Today the Church celebrates a scholar and priest, St. Jerome, who was born around 342 and who died around 420. Jerome was known as a Biblical scholar who translated Scripture in the common language of the day, Latin, and his translation is known as The Vulgate (meaning, in the vernacular, the language of the people).
Jerome was known for his temper, and he and our own St. Augustine exchanged some quite fiery correspondence. There was the exchange of letters between Augustine (Bishop of Hippo) and Jerome,about Jerome's new Latin translation of the Old Testament. Up to that time all Latin versions had been based upon the Greek version (called the translation of "the Seventy" or the Septuagint). But Augustine had learned that Jerome was now making a translation from the Hebrew, which differed in many places from the Septuagint.
Here is one such exchange:
Augustine to Jerome written about 394: “... I beseech you not to devote your labor to the work of translating into Latin the sacred canonical books, unless you follow the method in which you have translated Job, viz. with the addition of notes, to let it be seen plainly what differences there are between this version of yours and that of the Septuagint, whose authority is worthy of highest esteem. For my own part, I cannot sufficiently express my wonder that anything should at this date be found in the Hebrew manuscripts which escaped so many translators perfectly acquainted with the language.”
Jerome to Augustine in response: “You ask why a former translation which I made of some of the canonical books was carefully marked with asterisks and obelisks, whereas I afterwards published a translation without these. You must pardon my saying that you seem to me not to understand the matter: for the former translation is from the Septuagint; and wherever obelisks are placed, they are designed to indicate that the Seventy have said more than is found in the Hebrew. But the asterisks indicate what has been added by Origen from the version of Theodotion. In that version I was translating from the Greek: but in the later version, translating from the Hebrew itself, I have expressed what I understood it to mean, being careful to preserve rather the exact sense than the order of the words. I am surprised that you do not read the books of the Seventy translators in the genuine form in which they were originally given to the world, but as they have been corrected, or rather corrupted, by Origen, with his obelisks and asterisks; and that you refuse to follow the translation, however feeble, which has been given by a Christian man, especially seeing that Origen borrowed the things which he has added from the edition of a man who, after the passion of Christ, was a Jew and a blasphemer. Do you wish to be a true admirer and partisan of the Seventy translators? Then do not read what you find under the asterisks; rather erase them from the volumes, that you may approve yourself indeed a follower of the ancients. If, however, you do this, you will be compelled to find fault with all the libraries of the Churches; for you will scarcely find more than one manuscript here and there which has not these interpolations.”
Even the greatest saints have disagreed on things, even the translation of Scripture. Some things among God’s people seem to never change!
Let us pray: O Lord, O God of truth, your Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path: We give you thanks for your servant Jerome, and those who, following in his steps, have labored to render the Holy Scriptures in the language of the people; and we pray that your Holy Spirit will overshadow us as we read the written Word, and that Christ, the living Word, will transform us according to your righteous will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
St. Francis’ Day and the Blessing of the Animals. Bring your pets to Church on Sunday at 12 Noon to be blessed.
This Sunday, we will begin our new Adult Christian Education series, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.
The 7th Annual Art Show is right around the corner! This year our theme is “HOPE& COMPASSION” Entries are accepted 26 to 29 September from 10 am - 6 pm and judging will be on Wednesday, 30 September. The juror is artist Karen Calhoun. The show is displayed 3 to 11 October from 10 am- 6 pm. We have 2 receptions OPENING NIGHT AWARDS OCT. 3, 6 PM and ARTWALK NIGHT OCT. 10TH UNTIL 9 PM.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550