Sunday, January 10, 2010

Variation in the Latin Bible

Latin acted as the lingua franca for over a thousand years in Europe. It is the language of interpretation in the Roman Catholic church. But Latin is also the language of the Reformation. The national language Bibles were the product rather than the foundation of the Reformation. The Reformation was a European and not a national movement. From Henry the VIII to Calvin, the doctrines of the Reformation were argued out in Latin, the common language of the scholars of Europe.

Here is a scanty list of Latin Bibles available on the internet. In spite of great protestations that the original Hebrew and Greek are formative, the language of theological reflection was in Latin from the early church until well after the Reformation.

Old Latin (Gospel of John)
Jerome's Vulgate
Clementine Vulgate
Nova Vulgata
Erasmus Database (Novum Testamentum facsimile)
Beza (Genesis only)

The Pagnini Beza Latin Bible is available in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto as well as elsewhere in North America. I have a copy of the Psalms in this version, passed down to me by my grandfather.


Ulrich Schmid said...

If you are interested in Latin Bible resources on the web, you may want to check-out the Vetus Latina edition under

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks so much. I will add this to the list.