Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why Am I So Angry At JB Bury?

I'll tell you why: because in 1889 he published a 2-volume work entitled A History of the Later Roman Empire, covering the period from AD 395 to 800, and then in 1923 he published a totally different work which also came in 2 volumes, covered the period between 395 and 565, and was entitled History of the Later Roman Empire. As if that A at the beginning of the titles, and slightly different subtitles (not much different!) would be perfectly sufficient to prevent anyone from confusing the 1889 publication with the 1923 publication. (It's not sufficient, John!)

But wait, there's more: In 1893 Bury published a volume entitled A History of the Roman Empire. (Subtitle: from Its Foundation to the Death of Marcus Aurelius [27 BC -- 180 AD].)

Not so much with being able to imagine a variety of book titles, eh, John? It's too late now, but lots of titles come quite easily to my mind which would have helped readers tell one work from the other: keep the title of the first work the same. For the second one: Rome from 27 BC to AD 180. Or: From Augustus to Marcus Aurelius. For the third one: The Fifth and Sixth Centuries in the Roman Empire. Or: Late Antiquity in Europe. Or, cribbing from your Preface, The German Conquest of Western Europe and the Age of Justinian. All right off the top of my pointy head. And all avoiding the use of the term "Byzantium" to describe the later Roman Empire, a usage I know you detested -- with quite good reason, in my opinion.

Why, John?! Why did you do that with your book titles?! They're great books, they deserve to be distinguishable from each other! Aaaarrgghh!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Does The Huffington Post WANT Stupid Readers' Comments From Atheists?

Why would anyone want stupid comments all over their website? Well, it could be that they want to reinforce a stereotype of a certain group -- in this case, the stereotype of atheists making disparaging remarks about the history of religion without knowing that religion well.

The question in the title of this post occurred to me today when I saw that a comment on HP from a friend of mine had been deleted. He's pretty brainy, and regularly points out historical inaccuracies in other readers' comments. As do I. A couple of regular obnoxious know-it-alls we are, if you don't enjoy learning things. And clearly, stupid people don't. (That's why they're stupid.) Sometimes, when my friend or I point out that Constantine actually didn't revise the Bible, or that the development, written or oral, of the Old Testament has not as yet been traced back in time earlier than the Iron Age into the Bronze Age, or that many of the earliest Popes wrote in Greek instead of Latin, or that the status of dhimmi was offered to Zoroastrians as well as to Christians and Jews in Islamic states in earlier eras, or what have you, the person we're addressing, or a third party, will actually thank us, or even ask if we have reading tips for further information on the subject at hand. (Of course we do. How d'you think we got so friggin' smart?) Often, however, the person we're addressing (or a third party) reacts with hostility to our attempt to help. If they are atheists, they often (mistakenly) assume that I and my friends are believers. A couple of hardcore cases don't believe us if we happen to correct them and say that we're atheists. That's right -- they think we're Christians posing as atheists in order to trick them. (Or maybe it's just one, whom I encountered on more than one separate occasion, and whose handle I had not lovingly memorized the first time. I hope it's only one. That this would be a pattern would be quite discouraging.)

Yesterday I corrected one of the popular ahistorical memes concerning the history of religion in another reader's comment. That reader responded by asking me whether I was planning to sacrifice an animal or my first-born child. I said I was commenting in the interest of historical accuracy, with no religious belief and ergo no attempt to proselytize. The other reader only became more hostile and more bizarrely imaginative about me and my intentions, and after a brief to-and-fro I gave up.

Then today I learned of the above-mentioned deleted comment by my learned friend: he had not given up when I had, but replied to the last reply to me by the reader who got very angry at me and my fancy-pants book larnin'. I was very surprised that my friend's comment was deleted, both because it contained information which was, you know -- accurate; and because it was not one bit harsher in tone than the other person's comments, none of which were deleted.

Then I saw this HP article: Too Simple to Be Wrong: Atheism's Bronze-Age Goat Herder Conceit. And that's when I started to wonder whether some individuals who decide what sort of readers' comments on articles in HP Religion will appear on the website, and which won't, have a preference -- maybe subconscious. Maybe not. Maybe the one in certain individuals and the other in others -- for those comments by atheists which reek more of jackassery, all the better to portray atheists as jackasses. I was very disappointed, as soon as I saw the article's headline and read its first paragraph, a quote from Sam Harris, that the time when comments on this particular article were being accepted for consideration had passed, because I wanted to point out that I had repeatedly pointed out in my comments that I realized that the Bible had not been written in the Bronze Age, and that I had never been the slightest bit impressed by Sam Harris, indeed that I cringe when I think that Harris is a leader of the current atheist movement. Then I read the rest of the article and saw that its author also did not seem to realize that the Bible was not a Bronze-Age artifact, but more disappointing that that was the presentation of certain simpleminded attitudes bundled together as "Atheism's Bronze-Age Goat Herder Conceit" and not attributed specifically to certain simpledminded atheist individuals. Those of you who have seen Philadelphia,please recite along with me:

This is the essence of discrimination: formulating opinions about others not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in a group with assumed characteristics.

That's right, Dawg: that's what the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 says. I don't ignore the individual merits of religious believers based on their membership in the group of believers. I don't assume that certain characteristics belong to the group of believers. I don't appreciate it when someone formulates an opinion about me based on assumptions they make about a whole group of people. Of course I don't. Nobody appreciates that sort of thing, and nobody should have to put up with it.

And hopefully it goes without saying that I hope that this suspicion that hit me today like a chill down my spine, about HP wanting certain sorts of dumb comments from me because I'm an atheist, so that they can say Hey look how dumb those atheists are, is dead wrong.

PS, May 30: This morning, in a Huffington Post reader's comment, I called another reader "a retard." I'm not at all proud of having said that, and to my great surprise, HP published it. Yet another HP reader commented on this Wrong Monkey blog post by insisting that I'm thinking way too hard about all this, and that the HP moderation is simply "arbitrary and capricious," a phrase which apparently is often used by lawyers.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Don't Show Me Your Credentials, Please!

Your academic credentials, that is. Just speak your piece. What you say won't become more impressive than it was by your informing me that you are a Full and Distinguished Professor with several long titles, appointments, fellowships, etc, etc. In fact it might actually become less impressive to me. It seems to me that people tend to trot out their creds at points in debates where they are losing. When they have run out of actual substantive things to say. "I'm a bigshot, dammit! Listen to me!" Your creds might work at that point with someone who has had no idea what you've been talking about. Or who has had very little contact with higher education and therefore has an inflated estimation of everyone connected with it. (Or who him- or herself has a long list of imposing-sounding academic credentials and very little of interest to say.)

It's a tricky thing with such credentials. Lord (Settle down. It's just an expression.) knows I'm no anti-intellectual. It appalls me to learn how many Amurrkins would not vote for someone for President of the United States because he or she had a PhD. In fact, I'm very similar to an academic. Most of the people I feel most comfortable talking with have PhD's. My reading habits are very similar to those of an academic, an historian or a philosopher. It's mostly due to my autism, I think, that I don't have a PhD myself. I once had thought that there was a substantial group of autodidacts who resembled academics as much as I do, except for the lack of advanced degrees and jobs in academia. Apparently not. There are some disputes currently raging with mostly academics on one side and mostly autodidacts on the other (*cough* New Atheism *cough* *cough*) and although the academics haven't convinced me that Jesus existed, they have convinced me that the autodidacts are mostly more uneducated than self-educated.

Still, let me be convinced, or not, by what you have to say, and not by your credentials. Of course, this is all the more the case if we know each other only as pseudonyms on the Internet, and I don't even know for sure if you really are the PhD, or employed chemist, or professor who you claim to be. Hopefully I won't shock anyone when I say that I'm pretty sure some people make up some things about themselves when they're anonymous Internet pseudonyms.

There's been one striking case recently in which one anonymous Internet handle has been claiming over and over again that he is a scientist, while not sounding very familiar at all with even very basic tenets of science, logic or math, while debating with several other people who sound very much like professional scientists and/or mathematicians. It also strikes me as suspicious that he keeps saying, "I'm a scientist." That's just odd. Actual academics I've know, when asked about their occupations or backgrounds, usually say something like "I'm a biologist" or "I'm a physicist" or "I'm a mathematician." If, that is, they're not even more specific than that and say, "I'm a molecular biologist," or "I'm a theoretical physicist," or something like that. And they generally don't repeatedly state their real or imagined qualifications, they just talk to you, like regular folks, but more science-y. "I'm a scientist," just flatly stated without anyone having asked what he is, sounds very unusual indeed. Special, as it were. And as he sounds so very far from scientifically literate, I've been asking myself just what sort of scientist he could be, what his field is.

And then I remembered that some theologians actually still refer to theology as science. 800 years ago, not only was theology still referred to as a science: in Western universities, which were all run by theologians, theology was referred to as the primary science, and all the other fields of study -- grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy, philosophy -- were called the "handmaids" of theology, the "queen of the sciences." I would have to guess that this guy is either a pathological liar, making up a biography for himself out of whole cloth, or one of those theologians who regards theology as a science, and whose worldview generally is about 800 years old. (Like science, theology has something which they call peer review, but, of course, it bears scant resemblance to scientific peer review. Google "peer review in theology," in quotes.)

Nota bene: I said that 800 years ago, in Western Europe, people "referred to" theology as the primary science, to which all other fields of study were subordinate. I did not say that people "believed that" theology was the highest science, or even a real science at all. No doubt some people believed this, including some professors and rectors of universities with doctorates and long and imposing-sounding lists of other titles. But in times when conformity of expression and speculation was so rigidly enforced with the aid of torture -- the "good old days," to apologists -- who knows what the mass of people actually believed, or said in private, away from the damning evidence of the writing which has come down to us?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Runciman's Critics

I wondered whether Frazer and Runciman earned any Doctorates other than the scads of honorary ones they each received. (It seems quite clear that a century ago, a Doctorate was not considered nearly so essential in academic circles as it is today. All sorts of perfectly leading authorities and illustrious professors stopped at an MA and then got on with their careers.) On the title page of the Bibliography and General Index of the unabridged Golden Bough, I saw that Frazer actually had three Doctorates: in addition to an LL.D. and a Litt.D. he had a D.C.L., which is either a Doctorate of the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, or a Doctorate of Civil Law. I confess I know little about the Doctorate of Canon Law and whether it's conceivable that Frazer would've had one; however, he was very interested in Latin literature and ancient and Medieval Italy, and a given university typically offers either an LL.D. or a Doctorate of Civil Law and not both, and Frazer remained very closely tied to Cambridge for his entire academic life and career, two things which would suggest that his D.C.L. was a Doctorate of Canon Law.

In any case: I found nothing at all about non-honorary degrees earned by Runciman, other than a mention in his New York Times obituary that he had earned an MA at Trinity College, Cambridge. And that's only the New York Times, so who knows. Neither the 1951 nor the 1972 Encyclopædia Britannica contains an article about, nor even by Runciman. Shocking.

In the course of searching for evidence of his degrees, I ran into a lot of familiar and unpleasant criticism of Runciman by nasty little Eurocentric revisionist worms like Thomas Madden and Christopher Tyerman, who unfortunately seem to be the most highly-esteemed living historians of the Crusades. (Tyerman brushes aside Runciman's assertions that many Crusaders were adventurers looking for material gain by pointing out that the majority of Crusaders lost financially through the Crusades rather than winning. Does he really think that would-be Crusaders at the time could foretell how the Crusades would go economically, and that therefore everyone with mercenary motives backed out? Or is he only pretending to be that stupid?) Runciman is probably still the most highly-esteemed Western historian of the Middle Ages, living or dead, but unfortunately, as he is dead, he can no longer personally respond to the ridiculous attacks upon him and his works. I guess it's up to me. How ridiculous are the attacks on Runciman's work? This ridiculous: the main thrust of these attacks is that Runciman wrote well. I'm not joking. The passive-aggressive trope: "Runciman could write well, but [...]" is not merely quite popular among Runciman's detractors -- it's ubiquitous. (Apparently even they have grasped that they'd never be able to get away with claiming that he wrote poorly.) And unfortunately even many of Runciman's current fans, among whom I can see few giants, have picked up on this meme, and say things like "[...] but he could write very well." As if writing well were only for novelists, poets and playwrights and had no place in the work of historians. (It takes up little enough space in the works of Madden and Tyerman.) As if writing well were anything more or less than an indication that an historians knows what he or she is doing -- writing, namely. I read about a conference held around the turn of the millenium in Spain, ostensibly in Runciman's honor, where several participants complained of the alleged "narrowness" of Runciman's sources. Narrowness? Really? See, this is one of those demonstrations that God did not exist, because some little pissants spoke this way at a conference about Runciman and did not immediately vanish in flashes of lightning and puffs of black smoke. Narrowness? How many historians of the Crusades have given equal weight to both Latin and Greek Christians sources and Arabic and Turkish Muslim sources? How many of them have been able to read Mongolian, or Armenian, or Georgian? Let alone Latin and Greek and Arabic and Turkish and Mongolian and Armenian and Georgian and Hebrew and Syriac and Ethiopic and Russian and Bulgarian and Slavonic and Persian and Norse, plus an unusually broad variety of the contemporary European and Middle Eastern vernaculars, thus missing very little of importance in the secondary works? How many? Obviously: one. The same one who was reading and writing Latin and Greek at age six. There may never yet have been another human being on Earth who was less narrow in his learning than Professor the Honorable Sir James Cochran Stevenson Runciman. Madden and Tyerman together couldn't carry his mental jockstrap. Oh btw OMG I just found out that Madden, favorite of the National Review and the so-called "History Channel," Thomas F Madden, wrote the current Encyclopædia Britannica article on the Crusades. These are very good days for reactionary revisionist pseudo-historical apologist crap.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hang In There, You Never Know (Not In Below-Expert-Level Chess, Anyway)

