Latin vulgate.

  1. Is the Latin vulgate regarded by RCC as infallible as inspired by the Holy Spirit?
  2. How to reason that the translation is truly inspired by God?
  3. Was the Latin Vulgate ever changed, as if another word was added, removed, or changed?
  4. Is the Vulgate thought to be exactly the same as the original texts?

Extra question: Do we have a perfect copy of the original texts, in the original langague? If no, how do we know what was really there?

I believe the only originals we have are the Dead Sea Scrolls. Everything else has been either paraphrased, translated, copied by hand, or whatever. There are four different witness accounts to Christ’s ministry so even if we had the originals, someone would have to consolidate their work.

That said, we do know that St. Jerome was a Greek and Hebrew scholar and had access to much less removed documents to correct the earlier Latin versions, which we don’t have either. It wasn’t that unusual that the early Greeks chose to write or preserve a lot of works in non-verncular Latin.

Hi Timi,

No translation of the bible is said to be inspired AS A TRANSLATION. The Vulgate is inspired inasmuch as it is faithful to the original. The Council of Trent did not pass judgment on the translation, but it said that it was free from doctrinal error.

After the invention of printing, the Vulgate has had various editions, where some minor changes have been made after studying the extent manuscripts of the Vulgate.

However, there has been a revised edition of the Vulgate called the* Nova Vulgata*. This is based, not on manuscripts of the Vulgate, but on the manuscripts of the original languages. and has many changes, but not really substantial. Still, the text of the original Vulgate, its vocabulary and grammar have been preserved whenever possible.

There are more manuscripts of the bible, the Vulgate included, than for any ancient author and by a very wide margin. Our bibles are closer to the original than any other ancient writing.

What do you think ?


There are “optional ways” to translate many texts. You have perhaps read different English translations that seem to have different meanings for the same verses. The fact is that they are many times correct options grammatically.

However, the Catholic Church, in the persons of Peter and the Apostles, and on down to those who selected the Canon of the books of the Bible and Jerome, were required by Jesus to teach what they had received, not their opinions about what is true or correct. So, when Jerome translated the Greek and Hebrew texts to the common language of the day (Latin), he chose the “options” for translation that matched the teaching and doctrine of the Church - those are the correct translations because they are in sync with the required teaching.

The Bible (as a sacred text) is the possession of the Church; it is not an ownerless mysterious book that belongs to anyone. The Church assembled the books, ordered them, and interprets and translates them because it belongs to them (to us). Any time you hear someone saying the Bible teaches something different that Catholic teaching, you are listening to a fraudulent use of the Bible.

John Martin

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