The Vulgate translated a section of του ορισθεντος υιου θεου εν δυναμει κατα πνευμα αγιωσυνης εξ αναστασεως νεκρων ιησου χριστου του κυριου ημων as as "the predestinated Son of God" (qui praedestinatus est Filius Dei in virtute secundum Spiritum sanctificationis ex resurrectione mortuorum Iesu Christi Domini nostri).
Calvin says of ορισθεντος (horizō) "There is no difficulty in the Greek word, which means 'declared'." He insists, "only things which do not yet exist are predestinated; whereas Christ is the eternal Son of God." Whitaker mentions a number of people familiar with the Greek that confirm the word means similar to what Calvin suggests (Chrysostom,Theodoret, Theophylact, Erasmus, Faber, Cajetan). I would add the testimony of Origen,
Let no one think that we are reading more into this text than the meaning permits. For although in Latin translations one normally finds the word predestined here, the true reading is designated and not predestined. For designated applies to someone who already exists, wheras predestined is only applicable to someone who does not yet exist, like those whom the apostle said: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined. Those who do not yet exisit may be foreknown and predestined, but he who is and who always exists is not predestined but designated. These things are said by us concerning those who speak blasphemously about the only begotten Son of God and ignoring the differences between designated and predestined think that Christ is to be numbered among those who were predestined before they existed. But he was never predestined to be the Son, because he always was and is the Son, just as the Father has always been the Father...The CTC blog entry Calvin, Trent, and the Vulgate includes the following assertion: "The Vulgate, even with the scribal errors, said nothing which contradicted the faith." According to the Vulgate's rendering of Romans 1:4 though, If Calvin is correct, Christ being predestinated here leads to grave doctrinal error.
Now let's bring Augustine into it. The CTC commenter responded by saying of the Vulgate's rendering of Romans 1:4,
Saint Augustine... eagerly explained how it is not opposed to the Catholic faith for this verse of Scripture to be rendered this way... Augustine was actually happy to have this particular translation [the Latin Vulgate] for use in his controversy with the Pelagians. John Calvin was familiar with this work from Augustine, and evidently even alludes to it in his Antidote... And yet Calvin still claimed that "[t]hose not acquainted with Greek are at a loss to explain this term." Ironically, Augustine takes the position directly opposite the suggestion of James’ post: “Accordingly, whoever denies predestination of the Son of God, denies that He was also Himself the Son of man” (Tractate 105 on the Gospel of John, 8). According to these prophetic words from Augustine, it was Calvin himself who was contradicting the faith when he tried to criticize the Vulgate on this point. And in his complaint that Trent would cause the world to be unable to “see the light presented to them,” Calvin himself was left blind to what Augustine had referred to as “the most illustrious light of predestination.” What amazing mercy from God to ward off the criticisms of John Calvin so far in advance, to the very words!I'm not sure how it follows that "Calvin himself who was contradicting the faith when he tried to criticize the Vulgate on this point" if the Vulgate word in question is in error. I will grant though, contrary to Calvin, Augustine (and Aquinas) were not at a loss to explain praedestinatus in Romans 1:4.
That being referred to from Augustine can be found here. In essence, Augustine argues the "man" Christ Jesus was predestined ("the Lord of glory Himself was predestinated in so far as the man was made the Son of God"). Aquinas likewise follows Augustine (see also the Haydock Commentary). I grant this is a clever solution, but similarly clever heretical people could argue the verse as Origen suggests- verse 3 refers to Christ's humanity; verse 4 to his predestinated deity. We'll be a waiting a long time for Rome to dogmatically settle the infallible interpretation of a mistranslated word in the Vulgate, if they even have the power to rule infallibly on a mistranslated word.
ορισθεντος does appear to be a problematic word. Calvin's Commentary on Romans 1:4 contains the following footnote:
On the other hand, I checked a number of versions of the Vulgate. Of all the versions I checked, the text still uses praedestinatus in Romans 1:4 ( the Douay-Rheims Bible likewise uses "predestinated"). If the Vulgate has been corrected, I'd really like to find the corrected version that doesn't use praedestinatus. If the word was chosen to remain, I'd like to know why.
I'm not aware of any dogmatic statement as to the correct translation of this verse. There's no dogmatic statement as to why the Douay-Rheims says "predestinated" and the NAB uses "established." Those are two very different words, making the verse say different things. One has to be wrong.
The bottom line is that if a Romanist wants to maintain "The Vulgate, even with the scribal errors, said nothing which contradicted the faith," in Romans 1:4, they appear to be forced to rely on the private interpretation of Augustine on a mistranslated word. They need to explain also why another private interpretation concluding the opposite of Augustine's is in error.
In his Romans Commentary Joseph Fitzmyer uses “established (or appointed) as the Son of God (though not in a Messianic sense) with power,” so Jesus is by virtue of his resurrection now endowed with power to energize believers (pp. 234-236). In his Introduction to the New Testament, Raymond Brown uses "designated" (p. 565).
The revised Vulgate on Romans 1:4 can be found here. The verse now reads, " qui constitutus est Filius Dei in virtute secundum Spiritum sanctificationis ex resurrectione mortuorum, Iesu Christo Domino nostro."