I was really surprised to win this game:

1. e4 c5 2. ♘f3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. ♘xd4 ♘f6 5. f3 e5 6. ♘b5 a6 7. ♘5a3 d5 8. exd5 ♗xa3 9. ♘xa3 ♕xd5 10. ♗d3 O-O 11. c4 ♕d8 12. ♗e3 ♖e8 13. O-O e4 14. fxe4 ♘xe4 15. ♕c2 ♘f6 16. ♖ad1 ♗d7 17. ♗g5 ♕c8 18. ♗xf6 gxf6 19. ♖xf6 ♕c5 20. ♔h1 ♕e5 21. ♖df1 ♗e6 22. ♗xh7 ♔h8 23. ♗d3 ♘c6 24. ♕f2 ♘b4 25. ♕h4 ♔g8 26. ♕h7 ♔f8 27. ♗g6 ♔e7 28. ♕h4 ♔d7 29. ♖d1 ♔c7 30. ♗xf7 ♖h8 0-1 {White forfeits on time}

Like most of the games of chess I've blogged about, this one was a 5-0 blitz: 5 minutes per side. 5 minutes to make all of your moves. When it's your turn, your clock starts to wind down from 5 minutes. When you move, your clock stops and your opponent's clock starts. That's the 5 part. The 0 means no time is added to your clock when you move. In a 2-5 blitz, you begin with 2 minutes each, except that every time you move, 5 seconds is added to your clock. That added 5 seconds is called an increment. 2-5, 2-12 and 5-5 are some popular incremental games. I dislike incremental games, because they can go on for. Ever. Feels that way, anyway.

So. I was playing black in the game recorded above. My opponent was rated about 100 points higher than I. That's somewhat of a lot. My opponent's opening is unconventional, and I thought I might be able to grab an advantage. But no. Actually, I should back up a bit: what my opponent did beginning with 5.f3 was unfamiliar to me. I'm much more used to seeing 5.Nc3 at this point in this kind of Sicilian (1.e4 c5) opening. That doesn't necessarily mean that 5.f3 hasn't been played and analyzed a lot by strong players. I couldn't find it in Chess Informant 65, but Chess Informant 65 was published 17 years ago. 17 years is a long time in chess. Longer the higher the level of chess being played. Only 5 hits on Google, though. Not very many at all. I think we can, almost officially, say that this guy was trying something different on his own. Going out on a limb. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Especially if you're trying to shake up a weaker opponent who's known to be very conventional in his openings.

And it worked, he had me in a stranglehold for most of the game. Until I suddenly turned it around with 27. ...♔e7, saw through the temptation of taking the Bishop on f7 on my 30th move and instead played 30. ...♖h8, threatening White with either the loss of his queen or ♕xh2, checkmate, and after having been down on time with 30 seconds to his 1 minute and 22 seconds after my 27th move, he ran out of time after my 30th move while I still had 9.6 seconds -- quite a lot in a situation like this. In this game and the last one I blogged about, I was in a situation which felt hopeless, against a player significantly stronger than I. But both times I kept looking for a way out, and both times, to my surprise, I found one.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Trust Me, There Are Trees in Forests

The Huffington Post is at it again, attacking "the idea that there is a conflict between religion and science." Alan Lurie, in his usual passive-aggressive way, admits the idea that such a conflict exists "is often presented by well-intended, educated individuals;" nevertheless, "the idea that religion has historically been opposed to science is simply an erroneous and unsupported construct that was created in the late 19th century, primarily as an anti-Catholic polemic. And it is an idea that all (yes, all) knowledgeable historians categorically reject."

I'll just bet that Lurie has a foolproof method for determining just exactly who is and who is not a "knowledgeable historian."

It's so absurd. Lurie is in effect categorically denying that there are any trees in forests, and claiming that all competent specialists in such matters agree with him. I think it's time to take a survey of tenured professors in History departments at leading universities and ask what they think of this. I think many of them might be quite surprised that people publishing in such a prominent outlet of the Huffington Post are asserting that "the idea" of a conflict between science and religion is "an erroneous and unsupported construct." As opposed to a fact of life known to just about everyone who's half-educated or better. How to go about proving that there are trees in forests? One obvious response to Lurie didn't occur to me for a while: the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. For many people -- for instance, me -- the very existence of the Index is a refutation of Lurie's thesis, as if a refutation were necessary. Forbidding people to read certain texts is the opposite of the freedom of thought which is an essential part of the conditions necessary in order for science to thrive. (But who even needs to be told such things? Well, Lurie needs to have such things pointed out to him, apparently, as do many of his colleague at Huffington Post Religion. Many, or most, or actually all of them. Can you imagine such a state of affairs?) In case some people actually need a little more, let me just provide the names of some people who have been on the Index: Maimonides. Johannes Scotus Eriugena. Copernicus. Bruno. Kepler. Francis Bacon. Galileo. Descartes. Hume. Kant. Erasmus Darwin. Comte.

Of course, I'm not actually addressing Lurie or his colleagues. I've pretty much given up on them on this point. In order to have arrived at such a position, they have had to be thoroughly immune to reason or plain fact concerning this point. I don't know how to debate such belief. All I can do is denounce it to third parties who might have been in danger of taking these guys seriously. Lurie writes:

"Over most of its existence, in fact, the Catholic Church was the center of open scientific investigation, supporting mathematicians, physicists, botanists and astronomers."

That's one way of putting it. Another way, of course, would be: between late antiquity and the Reformation, all Western European institutions of learning were controlled by the Catholic Church, and anyone who wanted to be a mathematician, physicist, botanist or astronomer had to do it on the Church's terms. Not that Protestants and Protestant institutions of learning have been consistently more pro-science: they've been sometimes more pro-science, sometimes less than Catholics, and they've always presented much less of a unity in this regard, as in others, than the Catholics. And of course the assertion that stating that religion and science are in conflict reflects anti-Catholic bigotry is another red herring: there are anti-Catholic bigots, and they may chime in against the picture of the Catholic Church in harmony with science, but that doesn't mean you have to be a bigot in order to point out that the picture is inaccurate.

And speaking of inaccurate pictues: Lurie writes: "the popular image of Galileo brought to trial in chains to face a sadistic Inquisition, where he uttered his defiant statement 'but it moves,' before being thrown into the papal dungeon, is a dramatic 19th century fabrication" This is not the first time I've read this business about chains and a dungeon in an article in Huffington Post Religion. Only problem is, I don't know who's asserting that Galileo was put in chains and thrown into a dungeon. I thought most everybody knew that Galileo was politely threatened with torture (which Lurie doesn't mention), recanted some of his scientific theories (which Lurie doesn't mention), spent the rest of his life under house arrest, during which time he wrote his magnum opus, which reversed the recantations (which Lurie doesn't mention) and was smuggled into Holland after his death, where, unlike in Italy at the time, it could be published (which Lurie doesn't mention).

This article is a perfect example of why you need to know your sources, know how reliable they are, and not simply trust someone because they're published in the Huffington Post, or TIME magazine -- or anywhere at all -- or because they're on PBS talking to Bill Moyers, and why ideally you'll familiarize yourself with the primary documants in the original languages, as well as knowing something about the people who edited those documents -- if you don't bypass the editions and go straight to the manuscripts.

Or, of course, if that's too much bother, you could simply trust me, hehe.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Chess Is A Game Of Mistakes"

That's the most profound single-sentence description of the game I know. A kindly chess player said that to me years ago, a guy who ran a chess club, ran it well, and was close to an unpaid coach to several of us club members. You win by spotting a mistake on your opponent's part, and exploiting it. Or you make the mistake of not spotting that mistake, and your opponent is able to recover. I played White in the following game today, and won against an opponent rated significantly higher.

1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♘c6 3. ♗b5 ♘f6 4. O-O ♗e7 5. a3 a6 6. ♗a4 b5 7. ♗b3 ♘d4 8. ♘xd4 exd4 9. ♕f3 ♗b7 10. d3 c5 11. ♗d5 ♘xd5 12. exd5 O-O 13. ♘d2 ♗g5 14. ♘b3 d6 15. ♗xg5 ♕xg5 16. ♕g3 ♕xd5 17. ♘d2 f5 18. ♕f3 ♕f7 19. ♕f4 ♕g6 20. g3 ♕h5 21. f3 g5 22. ♕xd6 ♖fe8 23. ♕xc5 ♖e2 24. ♖f2 ♖ae8 25. ♕xf5 ♖xf2 26. ♔xf2 ♖f8 27. ♕e6 ♖f7 28. ♕e8 ♖f8 29. ♕xh5 1-0 {Black resigns}

After 26.♔xf2 I was in very bad shape, and seriously considering retiring. But "chess is a game of mistakes" is a very useful mantra running through my head as I play, and I decided to hang in and see if I would get lucky by means of a mistake on my opponent's part. At first 26. ...♖f8 seemed very strong to me, but then I saw that I had an opportunity to put Black in check. So, why not. Keep the game going, keep looking for a way to turn the tables. 27.♕e6, check. 27. ...♖f7 28. ♕e8, check again, and I saw that if Black blocked my Queen with his Rook at f8, I could take his Queen at h5. He didn't see it, he lost his Queen and resigned.

Grandmasters often resign positions much more ambiguous even than what I was facing after 26.♔xf2. In fact, often enough when I look at Grandmaster games I have no idea why they resign, or even why someone annotating the game, presumably for an audience much wider than just the Grandmasters of the world, has put in half of those !'s and ?'s, even with the help of alternate lines provided by way of explanation. I'm not playing anywhere near Grandmaster chess, and hanging in in lopsided positions makes more sense.

I think 26. ...Qxh2, check, would have been better for Black. Maybe not. As always, I apologize if I've given brain nausea to any stronger players reading along.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Who, Pray Tell Me, Gentle Readers, Has Not Heard Of The Recently-Discovered Gospels And Other Early Christian Writings?

Startlingly, Hal Taussig claims that "the public knows little about" the "more than 75 otherwise unknown documents from the early Christ movements of the first and second centuries [which] have been discovered in the sands of Egypt, the markets of Cairo, or in unprocessed sections of European and Near Eastern libraries in the past 150 years," and "churches almost never read them."

What? Who are this public who've never heard of the Gospel of Thomas or the Nag Hammadi Library or the Gospel of Mary Magdalene or any other of these finds of the past century and a half? In what illiterate, non-TV-gettin backwaters do they live? These texts make headlines, they make the covers of magazines like TIME, they have been edited and translated and put into bestselling books by people like John Dominic Crossan and Elaine Pagels, plenty of adult Sunday-school classes in liberal churches read and discuss them all the time. Half of the nonsense on the "History Channel" was inspired by them. You can't browse much at all through Huffington Post Religion without stumbling across a story about one or more of these "startling" discoveries. Yet Taussig claims that "hundreds and then thousands" of people have been gobsmacked "as [he has] taught these documents over the past 20 years in seminaries, colleges, the church where [he pastors], and many groups around the country," and asked him things like: "Why don't I know about these works? Why aren't they in my Bible?"

No foolin, Hal? Thousands? Hal says: "I began to think that the larger public really needed to have a chance to read the most valuable of these new discoveries alongside the powerful works of the traditional New Testament."

Well, what a heroic soldier of enlightenment Hal Taussig is! Or maybe, just maybe, he's trying to hype his new edition of the Bible by making it seem much more new to people (The word "New" is in its title twice) than it really is. I wonder how many people will buy A New New Testament, take it home, open it up and say "Hey wait a dang minute! The odes of Solomon?! The Gospel of Truth?! None a this dang stuff is new to me! I bought this new Bible for 32 dollars cause a these 12 additional pages?!" I wonder whether Hal is losing any sleep at at all wondering the same things.

Thousands, Hal? Really? Oh well. What do I know.

Ignorance Means You Don't Know Something; Stupidity Means You're Determined To Stay That Way

Here's a striking example:

HIM: Francis and the Dali Lama, talk about and do great acts of generosity, where is the charity and speaking about the same in the Muslim, and Jewish religion? where is the Rabbie's rabbie who admonishes those who dont help? where is the Mullahs, Mullah? the ayatollah who stands against poverty? For what is the opposite of poverty?'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Its Justice!

ME: Those rabbis and mullahs are there, obviously you'd rather denounce Jews and Muslims than take a look around and get a clue first.

HIM: i see Not one leading Mullah or Rabbi infact the leader of the Turkish orthodox church gets more attention in his calls for parity than any Jewish leader in the world!

ME: Google "jewish charity" in quotes and "muslim charity" in quotes.

