Author Topic: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?  (Read 1023 times)

Offline Daniel

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Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« on: November 06, 2018, 12:27:03 PM »
Here's a few examples of what I'm talking about:


Genesis 3:15. St. Jerome translated the prophecy as "she shall crush they head" whereas the original Hebrew (and I think the Septuagint) said "he", not "she". (I'm not saying that St. Jerome's translation is theologically wrong or anything... only that it doesn't reflect the original text.)


Exodus 32:28.
Quote
Hebrew: .וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי-לֵוִי, כִּדְבַר מֹשֶׁה; וַיִּפֹּל מִן-הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, כִּשְׁלֹשֶׁת אַלְפֵי אִישׁ
Greek: καὶ ἐποίησαν οἱ υἱοὶ Λευι καθὰ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς Μωυσῆς καὶ ἔπεσαν ἐκ τοῦ λαοῦ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ εἰς τρισχιλίους ἄνδρας
Vulgate: Feceruntque filii Levi juxta sermonem Moysi, cecideruntque in die illa quasi viginti tria millia hominum.
The Hebrew and Septuagint say three thousand, but the Vulgate says it was twenty three thousand. That's a huge discrepency.
The Vulgate is consistent with 1 Corinthians 10:8, if this is in fact what St. Paul was referring to (though I think the commentators say that St. Paul was referring not to Exodus 32:28 but to Numbers 25:9).
The Vulgate, however, is inconsistent with Acts 2:41 (if we take Acts 2:41 to be the chiastic reversal of Exodus 32:28).


Genesis 41:45.
Quote
Septuagint: καὶ ἐκάλεσεν Φαραω τὸ ὄνομα Ιωσηφ Ψονθομφανηχ
Old Latin: Et vocavit Pharao nomen Joseph Zapfanethfane
Vulgate: Vertitque nomen ejus, et vocavit eum, lingua aegyptiaca, Salvatorem mundi.
The name Zapfanethfane (Psonthomphanech) can be transcribed into "Egyptian" (i.e. Coptic) and interpreted as follows:
Greek Psonth -> Coptic 'p sot = the saviour ('p from late Egyptian pA "the" + sot (presumably a shortened form of soter) loanword from ancient Greek soter "saviour")
Greek om -> Coptic 'm = of (from old Egyptian m "of")
Greek phanech -> Coptic 'ph eneh = the world ('ph from late Egyptian pA "the" + eneh from ancient Egyptian nHH "eternity" or "forever" -- "world" is a very loose translation... it'd probably be better translated as sæculi instead of mundi)
The problem is, these words are all from different time periods. Even if the name could be interpreted "saviour of the world" in St. Jerome's day, it clearly didn't mean that back in Joseph's day nor in Moyses's day. So St. Jerome's interpolation, even if correct, doesn't reflect the original text or meaning.


Apocalypse 9:11.
Quote
Greek: ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἑβραϊστὶ Ἀβαδδών καὶ ἐν τῇ Ἑλληνικῇ ὄνομα ἔχει Ἀπολλύων.
Old Latin: Nomem habet hebraice Abaddon, græce Appolyon, latine Perdens, vel exterminans.
Vulgate: cui nomen hebraice Abaddon, graece autem Apollyon, latine habens nomen Exterminans.
Notice that that bolded portion in the Latin isn't found in the Greek. It's believed that it was originally a footnote in the margin that somehow made its way into the text... and then St. Jerome kept it.


What are we to make of these things? I'm going to assume that the Vulgate is not an "inspired" translation. So can we just consider all this stuff to be errors?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 12:34:09 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline St.Justin

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 12:31:39 AM »
Just so you know St. Jerome used a hexpala put together by Origen, sometime before the year 240 CE for his translation and manuscripts that are no longer in existence. so it is quite understandable that there would be some differences with much newer versions.
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 09:55:26 AM »
What do you mean by “original Hebrew”? How are you determining that?

Of course the translation isn’t “inspired”. It’s the fact that the Church has used it in her liturgy and to teach that makes it reliable in theology and morals, not some traddy version of King-James-onlyism, and not inerrant on every point!
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2018, 09:59:02 AM »
I’d be much more concerned about the “lying pen of the Scribes” affecting the “original Hebrew” than Jerome possibly making some errors on the points above.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiqqun_soferim

 
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Online The Harlequin King

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »
Of course the translation isn’t “inspired”. It’s the fact that the Church has used it in her liturgy and to teach that makes it reliable in theology and morals, not some traddy version of King-James-onlyism, and not inerrant on every point!

Right. We believe that the Vulgate, through its centuries of use as the primary edition for the western Church, will not lead anyone astray when teaching doctrine or morals. This is not the same as claiming the Vulgate translation is, in itself, divinely inspired or 100% free of mistranslations.
 
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Offline mikemac

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 12:15:16 PM »
I’d be much more concerned about the “lying pen of the Scribes” affecting the “original Hebrew” than Jerome possibly making some errors on the points above.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiqqun_soferim

Interesting.  From that page.

Quote
An example of a tiqqun soferim can be seen in I Kings 21:12-13, where Naboth is accused of cursing God, but the text now has "blessed" since it is not fitting that the name of God should appear after the word "cursed": "Naboth has blessed God and King" instead of "Naboth has cursed God and King"

The Douay-Rheims Bible and obviously the Vulgate didn't make the change.  The Third Book Of Kings (1 Kings) reads as follows.

