Many of our Bible readers are not aware of some hardships and sacrifices many people underwent to give us the Bible in the English language and even in our own mother tongue. We would like to give you some stories about efforts in scripture translations so that the common people like us could enjoy reading the message of the true God, the Creator .
In this article we would like to reproduce some information about Jerome, the translator of the Bible which is called the Latin Vulgate (Vulgata Latina).
Vulgate comes from the stem “vulgar” which meant “ordinary.” It was called vulgar because it was meant to be understood by the ordinary people. Earlier, the New Testament books and epistles were written by the Apostles in the universal Greek of the first century called “Koine.” “Koine” means “common” or the simple, easily understood Greek of that period of the first century. It was different from the classical Greek literature of such writers like Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles among others.
To make you feel what we are talking about, you may compare the vocabulary and the syntax of Lope K. Santos of the first quarter of the 20th century when he wrote his novel “Banag at Sikat” and the Pilipino daily papers of the 21st century read by jeepney drivers. There’s so much difference.
The following is our reproduction:
“JEROME THE HERMIT, TRANSLATOR OF THE SCRIPTURES. His full name: Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus born three and one half centuries after Christ. Jerome was a lover of books. In fact, he spent so much of his time reading the literature of his day that he considered it sinful. He resolved to devote his life to studying the scriptures.
“He went to live with some hermits in the Syrian desert for six long years, where he collected manuscripts and studied Hebrew.
“According to legend, Jerome once found a wounded lion and nursed it back to health. The animal became a pet and guarded its master at work on his manuscripts.
“Jerome was called to Palestine where he worked for 25 years translating the entire Bible into Latin – the common language of his day.”
(From the Junior Teacher’s Handbook, 1990, 20th Century Christian).