HIM: if i have to "Google" someones name , they aint famous

Brilliantly, breathtakingly stupid: Nope, I aint a gonna "Google" it, cause if I ain't heard a somebody already, they ain't famous! Do you get the impression that this guy could name a total of 10 living rabbis and/or mullahs without the aid of Google or some other reference guide? Yeah, me neither.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Do you need mansions and gold hats to worship god?" -- An Open Letter To Someone I Don't Know

Yes. Yes I do. I need mansions and gold hats in order to worship God. (And Maseratis too! And luxurious chaise lounges and finely-made intricate mechanical pocket watches -- bushels of 'em!) Which is kind of ironic because I don't even believe in God, and I'm not even convinced Jeebus ever existed. And if he did I don't much care what he would do.

Perhaps you can tell that I'm having a hard time taking you seriously. The other day I saw an episode of "Family Guy" in which Peter led a radical libertarian-anarchist movement which succeeded in eliminating all government in Quahog. "And now that we're FREE," Peter said in triumph once the hated shackles of government were gone -- he said: why don't we get organized here in order to optimize out living experience and protect one another and maintain our infrastructure and discourage crime, codifying what we do and do not deem to be acceptable behavior, confining criminals in enclosed places if need be, and collect refuse and so forth, and we can elect representatives to oversee all of these important duties, and we can repeat these elections at regular intervals, so that if the people we elected the first time aren't pleasing us with their job performance, they can be replaced. And we could chip in some money to pay for time and effort of those representatives and that of all of the other people needed to keep it all humming -- little or no money from the poorer folks and more from those who are well-off. And we'll do all of this without government, yaaay!! And all of his anarchist friends cheered wildly at these brilliant suggestions.

Sort of reminds me of all you people insisting that a charitable institution be broken up and sold and the proceeds given to charity. The constant calls for a Vatican art sale are absurd. (I know, you yourself didn't call for a Vatican art sale, you called for some of the Church's "trillions of dollars' worth" of real estate to be sold off. I don't think mentioning you in the same breath is horribly farfetched.) A few wealthy art collectors would get some bargains, the public would have less art, and what would the Vatican do next week? Sell all those manuscripts from the Vatican Library, maybe? Why give any thought to any of us Classicists who benefits from those manuscripts being accessible to the public? History, schmistory! It's a brave new world, what with the RCC being downsized at last! And as far as the art is concerned, the most valuable Vatican artworks are frescos, painted onto the walls -- so they'd literally have to sell the buildings themselves, or bust them up. "Next up for auction we have the chunk of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel containing Michelangelo's beautiful painting of the Delphic Sibyl. What am I bid?"

Gold hats? Silk slippers? Small potatoes! Some of you guys are fixated on teeny-tiny stuff. And unfortunately, Francis is one of you, paying his hotel bills and dressing simply. Well, maybe there's symbolic value to that. Still, I'd rather he outdid Benedict XVI with the bling and always traveled by limousine and private jet and excommunicated a few of the most egregious credit-default-swapping, Malaysian-sweatshop-owning, air-and-water-and-soil-polluting Catholic CEO's. And/or advocated birth control or stem-cell research, or said that being LGBT is as good as being anything else, or that religion is silly ooga-booga from thousands of years ago. Oh well, nobody's perfect. I do like that he's speaking up against corporate greed and sweatshops and mass starvation.

Friday, May 17, 2013

You Know What? Phillip Patterson Is A Better Man Than I --

-- because I can tell already, I'm not going to be able to post the entire Vulgate on my blog as I had planned. That is to say, I'm not going to be able to bring myself to invest that much energy in it.

But I tell you what, I will give you some links. The entire text of the Vulgate, including the Prefaces, but no Apocrypha, can be found online here.

The Vatican's online version, with the Apocrypha, without the ancient Prefaces but with some other material, is here.

A third online version, again with Apocrypha and without Prefaces by Jerome et al, is here. The pages and illustrations on this website, the bibliotheca Augustana, where a large and growing number of texts in twelve languages can be found, are especially handsome, in my opinion.

This free online site allows you to search by chapter, verse, keyword or topic. It advertises itself as offering over 100 versions of the Bible. The Vulgate is among them.

This is a good printed version of the Vulgate.It's the one I have. It's includes the Prefaces, the Apocrypha, the canons, the whole nine yards. Including introductions by the editors in Latin, German, French and English. The selection of manuscripts consulted and the critical apparatus are impressive. (To me, a layman.) It's published by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, they do good work. (It seems to me, a layman.) They also publish editions of the Septuagint,the Hebrew Old Testamentand the Greek New Testament.In this edition of the NT, thousands of witnesses to the text are consulted -- mostly Greek, of course, including many of those fragments from the garbage dump at Oxyrhynchus, but also Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, Ethiopic and Old Church Slavonic. Readers interested in that sort of thing who aren't already way ahead of me might want to consult the introduction of this edition of the Greek NT for references to translations into those last 7 languages.

In Honor Of Phillip Patterson: Biblia Sacra Vulgata (Pt 2: Genesis, Chapters 1-5)



1 in principio creavit Deus caelum et terram 2 terra autem erat inanis et vacua et tenebrae super faciem abyssi et spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas 3 dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux 4 et vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona et divisit lucem ac tenebras 5 appellavitque lucem diem et tenebras noctem factumque est vespere et mane dies unus 6 dixit quoque Deus fiat firmamentum in medio aquarum et dividat aquas ab aquis 7 et fecit Deus firmamentum divisitque aquas quae erant sub firmamento ab his quae erant super firmamentum et factum est ita 8 vocavitque Deus firmamentum caelum et factum est vespere et mane dies secundus 9 dixit vero Deus congregentur aquae quae sub caelo sunt in locum unum et appareat arida factumque est ita 10 et vocavit Deus aridam terram congregationesque aquarum appellavit maria et vidit Deus quod esset bonum 11 et ait germinet terra herbam virentem et facientem semen et lignum pomiferum faciens fructum iuxta genus suum cuius semen in semet ipso sit super terram et factum est ita 12 et protulit terra herbam virentem et adferentem semen iuxta genus suum lignumque faciens fructum et habens unumquodque sementem secundum speciem suam et vidit Deus quod esset bonum 13 factumque est vespere et mane dies tertius 14 dixit autem Deus fiant luminaria in firmamento caeli ut dividant diem ac noctem et sint in signa et tempora et dies et annos 15 ut luceant in firmamento caeli et inluminent terram et factum est ita 16 fecitque Deus duo magna luminaria luminare maius ut praeesset diei et luminare minus ut praeesset nocti et stellas 17 et posuit eas in firmamento caeli ut lucerent super terram 18 et praeessent diei ac nocti et dividerent lucem ac tenebras et vidit Deus quod esset bonum 19 et factum est vespere et mane dies quartus 20 dixit etiam Deus producant aquae reptile animae viventis et volatile super terram sub firmamento caeli 21 creavitque Deus cete grandia et omnem animam viventem atque motabilem quam produxerant aquae in species suas et omne volatile secundum genus suum et vidit Deus quod esset bonum 22 benedixitque eis dicens crescite et multiplicamini et replete aquas maris avesque multiplicentur super terram 23 et factum est vespere et mane dies quintus 24 dixit quoque Deus producat terra animam viventem in genere suo iumenta et reptilia et bestias terrae secundum species suas factumque est ita 25 et fecit Deus bestias terrae iuxta species suas et iumenta et omne reptile terrae in genere suo et vidit Deus quod esset bonum 26 et ait faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram et praesit piscibus maris et volatilibus caeli et bestiis universaeque terrae omnique reptili quod movetur in terra 27 et creavit Deus hominem ad imaginem suam ad imaginem Dei creavit illum masculum et feminam creavit eos 28 benedixitque illis Deus et ait crescite et multiplicamini et replete terram et subicite eam et dominamini piscibus maris et volatilibus caeli et universis animantibus quae moventur super terram 29 dixitque Deus ecce dedi vobis omnem herbam adferentem semen super terram et universa ligna quae habent in semet ipsis sementem generis sui ut sint vobis in escam 30 et cunctis animantibus terrae omnique volucri caeli et universis quae moventur in terra et in quibus est anima vivens ut habeant ad vescendum et factum est ita 31 viditque Deus cuncta quae fecit et erant valde bona et factum est vespere et mane dies sextus


1 igitur perfecti sunt caeli et terra et omnis ornatus eorum 2 conplevitque Deus die septimo opus suum quod fecerat et requievit die septimo ab universo opere quod patrarat 3 et benedixit diei septimo et sanctificavit illum quia in ipso cessaverat ab omni opere suo quod creavit Deus ut faceret 4 istae generationes caeli et terrae quando creatae sunt in die quo fecit Dominus Deus caelum et terram 5 et omne virgultum agri antequam oreretur in terra omnemque herbam regionis priusquam germinaret non enim pluerat Dominus Deus super terram et homo non erat qui operaretur terram 6 sed fons ascendebat e terra inrigans universam superficiem terrae 7 formavit igitur Dominus Deus hominem de limo terrae et inspiravit in faciem eius spiraculum vitae et factus est homo in animam viventem 8 plantaverat autem Dominus Deus paradisum voluptatis a principio in quo posuit hominem quem formaverat 9 produxitque Dominus Deus de humo omne lignum pulchrum visu et ad vescendum suave lignum etiam vitae in medio paradisi lignumque scientiae boni et mali 10 et fluvius egrediebatur de loco voluptatis ad inrigandum paradisum qui inde dividitur in quattuor capita 11 nomen uni Phison ipse est qui circuit omnem terram Evilat ubi nascitur aurum 12 et aurum terrae illius optimum est ibique invenitur bdellium et lapis onychinus 13 et nomen fluvio secundo Geon ipse est qui circuit omnem terram Aethiopiae 14 nomen vero fluminis tertii Tigris ipse vadit contra Assyrios fluvius autem quartus ipse est Eufrates 15 tulit ergo Dominus Deus hominem et posuit eum in paradiso voluptatis ut operaretur et custodiret illum 16 praecepitque ei dicens ex omni ligno paradisi comede 17 de ligno autem scientiae boni et mali ne comedas in quocumque enim die comederis ex eo morte morieris 18 dixit quoque Dominus Deus non est bonum esse hominem solum faciamus ei adiutorium similem sui 19 formatis igitur Dominus Deus de humo cunctis animantibus terrae et universis volatilibus caeli adduxit ea ad Adam ut videret quid vocaret ea omne enim quod vocavit Adam animae viventis ipsum est nomen eius 20 appellavitque Adam nominibus suis cuncta animantia et universa volatilia caeli et omnes bestias terrae Adam vero non inveniebatur adiutor similis eius 21 inmisit ergo Dominus Deus soporem in Adam cumque obdormisset tulit unam de costis eius et replevit carnem pro ea 22 et aedificavit Dominus Deus costam quam tulerat de Adam in mulierem et adduxit eam ad Adam 23 dixitque Adam hoc nunc os ex ossibus meis et caro de carne mea haec vocabitur virago quoniam de viro sumpta est 24 quam ob rem relinquet homo patrem suum et matrem et adherebit uxori suae et erunt duo in carne una 25 erant autem uterque nudi Adam scilicet et uxor eius et non erubescebant


1 sed et serpens erat callidior cunctis animantibus terrae quae fecerat Dominus Deus qui dixit ad mulierem cur praecepit vobis Deus ut non comederetis de omni ligno paradisi 2 cui respondit mulier de fructu lignorum quae sunt in paradiso vescemur 3 de fructu vero ligni quod est in medio paradisi praecepit nobis Deus ne comederemus et ne tangeremus illud ne forte moriamur 4 dixit autem serpens ad mulierem nequaquam morte moriemini 5 scit enim Deus quod in quocumque die comederitis ex eo aperientur oculi vestri et eritis sicut dii scientes bonum et malum 6 vidit igitur mulier quod bonum esset lignum ad vescendum et pulchrum oculis aspectuque delectabile et tulit de fructu illius et comedit deditque viro suo qui comedit 7 et aperti sunt oculi amborum cumque cognovissent esse se nudos consuerunt folia ficus et fecerunt sibi perizomata 8 et cum audissent vocem Domini Dei deambulantis in paradiso ad auram post meridiem abscondit se Adam et uxor eius a facie Domini Dei in medio ligni paradisi 9 vocavitque Dominus Deus Adam et dixit ei ubi es 10 qui ait vocem tuam audivi in paradiso et timui eo quod nudus essem et abscondi me 11 cui dixit quis enim indicavit tibi quod nudus esses nisi quod ex ligno de quo tibi praeceperam ne comederes comedisti 12 dixitque Adam mulier quam dedisti sociam mihi dedit mihi de ligno et comedi 13 et dixit Dominus Deus ad mulierem quare hoc fecisti quae respondit serpens decepit me et comedi 14 et ait Dominus Deus ad serpentem quia fecisti hoc maledictus es inter omnia animantia et bestias terrae super pectus tuum gradieris et terram comedes cunctis diebus vitae tuae 15 inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem et semen tuum et semen illius ipsa conteret caput tuum et tu insidiaberis calcaneo eius 16 mulieri quoque dixit multiplicabo aerumnas tuas et conceptus tuos in dolore paries filios et sub viri potestate eris et ipse dominabitur tui 17 ad Adam vero dixit quia audisti vocem uxoris tuae et comedisti de ligno ex quo praeceperam tibi ne comederes maledicta terra in opere tuo in laboribus comedes eam cunctis diebus vitae tuae 18 spinas et tribulos germinabit tibi et comedes herbas terrae 19 in sudore vultus tui vesceris pane donec revertaris in terram de qua sumptus es quia pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris 20 et vocavit Adam nomen uxoris suae Hava eo quod mater esset cunctorum viventium 21 fecit quoque Dominus Deus Adam et uxori eius tunicas pellicias et induit eos 22 et ait ecce Adam factus est quasi unus ex nobis sciens bonum et malum nunc ergo ne forte mittat manum suam et sumat etiam de ligno vitae et comedat et vivat in aeternum 23 emisit eum Dominus Deus de paradiso voluptatis ut operaretur terram de qua sumptus est 24 eiecitque Adam et conlocavit ante paradisum voluptatis cherubin et flammeum gladium atque versatilem ad custodiendam viam ligni vitae


