Saturday, June 25, 2011

The non-Perspicuity of Trent on the Latin Vulgate

ht: Joey Henry

Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology Vol. II (pp. 107-108)

The fourth point of difference concerns the authority due to the Latin Vulgate. On this subject the Council of Trent (Sess. 4), says: “Synodus considerans non parum utilitatis accedere posse Ecclesiæ Dei, si ex omnibus Latinis editionibus quæ circumferentur, sacrorum librorum, quænam pro authentica habenda sit, innotescat: statuit et declarat, ut hæc ipsa vetus et vulgata editio, quæ longo tot seculorum usu in ipsa Ecclesia probata est, in publicis lectionibus, disputationibus, prædicationibus et expositionibus pro authentica habeatur et nemo illam rejicere quovis prætextu audeat vel præsumat.” The meaning of this decree is a matter of dispute among Romanists themselves. Some of the more modern and liberal of their theologians say that the Council simply intended to determine which among several Latin versions was to be used in the service of the Church. They contend that it was not meant to forbid appeal to the original Scriptures, or to place the Vulgate on a par with them in authority. The earlier and stricter Romanists take the ground that the Synod did intend to forbid an appeal to the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, and to make the Vulgate the ultimate authority. The language of the Council seems to favor this interpretation. The Vulgate was to be used not only for the ordinary purposes of public instruction, but in all theological discussions, and in all works of exegesis.


Marty said...

The problem of the Vulgate for Roman Catholicism gets way worse after Trent. Vatican I and Pius XII's "Divino Afflante Spiritu" both say that the (Clementine) Vulgate is inerrant! The most notorious error in the text of Gen. 3:15 "She shall bruise your head", instead of "He shall bruise your head". Egregious error indeed.

Joey Henry said...


Read Divino Afflante Spiritu but where does it say that the Clementine Vulgate is inerrant?


Marty said...


The Clementine Vulgate was the standard edition that was produced and used after Trent. So when the Vulgate is referred after Clement and before Vatican II it's the Clementine edition by default.

Check out Vatican I on the Vulgate, Pius IX refers to Clement's work on it.

Of course Vatican II affirmed a doctrine of Scripture different to Vatican I. But that's another problem altogether for Rome.