The Vulgate

This is the Latin Bible, or ‘Vulgate’. Translated from the Hebrew and Aramaic by Jerome between 382 and 405 CE, this text became knowns as the ‘versio vulgata’, which means ‘common translation’. ‘Vulgate’ should not to be confused with the term ‘vulgar’, which has taken on a divergent meaning in modern English.

The collection and order of the books which make up this version of the Bible differs slightly from the ones in the King James Version, it includes several of the Apocrypha.

The Vulgate was the standard version of the Bible for Roman Catholics for over one and a half millenia. Since Latin was only studied by priests and scholars, the vast majority of people could not read or understand the Vulgate, even though they would hear passages from it every time they went to church.

Until 1450, when Gutenberg printed this text, copies were also very rare and expensive. During the Protestant reformation in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Bible was finally translated into modern languages, against great resistance from the Church. Finally in the mid-20th Century, the Roman Catholic church abandoned the use of Latin for liturgy. However, this remains one of the most historically important Latin texts.


For example, here’s John 3:16

Et de plenitudine ejus
nos omnes accepimus, et gratiam pro gratia

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