1 Adam vero cognovit Havam uxorem suam quae concepit et peperit Cain dicens possedi hominem per Dominum 2 rursusque peperit fratrem eius Abel fuit autem Abel pastor ovium et Cain agricola 3 factum est autem post multos dies ut offerret Cain de fructibus terrae munera Domino 4 Abel quoque obtulit de primogenitis gregis sui et de adipibus eorum et respexit Dominus ad Abel et ad munera eius 5 ad Cain vero et ad munera illius non respexit iratusque est Cain vehementer et concidit vultus eius 6 dixitque Dominus ad eum quare maestus es et cur concidit facies tua 7 nonne si bene egeris recipies sin autem male statim in foribus peccatum aderit sed sub te erit appetitus eius et tu dominaberis illius 8 dixitque Cain ad Abel fratrem suum egrediamur foras cumque essent in agro consurrexit Cain adversus Abel fratrem suum et interfecit eum 9 et ait Dominus ad Cain ubi est Abel frater tuus qui respondit nescio num custos fratris mei sum 10 dixitque ad eum quid fecisti vox sanguinis fratris tui clamat ad me de terra 11 nunc igitur maledictus eris super terram quae aperuit os suum et suscepit sanguinem fratris tui de manu tua 12 cum operatus fueris eam non dabit tibi fructus suos vagus et profugus eris super terram 13 dixitque Cain ad Dominum maior est iniquitas mea quam ut veniam merear 14 ecce eicis me hodie a facie terrae et a facie tua abscondar et ero vagus et profugus in terra omnis igitur qui invenerit me occidet me 15 dixitque ei Dominus nequaquam ita fiet sed omnis qui occiderit Cain septuplum punietur posuitque Dominus Cain signum ut non eum interficeret omnis qui invenisset eum 16 egressusque Cain a facie Domini habitavit in terra profugus ad orientalem plagam Eden 17 cognovit autem Cain uxorem suam quae concepit et peperit Enoch et aedificavit civitatem vocavitque nomen eius ex nomine filii sui Enoch 18 porro Enoch genuit Irad et Irad genuit Maviahel et Maviahel genuit Matusahel et Matusahel genuit Lamech 19 qui accepit uxores duas nomen uni Ada et nomen alteri Sella 20 genuitque Ada Iabel qui fuit pater habitantium in tentoriis atque pastorum 21 et nomen fratris eius Iubal ipse fuit pater canentium cithara et organo 22 Sella quoque genuit Thubalcain qui fuit malleator et faber in cuncta opera aeris et ferri soror vero Thubalcain Noemma 23 dixitque Lamech uxoribus suis Adae et Sellae audite vocem meam uxores Lamech auscultate sermonem meum quoniam occidi virum in vulnus meum et adulescentulum in livorem meum 24 septuplum ultio dabitur de Cain de Lamech vero septuagies septies 25 cognovit quoque adhuc Adam uxorem suam et peperit filium vocavitque nomen eius Seth dicens posuit mihi Deus semen aliud pro Abel quem occidit Cain 26 sed et Seth natus est filius quem vocavit Enos iste coepit invocare nomen Domini


1 hic est liber generationis Adam in die qua creavit Deus hominem ad similitudinem Dei fecit illum 2 masculum et feminam creavit eos et benedixit illis et vocavit nomen eorum Adam in die qua creati sunt 3 vixit autem Adam centum triginta annis et genuit ad similitudinem et imaginem suam vocavitque nomen eius Seth 4 et facti sunt dies Adam postquam genuit Seth octingenti anni genuitque filios et filias 5 et factum est omne tempus quod vixit Adam anni nongenti triginta et mortuus est 6 vixit quoque Seth centum quinque annos et genuit Enos 7 vixitque Seth postquam genuit Enos octingentis septem annis genuitque filios et filias 8 et facti sunt omnes dies Seth nongentorum duodecim annorum et mortuus est 9 vixit vero Enos nonaginta annis et genuit Cainan 10 post cuius ortum vixit octingentis quindecim annis et genuit filios et filias 11 factique sunt omnes dies Enos nongentorum quinque annorum et mortuus est 12 vixit quoque Cainan septuaginta annis et genuit Malalehel 13 et vixit Cainan postquam genuit Malalehel octingentos quadraginta annos genuitque filios et filias 14 et facti sunt omnes dies Cainan nongenti decem anni et mortuus est 15 vixit autem Malalehel sexaginta quinque annos et genuit Iared 16 et vixit Malalehel postquam genuit Iared octingentis triginta annis et genuit filios et filias 17 et facti sunt omnes dies Malalehel octingenti nonaginta quinque anni et mortuus est 18 vixitque Iared centum sexaginta duobus annis et genuit Enoch 19 et vixit Iared postquam genuit Enoch octingentos annos et genuit filios et filias 20 et facti sunt omnes dies Iared nongenti sexaginta duo anni et mortuus est 21 porro Enoch vixit sexaginta quinque annis et genuit Mathusalam 22 et ambulavit Enoch cum Deo postquam genuit Mathusalam trecentis annis et genuit filios et filias 23 et facti sunt omnes dies Enoch trecenti sexaginta quinque anni 24 ambulavitque cum Deo et non apparuit quia tulit eum Deus 25 vixit quoque Mathusalam centum octoginta septem annos et genuit Lamech 26 et vixit Mathusalam postquam genuit Lamech septingentos octoginta duos annos et genuit filios et filias 27 et facti sunt omnes dies Mathusalae nongenti sexaginta novem anni et mortuus est 28 vixit autem Lamech centum octoginta duobus annis et genuit filium 29 vocavitque nomen eius Noe dicens iste consolabitur nos ab operibus et laboribus manuum nostrarum in terra cui maledixit Dominus 30 vixitque Lamech postquam genuit Noe quingentos nonaginta quinque annos et genuit filios et filias 31 et facti sunt omnes dies Lamech septingenti septuaginta septem anni et mortuus est 32 Noe vero cum quingentorum esset annorum genuit Sem et Ham et Iafeth

In Honor Of Phillip Patterson: Biblia Sacra Vulgata (Pt 1: Prologues)


Desiderii mei desideratas accepi epistulas, qui quodam praesagio futurorum cum Danihele sortitus est nomen, obsecrantis ut translatum in latinam linguam de hebraeo sermone Pentateuchum nostrorum auribus traderem. Periculosum opus certe, obtrectatorum latratibus patens, qui me adserunt in Septuaginta interpretum suggillationem nova pro veteribus cudere, ita ingenium quasi vinum probantes, cum ego saepissime testatus sim me pro virili portione in tabernaculum Dei offerre quae possim, nec opes alterius aliorum paupertate foedari. Quod ut auderem, Origenis me studium provocavit, qui editioni antiquae translationem Theodotionis miscuit, asterisco et obelo, id est stella et veru, opus omne distinguens, dum aut inlucescere facit quae minus ante fuerant aut superflua quaeque iugulat et confodit, maximeque Evangelistarum et Apostolorum auctoritas, in quibus multa de Veteri Testamento legimus quae in nostris codicibus non habentur, ut est illud: "Ex Aegypto vocavi filium meum", et: "Quoniam Nazareus vocabitur", et: "Videbunt in quem conpunxerunt", et: "Flumina de ventre eius fluent aquae vivae", et: "Quae nec oculus vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascenderunt quae praeparavit Deus diligentibus se", et multa alia quae proprium συνταγμα desiderant. Interrogemus ergo eos ubi haec scripta sint, et cum dicere non potuerint, de libris hebraicis proferamus. Primum testimonium est in Osee, secundum in Isaia, tertium in Zaccharia, quartum in Proverbiis, quintum aeque in Isaia; quod multi ignorantes apocriforum deliramenta sectantur et hiberas nenias libris authenticis praeferunt. Causas erroris non est meum exponere. Iudaei prudenti factum dicunt esse consilio, ne Ptolomeus, unius dei cultor, etiam apud Hebraeos duplicem divinitatem deprehenderet, quos maximi idcirco faciebat, quia in Platonis dogma cadere videbantur. Denique ubicumque sacratum aliquid Scriptura testatur de Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto, aut aliter interpretati sunt aut omnino tacuerunt, ut et regi satisfacerent et arcanum fidei non vulgarent. Et nescio quis primus auctor septuaginta cellulas Alexandriae mendacio suo extruxerit, quibus divisi eadem scriptitarint, cum Aristheus eiusdem Ptolomei υπερασπιστης et multo post tempore Iosepphus nihil tale rettulerint, sed in una basilica congregatos contulisse scribant, non prophetasse. Aliud est enim vatem, aliud esse interpretem: ibi spiritus ventura praedicit, hic eruditio et verborum copia ea quae intellegit transfert; nisi forte putandus est Tullius Oeconomicum Xenofontis et Platonis Protagoram et Demosthenis Pro Ctesifonte afflatus rethorico spiritu transtulisse, aut aliter de hisdem libris per Septuaginta interpretes, aliter per Apostolos Spiritus Sanctus testimonia texuit, ut quod illi tacuerunt, hii scriptum esse mentiti sint. Quid igitur? Damnamus veteres? Minime; sed post priorum studia in domo Domini quod possumus laboramus. Illi interpretati sunt ante adventum Christi et quod nesciebant dubiis protulere sententiis, nos post passionem et resurrectionem eius non tam prophetiam quam historiam scribimus; aliter enim audita, aliter visa narrantur: quod melius intellegimus, melius et proferimus. Audi igitur, aemule, obtrectator ausculta: non damno, non reprehendo Septuaginta, sed confidenter cunctis illis Apostolos praefero. Per istorum os mihi Christus sonat, quos ante prophetas inter spiritalia charismata positos lego, in quibus ultimum paene gradum interpretes tenent. Quid livore torqueris? Quid inperitorum animos contra me concitas? Sicubi tibi in translatione videor errare, interroga Hebraeos, diversarum urbium magistros consule: quod illi habent de Christo, tui codices non habent. Aliud est, si contra se postea ab Apostolis usurpata testimonia probaverunt, et emendatiora sunt exemplaria latina quam graeca, graeca quam hebraea! Verum haec contra invidos. Nunc te precor, Desideri carissime, ut qui tantum opus me subire fecisti et a Genesi exordium capere, orationibus iuves, quo possim eodem spiritu quo scripti sunt libri, in latinum eos transferre sermonem. explicit prologus


Tandem finita Pentateucho Mosi, velut grandi fenore liberati, ad Iesum filium Nave manum mittimus, quem Hebraei Iosue Bennun id est Iosue filium Nun vocant, et ad Iudicum librum, quem Sopthim appellant, ad Ruth quoque et Hester, quos hisdem nominibus efferunt. Monemusque lectorem, ut silvam hebraicorum nominum et distinctiones per membra divisas diligens scriptura conservet, ne et noster labor et illius studium pereat; et ut in primis, quod saepe testatus sum, sciat me non in reprehensionem veterum nova cudere, sicut amici mei criminantur, sed pro virili parte offerre linguae meae hominibus, quos tamen nostra delectant, ut pro Graecorum εξαπλοις, quae et sumptu et labore maximo indigent, editionem nostram habeant et, sicubi in antiquorum voluminum lectione dubitarint, haec illis conferentes inveniant quod requirunt, maxime cum apud Latinos tot sint exemplaria quot codices, et unusquisque pro arbitrio suo vel addiderit vel subtraxerit quod ei visum est, et utique non possit verum esse quod dissonet. Unde cesset arcuato vulnere contra nos insurgere scorpius et sanctum opus venenata carpere lingua desistat, vel suscipiens si placet vel contemnens si displicet, memineritque illorum versuum: "Os tuum abundavit malitia et lingua tua concinnabat dolos; sedens adversus fratrem tuum loquebaris et adversus filium matris tuae ponebas scandalum. Haec fecisti et tacui; existimasti inique quod ero tui similis; arguam te et statuam contra faciem tuam". Quae enim audientis utilitas est nos labore sudare et alios detrahendo laborare, dolere Iudaeos quod calumniandi eis et inridendi Christianos sit ablata occasio, et Ecclesiae homines id despicere, immo lacerare, unde adversarii torqueantur? Quod si vetus eis tantum interpretatio placet, quae et mihi non displicet, et nihil extra recipiendum putant, cur ea quae sub asteriscis et obelis vel addita sunt vel amputata, legunt et non legunt? Quare Danihelem iuxta Theodotionis translationem ecclesiae susceperunt? Cur Origenem mirantur et Eusebium Pamphili cunctas editiones similiter disserentes? Aut quae fuit stultitia, postquam vera dixerint, proferre quae falsa sunt? Unde autem in Novo Testamento probare poterunt adsumpta testimonia, quae in libris veteribus non habentur? Haec dicimus, ne omnino calumniantibus tacere videamur. Ceterum, post sanctae Paulae dormitionem, cuius vita virtutis exemplum est, et hos libros, quos Eustochiae virgini Christi negare non potui, decrevimus "dum spiritus hos regit artus" Prophetarum explanationi incumbere, et omissum iam diu opus quodam postliminio repetere, praesertim cum et admirabilis sanctusque vir Pammachius hoc idem litteris flagitet, et nos ad patriam festinantes mortiferos sirenarum cantus surda debeamus aure transire. explicit praefatio


