Sixto-Clementine Vulgate

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Vulgate Clementine, edition from 1714
Prologue to the Gospel of John, Vulgate Clementine, edition from 1922

Vulgata Sixto-Clementina is the edition of Latin Vulgate from 1592, prepared by Pope Clement VIII. It was the second edition of the Vulgate authorised by this Pope, and it was used until the 20th century.

Clementine edition[edit]

The Sistine Vulgate prepared by Pope Sixtus V was edited in 1590 but it was unsatisfactory from a textual point of view.[1] As a result this edition was short-lived.[2]
Clement VIII (1592–1605) ordered Franciscus Toletus, Augustinus Valerius, Fredericus Borromaeus, Robertus Bellarmino, Antonius Agellius, and Petrus Morinus to make corrections and to prepare a revision.[3] The revision was based on the Hentenian edition. It was printed on 9 November 1592, with a preface written by Cardinal Bellarmine. The misprints of this edition were partly eliminated in a second (1593) and a third (1598) edition.[4]

The Clementine Vulgate contained in the Appendix additional apocryphal books: Prayer of Manasseh, 3 Esdras, and 4 Esdras.[5] It contained also Psalterium Gallicanum, as did the majority of the early editions of Vulgate.

It contains texts of the Acts 15:34[6] and the Comma Johanneum in 1 John 5:7.[7]

It was issued with the Bull, Cum Sacrorum (9 November 1592), which asserted that every subsequent edition must be assimillated to this one, no word of the text may be changed, nor even variant readings printed in the margin.[8]

It is cited in all critical editions and it is designated by siglum vgc or vgcl.[9]

Some differences from the Vulgata Sixtina[edit]

Vulgata Sixtina Vulgata Clementina
Book of Genesis 18[10]
18,2 tabernaculi sui tabernaculi
18,2 in terra in terram
18,4 laventur pedes vestri lavate pedes vestros
18,5 confortetur confortate
18,5 loquutus locutus
18,2 Gomorrhaeorum Gomorrhae
18,28 quia propter
Book of Exodus 11
11,14 constituit te te constituit
11,16 venerant venerunt
11,22 et eripuit eripuit
11,25 liberavit cognovit


The Clementine edition differs from the Sistine edition in about 3,000 places (according to Carlo Vercellone).[8] according to Kurt Aland in about 5,000 variants.[11]

The opportunity was too good for Protestants to miss, and Thomas James in his "Bellum Papale sive Concordia discors" (London, 1600) upbraids the two Popes on their high pretensions and palpable failure, possibly of both of them.[8] He gave a long list of the differences (about 2,000) between these two editions.[12] Translators of King James Version in the preface to the first edition from 1611 accused the pope of perversion of the Holy Scripture.[13]

The Clementine Vulgate was criticised by such textual critics as Richard Bentley, John Wordsworth, Henry Julian White, Samuel Berger, and Peter Corssen.[14] Roger Gryson, in the preface to 4th edition of the Stuttgart Vulgate (1994), asserts that the Clementine edition; "... frequently deviates from the manuscript tradition for literary or doctrinal reasons, and offers only a faint reflection of the original Vulgate, as read in the pandecta of the first millennium." [15]

The Clementine Vulgate remained the official Latin Bible text of the Roman Catholic Church until the end of the 20th century, when the Nova Vulgata was issued. In 2001 the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in Liturgiam authenticam, announced that the Nova Vulgata is an official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church.[16]


  1. ^ Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose; Edward Miller (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, vol. 2 (4 ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. p. 64.
  2. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1977, p. 348.
  3. ^ Illustrations of Biblical Literature, vol. II, Rev. James Townley, 1856
  4. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1977, p. 349.
  5. ^ Praefatio, Biblia Sacra Vulgata, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart 1983, p. XX. ISBN 3-438-05303-9
  6. ^ UBS3, 478
  7. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1977, p. 351.
  8. ^ a b c Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose; Edward Miller (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. 2 (4 ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. p. 65.
  9. ^ K. Aland (ed.), E. Nestle, (1991). Novum Testamentum Graece (ed. 26). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. p. 19*. [NA26]
  10. ^ Quentin, Henri (1922). Mémoire sur l'établissement du texte de la Vulgate (in French). Rome: Desclée. p. 195. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
  11. ^ Aland, Kurt (1989). Der Text des Neuen Testaments. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. p. 196. ISBN 3-438-06011-6.
  12. ^ Thomas James, A Treatise of the Corruptions of Scripture, Councils, and Fathers, by the Prelates, Pastors, and Fathers, p. 170.
  13. ^ The King James Bible.
  14. ^ Kenyon, F. G. (1939). Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (4th ed.). London. p. 188. Retrieved 2011-01-23.
  15. ^ Biblia Sacra iuxta vulgatam versionem. Robert Weber, Roger Gryson (eds.) (4 ed.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. 1994. ISBN 978-3-438-05303-9.
  16. ^ "Liturgiam authenticam". Retrieved 2018-07-27.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]