Jerome, who writes accurately, affirms he revised the entire New Testament

Steven Avery

The only real argument left against Jerome's authorship of the Vulgate Prologue is the false modern scholarship claim that Jerome only translated the Gospels. A claim that John Chapman tore to shreds.

This thread will look at just the question of what Jerome affirmed.

Since we are not hampered by the persuppositional confusions of the modern scholars, the Vulgate Prologue to the Canonical Epistles will be included with the references given by Aloys Dirksen and others.
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Steven Avery

spots where Jerome affirms translation of full New Testament - Aloys Dirksen and Walter Drum

Aloys H. Dirksen

Jerome... explicitly states that he revised the entire N. T., De Vir. III. 135, Ep. 71, 5 (to Lucinius) and Ep. 112, 20 (to Augustine).

Is the Vulgate the Work of St. Jerome?
Walter Drum

In this matter, it is worth noting that St Jerome had undoubtedly completed his New Testament before A. D. 392. For during that year he wrote, in De viris Illustribus, 21 Novum Testamentum graecae fidei reddidi This same testimony was repeated in the letters to Lucinius,22 A. D. 398, and to Augustine,23 A. D. 404. Such a testimony, given three times in the extant writings of St. Jerome, cannot be lightly set aside. Dom de Bruyne is not very critical when he slurs the reputation of St Jerome by writing:

“These testimonies prove only one thing, that we must not take too literally the sayings of St Jerome—particularly when he speaks of his own works.*24

Then he rips Don de Bruyne (Benedictine Abbey of Maredsous) and gives some interesting history. Nicholas Zegers (1405-1559) and Richard Simon (1638-1712) are referenced as giving some passages where Jerome is taking a textual position different than his Vulgate position.

Earlier references here:

Pure Bible Forum
Vulgate Prologue - super-evidence
Jerome's claim to translate the full New Testament

Pure Bible Forum
Vulgate Prologue - super-evidence
Jerome thrice says that he revised the (whole of the) New Testament

Westcott especially seems to add an auxiliary support.

Some additional background on the views of Dom de Bruyne:

Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literature (1891)
edited by Joseph Armitage Robinson
The Biblical Texts Used by Pelagius

There reached me in August 1914 a privately printed article by Dom Donatien de Bruyne, O.S.B. (who will always be remembered for his identification of the Latin Marcionite prologues to the Epistles of St Paul4), under the title: '£tude sur les Origines de Notre Texte Latin de Saint Paul.’ This article was afterwards published, with slight modifications, in the Revue Biblique for October 1915. In it Dom de Bruyne displays all the acute power of reasoning we have learned to expect from him. He reminds us how uncertain is the question of the Vulgate of the New Testament apart from the Gospels. We have Jerome’s triple statement that he revised the whole New Testament, but we have no Hieronymian New Testament prologues except for the Gospels, and Jerome himself never, it seems, makes any use of the Vulgate of the Pauline Epistles. As Pelagius is the earliest author to use the Vulgate of the Epistles 1, and as the general Pelagian prologue appears in practically all Vulgate copies of the Epistles, sometimes under the name of Pelagius himself; as, further, & preface is the mark of an edition, the author of the Vulgate of the Epistles is none other than Pelagius himself!

It is not necessary to follow his argument further. It is based in part on a necessarily imperfect knowledge of the manuscripts containing the Pelagius commentary in one form or another, and is, in my opinion, as regards the three editions of the Vulgate, really fallacious. I feel, however, that I owe Dom de Bruyne and others an apology for the measure of responsibility that belongs to me.

Naturally, a sensational view like that of Dom de Bruyne was not allowed to pass unchallenged even in the midst of the Great War. The AbW Eug. Mangenot, professor of the Institut Catholique at Paris, published in the Revue da Clerge francais in 1916 an article entitled ‘Saint Jerome ou Pelage editeur ies Epltres de Saint Paul dans la Vulgate2.’ His article is an able and learned exposition of what might be called the traditional view, that Jerome revised the whole New Testament3. Father M.-J. Lagrange of Jerusalem, author of two valuable commentaries, one on the Epistle to the Romans and the other on the Epistle to the Galatians (1918), has in recent years made a profound study of the Vulgate text of the Epistles of St Paul. Particular attention must be called to the article entitled: ‘La Vulgate latine de l’fipttre aux Galates et le texte grec’ published in the Revue Biblique for 19174, which followed a corresponding article on the Epistle to the Romans in the same review for 1916 5. Alive to the difficulties which Dom de Bruyne has posed afresh, he seeks to solve them by the view that Jerome is indeed the author of the Vulgate of the Epistle to the Galatians, but that its date falls between the date of Jerome’s commentary on Galatians (384) and 392 (the date of the De Viris Inlustribus). Lagrange also shows from De Bruyne’s own data that Pelagius employed an Old-Latin text of Galatians6, and absolutely denies Pelagian authorship of the Vulgate, by referring to the type of text preserved in the Balliol manuscript.