Viginti et duas esse litteras apud Hebraeos, Syrorum quoque et Chaldeorum lingua testatur, quae hebraeae magna ex parte confinis est; nam et ipsi viginti duo elementa habent eodem sono, sed diversis caracteribus. Samaritani etiam Pentateuchum Mosi totidem litteris scriptitant, figuris tantum et apicibus discrepantes. Certumque est Ezram scribam legisque doctorem post captam Hierosolymam et instaurationem templi sub Zorobabel alias litteras repperisse, quibus nunc utimur, cum ad illud usque tempus idem Samaritanorum et Hebraeorum caracteres fuerint. In libro quoque Numerorum haec eadem supputatio sub Levitarum ac sacerdotum censu mystice ostenditur. Et nomen Domini tetragrammaton in quibusdam graecis voluminibus usque hodie antiquis expressum litteris invenimus. Sed et psalmi tricesimus sextus, et centesimus decimus, et centesimus undecimus, et centesimus octavus decimus, et centesimus quadragesimus quartus, quamquam diverso scribantur metro, tamen eiusdem numeri texuntur alfabeto. Et Hieremiae Lamentationes et oratio eius, Salomonis quoque in fine Proverbia ab eo loco in quo ait: "Mulierem fortem quis inveniet", hisdem alfabetis vel incisionibus supputantur. Porro quinque litterae duplices apud eos sunt: chaph, mem, nun, phe, sade; aliter enim per has scribunt principia medietatesque verborum, aliter fines. Unde et quinque a plerisque libri duplices aestimantur: Samuhel, Malachim, Dabreiamin, Ezras, Hieremias cum Cinoth, id est Lamentationibus suis. Quomodo igitur viginti duo elementa sunt, per quae scribimus hebraice omne quod loquimur, et eorum initiis vox humana conprehenditur, ita viginti duo volumina supputantur, quibus quasi litteris et exordiis, in Dei doctrina, tenera adhuc et lactans viri iusti eruditur infantia.

Primus apud eos liber vocatur Bresith, quem nos Genesim dicimus; secundus Hellesmoth, qui Exodus appellatur; tertius Vaiecra, id est Leviticus; quartus Vaiedabber, quem Numeros vocamus; quintus Addabarim, qui Deuteronomium praenotatur. Hii sunt quinque libri Mosi, quos proprie Thorath, id est Legem appellant.

Secundum Prophetarum ordinem faciunt, et incipiunt ab Iesu filio Nave, qui apud eos Iosue Bennum dicitur. Deinde subtexunt Sopthim, id est Iudicum librum; et in eundem conpingunt Ruth, quia in diebus Iudicum facta narratur historia. Tertius sequitur Samuhel, quem nos Regnorum primum et secundum dicimus. Quartus Malachim, id est Regum, qui tertio et quarto Regnorum volumine continetur; meliusque multo est Malachim, id est Regum, quam Malachoth, id est Regnorum dicere, non enim multarum gentium regna describit, sed unius israhelitici populi qui tribubus duodecim continetur. Quintus est Esaias, sextus Hieremias, septimus Hiezecihel, octavus liber duodecim Prophetarum, qui apud illos vocatur Thareasra.

Tertius ordo αγιογραφα possidet, et primus liber incipit ab Iob, secundus a David, quem quinque incisionibus et uno Psalmorum volumine conprehendunt. Tertius est Salomon, tres libros habens: Proverbia, quae illi Parabolas, id est Masaloth appellant, et Ecclesiasten, id est Accoeleth, et Canticum canticorum, quem titulo Sirassirim praenotant. Sextus est Danihel, septimus Dabreiamin, id est Verba dierum, quod significantius χρονικον totius divinae historiae possumus appellare, qui liber apud nos Paralipomenon primus et secundus scribitur; octavus Ezras, qui et ipse similiter apud Graecos et Latinos in duos libros divisus est, nonus Hester.

Atque ita fiunt pariter veteris legis libri viginti duo, id est Mosi quinque, Prophetarum octo, Agiograforum novem. Quamquam nonnulli Ruth et Cinoth inter Agiografa scriptitent et libros hos in suo putent numero supputandos, ac per hoc esse priscae legis libros viginti quattuor, quos sub numero viginti quattuor seniorum Apocalypsis Iohannis inducit adorantes Agnum et coronas suas prostratis vultibus offerentes, stantibus coram quattuor animalibus oculatis retro et ante, id est et in praeteritum et in futurum, et indefessa voce clamantibus: "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus omnipotens, qui erat et qui est et qui futurus est".

Hic prologus Scripturarum quasi galeatum principium omnibus libris, quos de hebraeo vertimus in latinum, convenire potest, ut scire valeamus, quicquid extra hos est, inter apocrifa seponendum. Igitur Sapientia, quae vulgo Salomonis inscribitur, et Iesu filii Sirach liber et Iudith et Tobias et Pastor non sunt in canone. Macchabeorum primum librum hebraicum repperi, secundus graecus est, quod et ex ipsa frasin probari potest.

Quae cum ita se habeant, obsecro te lector, ne laborem meum reprehensionem aestimes antiquorum. In tabernaculum Dei offert unusquisque quod polest: alii aurum et argentum et lapides pretiosos, alii byssum et purpuram, coccum offerunt et hyacinthum; nobiscum bene agetur, si obtulerimus pelles et caprarum pilos. Et tamen Apostolus contemptibiliora nostra magis necessaria iudicat. Unde et tota illa tabernaculi pulchritudo et per singulas species Ecclesiae praesentis futuraeque distinctio pellibus tegitur et cUiciis, ardoremque solis et iniuriam imbrium ea quae viliora sunt prohibent. Lege ergo primum Samuhel et Malachim meum; meum, inquam, meum: quicquid enim crebrius vertendo et emendando sollicitius et didicimus et tenemus, nostrum est. Et cum intellexeris quod antea nesciebas, vel interpretem me aestimato, si gratus es, vel παραφραστην, si ingratus, quamquam mihi omnino conscius non sim mutasse me quippiam de hebraica veritate. Certe si incredulus es, lege graecos codices et latinos et confer cum his opusculis, et ubicumque inter se videris discrepare, interroga quemlibet Hebraeorum cui magis accomodare debeas fidem, et si nostra firmaverit, puto quod eum non aestimes coniectorem, ut in eodem loco mecum similiter divinarit.

Sed et vos famulas Christi rogo, quae Domini discumbentis pretiosissimo fidei myro unguitis caput, quae nequaquam Salvatorem quaeritis in sepulchro, quibus iam ad Patrem Christus ascendit, ut contra latrantes canes, qui adversum me rabido ore desaeviunt et circumeunt civitatem atque in eo se doctos arbitrantur, si aliis detrahant, orationum vestrarum clypeos opponatis. Ego sciens humilitatem meam, illius semper sententiae recordabor: "Custodiam vias meas, ut non delinquam in lingua mea; posui ori meo custodiam, cum consisteret peccator adversum me; obmutui et humiliatus sum, et silui a bonis". explicit prologus


Si Septuaginta interpretum pura et ut ab eis in graecum versa est editio permaneret, superflue me, mi Cromati, episcoporum sanctissime atque doctissime, inpelleres, ut hebraea volumina latino sermone transferrem. Quod enim semel aures hominum occupaverat et nascentis Ecclesiae roboraverat fidem, iustum erat etiam nostro silentio conprobari. Nunc vero cum pro varietate regionum diversa ferantur exemplaria et germana illa antiquaque translatio corrupta sit atque violata, nostri arbitrii putas, aut e pluribus iudicare quid verum sit, aut novum opus in veteri opere condere, inludentibusque Iudaeis "cornicum", ut dicitur, "oculos configere". Alexandria et Aegyptus in Septuaginta suis Hesychium laudat auctorem, Constantinopolis usque Antiochiam Luciani martyris exemplaria probat, mediae inter has provinciae palestinos codices legunt, quos ab Origene elaboratos Eusebius et Pamphilius vulgaverunt, totusque orbis hac inter se trifaria varietate conpugnat. Et certe Origenes non solum exempla conposuit quattuor editionum e regione singula verba describens, ut unus dissentiens statim ceteris inter se consentientibus arguatur, sed, quod maioris audaciae est, in editione Septuaginta Theodotionis editionem miscuit, asteriscis designans quae minus fuerint, et virgulis quae ex superfluo videantur adposita. Si igitur aliis licuit non tenere quod semel susceperant, et post septuaginta cellulas, quae vulgo sine auctore iactantur, singulas cellulas aperuere, hocque in ecclesiis legitur quod Septuaginta nescierunt, cur me non suscipiant Latini mei, qui inviolata editione veteri ita novam condidi, ut laborem meum Hebraeis et, quod his maius est, Apostolis auctoribus probem? Scripsi nuper librum De optimo genere interpretandi, ostendens illa de Evangelio: "Ex Aegypto vocavi filium meum" et: "Quoniam Nazareus vocabitur" et: "Videbunt in quem conpunxerunt" et illud Apostoli: "Quae oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit, et in cor hominis non ascenderunt, quae praeparavit Deus diligentibus se" ceteraque his similia in Hebraeorum libris inveniri. Certe Apostoli et Evangelistae Septuaginta interpretes noverant, et unde eis haec dicere quae in Septuaginta non habentur? Christus Deus noster utriusque Testamenti conditor in Evangelio secundum Iohannem, "Qui credit", inquit, "in me, sicut dixit Scriptura, flumina de ventre eius fluent aquae vivae". Utique scriptum est quod Salvator scriptum esse testatur.

Ubi scriptum est? Septuaginta non habent, apocrifa nescit Ecclesia; ad Hebraeos igitur revertendum est, unde et Dominus loquitur et discipuli exempla praesumunt. Haec pace veterum loquar et obtrectatoribus meis tantum respondeo, qui canino dente me rodunt, in publico detrahentes, legentes in angulis, idem et accusatores et defensores, cum in aliis probent quod in me reprobant, quasi virtus et vitium non in rebus sit, sed cum auctore mutetur. Ceterum memini editionem Septuaginta translatorum olim de graeco emendatam tribuisse me nostris, nec inimicum debere aestimari eorum quos in conventu fratrum semper edissero. Et quod nunc Dabreiamin, id est Verba dierum, interpretatus sum, idcirco feci, ut inextricabiles moras et silvam nominum, quae scriptorum confusa sunt vitio, sensuumque barbariem apertius et per versuum cola digererem, "mihimet ipsi et meis" iuxta Hismenium "canens", si aures surdae sunt ceterorum. explicit prologus


Utrum difficilius sit facere quod poscitis an negare necdum statui; nam neque vobis aliquid imperantibus abnuere sententiae est, et magnitudo oneris inpositi ita cervices premit, ut ante sub fasce ruendum sit quam levandum. Accedunt ad hoc invidorum studia, qui omne quod scribimus reprehendendum putant et, interdum contra se conscientia repugnante, publice lacerant quae occulte legunt, in tantum ut clamare conpellar et dicere: "Domine, libera animam meam a labiis iniquis et a lingua dolosa." Tertius annus est quod semper scribitis atque rescribitis, ut Ezrae librum vobis de hebraeo transferam, quasi non habeatis graeca et latina volumina, aut quicquid illud est quod a nobis vertitur, non statim ab omnibus conspuendum sit. "Frustra autem," ut ait quidam, "niti neque aliud fatigando nisi odium quaerere, extremae dementiae est." Itaque obsecro vos, mi Domnion et Rogatiane carissime, ut privata lectione contenti librum non efferatis in publicum nec fastidiosis ingeratis cibos vitetisque eorum supercilium qui iudicare tantum de aliis et ipsi facere nil noverunt. Si qui autem fratrum sunt quibus nostra non displicent, his tribuatis exemplar, admonentes ut hebraea nomina, quorum grandis in hoc volumine copia est, distincte et per intervalla transcribant. Nihil enim proderit emendasse librum, nisi emendatio librariorum diligentia conservetur.

