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Cycle 3 Latin



You might have some questions regarding the Latin for Cycle 3. Here is some information that you might find helpful:


John 1:1-7 that we memorize in Cycle 3 is not taken from any specific version of the Bible. It is taken directly from the Vulgate which was translated by Jerome (see Timeline card #52, "Jerome completes the Vulgate"). For this Cycle the Bible verses are actually an exercise in Latin.



You might ask, what is the Vulgate and how do I know if it is reliable?



Jerome was a disciplined scholar and Christian. Then he had a dream that accused him of being preoccupied with secular learning (“You are a follower of Cicero,” the dream said, “not of Christ”). So for the next several years Jerome lived an ascetic life in the Syrian desert, studying and transcribing the Scriptures and mastering Hebrew. He became secretary to Pope Damasus in 382, which proved to be his date with destiny. By the time he entered Damasus’s service, he was probably the greatest Christian scholar in the world.



In Jerome’s day, Common Greek, the language of the New Testament, was widely known throughout the Roman Empire. The Old Testament also existed in a popular Greek form so anyone who knew Greek had access to the entire Bible. But some populations in the Empire knew no Greek. Thus, early translations appeared in various languages, notably Latin (becoming the standard language of the Western Empire), Syriac, and Coptic. Despite the early translators’ zeal, they didn’t always possess a good command of Greek. Soon many Old Latin manuscripts, poor in quality and often differing from each other, were in circulation.



Damasus suggested that Jerome produce a new Latin translation of the Bible, one that would throw out the inaccuracies of older translations. Damasus wanted the Western church to be clearly Latin; one way to accomplish this was to provide a trusted translation of the Bible in Latin.



After twenty-three years of labor, Jerome finished his translation in late 404 or 405. This well-written, accurate translation was in the language commonly used in the churches of the Western Empire. Jerome’s translation, known as the Vulgate (from the Latin word vulgus, meaning “common” language), became the standard. A millennium later, for example, Martin Luther, though he knew Hebrew and Greek, quoted Jerome’s Vulgate throughout his life. The Vulgate was highly regarded by scholars and was used as the basis for translations into other languages for a thousand years. The Council of Trent, in 1546, declared the Vulgate the only authentic Latin text of the Scriptures.



Foundations AA Team