By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jerome Kept It Simple

St. Jerome reading in the countryside, by Giov...Image via Wikipedia
In discussing St. Jerome's Latin translation of the Bible--the famous Vulgate--with my Latin professor, I was struck at Jerome's effort to use a very simple form of Latin in the Vulgate in order to reach the masses. In contrast to that simple style, my professor noted that, when corresponding with St. Augustine of Hippo, Jerome used a decidedly more florid style.

So, in the fourth century, we see a strong concern to make the translation of the Bible usable by as many as possible. That concern is a fine example for all of us today who write on Catholic or Christian topics. That fact is also a nice counterbalance to the common view that the Catholic Church somehow wanted to keep the Bible from the masses.