the oldest complete Bible (OT and NT) is a Vulgate from the 8th or 9th Century. The Speculum?
    DocCas?

    HankD

    [ September 11, 2002, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  5. kman

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    Does anybody know how closely the Old Latin and the Textus Receptus agree?

    Are they "almost" identical..or just..ummm..kinda?

    I've read various claims by KJO advocates about it but haven't seen any hard evidence (I think most just cite some 7th day adventist named Wilkenson(?) but it isn't clear if there is research evidence or just wishful thinking behind his claims).

    -kman

    [ September 11, 2002, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: kman ]
     
  6. DocCas

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    The Latin Version was the complete Bible translated into Latin, portions of which may date to the second century A. D. Jerome is generally credited with the first complete Latin version still extant, called the Latin Vulgate, or Jerome's Vulgate, which dates to the fourth century.

    When the Roman Catholic cleric Jerome was commissioned by the Bishop of Rome to produce a new Latin version, he wrote a letter in 383 A. D. to the person commissioning the translation stating: "Thou compellest me to make a new work out of an old so that after so many copies of the Scriptures have been dispersed throughout the whole world I am as it were to occupy the post of arbiter, and seeing they differ from one another am to determine which of them are in agreement with the original Greek. If they maintain that confidence is to be reposed in the Latin exemplars, let them answer which, for there are almost as many copies of the translations as manuscripts. But if the truth is to be sought from the majority, why not rather go back to the Greek original, and correct the blunders which have been made by incompetent translators, made worse rather then better by the presumption of unskillful correctors, and added to or altered by careless scribes." It was Jerome's contention that in his day a number of manuscripts existed that had been "altered, " "corrected," and otherwise corrupted by "careless scribes" and "incompetent translators," and the only way to insure the new Latin translation was to be accurate was to allow him to go to the majority of the Greek manuscripts that were in common usage in his time. Unfortunately, has Roman masters did not allow him to do so, and his Vulgate was simply a revision of the already existing Latin versions using the Western textform.

    Part of the reason for the variants in the LV was that the Vulgate is based on the so-called "Western" textform, which only existed from the 3rd through the 5th centuries and probably represented a partially corrected Alexandrian textform.

    We don't really know what the first complete bible was, but the two old codices Aleph and B are complete bibles, but with pages missing, which is not uncommon in such ancient codices.
     
  7. HankD

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    Metzger has the Codex Amiatinus which is in the Laurentian Library at Florence as "a magnificent manuscript containing the whole Bible". He says that it was written by order of Ceolfrid, Abbot of Jarrow and Wearmouth, and sent by him as a gift to Pope Gregory in 716. "Many scholars regard it as the best manuscript of the Vulgate."

    I dont know for sure but I believe it is the oldest manuscript of the complete Bible (nothing missing) in existence.

    HankD

    [ September 11, 2002, 01:59 PM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  8. Pete Richert

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    Yea, does anyone know. If they are almost identical, shouldn't this put to rest this whole textual issue? If we can date this translation to the second century and it matches the Byzantine Textform, wouln't that remove the biggest objection towards the Byzantine texts?
     
  9. kman

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    Yea, does anyone know. If they are almost identical, shouldn't this put to rest this whole textual issue? If we can date this translation to the second century and it matches the Byzantine Textform, wouln't that remove the biggest objection towards the Byzantine texts?</font>[/QUOTE]I found a link from the Anti-KJO camp regarding
    this issue:

    http://www.kingjamesonly.org/Articles/truth_about_the_waldensian_bible.htm

    The writer states:

    "First, by no stretch of the imagination could the Old Latin version or versions, in its various Italic, African, or European forms, be honestly identified as Byzantine in text."

    I'm not sure how to determine if what he states is accurate or not..just like with the KJO crew.

    -kman
     
  10. Pete Richert

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    From the link
    Wow! Is this true? Did Wycliffe translate from the Latin Vulgate? Did he use both?