With the view Lagrange expresses as to the different Old-Latin texts employed by the commentators Ambrosiaster, Jerome, Pelagius, I should agree entirely. In the Bulletin de Litterature Ecclesiastique de Toulouse1 Father Cavallera supports Lagrange’s contentions in the Revue Biblique for 1917 (just mentioned) and 1918 (pp. 255 ff.). Cavallera concludes, as I believe rightly, that in 384 Jerome had issued a revision of the Gospels only, and that such revision of the Epistles of St Paul as he made was subsequent to that date. (SA note: does the Epistle to Marcella indicate publication by 384?) The texts cited by Jerome in his celebrated letter to Marcella, epist. 27 § 3 (a.d. 384), have in Cavallera’s opinion the purpose of direct polemic against those that have been angered by Jerome’s criticisms. The use of the subjunctive throughout, legant, etc., rather excludes the idea of an already existing translation of the Epistles by Jerome.
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Steven Avery

Lucinus, Illustrious Men. Augustine. Marcella and the Prologue to the Canonical Epistles


Westcott about Jerome's Epistle to Marcella c. 384 writing to Marcella (cir. a.d. 385) on the charges which had been brought against him for “introducing changes in the Gospels,” he quotes three passages from the Epistles in which he asserts the superiority of the present Vulgate reading to that of the Old Latin (Rom. xii. 11, Domino servientes, for tempori servientes; 1 Tim. v. 19, add. nisi sub duobus aut tribus testibus; 1 Tim. i. 15, fidelis sermo, for humanus sermo).
And the Epistle to Marcella reference given by Westcott.

Letter xxvii. To Marcella.
The Principal Works of St. Jerome — St. Jerome

In this letter Jerome defends himself against the charge of having altered the text of Scripture, and shows that he has merely brought the Latin Version of the N.T. into agreement with the Greek original. Written at Rome 384 a.d.

3. But "when I set the wheel rolling I began to form a wine flagon; how comes it that a waterpot is the result?" [716] Lest Horace laugh at me I come back to my two-legged asses, and din into their ears, not the music of the lute, but the blare of the trumpet. [717] They may say if they will, "rejoicing in hope; serving the time," but we will say "rejoicing in hope; serving the Lord." [718] They may see fit to receive an accusation against a presbyter unconditionally; but we will say in the words of Scripture, "Against an elder [719] receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all." [720] They may choose to read, "It is a man's saying, and worthy of all acceptation;" we are content to err with the Greeks, that is to say with the apostle himself, who spoke Greek. Our version, therefore, is, it is "a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation." [721]

[718] Romans 12:11, 12. The reading kurio "Lord" is probably correct. The R.V. says, "Some ancient authorities read the opportunity," (kairo).
[719] I.e. a "presbyter.”
[720] 1 Timothy 5:19, 20.
[721] 1 Timothy 1:15.
Next the Vulgate Prologue to the Canonical Epistles, Kevin Edgecomb translation:


On Illustrious Men - 392 AD

I translated the New Testament from the Greek, and the Old Testament from the Hebrew, and how many Letters I have written To Paula and Eustochium I do not know, for I write daily.


Jerome Epistle 71 to Lucinus (398 AD)

It is a false rumour which has reached you to the effect that I have translated the books of Josephus and the volumes of the holy men Papias and Polycarp. I have neither the leisure nor the ability to preserve the charm of these masterpieces in another tongue. Of Origen and Didymus I have translated a few things, to set before my countrymen some specimens of Greek teaching. The canon of the Hebrew verity — except the octoteuch which I have at present in hand — I have placed at the disposal of your slaves and copyists. Doubtless you already possess the version from the septuagint which many years ago I diligently revised for the use of students. The new testament I have restored to the authoritative form of the Greek original. For as the true text of the old testament can only be tested by a reference to the Hebrew, so the true text of the new requires for its decision an appeal to the Greek.


