Which version and translation from Hebrew and Ancient Greek of the Bible is the most important for Catholicism?


Is the Latin Vulgata of Saint Jerome more important than Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament?



In like manner therefore ought we to explain the original text which, having been written by the inspired author himself, has more authority and greater weight than any even the very best translation, whether ancient or modern; this can be done all the more easily and fruitfully, if to the knowledge of languages be joined a real skill in literary criticism of the same text.

Divino Afflante Spiritu 16. Pope Pius XII 1943

The Vulgate IS important. But the original languages have the greater authority.


Historically, or theologically, or…?

I think a translation is just a translation, whether you’re talking Jerome, or Knox, or a committee of whoever. And translation is an art. Once you take words out of their original language, you lose something— nuance, or shades of meaning, or symbolism, or a verb tense that has all its own implications, or whatever. Or, things become unclear-- like there being no word for “wrist” in Latin/Greek/Aramaic/Hebrew back in Biblical times, and that “hand” covered everything from from forefingers to elbow, although fingers and thumbs did have their own words. But if you have nail-marks in your “hands”, are they through your “palms” or your “wrist”? It’s not distinguished.

Being able to read ideas in the original really opens up a lot of extra content that gets lost in the translation. But for those 99% who aren’t fluent in Greek and Hebrew, I think it’s healthy to read a variety of translations, to sort of get a sense of the full scope of how a thought in one language can be conveyed into another.


I asked if Saint Jerome Latin Bible is the most important BIble because some Catholics say that Saint Jerome translated the Bible in/to Latin with the help of the Holy Ghost/Spirit. So i thought that maybe the Latin Translation of the Bible was without errors from the original Hebrew and Greek texts. Is it true what i wrote/written?


Amen to THAT, Midori!

As an example, check out the line from Daniel 12:4 regarding the end times. Most Protestant versions translate it as something like this from the New King James version:

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

HOWEVER; the Catholic New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) translates it as such:

“As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall wander aimlessly and evil shall increase.

IOW, rather than a frantic waste of energy (running to and fro) it is simply wandering aimlessly, and it’s not knowledge per se that increases, but **evil **that increases. You could say that it is the evil use of knowledge (such as embryonic stem cell research), rather than knowledge itself, that increases. The different versions of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) also carry this distinction of evil increasing. (The Wycliffe Bible says “…a great many shall live and die, and knowledge shall be manifold.”)

(FWIW, Bible Gateway has an excellent feature that allows you to compare the verses of Scripture across 51 different translations into English.)


Could somebody answer my question?


The answer will be different as the people answering.
The bottom line is: the most important translation is the one you will read and more readily understand.
I favor the RSV-CE thinline Bible.
But I like to read it without at the notes.
For work (since I work at a Parish, I must use the NAB becuase that is what we in the U.S. use for Mass.

What version do YOU like?


Hi, Samuel!

It is the Septuagint:

The Septuagint (from the Latin septuaginta, “seventy”) is a Koine Greek translation of a Hebraic textual tradition that included certain texts which were later included in the canonical Hebrew Bible and other related texts which were not. As the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is also called the Greek Old Testament. This translation is quoted a number of times in the New Testament,[1][2] particularly in Pauline epistles,[3] and also by the Apostolic Fathers and later Greek Church Fathers.

…All the books of western canons of the Old Testament are found in the Septuagint, although the order does not always coincide with the Western ordering of the books. The Septuagint order for the Old Testament is evident in the earliest Christian Bibles (4th century).[11](en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint

Maran atha!



My answer not good enough for you? (Maybe I’m on his ignore list).

Backed up by Pope Pius XII.


No i made another question on this thread, sorry.


No, the Vulgate was not translated under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Despite what some traditionalists would claim, the Vulgate is only a translation. It’s a very important translation, but only a translation. So no, the Vulgate is not inerrant.

It is considered free from error in faith and morals. It does not mean there are no errors in translation or that it reflects the best rendering of any given passage.


They are all important. “More” does not really apply, in the traditional sense of the word. The Latin Vulgate has been defined as a sure translation for Church use. That came about because of all the monkeying around with scripture brought about by the reformation. What is most valuable is the Church which Christ founded to safeguard the sacred deposit of faith.

The Knox, and various other bible translations are from the Vulgate with the illumination of the Hebrew and Greek. Bear in mind that not even Jerome had a single original of any manuscript. All were copies of copies of copies of copies - thus the absolute importance of the Church.


Regarding translations from the original language(s)

One example: Vulgate vs RSV-CE

1 Jn 5:16…Vulgate

1 Jn 5:16…RSV-CE
1 John 5:16

"mortal sin", RSV-CE vs "sin that leads to death" Vulgate, while both mean the same thing, mortal sin imv is a better translation.

I only bring this up as one example. Not meant as a blanket translation preference.

Also for the Greek translation,

***From the Greek study bible ***(the link is operational)

1 Jn 5:16… θάνατον,

definition, spiritual or physical death. i.e. deadly sin vs sin that is not deadly.

“Thayer’s” lexicon, has one example “mortal perils”

To me, “mortal” sin is a preferable translation for understanding John’s point…



porthos11 , i ask you a question. did the Church before Vatican 2 say that Latin Vulgata was inspired by Holy Ghost/Spirit?


The answer again is no.


Which traditionalist groups say that the Latin Vulgata was inspired by the Holy Ghost/Spirits?


I haven’t read any Catholic’s writings that make that claim.

On the other hand, back in the 16th and 17th centuries, there was a debate over which translation should be used. In the 17th century, the King James Bible was published, and so, naturally, inasmuch as there were differences between it and the Latin Vulgate, there were many who debated the question.

To the best of my knowledge, Catholics never claimed direct inspiration by the Holy Spirit for the Vulgate, but rather, simply that it was the best translation available. From what I can tell, it was their interlocutors – certain Protestants – who took their arguments and characterized these arguments as claiming divine inspiration.

So, I might be wrong, but I only see this claim as having arisen as a mischaracterization of a Catholic argument, not a claim made by any particular group of Catholics.

(Note that there’s a subtle difference between the three arguments in question:
[list]*]Is the Vulgate the best translation available?
*]Does the Vulgate preserve the meaning of the ‘original texts’? Does it preserve the meaning of the texts of the inspired writers?
*]Is the Vulgate itself inspired?

These are three distinct claims, and not all would hold to all three of them!)


The Nova Vulgata is the juridicial text of the Roman Catholic


Are you asking which translation is -

a inspired by the Holy Spirit
b more important than other translations (presumably because it was inspired)
c best translation


I ask all 3.

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