    I have a side note about this link.

    Right after High School I found myself in Thailand for a summer volenteering at a very remote hospital (about 100 rice farmers in the surronding area). There were all these books in the "wood apartment complex" I was in, and I picked up and read The Great Controversy. I was somewhat an imature Christian at the time, and did not realize the strong seventh-day adventist bais I was reading (I wouldn't have known the difference at the time). This book scared the life out of me. It is really good for the beginning chapters and the history of the Church (albeit I guessing from this article is was all skewed and I didn't know) but when it got to the prophecy is scared me sideways. Basically the thesis of the book is that the mark of the beast is worshipping on Sundays and any who does is going to hell. Well, at least when the tribulation starts, then you must take a stand for worship on Saturday. The author presents all of these stories that about how the early Roman Catholic Church forced worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath with all these miracles that were clearly made up (made up by the RCC that is, and now I am thinking the whole thing was made up by the author). Stories of proclamations from heaven coming down into the churches telling us to worship on Sundays and having food cook itself on Sunday but tern into magets on Saturday and likewise. Oh, and you better be following the old testament law too, and all that. Well anyway, thankfull thankfully my brother, a mature Christian of many years and educated man was there and I took my concerns to him and he set me straight pretty fast. Oh, I'm so glad he was there.

    Many years later I came home from college and found a stash of books that I had brought home from Thailand and low and behold, it was one of them. I took it down stairs and placed it near the fire place, with its execution date set in my mind (I'm not for government banning of books but in my own library I am a merciless dictator). My dad later saw the book and remarked that whoever owned it better move it less it get burned, to which my sister correctly answered, "I think that is the point". It was burned that evening.
     
  11. DocCas

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    Yes. Wycliffe translated his English bible of 1382 from the official Latin Vulgate of Jerome. The Vulgate of Jerome was later edited by order of Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605). The Clementine Vulgate bears the Imprimatuer of Pope Clement VIII, and remains the official Latin version of the RCC today.

    There are some fairly simple ways to determine the text a bible was translated from. One quick way to get an idea is to look at Mark 1:2 and 1 Timothy 3:16. If Mark 1:2 reads "Isaiah the Prophet" and 1 Timothy 3:16 reads "He who was manifiest in the flesh" or words to that effect, then the underlying text was probably Alexandrian. If Mark 1:2 read "written in the prophets" and 1 Timothy 3:16 reads "God was manifest in the flesh" then the underlying text was probably Byzantine. If Mark 1:2 reads "Isaiah" and 2 Timothy 3:16 reads "God" then the underlying text was probably Western, and as the Western text was very short lived, and the Vulgate revision of the Italia was based primarily on it, you may have a Vulgate based bible. [​IMG]
     
  12. kman

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    When he did his translation all he had was the Latin Vulgate. I suppose he could of gotten ahold
    of some greek manuscripts, but Erasmus's Greek New Testament didn't appear on the scene until
    1516. I believe Wycliffe lived in the 1300's.

    I took it down stairs and placed it near the fire place, with its execution date set in my mind (I'm not for government banning of books but in my own library I am a merciless dictator). My dad later saw the book and remarked that whoever owned it better move it less it get burned, to which my sister correctly answered, "I think that is the point". It was burned that evening. [​IMG]

    [ September 11, 2002, 06:44 PM: Message edited by: kman ]
     
  13. Pastor_Bob

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    Near as I can tell, the Itala Bible and the TR agree very frequently. The "Old Latin" disagrees with B and Aleph as does the TR. That is why I listed it as "closely allied."

    HankD askled:
    The Douhay-Rheims Bible was not completed until 1610. This was a Jesuit translation of the Latin Vulgate. It was Rome's first official "Bible" for English speaking catholics. The AV1611 and the Douhay-Rheims Bible are not related in any way.

