Frontispiece (with title) of the Vulgata Sixtina
|Genre||Official Bible of the Catholic Church|
|Followed by||Sixto-Clementine Vulgate|
The Vulgata Sixtina, Sixtine Vulgate or Sistine Vulgate is the edition of the Vulgate which was published in 1590, prepared by a committee on the orders of Pope Sixtus V and edited by himself. It was the first edition of the Vulgate authorised by a pope. Its official recognition was short-lived; the edition was replaced in 1592 by the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate.
The Vulgata Sixtina is cited in the Novum Testamentum Graece, or "Nestle-Aland", only when it differs from the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate, and is designated in said Nestle-Aland by the siglum vgs. It is also cited in the Oxford Vulgate New Testament, where it is designated by the siglum S. It is not cited in the Stuttgart Vulgate.
The Council of Trent decreed the Vulgate authoritative and "authentic" on 8 April 1546, and ordered it to be printed "quam emendatissime"[a] ("with the fewest possible faults").[b] There was no authoritative edition of the Vulgate in the Catholic Church at that time; that would come in May 1590.
Three pontifical committees were successively charged to elaborate the text of the edition of the Vulgate for which the Council of Trent had requested publication. Up until the committees of S. Pius V and Sixtus-Quintus, work was done without any coordination.
In 1561, Pius IV created a committee at Rome composed of four cardinals: Amulio, Morone, Scotti and Vitelli. This committee had only a very general role: to correct and print the ecclesiastical books which the Holy See had decided to reform or publish.
In 1566, another committee was appointed by Pope Pius V (Congregatio pro emendatione Bibliorum); this committee was composed of five cardinals (M. A. Colonna, G. Sirleto, C. Madruzzo, J. Souchier, and Antonio Carafa) and twelve advisors.
Gregory XIII did not appoint a committee for the Vulgate, and soon Gugliemo Sirleto "was the only one remaining to take care of the revision" in Rome. Gregory XIII "issued [...] a Committee on the emendation of the LXX" after being convinced to do so by Cardinal Montalto (the future Sixtus V).
At the time Sixtus V became pope, in 1585, work on the edition of the Vulgate had barely begun. Sixtus V took pride in being a very competent text editor. When he was only a minor friar, he had started editing the complete work of St. Ambrose, the sixth and last volume of which was published after he became pope. This edition produced by Sixtus is regarded as the worst ever published; it "replaced the readings of the manuscripts by the least justified conjectures".
In 1586, Sixtus V appointed a committee. The committee was under the presidency of Cardinal Carafa, and was composed of Flaminius Nobilius, Antonius Agellius, Lelio Landi, Bartholomew Valverde, and Petrus Morinus. They were helped by Fulvio Orsini.
The committee worked on the basis of the 1583 edition by Francis Lucas ("of Bruges") of the Leuven Vulgate and "[g]ood manuscripts were used as authorities, including notably the Codex Amiatinus." By the end of 1588, Sixtus began to lose patience due to the slow progress of the committee. He was dissatisfied and told Carafa that the latter had to either give him a completed revised edition or stop working on said edition; in any case, the intention of Sixtus was to go over everything himself. The committee presented the result of their work to Sixtus at the beginning of 1589. Sixtus was not very satisfied with the results of the committee's work.[c]
Sixtus was an "impetuous pontiff"; he "made it his own affair" to prepare an edition of the Vulgate, saying he corrected the proofs "with [his] own hands". Sixtus made the corrections using simple conjectures and working quickly. He used the Codex Carafianus -- the codex which contained the propositions made to Sixtus V by the committee presided over by Cardinal Carafa - which is a 1583 edition of the Leuven Vulgate that had been emended by the third committee under Carafa. Sixtus was helped in his editing work by a few people he trusted, including Toledo and Rocca but excluding the members of the committee and Carafa.
In May 1590 the completed work was issued in three volumes in a folio edition; however, it is actually one volume, with the page numbering continuous throughout. Regardless, even after printing, Sixtus continued to tinker with the text, revising it either by hand or by pasting strips of paper on the text. The Sixtine Vulgate was mostly free of typographical errors.
This edition is known as the Vulgata Sixtina,Sixtine Vulgate, or Sistine Vulgate. The full title of the Sixtine Vulgate is: Biblia sacra Vulgatae Editionis ad Concilii Tridentini praescriptum emendata et a Sixto V P. M. recognita et approbata.
The edition was preceded by the bull Aeternus Ille, in which the Pope declared the authenticity of the new Bible. The bull stipulated "that it was to be considered as the authentic edition recommended by the Council of Trent, that it should be taken as the standard of all future reprints, and that all copies should be corrected by it." "This edition was not to be reprinted for 10 years except at the Vatican, and after that any edition must be compared with the Vatican edition, so that 'not even the smallest particle should be altered, added or removed' under pain of the 'greater excommunication'." This was the first time the Vulgate was recognized as the official authoritative text.
Based on his study of testimonies by those who surrounded the pope during the making of the Vulgata Sixtina, and the fact that the bull Aeternus Ille is not present in the bullarium, Jesuit Xavier-Marie Le Bachalet claims the publication of this Bible does not have papal infallibility because the bull establishing this edition as the standard was never promulgated by Sixtus V. Le Bachalet says that the bull was only printed within the edition of the Bible at the order of Sixtus V so as not to delay the printing and that the published edition of the Bible was not the final one. Sixtus was still revising the text of this edition of the Bible, and his death prevented him from completing a final edition and promulgating an official bull.[d]
Three whole verses were dropped from the Book of Numbers (Numbers 30:11-13), though it is unclear whether this was a printing error or an editorial choice, "as the passage was cited by moral theologians to substantiate the view that husbands may annul vows of chastity taken by their wives without their consent."
