Most formal English translation of Vulgate

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Jonathan Rhein | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jun 24 2022 4:21 PM

I am looking for the most formal (i.e. literal) English (or German if available) translation of Jerome's Vulgate. I searched Faithlife's online store but was not able to find what I was looking for. There seem to be just partial translations (e.g. Psalter) and of course the respective Lexham Interlinear.

Am I overlooking something or is there simply no such translation available? 

I am also thankful for any suggestion of good online translations. I checked https://vulgate.org/, but was not very happy with the precision and accuracy either.

Thank you!

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 24 2022 4:34 PM

Doing a Google search, I’m seeing that the Douala-Rheims Challoner, the Confraternity Bible and the Knox Bible were translations. Of those three, I’ve only seen the Douay.

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Posts 37
Jonathan Rhein | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 24 2022 4:40 PM

Thank you for your suggestions, David Smile

The Douay-Rheims is the one which is used by https://vulgate.org/. Just in the few places I inspected so far, it seems not to translate very literal, e.g. Rom 1:7 

... vocatis sanctis ...

is translated as "called to be saints" whereas in my opinion the literal meaning is simply "called saints" which is also a lot closer to the Greek original. But I might be wrong.

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 24 2022 5:07 PM

Looking it up, I’m seeing vocatis as “call, summon; name; call upon”

I suppose the “summoned” sense could be translated as “called to be.” But I’m no expert. 

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 24 2022 5:19 PM

Jonathan Rhein:
Just in the few places I inspected so far, it seems not to translate very literal,

Your comment is ironic. DR was criticized as being too literal ... so much so, it was difficult to understand.

"From time to time after 1612, the Rheims-Douay Bible received some slight revision, but by the middle of the eighteenth century, its literalistic Latinate rendering was largely unintelligible to the rank and file of English-speaking Roman Catholics. Consequently, Bishop Richard Challoner, the vicar apostolate of the London district, assisted in making a thorough revision of the New Testament in 1738. In the following years, with indefatigable labor, Challoner revised the Old Testament twice, in 1750 and 1763, while doing the same for the New Testament no fewer than five times, in 1749, 1750, 1752, 1763, and 1772. The two Testaments were united by Challoner in a five-volume edition published at London in 1749–50 (3d ed., rev. 1752)."

From Metzger's Bible in Translation.

Here's Lexham's Vulgate Interlinear (verb perfect passive):

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 24 2022 5:20 PM

Jonathan Rhein:
Am I overlooking something or is there

Yes, you are overlooking that the distinction between formal and dynamic equivalence is a very recent distinction that has been so abused that its originator (Eugene Nida) regrets it. There has been no major Vulgate translation after Nida's distinction which was intending to distinguish between translations in which the reader was familiar with the culture of the source language vs. those in which the cultural references in the source language would not be familiar to the reader. Given the development of the language and grammar, translations into Romance languages will naturally have a greater formal equivalence than translations into Germanic languages. Within Germanic languages, those that rely on position will have lower formal equivalence than those that are declinational.

For the Vulgate itself, there have been three official versions:

  1. Sixtine Vulgate (1590)
  2. Clementine Vulgate (1592)
  3. Nova Vulgata (1979)

The primary critical edition is the Stuttgart Vulgate (1969). To the best of my knowledge, there are no recent translations into English of either the Nova Vulgata or the Stuttgart Vulgate. The Navarre Bible's original English printing included the Vulgate text but did not offer a new English translation of the Vulgate. This leaves one with only three major translations into English only one of which is available from Faithlife:

  1. Douay Rheims Challoner
  2. Confraternity
  3. Ronald Knox

Therefore, your best bet is to vote for The Knox Bible | Faithlife and cajole everyone you know to do likewise.

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Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 24 2022 6:48 PM

MJ. Smith:

Jonathan Rhein:
Am I overlooking something or is there

Yes, you are overlooking that the distinction between formal and dynamic equivalence is a very recent distinction that has been so abused that its originator (Eugene Nida) regrets it. There has been no major Vulgate translation after Nida's distinction which was intending to distinguish between translations in which the reader was familiar with the culture of the source language vs. those in which the cultural references in the source language would not be familiar to the reader. Given the development of the language and grammar, translations into Romance languages will naturally have a greater formal equivalence than translations into Germanic languages. Within Germanic languages, those that rely on position will have lower formal equivalence than those that are declinational.

For the Vulgate itself, there have been three official versions:

  1. Sixtine Vulgate (1590)
  2. Clementine Vulgate (1592)
  3. Nova Vulgata (1979)

The primary critical edition is the Stuttgart Vulgate (1969). To the best of my knowledge, there are no recent translations into English of either the Nova Vulgata or the Stuttgart Vulgate. The Navarre Bible's original English printing included the Vulgate text but did not offer a new English translation of the Vulgate. This leaves one with only three major translations into English only one of which is available from Faithlife:

  1. Douay Rheims Challoner
  2. Confraternity
  3. Ronald Knox

Therefore, your best bet is to vote for The Knox Bible | Faithlife and cajole everyone you know to do likewise.

I've been schooled and I voted!

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2022 4:48 AM

Jonathan Rhein:

The Douay-Rheims is the one which is used by https://vulgate.org/. Just in the few places I inspected so far, it seems not to translate very literal, e.g. Rom 1:7 

... vocatis sanctis ...

is translated as "called to be saints" whereas in my opinion the literal meaning is simply "called saints" which is also a lot closer to the Greek original.

Vocare has multiple possible translations into English in this instance.

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Posts 2968
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2022 5:02 AM

You might want to review the website https://www.realdouayrheims.com/   

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