Gloria in excelcis Deo


In the Latin Bible the angels sing “Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of good will” What odes it mean to be of good will?


@poche , εὐδοκίας is the Greek word translated as “of good will” .

It would be more accurate to translate the Greek as “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” or “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

I think the translation you use in your quote is based on the Latin .


Good will is the will to do good. You desire to do good rather than to do ill.


Could it be that God’s favor rests on those who are of good will?


How come it got translated that way? It kind of is like gratia plena and kecharitomene.


@SeriousQuestion , they relied on the Latin Vulgate Bible rather than the original Greek .


Haydock Commentary Luke 2:14

Ver. 14. And on earth, peace to men of good will. [1] I had translated, peace to men of his good will, looking upon the sense to be, that a peace and reconciliation were offered, and given to men from the good will and mercy of God. The ordinary Greek copies altogether favour this exposition. And Bellarmine (l. ii, de Verb. D. c. 11.) is so convinced of this sense, that he brings it for an instance of one of those places, in which the true sense of the Latin is to be found by the Greek text; which is many times true: but Bellarmine might not take notice, that several of the best Greek MSS. are conformable to the Latin Vulgate, and have peace to men of good will; as it is also expounded by divers of the ancient Fathers, that peace is offered to men of good will, to those who by the grace of God are disposed to believe and obey the Gospel-doctrine. And upon this, having advised with others, I did not think fit to change the former Rheimish translation. Wi.

— The reason why the will is designated in preference to any other power of the soul, is, because the will moves the rest; consequently the goodness or badness of an action depends chiefly on the will. By this also the angels wished to shew, that the peace which Christ came to bring into the world, was the internal peace of our souls, of which the external peace that subsisted under Augustus, was a figure. Nic. de Lyra.

— Peace is made on earth, since human nature, before an enemy of God, is now reconciled and united to him by his incarnation. Theophy.

— In this hymn of the angels there is a remarkable difference observable in some of the Greek and Latin copies. The latter have it according to this text, men of good will; the former, good will among men, or to men. Eudokia, signifies the gratuitous benevolence of God towards man. So that this sentence seems divided into three parts: glory to God, peace on earth, and good will to men. Jans. conc. Evang.

— The birth of Christ giveth not peace of mind, or salvation, but to such as are of good will, because he worketh not our good against our wills, but with the concurrence of our will. S. Aug. quæst. ad Simplic. l. 1. q. 2. t. 4.


The church in its broadest sense includes all men of good will. Vatican II when describing the church.


There are a lot of Biblical concepts, and a lot of Greek and Latin concepts, that imply things working both ways, even if one side of the equation is vastly more powerful.

For example, the word for “guest” and the word for “host” are often the same, or very similar. The idea was that someone was your host today, but he’d be your guest when he came to your city. Families and businesses could maintain such guest/host relationships for generations, back in the ancient world.

So the primary concept here is that God grants people on earth His favor; He wills them nothing but good; He wants them to be saved, which is why He sent them Himself as a Savior.

OTOH, the implication in the Latin and the Greek, is that if people do not accept God’s favor and respond positively to His grace and His gifts… they will not be blessed. “Now is the acceptable time!”

The other thing to be noted about the Latin is its actual format. Let’s decline nouns!

Pax (nominative, singular, feminine) “Peace.”

hominibus (dative, plural, masculine) “to men, to humans.”

bonae voluntatis (both are genitive, singular, feminine) “of goodwill, of favor.”

So what’s happening here?

“Of good will” does not primarily modify “to men,” because it doesn’t agree in number. It modifies “Peace.”

If St. Jerome had been talking about “to men who are of good will,” he would have written, “hominibus bonarum voluntatum,” (or “hominibus voluntatum bonarum,” which sounds better) because you have multiple humans with multiple goodwills. You could do it differently in a poetic way, but it wouldn’t be the obvious way to do it.

So if you wanted a clunky but literal translation of the Vulgate, it would be “The peace of goodwill, to humans.” And the clear implication (since angels are announcing it) is that it’s God’s goodwill being given to humans. This goes exactly with the Greek; it’s a good translation.

Now, there is Latin poetry going on here, and English poetry too. So the goodwill sorta spreads over both nouns in the sentence, if you want it to do so; and I think St. Jerome did want to do that. But the English works almost exactly the other way, which is why people say “the translator is a traitor.”


What I would like to know is how is it presented int eh Aramaic? In the Aramaic the greeting to Mary by the angel Gabriel is “Shalom.” in which the sense is more of an “Ave” than a “Rejoice.”


Could that also be a manifestation of the baptism of desire?


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