At the beginning of the Church era the biblical texts were widespread most often in the Greek language. Within the Roman Empire the demand for Latin translations gradually increased. Because of this demand there were many fragments of the Bible translated into old Latin until the end of IV A.D.
The complete translation of the Bible into latin was made by Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, also known as Jerome. He was born into a wealthy family in the Roman province of Stridon. In 365 A.D he started theological studies and converted to christianity. Later he started studies of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. During his stay in Antioch in 379, he was appointed as priest and was later promoted to be the personal secretary and librarian of bishop Damasus. The bishop gave him a task of revising the latin translations of the New and Old Testaments. In the end Jerome translated the whole Old Testament from the Hebrew language and combined the previous miscellaneous texts of the Latin New Testament into one. To this task he devoted the rest of his life, spending the time in a monastery in Bethlehem.
THE SOURCE OF TRANSLATION
As the time passed Latin became more common and old Latin was being replaced, Jerome's translation gained acceptance in Western Churches and became the basis for all later Roman Catholic translations. At the turn of the VIII century. this translation became the most commonly used version of the Bible in writing and liturgy of the western church, until the time the individual national translations arrived. The first book ever printed was the Vulgate, Jerome's Latin translation.
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