Quote
Naboth hath blasphemed God and the king
http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drb&bk=11&ch=21&l=13#x
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2018, 07:30:02 PM »
Just so you know St. Jerome used a hexpala put together by Origen, sometime before the year 240 CE for his translation and manuscripts that are no longer in existence. so it is quite understandable that there would be some differences with much newer versions.
I'm not an expert, but I'm under the impression it goes both ways. St. Jerome had some older (perhaps purer) manuscripts which we no longer have, but we also have some older manuscripts which he didn't have. So the Vulgate/Douay Rheims aren't necessarily more reliable than newer translations.


What do you mean by “original Hebrew”? How are you determining that?
Because in the passages I cited, the Masoretic Hebrew agrees with the Septuagint. So either those particular passages were never corrupted, or else they were corrupted early-on, prior to their being translated into Greek. But as far as I'm aware, (and I could be wrong,) there is no historical evidence suggesting that those particular passages were ever corrupted... no older manuscripts which disagree with the Septuagint or the Masoretic Hebrew.
(Looking further into things, I see that Old Latin does have "she" in Genesis 3:15. So it was not St. Jerome who changed it. Still, the Septuagint predates the Old Latin. And the Old Latin itself is corrupted, hence the need for St. Jerome to revise it.)

But this brings up a good point: how do we know that any particular verse in Scripture matches the original text when we have no manuscripts of the original text?


Quote
An example of a tiqqun soferim can be seen in I Kings 21:12-13, where Naboth is accused of cursing God, but the text now has "blessed" since it is not fitting that the name of God should appear after the word "cursed": "Naboth has blessed God and King" instead of "Naboth has cursed God and King"

The Douay-Rheims Bible and obviously the Vulgate didn't make the change.  The Third Book Of Kings (1 Kings) reads as follows.

Quote
Naboth hath blasphemed God and the king
http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drb&bk=11&ch=21&l=13#x
That's Challoner's revision. The Vulgate reads "Benedixit Naboth Deum et regem" and the original Douay reads "Naboth hath blessed God and the King". The footnote in the Douay says, "To avoid horror of blasphemy, holy scripture often useth the term blessing for cursing."
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 07:47:41 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline aquinas138

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 08:01:15 PM »
Every version of the Bible, including the Masoretic text and the Septuagint, have inconsistencies. The Septuagint versions of some books such as Ecclesiastes are barely grammatical in certain places; there are instances in the Masoretic text where the Masoretes clearly made mistakes when adding vowel points. None of them are "inspired" in the sense of "absolutely without error in any way."

What it boils down to is that Christianity is not a "religion of the book" like Islam purports to be or certain KJV-only groups mistakenly hold. There is a dynamic between the received Tradition, the received Scriptures, and ecclesiastical authority that guides our understanding of the faith. That the Vulgate is in error in Gen 3:15 (and I believe it is, as a translation) does not change the fact that the Vulgate (and the Septuagint and the Peshitta...) is completely safe for doctrinal and moral use.

In other words, we don't *need* the original text. We need the bible as handed down to us by and in the Church. I personally think that means each tradition's received text (Septuagint, Vulgate, Peshitta, etc.) should be retained and followed. It does violence to the integrity of a rite to dislodge the received version of the bible.
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 11:22:21 PM »
The oldest version of the Masoretic text dates from, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes, between the 7th and 10th centuries with the oldest copy from 9th century. Plus the Hebrew Text were put together at Jamnia in 90 AD from bits an pieces they could find after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. They Also left out any text that they could not find in Hebrew and that is why they are missing books and parts of books. Just because you find an older copy doesn't make it the correct one.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 11:24:33 PM by St.Justin »
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 09:12:49 AM »
There was no Council of Jamnia.


But why I should, in the first place, trust a group of post-33 A.D. representatives of Pharisaic Judaism to put together a canonical collection of reliable texts is a little beyond me. There's no reason either to just suppose the texts used in the Second Temple before its destruction were totally accurate transmissions of divine revelation or that its religon was, in general, the "true" one of Moses and the First Temple.

I have every reason to trust the Septuagint over the Masoretic and to prefer the Hebrew manuscript variants that are oldest before the more popular "majority" versions when they show a tendency of scribal redactions to excise verses and imagery that supports the Christian faith from even before the coming of Christ.  IMO the Pharisaic religion was more corrupt even than the Novus Ordo.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 09:15:48 AM by Kreuzritter »
 
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 12:17:30 PM »
Says you.
There is plenty of information to the contrary.
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 12:28:01 PM »
Says you.
There is plenty of information to the contrary.

Did you watch the video?

Dr. Pitre's entire professional career centers on questions exactly like this. Men like him don't make claims lightly in this age of scholarship whereas, in the late 1800s and forward, a lot of wacky crap was being bandied about with great efforts required to disprove it. That's not so much the case these days.

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/the-council-that-wasnt

Even Jewish scholars are admitting that no such Council actually took place:
https://blog.israelbiblicalstudies.com/jewish-studies/jamnia/
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Offline St.Justin

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2019, 01:23:04 PM »
A few years ago I did quite a bot of research into this topic and I believe that the council of Jamnia did in fact happen and did in fact reassemble the books of of the Old Testament books based on what they had available in Hebrew at the time. But to each his own.
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2019, 01:38:19 PM »
Then you should share your research with us, considering it was a fabrication of a 19th century Jewish scholar and now even those with a vested interest in it being true say it never happened.
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Inconsistencies in the Vulgate?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2019, 03:09:41 PM »
Yes. The next one to fall ought to be the German-made myth that Hebrew was a dead language in the time of Jesus.
 
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