Nec quemquam moveat, quod unus a nobis editus liber est, nec apocriforum tertii et quarti libri somniis delectetur; quia et apud Hebraeos Ezrae Neemiaeque sermones in unum volumen coartantur, et quae non habentur apud illos nec de viginti quattuor senibus sunt, procul abicienda. Si quis autem Septuaginta vobis opposuerit interpretes, quorum exemplaria varietas ipsa lacerata et eversa demonstrat, nec potest utique verum adseri quod diversum est, mittite eum ad Evangelia, in quibus multa ponuntur quasi de Veteri Testamento, quae apud Septuaginta interpretes non habentur, velut illud: "Quoniam Nazareus vocabitur", et: "Ex Aegypto vocavi filium meum", et: "Videbunt quem conpunxerunt", multaque alia quae latiori operi reservamus; et quaerite ab eo ubi scripta sint, cumque proferre non potuerit, vos legite de his exemplaribus quae nuper a nobis edita maledicorum cotidie linguis confodiuntur.

Sed, ut ad conpendium veniam, certe quod inlaturus sum aequissimum est. Edidi aliquid quod non habetur in graeco vel aliter habetur quam a me versum ,est. Quid interpretem laniant? Interrogent Hebraeos et ipsis auctoribus translationi meae vel adrogent vel derogent fidem. Porro aliud est, si clausis, quod dicitur, oculis mihi volunt maledicere et non imitantur Graecorum studium et benivolentiam, qui post Septuaginta translatores iam Christi Evangelio coruscante Iudaeos et Hebionitas legis veteris interpretes, Aquilam videlicet, Symmachum et Theodotionem, et curiose legunt et per Origenis laborem in εξαπλοις ecclesiis dedicarunt. Quanto magis Latini grati esse deberent, quod exultantem cernerent Graeciam a se aliquid mutuari. Primum enim magnorum sumptuum est et infinitae difficultatis exemplaria posse habere omnia, deinde etiam qui habuerint et hebraei sermonis ignari sunt, magis errabunt ignorantes quis e multis verius dixerit. Quod etiam sapientissimo cuidam nuper apud Graecos accidit, ut interdum Scripturae sensum relinquens uniuscuiuslibet interpretis sequeretur errorem. Nos autem, qui hebraeae linguae saltim parvam habemus scientiam et latinus nobis utcumque sermo non deest, et de aliis magis possumus iudicare et ea quae ipsi intellegimus in nostra lingua expromere. Itaque licet excetra sibilet "victorque Sinon incendia iactet", numquam meum iuvante Christo silebit eloquium, etiam praecisa lingua balbuttiet. Legant qui volunt, qui nolunt abiciant. Eventilent apices, litteras calumnientur, magis vestra caritate provocabor ad studium, quam illorum detractione et odio deterrebor. explicit prologus


Cromatio et Heliodoro episcopis Hieronymus in Domino salutem. Mirari non desino exactionis vestrae instantiam. Exigitis enim, ut librum chaldeo sermone conscriptum ad latinum stilum traham, librum utique Tobiae, quem Hebraei de catalogo divinarum Scripturarum secantes, his quae Agiografa memorant manciparunt. Feci satis desiderio vestro, non tamen meo studio. Arguunt enim nos Hebraeorum studia et inputant nobis, contra suum canonem latinis auribus ista transferre. Sed melius esse iudicans Pharisaeorum displicere iudicio et episcoporum iussionibus deservire, institi ut potui, et quia vicina est Chaldeorum lingua serrnoni hebraico, utriusque linguae peritissimum loquacem repperiens, unius diei laborem arripui et quicquid ille mihi hebraicis verbis expressit, haec ego accito notario, sermonibus latinis exposui.

Orationibus vestris mercedem huius operis conpensabo, cum gratum vobis didicero me quod iubere estis dignati conplesse. explicit prologus


Apud Hebraeos liber Iudith inter Agiografa legitur; cuius auctoritas ad roboranda illa quae in contentione veniunt, minus idonea iudicatur. Chaldeo tamen sermone conscriptus inter historias conputatur. Sed quia hunc librum sinodus nicena in numero Sanctarum Scripturarum legitur conputasse, adquievi postulationi vestrae, immo exactioni, et sepositis occupationibus quibus vehementer artabar, huic unam lucubratiunculam dedi, magis sensum e sensu quam ex verbo verbum transferens. Multorum codicum varietatem vitiosissiraam amputavi; sola ea quae intellegentia integra in verbis chaldeis invenire potui, latinis expressi.

Accipite Iudith viduam, castitatis exemplum, et triumphali laude perpetuis eam praeconiis declarate. Hanc enim non solum feminis, sed et viris imitabilem dedit, qui, castitatis eius remunerator, virtutem talem tribuit, ut invictum omnibus hominibus vinceret, insuperabilem superaret. explicit prologus


Librum Hester variis translatoribus constat esse vitiatum. Quem ego de archivis Hebraeorum elevans verbum e verbo pressius transtuli. Quem librum editio vulgata laciniosis hinc inde verborum funibus trahit, addens ea quae ex tempore dici poterant et audiri, sicut solitum est scolaribus disciplinis sumpto themate excogitare, quibus verbis uti potuit qui iniuriam passus est vel ille qui iniuriam fecit.

Vos autem, o Paula et Eustochium, quoniam et bibliothecas Hebraeorum studuistis intrare et interpretum certamina conprobastis, tenentes Hester hebraicum librum, per singula verba nostram translalionem aspicite, ut possitis agnoscere me nihil etiam augmentasse addendo, sed fideli testimonio simpliciter, sicut in hebraeo habetur, historiam hebraicam latinae linguae tradidisse. Nec affectamur laudes hominum nec vituperationes expavescimus. Deo enim placere curantes minas hominum penitus non timemus,quoniam"dissipat Deus ossa eorum qui hominibus placere desiderant" et secundum Apostolum qui huiusmodi sunt "servi Christi esse non possunt". explicit prologus


Cogor per singulos Scripturae divinae libros adversariorum respondere maledictis, qui interpretationem meam reprehensionem Septuaginta interpretum criminantur, quasi non et apud Graecos Aquila, Symmachus et Theodotion vel verbum e verbo, vel sensum de sensu, vel ex utroque commixtum et medie temperatum genus translationis expresserint, et omnia Veteris Instrumenti volumina Origenes obelis asteriscisque distinxerit, quos vel additos vel de Theodotione sumptos translationi antiquae inseruit, probans defuisse quod additum est. Discant igitur obtrectatores mei recipere in toto quod in partibus susceperunt aut interpretationem meam cum asteriscis suis radere. Neque enim fieri potest, ut quos plura intermisisse susceperint, non eosdem etiam in quibusdam errasse fateantur, praecipue in Iob, cui si ea quae sub asteriscis addita sunt subtraxeris, pars maxima detruncabitur. Et hoc dumtaxat apud Graecos. Ceterum apud Latinos ante eam translationem quam sub asteriscis et obelis nuper edidimus, septingenti ferme aut octingenti versus sunt, ut decurtatus et laceratus conrosusque liber foeditatem sui publice legentibus praebeat. Haec autem translatio nullum de veteribus sequitur interpretem, sed ex ipso hebraico arabicoque sermone et interdum syro, nunc verba, nunc sensus, nunc simul utrumque resonabit. Obliquus enim etiam apud Hebraeos totus liber fertur et lubricus et quod graece rethores vocant εσχηματισμενος dumque aliud loquitur aliud agit, ut si velis anguillam aut murenulam strictis tenere manibus, quanto fortius presseris, tanto citius elabitur. Memini me ob intellegentiam huius voluminis lyddeum quemdam praeceptorem qui apud Hebraeos primas habere putabatur, non parvis redemisse nummis, cuius doctrina an aliquid profecerim nescio, hoc unum scio non potuisse me interpretari nisi quod ante intellexeram.

A principio itaque voluminis usque ad verba Iob apud Hebraeos prosa oratio est. Porro a verbis Iob in quibus ait: "Pereat dies in qua natus sum et nox in qua dictum est: Conceptus est homo" usque ad eum locum, ubi ante finem voluminis scriptum est: "Idcirco ipse me reprehendo et ago paenitentiam in favilla et cinere", exametri versus sunt, dactilo spondeoque currentes et propter linguae idioma crebro recipientes et alios pedes non earundem syllabarum, sed eorundem temporum. Interdum quoque rithmus ipse dulcis et tinnulus fertur numeris lege solutis, quod metrici magis quam simplex lector intellegunt. A supradicto autem versu usque ad finem libri parvum comma quod remanet prosa oratione contexitur. Quod si cui videtur incredulum, metra scilicet esse apud Hebraeos et in morem nostri Flacci graecique Pindari et Alchei et Saffo vel Psalterium vel Lamentationes Hieremiae vel omnia ferme Scripturarum cantica conprehendi, legat Filonem, Iosepphum, Origenem, caesariensem Eusebium, et eorum testimonio me verum dicere conprobabit.

Audiant quapropter canes mei idcirco me in hoc volumine laborasse, non ut interpretationem antiquam reprehenderem, sed ut ea quae in illa aut obscura sunt aut omissa aut certe scriptorum vitio depravata, manifestiora nostra interpretatione fierent, qui et hebraeum sermonem ex parte didicimus et in latino paene ab ipsis incunabulis inter grammaticos et rethores et philosophos detriti sumus. Quod si apud Graecos, post Septuaginta editionem, iam Christi Evangelio coruscante, iudaeus Aquila, et Symmachus ac Theodotion iudaizantes heretici sunt recepti, qui multa mysteria Salvatoris subdola interpretatione celarunt et tamen in εξαπλοις habentur apud ecclesias et explanantur ab ecclesiasticis viris, quanto magis ego christianus, de parentibus christianis et vexillum crucis in mea fronte portans, cuius studium fuit omissa repetere, depravata corrigere et sacramenta Ecclesiae puro et fideli aperire sermone, vel a fastidiosis vel a malignis lectoribus non debeo reprobari? Habeant qui volunt veteres libros vel in membranis purpureis auro argentoque descriptos, vel uncialibus, ut vulgo aiunt, litteris onera magis exarata quam codices, dum mihi meisque permittant pauperes habere scidulas et non tam pulchros codices quam emendatos. Utraque editio, et Septuaginta iuxta Graecos et mea iuxta Hebraeos, in latinum meo labore translata est. Eligat unusquisque quod vult et studiosum se magis quam malivolum probet. explicit prologus


Psalterium Romae dudum positus emendaram et iuxta Septuaginta interpretes, licet cursim, magna illud ex parte correxeram. Quod quia rursum videtis, o Paula et Eustochium, scriptorum vitio depravatum plusque antiquum errorem quam novam emendationem valere, cogitis ut veluti quodam novali scissum iam arvum exerceam et obliquis sulcis renascentes spinas eradicem, aequum esse dicentes, ut quod crebro male pullulat, crebrius succidatur. Unde consueta praefatione commoneo tam vos quibus forte labor iste desudat, quam eos qui exemplaria istiusmodi habere voluerint, ut quae diligenter emendavi, cum cura et diligentia transcribantur. Notet sibi unusquisque vel iacentem lineam vel signa radiantia, id est vel obelos vel asteriscos, et ubicumque virgulam viderit praecedentem, ab ea usque ad duo puncta quae inpressimus sciat in Septuaginta translatoribus plus haberi; ubi autem stellae similitudinem perspexerit, de hebraeis voluminibus additum noverit, aeque usque ad duo puncta, iuxta Theodotionis dumtaxat editionem qui simplicitate sermonis a Septuaginta interpretibus non discordat. Haec ego et vobis et studioso cuique fecisse me sciens, non ambigo multos fore qui vel invidia vel supercilio "malint contemnere videri praeclara quam discere", et e turbulento magis rivo quam de purissimo fonte potare. explicit praefatio


Eusebius Hieronymus Sofronio suo salutem. Scio quosdam putare Psalterium in quinque libros esse divisum, ut ubicumque apud Septuaginta interpretes scriptum est γενοιτο γενοιτο, id est fiat fiat, finis librorum sit, pro quo in hebraeo legitur amen amen. Nos autem Hebraeorum auctoritatem secuti et maxime Apostolorum qui semper in Novo Testamento Psalmorum librum nominant, unum volumen adserimus. Psalmos quoque omnes eorum testamur auctorum qui ponuntur in titulis, David scilicet et Asaph et Idithun, filiorum Core, Eman Ezraitae, Mosi et Salomonis et reliquorum, quos Ezras uno volumine conprehendit. Si enim amen, pro quo Aquila transtulit πεπιστωμενως, in fine tantum librorum ponitur et non interdum aut in exordio aut in calce sermonis sive sententiae, numquam et Salvator in Evangelio loqueretur: "Amen amen dico vobis", et Pauli epistulae in medio illud opere continerent, Moses quoque et Hieremias et ceteri in hunc modum multos haberent libros, qui in mediis voluminibus suis amen frequenter interserunt, sed et numerus viginti duorum hebraicorum librorum et mysterium eiusdem numeri commutabitur. Nam et titulus ipse hebraicus Sephar Thallim, quod interpretatur Volumen hymnorum, apostolicae auctoritati congruens, non plures libros, sed unum volumen ostendit.