And to Augustine c. 404

Epistola CXII
(al. 89; scripta circa finem anni 404)
Hieronymi ad Augustinum
Epistola C
(al. numero caret; scripta et latine reddita an. 404)
Sive Theophili Alexandrini episcopi ad Totius Aegypti episcopos Paschalis anii 404.
D. Hieronymo interprete
Section 20

Et si me, ut dicis, in novi Testamenti emendatione suscipis, exponisque causam cur suscipias; quia plurimi linguae Graecae habentes scientiam, de meo possint opere judicare: eamdem integritatem debueras etiam in veteri credere Testamento, quod non nostra confinximus; sed ut apud Hebraeos invenimus, divina transtulimus. Sicubi dubitas, Haebraeos interroga.

If I thought that, as you say, is there to take in the amendment of the New Testament, exponisque a reason why we may take in; because most of them, having knowledge of the Greek tongue, he will be able to judge the work: to believe in the Old Testament, too, you should have the integrity of the same, that it is not our confinximus; but in order that we find among the Hebrews, the divine themselves. Where some doubt, ask Haebraeos

The Vulgate Prologue of Jerome (c. 405-410), Paula (AD 347–404) is not mentioned in the saluation)

The order of the seven Epistles, which are named Canonical, as is found in Latin books is not thus among the Greeks who believe rightly and follow the correct faith. For as Peter is first in the order of the Apostles, first also are his Epistles in the order of the others. But as we have just now corrected the Evangelists to the line of truth, so we have restored, with God helping, these to their proper order. For the first of them is one of James, two of Peter, three of John, and one of Jude. Which, if they were arranged by them and thus were faithfully turned into Latin speech by interpreters, they would have neither made ambiguity for readers nor would they have attacked the variety of words themselves, especially in that place where we read what is put down about the oneness of the Trinity in the First Epistle of John. In which we find many things to be mistaken of the truth of the faith by the unfaithful translators, who put down in their own edition only three words, that is, Water, Blood, and Spirit, and who omit the witness of the Father and Word and Spirit, by which both the Catholic faith is greatly strengthened and also the one substance of the Divinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is proved. Indeed, in the other Epistles, I leave to the judgment of the reader how much the edition of the others differs from ours. But you, O virgin of Christ Eustochium, while you zealously seek from me the truth of Scripture, you expose my old age, as it were, to the devouring teeth of the envious, who call me a falsifier and corruptor of the Holy Scriptures. But I, in such a work, am afraid of neither the envy of my rivals, nor will I refuse those requesting the truth of Holy Scripture.
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Steven Avery

Witness of God

[Chapman] St. Jerome revised the whole New Testament. It is time to give proofs. They are of overwhelming strength. (p. 283) ...Tradition is unanimous. Until the few rather hasty modern critics, not a voice was ever raised to suggest that St. Jerome did not revise the whole New Testament. The victorious career of the Vulgate is entirely due to the fact that it was universally believed in early times to be a revision carried out by the most learned of Western Doctors at the bidding of Pope Damasus. It is true that the Old Latin did not immediately expire, and that St. Gregory the Great at the very end of the sixth century declared that the Roman Church used the old version [PAGE 285] as well as the new. In theory, yes. But even from St. Jerome's time onwards, pure Old Latin is not often to be found for the N.T. We have Vulgate, impure Vulgate, and mixed Old Latin and Vulgate, but no longer a rival Old Latin. And behind this tradition we have absolutely definite and categorical statements by St. Jerome himself, that he revised the whole New Testament. (Chapman, St. Jerome and the Vulgate N.T., part 3, 1923, p. 284-285)

St. Jerome and the Vulgate New Testament (1923)
John Chapman

p. 293-299
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Steven Avery

John Chapman (1865-1933)

Chapman deals superbly with the question of Jerome's authorship of the full Vulgate NT.

Journal of Theological Studies (1923) - Hugh Houghton bibliography says 1933
John Chapman

St. Jerome and the Vulgate New Testament I.
p. 33-51

St. Jerome and the Vulgate New Testament II
p. 113-125

St. Jerome and the Vulgate New Testament III
p. 282-299
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Steven Avery

CARM has p. 33 and will likely have more

Journal of Theological Studies (1922)
St Jerome and the Vulgate New Testament
John Chapman

The question whether St Jerome is the author of the whole Vulgate New Testament, or only of the Gospels, has been much debated, and ought to be settled, if possible, as it is a matter of great practical importance for the editing of the Vulgate, and its elucidation touches a large number of interesting points.

