Pages from History: Council of Trent adopts Jerome’s Latin Bible translation (1546)

8 April, 1546: At its fourth session, the Council of Trent adopts Jerome’s Latin translation of the Bible (called the Vulgate), completed in 405, as the only authentic Latin text of the Scriptures. It became the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vulgate is an early Fifth Century version of the Bible in Latin, and largely the result of the labours of Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of old Latin translations.

Its Old Testament is the first Latin version translated directly from the Hebrew Tanakh, rather than the Greek Septuagint. It became the definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church, and ultimately took the name ‘versio vulgata, which means “the published translation”.

There are 76 books in the Clementine edition of the Vulgate Bible: 46 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament, and three in the Apocrypha.

Saint Jerome in his Study, by Domenico Ghirlandaio

Saint Jerome in his Study, by Domenico Ghirlandaio

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