Quia igitur nuper cum Hebraeo disputans quaedam pro Domino Salvatore de Psalmis testimonia protulisti, volensque ille te eludere, per sermones paene singulos adserebat non ita haberi in hebraeo ut tu de Septuaginta interpretibus opponebas, studiosissime postulasti ut post Aquilam, Symmachum et Theodotionem novam editionem latino sermone transferrem. Aiebas enim te magis interpretum varietate turbari et amore quo laberis vel translatione vel iudicio meo esse contentum. Unde inpulsus a te, cui et quae non possum negare non possum, rursum me obtrectatorum latratibus tradidi, maluique te vires potius meas quam voluntatem in amicitia quaerere. Certe confidenter dicam et multos huius operis testes citabo, me nihil dumtaxat scientem de hebraica veritate mutasse. Sicubi ergo editio mea a veteribus discreparit, interroga quemlibet Hebraeorum et liquido pervidebis me ab aemulis frustra lacerari, qui "malunt contemnere videri praeclara quam discere", perversissimi homines. Nam cum semper novas expetant voluptates, et gulae eorum vicina maria non sufficiant, cur in solo studio Scripturarum veteri sapore contenti sunt? Nec hoc dico, quo praecessores meos mordeam, aut quicquam de his arbitrer detrahendum quorum translationem diligentissime emendatam olim meae linguae hominibus dederim; sed quod aliud sit in ecclesiis Christo credentium Psalmos legere, aliud Iudaeis singula verba calumniantibus respondere.

Quod opusculum meum si in graecum ut polliceris transtuleris, αντιφιλονεικων τοις διασυρουσιν, et inperitiae meae doctissimos quoque viros testes facere volueris, dicam tibi illud Oratianum: "In silvam ne ligna feras". Nisi quod hoc habebo solamen, si in labore communi intellegam mihi et laudem et vituperationem tecum esse communem. Valere te in Domino Iesu cupio et meminisse mei. explicit praefatio


Cromatio et Heliodoro episcopis Hieronymus. Iungat epistula quos iungit sacerdotium, immo carta non dividat quos Christi nectit amor. Commentarios in Osee Amos Zacchariam Malachiamque poscitis; scripsissem, si licuisset per valitudinem. Mittitis solacia sumptuum, notarios nostros et librarios sustentatis, ut vobis potissimum nostrum sudet ingenium. Et ecce ex latere frequens turba diversa poscentium, quasi aut aequum sit me vobis esurientibus aliis laborare, aut in ratione dati et accepti cuiquam praeter vobis obnoxius sim. Itaque longa aegrotatione fractus, ne penitus hoc anno reticerem et apud vos mutus essem, tridui opus vestro nomini consecravi, interpretationem videlicet trium Salomonis voluminum, Masloth, quas Hebraei Parabolas, vulgata editio Proverbia vocat, Coeleth, quem graece Ecclesiasten, latine Contionatorem possumus dicere, Sirassirim, quod in nostram linguam vertitur Canticum canticorum.

Fertur et παναρετος Iesu filii Sirach liber, et alius ψευδεπιγραφος qui Sapientia Salomonis inscribitur. Quorum priorem et hebraicum repperi, non Ecclesiasticum ut apud Latinos, sed Parabolas praenotatum; cui iuncti erant Ecclesiastes et Canticum canticorum, ut similitudinem Salomonis non solum librorum numero, sed et materiarum genere coaequaret. Secundus apud Hebraeos nusquam est, quin et ipse stilus graecam eloquentiam redolet; et nonnulli scriptorum veterum hunc Iudaei Filonis adfirmant. Sicut ergo Iudith et Tobi et Macchabeorum libros legit quidem Ecclesia, sed inter canonicas scripturas non recipit, sic et haec duo volumina legat ad aedificationem plebis, non ad auctoritatem ecclesiasticorum dogmatum confirmandam.

Si cui sane Septuaginta interpretum magis editio placet, habet eam a nobis olim emendatam; neque enim sic nova condimus ut vetera destruamus. Et tamen, cum diligentissime legerit, sciat magis nostra intellegi, quae non in tertium vas transfusa coacuerint, sed statim de praelo purissimae commendata testae suum saporem servaverint. explicit prologus.


Multorum nobis et magnorum per Legem et Prophetas aliosque qui secuti sunt illos sapientiam demonstratam, in quibus oportet laudare Israhel doctrinae et sapientiae causa; quia non solum ipsos loquentes necesse est peritos, sed etiam extraneos posse et dicentes et scribentes doctissimos fieri.

Avus meus Iesus postquam se amplius dedit ad diligentiam lectionis Legis et Prophetarum et aliorum librorum qui nobis a parentibus nostris traditi sunt, volui et ipse scribere aliquid horum quae ad doctrinam et sapientiam pertinent, ut desiderantes discere et illorum periti facti magis magisque adtendant animo et confirmentur ad legitimam vitam.

Hortor itaque venire vos cum benevolentia et adtentiore studio lectionem facere, et veniam habere in illis in quibus videmur sequentes imaginem sapientiae et deficere in verborum conpositione. Nam deficiunt verba hebraica quando translata fuerint ad alteram linguam; non solum autem haec, sed et ipsa Lex et Prophetae ceteraque librorum non parvam habent differentiam quando inter se dicuntur.

Nam in octavo et tricesimo anno temporibus Ptolomei Euergetis regis, postquam perveni in Aegyptum et cum multum temporis ibi fecissem, inveni libros relictos non parvae neque contemnendae doctrinae.

Itaque bonum et necessarium putavi et ipse aliquam addere diligentiam et laborem interpretandi istum librum; et multa vigilia adtuli doctrinam in spatio temporis, ad illa quae ad finem ducunt librum dare, et illis qui volunt animum intendere et discere quemadmodum oporteat instituere mores qui secundum legem Domini proposuerunt vitam agere. explicit prologus


Nemo cum Prophetas versibus viderit esse descriptos, metro eos aestimet apud Hebraeos ligari et aliquid simile habere de Psalmis vel operibus Salomonis; sed quod in Demosthene et Tullio solet fieri, ut per cola scribantur et commata, qui utique prosa et non versibus conscripserunt, nos quoque utilitati legentium providentes interpretationem novam novo scribendi genere distinximus. Ac primum de Isaia sciendum quod in sermone suo disertus sit, quippe ut vir nobilis et urbanae elegantiae nec habens quicquam in eloquio rusticitatis admixtum. Unde accidit, ut prae ceteris florem sermonis eius translatio non potuerit conservare. Deinde etiam hoc adiciendum, quod non tam propheta dicendus sit quam evangelista. Ua enim universa Christi Ecclesiaeque mysteria ad liquidum persecutus est, ut non eum putes de futuro vaticinari, sed de praeteritis historiam texere. Unde conicio noluisse tunc temporis Septuaginta interpretes fidei suae sacramenta perspicue ethnicis prodere, ne sanctum canibus et margaritas porcis darent, quae, cum hanc editionem legeritis, ab illis animadvertetis abscondita.

Nec ignoro quanti laboris sit Prophetas intellegere nec facile quempiam posse iudicare de interpretatione, nisi intellexerit ante quae legerit, nosque patere morsibus plurimorum, qui stimulante invidia quod consequi non valent despiciunt. Sciens ergo et prudens in flammam mitto manum et nihilominus hoc a fastidiosis lectoribus precor, ut quomodo Graeci post Septuaginta translatores Aquilam et Symmachum et Theodotionem legunt vel ob studium doctrinae suae vel ut Septuaginta magis ex conlatione eorum intellegant, sic et isti saltem unum post priores habere dignentur interpretem. Legant prius, et postea despiciant, ne videantur non ex iudicio, sed ex odii praesumptione ignorata damnare.

Prophetavit autem Isaias in Hierusalem et in Iudaea, necdum decem tribubus in captivitatem ductis, ac de utroque regno nunc commixtim, nunc separatim texit oraculum. Et cum interdum ad praesentem respiciat historiam et post babyloniam captivitatem reditum populi significet in Iudaeam, tamen omnis ei cura de vocatione gentium et de adventu Christi est. Quem quanto plus amatis, o Paula et Eustochium, tanto magis ab eo petite, ut pro obtrectatione praesenti, qua me indesinenter aemuli laniant, ipse mihi mercedem restituat in futurum, qui scit me ob hoc in peregrinae linguae eruditione sudasse, ne Iudaei de falsitate scripturarum ecclesiis eius diutius insultarent. explicit prologus


Hieremias propheta, cui hic prologus scribitur, sermone quidem apud Hebraeos Esaia et Osee et quibusdam aliis prophetis videtur esse rusticior, sed sensibus par est, quippe qui eodem spiritu prophetaverit. Porro simplicitas eloquii de loco ei in quo natus est accidit. Fuit enim Anathothites, qui est usque hodie viculus tribus ab Hierosolymis distans milibus, sacerdos ex sacerdotibus et in matris utero sanctificatus, virginitate sua evangelicum virum Christi Ecclesiae dedicans. Hic vaticinari exorsus est puer et captivitatem urbis atque Iudaeae non solum spiritu, sed et oculis carnis intuitus est. Iam decem tribus Israhel Assyrii in Medos transtulerant, iam terras earum coloniae gentium possidebant. Unde in Iuda tantum et Beniamin prophetavit et civitatis suae ruinas quadruplici planxit alfabeto, quod nos mensurae metri versibusque reddidimus. Praeterea ordinem visionum, qui apud Graecos et Latinos omnino confusus est, ad pristinam fidem correximus. Librum autem Baruch, notarii eius, qui apud Hebraeos nec Iegitur nec habetur, praetermisimus, pro his omnibus maledicta ab aemulis praestolantes, quibus me necesse est per singula opuscula respondere. Et hoc patior, quia vos cogitis. Ceterum ad conpendium mali rectius fuerat modum furori eorum silentio meo ponere, quam cotidie novi aliquid scriptitantem invidorum insaniam provocare. explicit prologus


Hiezechiel propheta cum Ioachim rege Iudae captivus ductus est in Babylonem ibique his qui cum eo capti fuerant prophetavit, paenitentibus quod ad Hieremiae vaticinium se ultro adversariis tradidissent et viderent adhuc urbem Hierosolymam stare, quam ille casuram esse praedixerat. Tricesimo autem aetatis suae anno et captivitatis quinto exorsus est ad concaptivos loqui. Et eodem tempore, licet posterior, hic in Chaldea, Hieremias in Iudaea prophetaverunt. Sermo eius nec satis disertus nec admodum rusticus est, sed ex utroque medie temperatus. Sacerdos et ipse sicut et Hieremias, principia voluminis et finem magnis habens obscuritatibus involuta. Sed et vulgata eius editio non multum distat ab hebraico. Unde satis miror quid causae extiterit, ut si eosdem in universis libris habemus interpretes, in aliis eadem, in aliis diversa transtulerint. Legite igitur et hunc iuxta translationem nostram quia, per cola scriptus et commata, manifestiorem sensum legentibus tribuit. Si autem amici mei et hunc subsannaverint, dicite eis quod nemo eos conpellat ut scribant. Sed vereor ne illud eis eveniat, quod graece significantius dicitur, ut vocentur φαγολοιδοροι. explicit prologus


Danihelem prophetam iuxta Septuaginta interpretes Domini Salvatoris ecclesiae non legunt, utentes Theodotionis editione, et hoc cur acciderit nescio. Sive enim, quia sermo chaldaicus est et quibusdam proprietatibus a nostro eloquio discrepat, noluerunt Septuaginta interpretes easdem lineas in translatione servare, sive sub nomine eorum ab alio nescio quo non satis chaldeam linguam sciente editus liber est, sive aliud quid causae extiterit ignorans, hoc unum adfirmare possum, quod multum a veritate discordet et recto iudicio repudiatus sit. Sciendum quippe Danihelem maxime et Ezram hebraicis quidem litteris, sed chaldaico sermone conscriptos, et unam Hieremiae pericopen, Iob quoque cum arabica lingua habere plurimam societatem.

Denique et ego adulescentulus, post Quintiliani et Tullii lectionem ac flores rethoricos, cum me in linguae huius pistrinum reclusissem et multo sudore multoque tempore vix coepissem halantia stridentiaque verba resonare et quasi per cryptam ambulans rarum desuper lumen aspicere, inpegi novissime in Danihelem et tanto taedio affectus sum, ut desperatione subita omnem veterem laborem voluerim contemnere. Verum, adhortante me Hebraeo et illud mihi sua lingua crebrius ingerente: "labor omnia vicit inprobus", qui mihi videbar sciolus inter eos, coepi rursum discipulus esse chaldaicus. Et ut vere fatear, usque ad praesentem diem magis possum sermonem chaldeum legere et intellegere quam sonare.

