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Catholic Dictionary




The Latin translation of the Bible, chiefly the work of St. Jerome, and commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382. In time it became the standard in the Church, but by the sixteenth century several hundred editions were in print, with numerous variants. The Council of Trent declared that the Vulgate "is to be held authentic in public readings, disputations, sermons and exposition" and ordered its careful revision. This decree means that the Vulgate is the official biblical text of the Church. More than once revised, it was the Scripture text used by the First and Second Vatican Councils. (Etym. Latin vulgata [editio], "the popular [edition]"; from vulgatus, common, popular; from vulgare, to make commonly known; from vulgus, common people.)