Most authoritative Old Testament language?

Started by Aethel, May 20, 2024, 12:06:30 PM

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We have several Old Testament versions with differences in variation:

Hebrew (Masoretic text, used by the Jews)
Greek (Septuagint text, used by Eastern Church and early Church)
Vulgate (translation of a Hebrew text with Greek influence, used by Rome since 4th century)
Peschitta (used by Syriac Church, version of Aramaic)
Samaritan version (used by Samaritans - there's apparently 900 Samaritans still in Israel)

Obviously the lattermost two are not gonna be as authorative as the first three, but for Catholics, is the Vulgate the most authoritative? And why?

Is there any value in learning Greek or Hebrew and reading the Old Testament in those languages?

Michael Wilson

Biblical Scholars learn the ancient Hebrew; Greek and Aramaic; because the oldest copies are in these languages. The Vulgate has authority in the Church, because of the sources that St. Jerome used; some of which were lost for a long time, such as the Hexapla; it has what is termed "juridical authority"; it can be used to settle questions on doctrine and quoted as a reliable source. But Catholics scholars are encouraged to use the other versions in order to approach as much as possible the original text.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers


It's the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate. It was translated by Saint Jerome, and approved by popes Sixtus V and Clement VIII. All three men were great authorities on the matter (even though Clement disagreed with Sixtus), so this particular version of the Bible has great authority, too.
Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!


The Council of Trent:


Moreover, the same sacred and holy Synod,--considering that no small utility may
accrue to the Church of God, if it be made known which out of all the Latin editions,
now in circulation, of the sacred books, is to be held as authentic,--ordains and
declares, that the said old and vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so
many years, has been approved of in the Church, be, in public lectures, disputations,
sermons and expositions, held as authentic; and that no one is to dare, or presume to
reject it under any pretext whatever.
Even after a long life of sin, if the Christian receives the Sacrament of the dying with the appropriate dispositions, he will go straight to heaven without having to go to purgatory. - Fr. M. Philipon; This sacrament prepares man for glory immediately, since it is given to those who are departing from this life. - St. Thomas Aquinas; It washes away the sins that remain to be atoned, and the vestiges of sin; it comforts and strengthens the soul of the sick person, arousing in him a great trust and confidence in the divine mercy. Thus strengthened, he bears the hardships and struggles of his illness more easily and resists the temptation of the devil and the heel of the deceiver more readily; and if it be advantageous to the welfare of his soul, he sometimes regains his bodily health. - Council of Trent