Haec idcirco, ut difficultatem vobis Danihelis ostenderem, qui apud Hebraeos nec Susannae habet historiam nec hymnum trium puerorum nec Belis draconisque fabulas, quas nos, quia in tote orbe dispersae sunt, veru ante posito easque iugulante subiecimus, ne videremur apud inperitos magnam partem voluminis detruncasse. Audivi ego quendam de praeceptoribus Judaeorum, cum Susannae derideret historiam et a Graeco nescio quo diceret esse confictam, illud opponere quod Origeni quoque Africanus opposuit, ετυμολογιας has απο του σχινου σχισαι και απο του πρινου πρισαι de graeco sermone descendere. Cuius rei nos intellegentiam nostris hanc possumus dare, ut verbi gratia dicamus ab arbore ilice dixisse eum "ilico pereas" et a lentisco "in lentem te comminuat angelus" vel "non lente pereas" aut "lentus, id est flexibilis, ducaris ad mortem" sive aliud quid ad arboris nomen conveniens. Deinde tantum fuisse otii tribus pueris cavillabatur, ut in camino aestuantis incendii metro luderent et per ordinem ad laudem Dei elementa omnia provocarent, aut quod miraculum divinaeque adspirationis indicium, vel draconem interfectum offa picis vel sacerdotum Belis machinas deprehensas, quae magis prudentia sollertis viri quam prophetali essent spiritu perpetrata. Cum vero ad Abacuc venerat et de Iudaea ad Chaldeam raptum discoforum lectitabat, quaerebat exemplum, ubi legissemus in toto Veteri Testamento quemquam sanctorum gravi volasse corpore et in puncto horae tanta terrarum spatia transisse. Cui cum quidam e nostris satis promptulus ad loquendum Hiezecihel adduxisset in medium et diceret eum de Chaldea in Iudeam fuisse translatum, derisit hominem et ex ipso volumine demonstravit Hiezecihelem in spiritu se vidisse transpositum. Denique et Apostolum nostrum, videlicet ut eruditum virum et qui Legem ab Hebraeis didicisset, non fuisse ausum adfirmare se raptum in corpore, sed dixisse: "Sive in corpore sive extra corpus, nescio, Deus scit". His et talibus argumentis apocryfas in libro Ecclesiae fabulas arguebat.

Super qua re lectoris arbitrio iudicium derelinquens, illud admoneo non haberi Danihelem apud Hebraeos inter Prophetas, sed inter eos qui Agiografa conscripserunt. In tres siquidem partes omnis ab eis Scriptura dividitur, in Legem, in Prophetas, in Agiografa, id est, in quinque et octo et undecim libros; de quo non est huius temporis disserere. Quae autem ex hoc propheta, immo contra hunc librum, Porphyrius obiciat, testes sunt Methodius, Eusebius, Apollinaris, qui multis versuum milibus eius vesaniae respondentes, nescio an curioso lectori satisfecerint. Unde obsecro vos, o Paula et Eustochium, fundatis pro me ad Dominum preces, ut quamdiu in hoc corpusculo sum, scribam aliquid gratum vobis, utile Ecclesiae, dignum posteris. Praesentium quippe iudiciis non satis moveor, qui in utramque partem aut amore labuntur aut odio. explicit prologus


Non idem ordo est duodecim Prophetarum apud Hebraeos, qui et apud nos. Unde secundum id quod ibi legitur, hic quoque dispositi sunt. Osee commaticus est et quasi per sententias loquens. Iohel planus in principiis, in fine obscurior. Et usque ad Malachiam habent singuli proprietates suas, quem Ezram scribam legisque doctorem Hebraei autumant. Et quia longum est nunc de omnibus dicere, hoc tantum vos, o Paula et Eustochium, admonitas volo, unum librum esse duodecim Prophetarum, et Osee συνχρονον Esaiae, Malachiam vero Aggei et Zacchariae fuisse temporibus. In quibus autem tempus non praefertur in titulo, sub illis eos regibus prophetasse sub quibus et hii qui ante eos habent titulos prophetaverunt. explicit prologus


Beato papae Damaso Hieronymus. Novum opus facere me cogis ex veteri, ut post exemplaria Scripturarum toto orbe dispersa quasi quidam arbiter sedeam et, quia inter se variant, quae sint illa quae cum graeca consentiant veritate decernam. Pius labor, sed periculosa praesumptio, iudicare de ceteris ipsum ab omnibus iudicandum, senis mutare linguam et canescentem mundum ad initia retrahere parvulorum. Quis enim doctus pariter vel indoctus, cum in manus volumen adsumpserit et a saliva quam semel inbibit viderit discrepare quod lectitat, non statim erumpat in vocem, me falsarium me clamans esse sacrilegum, qui audeam aliquid in veteribus libris addere, mutare, corrigere? Adversum quam invidiam duplex causa me consolatur: quod et tu qui summus sacerdos es fieri iubes, et verum non esse quod variat etiam maledicorum testimonio conprobatur. Si enim latinis exemplaribus fides est adhibenda, respondeant quibus; tot sunt paene quot codices. Sin autem veritas est quaerenda de pluribus, cur non ad graecam originem revertentes ea quae vel a vitiosis interpretibus male edita vel a praesumptoribus inperitis emendata perversius vel a librariis dormitantibus aut addita sunt aut mutata corrigimus? Neque vero ego de Veteri disputo Testamento, quod a septuaginta senioribus in graecam linguam versum tertio gradu ad nos usque pervenit. Non quaero quid Aquila quid Symmachus sapiant, quare Theodotion inter novos et veteres medius incedat; sit illa vera interpretatio quam Apostoli probaverunt. De Novo nunc loquor Testamento, quod graecum esse non dubium est, excepto Apostolo Mattheo qui primus in Iudaea evangelium Christi hebraeis litteris edidit. Hoc certe cum in nostro sermone discordat et diversos rivulorum tramites ducit unio, de fonte quaerendum est. Praetermitto eos codices quos a Luciano et Hesychio nuncupatos paucorum hominum adserit perversa contentio, quibus utique nec in Veteri instrumento post septuaginta interpretes emendare quid licuit nec in Novo profuit emendasse, cum multarum gentium linguis Scriptura ante translata doceat falsa esse quae addita sunt.

Igitur haec praesens praefatiuncula pollicetur quattuor tantum evangelia, quorum ordo iste est Mattheus Marcus Lucas Iohannes, codicum graecorum emendata conlatione sed veterum. Quae ne multum a lectionis latinae consuetudine discreparent, ita calamo imperavimus ut, his tantum quae sensum videbantur mutare correctis, reliqua manere pateremur ut fuerant.

Canones quoque, quos Eusebius caesariensis episcopus alexandrinum secutus Ammonium in decem numeros ordinavit, sicut in graeco habentur expressimus, quo si quis de curiosis voluerit nosse quae in evangeliis vel eadem vel vicina vel sola sint, eorum distinctione cognoscat. Magnus siquidem hic in nostris codicibus error inolevit, dum quod in eadem re alius evangelista plus dixit, in alio quia minus putaverint addiderunt; vel dum eundem sensum alius aliter expressit, ille qui unum e quattuor primum legerat, ad eius exemplum ceteros quoque aestimaverit emendandos. Unde accidit ut apud nos mixta sint omnia, et in Marco plura Lucae atque Matthei, rursum in Mattheo Iohannis et Marci, et in ceteris reliquorum quae aliis propria sunt inveniantur. Cum itaque canones legeris qui subiecti sunt, confusionis errore sublato, et similia omnium scies et singulis sua quaeque restitues. In canone primo concordant quattuor, Mattheus Marcus Lucas Iohannes; in secundo tres, Mattheus Marcus Lucas; in tertio tres, Mattheus Lucas Iohannes; in quarto tres, Mattheus Marcus Iohannes; in quinto duo, Mattheus Lucas; in sexto duo, Mattheus Marcus; in septimo duo, Mattheus Iohannes; in octavo duo, Lucas Marcus; in nono duo, Lucas Iohannes; in decimo propria unusquisque, quae non habentur in aliis, ediderunt. Singulis evangeliis ab uno incipiens usque ad finem librorum dispar numerus increscit. Hic nigro colore praescriptus sub se habet alium ex minio numerum discolorem, qui ad decem usque procedens indicat, prior numerus in quo sit canone requirendus. Cum igitur aperto codice verbi gratia illud sive illud capitulum scire volueris cuius canonis sit, statim ex subiecto numero doceberis, et recurrens ad principia in quibus canonum est distincta congeries, eodemque statim canone ex titulo frontis invento, illum quem quaerebas numerum eiusdem evangelistae qui et ipse ex inscriptione signatur invenies, atque e vicinia ceterorum tramitibus inspectis, quos numeros e regione habeant adnotabis; et cum scieris, recurres ad volumina singulorum et sine mora, reppertis numeris quos ante signaveras, repperies et loca in quibus vel eadem vel vicina dixerunt.

Opto ut in Christo valeas et memineris mei, papa beatissime. explicit praefatio


Primum quaeritur quare post Evangelia, quae supplementum Legis sunt et in quibus nobis exempla et praecepta vivendi plenissime digesta sunt, voluerit Apostolus has epistulas ad singulas ecclesias destinare. Hac autem causa factum videtur, ut scilicet initia nascentis Ecclesiae novis causis existentibus praemuniret, ut et praesentia atque orientia resecaret vitia et post futuras excluderet quaestiones, exemplo prophetarum qui post editam legem Mosi, in qua omnia Dei mandata legebantur, nihilominus tamen doctrina sua rediviva semper populi conpressere peccata et propter exemplum libris ad nostram etiam memoriam transmiserunt. Deinde quaeritur cur non amplius quam decem epistulas ad ecclesias scripserit; decem sunt enim cum illa quae dicitur ad Hebraeos, nam reliquae quattuor ad discipulos specialiter sunt porrectae. Ut ostenderet Novum non discrepare a Veteri Testamento et se contra legem non facere Mosi, ad numerum primorum decalogi mandatorum suas epistulas ordinavit et, quot ille praeceptis a Pharaone instituit liberatos, totidem hic epistulis a diaboli et idolatriae servitute edocet adquisitos. Nam et duas tabulas lapideas duorum Testamentorum figuram habuisse viri eruditissimi tradiderunt.

Epistulam sane quae ad Hebraeos scribitur quidam Pauli non esse contendunt, eo quod non sit eius nomine titulata, et propter sermonis stilique distantiam, sed aut Barnabae iuxta Tertullianum aut Lucae iuxta quosdam vel eerte Clementis discipuli apostolorum et episcopi romanae ecclesiae post apostolos ordinati. Quibus respondendum est: si propterea Pauli non erit quia eius non habet nomen, ergo nec alicuius erit quia nullius nomine titulatur; quod si absurdum est, ipsius magis esse credenda est quae tanto doctrinae suae fulget eloquio. Sed quoniam apud Hebraeorum ecclesias quasi destructor Legis falsa suspicione habebatur, voluit tacito nomine de figuris Legis et veritate Christi reddere rationem, ne odium nominis fronte praelati utilitatem excluderet lectionis. Non est sane mirum, si eloquentior videatur in proprio id est hebraeo quam in peregrino id est graeco, quo ceterae epistulae sunt scriptae sermone. Movet etiam quosdam quare Romanorum epistula in primo sit posita, cum eam non primam scriptam ratio manifestet. Nam hanc se proficiscentem Hierosolymam scripsisse testatur, cum Corinthios et alios ante iam, ut ministerium quod secum portaturus erat colligerent, litteris adhortatus sit. Unde intellegi quidam volunt ita omnes epistulas ordinatas, ut prima poneretur quae posterior fuerat destinata, ut per singulas epistulas gradibus ad perfectiora veniretur. Romanorum namque plerique tam rudes erant, ut non intellegerent Dei se gratia et non suis meritis esse salvatos, et ob hoc duo inter se populi conflictarent. Idcirco illos indigere adserit confirmari, vitia gentilitatis priora commemorans. Corinthiis autem iam dicit scientiae gratiam esse concessam, et non tam omnes increpat quam cur peccantes non increpaverint reprehendit, sicut ait: "Auditur inter vos fornicatio", et iterum: "Congregatis vobis cum meo spiritu tradere huiusmodi Satanae". In secunda vero laudantur et ut magis ac magis proficiant admonentur. Galatae iam nullius criminis arguuntur, nisi quod callidissimis pseudoapostolis crediderunt. Ephesii sane nulla reprehensione sed multa laude sunt digni, quia fidem apostolicam servaverunt. Philippenses etiam multo magis conlaudantur, qui nec audire quidem falsos apostolos voluerunt. Colosenses autem tales erant ut, cum ab Apostolo visi corporaliter non fuissent, hac laude digni haberentur: "Et si corpore absens sum, sed spiritu vobiscum sum gaudens et videns ordinem vestrum". Thessalonicenses nihilotninus in duabus epistulis omni laude prosequitur, eo quod non solum fidem inconcussam servaverint veritatis, sed etiam in persecutione civium fuerint constantes inventi. De Hebraeis vero quid dicendum est, quorum Thessalonicenses qui plurimum laudati sunt imitatores facti esse dicuntur, sicut ipse ait: "Et vos fratres imitatores facti estis ecclesiarum Dei quae sunt in Iudaea, eodem enim passi estis et vos a contribulibus vestris quae et illi a Iudaeis". Apud ipsos quoque Hebraeos eadem commemorat dicens: "Nam et vinctis conpassi estis et rapinam bonorum vestrorum cum gaudio suscepistis cognoscentes vos habere meliorem et manentem substantiam". explicit prologus