The history of the debate is not worth recording here. Richard Simon’s arguments are as good as any which have been put forward since his day.1 Recently, Wordsworth and White have pronounced in favour of St Jerome as reviser of the Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypse. So also Mangenot. Lagrange has taken the opposite view, and a very elaborate study by Père Cavallera has claimed to decide the question in the same sense, while Dom De Bruyne has attributed the Vulgate St Paul to Pelagius. This last hypothesis need not be dealt with here. I hope to shew in the Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique that Pelagius was no textual critic, knew no Greek, and commented on an Old-Latin text, which he never attempted to improve. He has no point of contact with the Vulgate. I hold with Wordsworth and White that the whole Vulgate is St Jerome’s work.
1 Dom De Bruyne (Revut bibl. Oct. 1915) enumerates, as the earlier doubters on the subject, Erasmus, Faber Stapulensis, Pithocus, and Zegers. He has reproduced the arguments of the last of these.

This is the beginning of the John Chapman section.

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Steven Avery


CARM has quotes from Chapman

more to add


Poggio Bracciolini - Gian Francesco (1380-1459) Valla Vulgate dispute includes Jerome authorship

Bentley p. 161
As in textual criticism , so in his evaluation of the Vulgate as a translation of the Greek New Testament. Erasmus took his initial cues from Lorenzo Valla's work. Valla had argued that St. Jerome did not translate the Vulgate New Testament , and he attacked the Vulgate itself for poor literary style, inaccurate translation, and general obscurity in representing the Greek New Testament.
Valla also wrote a treatise on the Latin Vulgate, comparing it with certain Greek New Testament manuscripts which he had in his possession.
Erasmus, who from his youth had been an admirer of Valla found a manuscript of Valla's treatise in 1504 and had it printed in the following year. In this work Valla favored the Greek New Testament text over the Vulgate. The Latin text often differed from the Greek, he reported. Also
there were omissions and additions in the Latin translation, and the Greek wording was generally better than that of the Latin. (6)
Note 6 Principles and Problems of Translation, Schwarz, pp. 96-97, 132-39

p. 127-128
One may conjecture from this that the Vulgate which we now use was not same as the one which Jerome had at that time.2 But that person, whoever he was, seems to me to have wanted to interpret the word as acquisition, which is in any case ambiguous.
2 On Erasmus' assessment of Jerome as author of the Vulgate see Bentley Humanists 162.

Council of Trent

Petrus Pithaus

Richard Simon - affirms Jerome authorship - Petrus Pithaus - Petri Pithoe

Lefever d'Etaples

Paul of Middleburg

Jedin on the Council of Trent

Wordsworth and White - Jerome author

Mangenot - (1856-1902) pro Jerome author per Metzger
E. Mangenot, ‘Saint Jerome reviscur du Nouveau Testament’, RBy N.S. xv (1918), 244-53. (Metzger)

Ernesto Buonaiuti, ‘Pelagius and the Pauline Vulgate’, ExpT xxvii (1915/16), PP- 425-7- (Metzger)

In his rebuttal of Mangenot, Lagrange says that it was his intention to show that Jerome had begun to use for his commentaries a text which approached that which he was to issue later as the Vulgate, but which had not yet been freed from as many Old Latin traits as the Vulgate; ‘La revision de la Vulgate par S. Jerome’, RBy n.s. xv (1918), 254-7, and Critique textuelle, p. 503. (Metzger)

Pere Cavallara

Metzger gives as pro-Vulgate authenticity
Buonaiuti, Mangenot, Chapman, and Souter

Dom de Bruyne
D. de Bruyne, RB n.s. 12 [1915] 363-64).

Walter Drum

William Fremantle
It was intended as a preface to the Gospels only; but from the record of his works in the list of ecclesiastical writers (de Vir. Ill. 135), which states that he had restored the N.T. according to the original Greek, as well as from other passages (e.g. Ep. xxvii. 3), we infer that the whole version was completed (see Vallarsi's pref. to vol. x.; also Murray's Illus. B. D. (1908), art. VULGATE).

Alexander Souter (1873-1949) - pro Jerome per Metzger
7 ‘The Character and History of Pelagius’ Commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 1915-16, pp. 261-96, esp. 264-74; ‘Pelagius and the Pauline Text in the Book of Armagh’, JTS xvi (1915), 105; and Pelagius’s Expositions of Thirteen Epistles of St Paul; i, Introduction; ii, Text and Apparatus Crilicus; iii, Pseudo-Jerome Interpolations (Texts and Studies, ix. 1-3; Cambridge, 1922-31), esp. i. 155-8.

