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Jerome, Translator of Scripture

Commemoration of Jerome, Translator of Holy Scripture
September 30

The Lord be with you

Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius, more commonly called Jerome, the Anglicized from of Hieronymus, died September 30, 420. Marking the day of his birth into glory, the Church commemorates this great saint on this day. Jerome was born in the little village of Stridon, on the Adriatic Sea, around 345 AD. Jerome came from a moderately well-off Christian family. He was tutored at home until about the age of twelve, when he went to study in Rome. He was an outstanding student, and he acquired a considerable reputation. His moral life was far from blameless, but he remained close to Christianity, and at the close of his studies at the age of nineteen, he was baptized. After extensive travels, he chose the life of a monk and spent five years in the Syrian Desert. There he learned Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament. After ordination into the priesthood at Antioch (against his wishes) visits to Rome and Constantinople, and attendance at the Second Ecumenical Council (381), Jerome settled in Bethlehem.

While in Rome, Pope Damasus commissioned him to do a fresh translation of the Bible. Instead of using the Septuagint (the popular Greek translation), Jerome made his translation from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, into Latin, the common language of his time. There were other translations already, but their reliability was uneven, at best. Jerome’s translation, called the Vulgate from the Latin word meaning “common,” was the authoritative version of the Bible in the Western Church for more than a thousand years. While many of his works and letters have survived to this day, the Vulgate was the great work of his life and for what he is most remembered. He is considered one of the great scholars of the Early Church. He was originally buried at Bethlehem, where he died, but his remains were eventually taken to Rome. A great quote from Jerome is, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

Collect for the Commemoration of Jerome, Translator of Holy Scripture: O Lord, God of truth, Your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light on our path. You gave Your servant Jerome delight in his study of Holy Scripture. May those who continue to read, mark, and inwardly digest Your Word find in it the food of salvation and the fountain of life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Other things you might want to include in your prayers:

• For an increase love of the Scriptures
• For students and scholars of the Bible
• For translators of the Scriptures
• For the spread of the Scriptures

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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