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Biblical Heritage Exhibit


Saint Jerome - Sculpture (table top size)

We are pleased to offer this rare likeness of one of the church's the most learned of the Fathers. Jerome was born to a wealthy family of Dalmatia about the year 342. Originally named Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius. In 365, Jerome began to study theology, and was converted to Christianity. He traveled the world extensively, and later dedicated himself to the task of learning Hebrew from renowned Jewish scholars.

In 385, Jerome settled in a monastery in Bethlehem, where he undertook the monumental task of translating the Old Testament from the original Hebrew into Latin. Upon learning that the book of Tobias and part of the book of Daniel were written in Chaldaic, Jerome dedicated himself to mastering this difficult language as well.

Jerome's work of nearly 30 years came to be known as the Latin Vulgate, which takes its name from the phrase “versio vulgate”, meaning “the common (popular) version.” His extraordinary work produced a literary masterpiece that was true to the original Hebrew, but proved to be too purified for public acceptance. As others hand-copied the Vulgate, they began to reinstate the apocryphal passages that Jerome had rejected as being extra-Biblical, resulting in a new version of the Vulgate that was not based exclusively on the Scriptures. Although it would be altered numerous times, this text would be the accepted version of the western church in Rome for 1000 years.

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