John Chapman (1865-1933) - pro Jerome per Metzger
Journal of Theological Studies (1922)
St Jerome and the Vulgate New Testament
(RHE 18 [1922] 469-81; 19 [1923] 25-42;
JTS 24 [1923] 33-51, 113-25, 282-99)
Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique
Aelred Cody gives this bibliography




Albert A. Bell

C. Brown Tkacz - 1996 - mentioned in Dunphy

P. Burton - 2000 - mentioned in Dunphy

Bogaert, Pierre-Maurice (2005). "Le livre de Baruch dans les manuscrits de la Bible latine. Disparition et réintégration". Revue Bénédictine. 115 (2): 286–342. doi:10.1484/J.RB.5.100598.

J. K. Elliott
The Translations of the New Testament into Latin: The Old Latin and the Vulgate (1992)

Kevin Edgecomb

Edward J. Hahnenberg

Walter Dunphy

Henning Graf Reventlow, - (2010)

Simon Goldhill (b. 1957)
"Jerome can not be its author"

Andrew Cain
Because he had faced withering criticism for his Gospels revision just two years earlier, one can imagine Jerome being wary of embarking on a comparable project involving another segment of the New Testament text (albeit one that, unlike the revision, would not be its own free-standing work but would be partnered with commentaries). Another round of controversy is exactly what he would not want because it would draw attention away from the exegesis itself, which Jerome hailed as an outstanding and indeed unprecedented achievement in the Latin West.51
Moreover, his Gospels project had come with a papal seal of approval, and if that could not save him from the fall-out he experienced, then he could not reasonably expect a revision (or translation) of the Pauline epistles, which lacked any such high-profile endorsement, to fare any better.52

Canellis, Aline, ed. (2017). Jérôme : Préfaces aux livres de la Bible [Jerome : Preface to the books of the Bible] (in French). Abbeville: Éditions du Cerf. pp. 89–90, 217. ISBN 978-2-204-12618-2.

Hugh Houghton - below post and check p. 36 and review bibliography

Anna Persig

Aline Canellis
Jérôme: Préfaces aux livres de la Bible.

Scherbenske, Eric W. (2013). Canonizing Paul: Ancient Editorial Practice and the Corpus Paulinum. Oxford University Press. p. 183.

Aelred Cody (1988)
Review of Frede
Vetus Latina: Die Reste der altlateinischen Bibel nach Petrus Sabatier neu gesammelt und herausgegeben von der Erzabtei Beuron. Band 25: Epistulae ad Thessalonicenses, Timotheum, Titum, Philemonem, Hebraeos, Pars I: Einleitung; Epistulae ad Thessalonicenses, Timotheum by Hermann Josef Frede

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Steven Avery

Houghton p. 41




Bonn School ---

Steven Avery


The 1922-23 section from John Chapman is focused on the authorship of the Vulgate, and answered in depth the types of objections mentioned by Hugh Houghton (who gave no detail, while John Chapman looks at the specifics in depth).

Try going over the three sections from John Chapman, which were extensively quoted in earlier posts.

Journal of Theological Studies (1922)
St Jerome and the Vulgate New Testament
John Chapman
p. 33-51
p. 113-125
p. 282-299

Earlier in this thread you were already given some detail (Gal. 5:9, 1 Cor. 5:6) mentioned by Houghton that you have dodged and avoided, and you provide no quotations from John Chapman that shows that he answered in depth these examples.

H. A. G. Houghton wrote:
"For example, at Galatians 5:9, he [Jerome] adjusts the lemma of his commentary to read modicum fermentum totam conspersionem fermentat ('a little yeast leavens the whole mixture') and observes:

male in nostris codicibus habetur: modicum fermentum totam massam corrumpit, et sensum potius interpres suum,
quam uerba apostoli transtulit (HI Ga. 3:5)

Our manuscripts are wrong in reading 'a little yeast spoils the whole lump' as the translator has conveyed his own understanding rather
than the words of the apostle.

It is most unlikely that Jerome would have allowed this form to persist in this letter and the identical phrase at 1 Corinthians 5:6 if he had been responsible for the Vulgate text of these Epistles" (The Latin New Testament, pp. 34-35).

You really should look at John Chapman before putting in quote-snippets:

Galatians 5:9 and 1 Corinthians 5:6