Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The origins of the Reformation Bible via Jerome and Augustine

By Edmon L. Gallagher and John D. Meade
Saint Jerome in His Study 1451 by Antonio da Fabriano II. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Catholics and Protestants have different Bibles today because of the disputes of the sixteenth century, when the opposing sides each claimed that the early church supported their own views. The bottom line is: they were both right. Here we come to Jerome and Augustine, the greatest biblical scholar and the greatest theologian, respectively, in the early Latin church. These two churchmen composed lists of Old Testament books within a few years of each other, during the last decade of the fourth century. As for the deuterocanonical books, Augustine did not even mention the issue within his discussion of the canon; he quietly listed all these books in their respective sections of the Bible. Jerome, the primary translator of the Latin Vulgate, took the opposite path. [More]