    DocCas said:
    With little knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, Wycliffe based his work primarily on Latin manuscripts. I must respectfully disagree that he relied exclusively on the Latin Vulgate since a later revision of his work by John Purvey, which brought Wycliffe's Bible back in tune with Jerome, makes it evident that he had access to some old Latin manuscripts.

    [ September 11, 2002, 06:59 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Bob 63 ]
     
  14. Pete Richert

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    Here is a little Spurgeon on the Vulgate,
    http://www.kingjamesonly.org/Articles/a_reproduction_of_fuller.htm

    So your telling me Dr. Cassidy, that there are multiple versions of the Vulgate? Do you know the "name" of the one that is the most accurate (accurate from our Baptist point of view that is)?
     
  15. DocCas

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    Pastor Bob, the Rheims was translated in Rheims, France, in 1582. It was a second printing which was dated 1610, edited to bring it into conformity with the Clementine Vulgate published in the last days of the 16th century.

    Pete, there are primarily three Latin texts. The Old Latin, or Italia, or Italic, which dates to around the mid 2nd century (about 150 AD) and is very closely related to the Byzantine textform. Jerome's Latin Vulgate of the late 4th century is very closely related to the Western text. The Clementine Vulgate, which dates to the closing days of the 16th century is not all that different from Jerome's Vulgate, but uses some of the reading from Vaticanus to correct Jerome's wording.

    Of the three, the Old Latin is by far the better version. Both the Vulgates are based on flawed texts and bear the bias of the RCC.
     
  16. HankD

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    Pastor Bob,

    Take a look at this.

    Here are the first 8 verses from John Chapter 3.

    First line KJV, Second line Douay-Rheims.

    KJV 1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

    DRA 1 And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

    KJV 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

    DRA 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him.

    KJV 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    DRA 3 Jesus answered and said to him: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    KJV 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

    DRA 4 Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again?

    KJV 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    DRA 5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    KJV 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    DRA 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    KJV 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    DRA 7 Wonder not that I said to thee: You must be born again.


    KJV 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    DRA 8 The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice: but thou knowest not whence he cometh and whither he goeth. So is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    verses 4 and 6 are virtually identical, the rest are so close that it can't be a coincidence (except verse 8).

    In fact look at verse 8 from the Douay, some might consider it a prefered rendering.

    The KJV was influenced by Tyndale who was obviously influenced by the Vulgate.

    HankD
     
  17. BrianT

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    This may be getting a little off topic, but these two "test" verses caughy my eye. I have a copy of the Peshitta (translated into English), which many KJV-O authors (Ruckman, Riplinger, Brady, Waite, Fuller, etc) hold in extremely high regard, and place beside the "Old Latin" as of the right text type to be part of the "tree of good Bibles". Yet in both your "test verses" (and several other passages often under debate in the Bible version issue), the Peshitta fails the test. It reads "Isaiah the prophet" and "it is revealed in the flesh", respectively. Other passages (eg. Matt 27:35-36, John 1:18, Acts 4:25, Jude 1:25, etc) also have an "Alexandrian" reading although no one I've ever heard of would call the Peshitta "Alexandrian". Does anyone know what is going on here?
     
  18. HankD

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    Who did the translation? How faithful is it to the peshitta text? That makes a lot of difference in the final product.

    HankD
     
  19. DocCas

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    You are probably using the translation done by George Lamsa, which is the only Aramaic version I know of that is currently available in English translation. Be aware that the text Lamsa used only dates to the 5th century and was edited to corespond with the Alexandrian textform. There is an older text which is much closer to the Byzantine textform.
     
  20. BrianT

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    Yes, it is Lamsa's. I also have a Aramaic/Hebrew parallel NT (Peshitta with Hebrew translation), but I lack the tools and knowledge to make much sense of it. [​IMG]

    A few follow-up questions:

    - how do you know what Lamsa used?
    - how do you know it was edited, and why would it be edited to match the Alexandrian textform???
    - how does the "older" Peshitta read in Mark 1:2 and 1 Tim 3:16 (and do you have any online references I could check other passages)?
     

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