According to Eberhard Nestle, the Sixtine Vulgate edition had a text more nearly akin to that of Robertus Stephanus than of John Hentenius, an analysis also shared by Scrivener and Hastings; with Hastings claiming that the text of the Sixtine Vulgate resembled the 1540 edition of Stephanus. Kenyon also thinks the Sixtine Vulgate resembles the text of Stephanus and argues that it was "evidently based" on that text. However, a difference compared to the Stephanus edition was that a new system of verse enumeration was introduced. According to Antonio Gerace, the Sixtine Vulgate "was even closer to the Leuven Vulgate".
On 27 August 1590 Sixtus V died. After his death, many alleged that the text of the Sixtine Vulgate was "too error-ridden for general use". On 5 September of the same year, the College of Cardinals stopped all further sales of the Sixtine Vulgate and bought and destroyed as many copies as possible[e] by burning them; the reason invoked for this action was printing inaccuracies in Sixtus V's edition of the Vulgate. Metzger believes that the inaccuracies may have been a pretext and that the attack against this edition had been instigated by the Jesuits, "whom Sixtus had offended by putting one of Bellarmine's books on the 'Index',[f] and took this method of revenging themselves."Quentin suggests that this decision was due to the fact that the heretics could have used the passages of the Bible which Sixtus V had either removed or modified against the Catholic Church.
After Sixtus V's death, Robert Bellarmine wrote a letter in 1602 to Clement VIII trying to dissuade him from resolving the question of the auxiliis divinae gratiae by himself, in which Bellarmine says: "Your Holiness also knows in what danger Sixtus V put himself and put the whole Church, by trying to correct the Bible according to his own judgment: and for me I really do not know if there has ever been greater danger."
In January 1592, almost immediately after his election, Clement VIII recalled all copies of the Sixtine Vulgate as one of his first acts. The reason invoked for recalling Sixtus V's edition was printing errors, although the Sixtine Vulgate was mostly free of them.
According to James Hastings, Clement VIII's "personal hostitlity" toward Sixtus and his belief that the Sixtine Vulgate was not "a worthy representative of the Vulgate text" were the reasons behind the recall. Nestle suggests that the revocation was really due to the influence of the Jesuits, whom Sixtus had offended by putting one of Bellarmine's books on the Index Librorum prohibitorum.Kenyon writes that the Sixtine Vulgate was "full of errors", but that Clement VIII was also motivated in his decision to recall the edition by the Jesuits, "whom Sixtus had offended." Sixtus regarded the Jesuits with disfavour and suspicion. He considered making radical changes to their constitution, but his death prevented this from being carried out. Sixtus V objected to some of the Jesuits' rules and especially to the title "Society of Jesus". He was at the point of changing these when he died. Sixtus V "had some conflict with the Society of Jesus more generally, especially regarding the Society's concept of blind obedience to the General, which for Sixtus and other important figures of the Roman Curia jeopardized the preeminence of the role of the pope within the Church."Jaroslav Pelikan, without giving any more details, says that the Sixtine Vulgate "proved to be so defective that it was withdrawn".
40,8 - nunquam ] numquam
40,14 - tibi bene ] bene tibi
41,13 - quicquid ] quidquid
41,19 - nunquam ] numquam
41,20 - pecoribus ] prioribus
41,39 - nunquid ] numquid
41,55 - quicquid ] quidquid
42,4 - quicquam ] quidquam
42,11 - quicquam ] quidquam
42,13 - at illi dixerunt ] at illi
42,22 - nunquid ] numquid
42,38 - adversitatis ] adversi
43,3 - denuntiavit ] denunciavit
43,5 - denuntiavit ] denunciavit
43,7 - nunquid ] numquid
43,19 - dispensatorem ] dispensatorem domus
43,30 - lachrymae ] lacrymae
44,4 - ait surge ] surge
44,29 - maerore ] moerore
45,13 - nuntiate ] nunciate
45,20 - dimittatis ] demittatis
45,20 - auicquam ] quidquam
45,23 - tantundem ] tantumdem
45,23 - addens eis ] addens et
45,26 - nuntiaverunt ] nunciaverunt
46,10 - Chananitidis ] Chanaanitidis
46,10 - Cahath ] Caath
46,13 - Simeron ] Semron
46,16 - Sephon ] Sephion
46,16 - Aggi ] Haggi
46,16 - et Esebon et Suni ] et Suni et Esebon
46,17 - Jamma ] Jamme
46,22 - quatuordecim ] quattuordecim
46,26 - cunctaeque ] cunctae
46,28 - nuntiaret ] nunciaret
46,28 - et ille occurreret ] et occurreret
46,31 - nuntiabo ] nunciabo
47,1 - nuntiavit ] nunciavit
47,9 - peregrinationis vitae meae ] peregrinationis meae
47,24 - quatuor ] quattuor
47,31 - Dominum ] Deum
48,1 - nuntiatum ] nunciatum
49,1 - annuntiem ] annunciem
In the first 30 chapters of the Book of Genesis, the following changes were made:
After Clement VIII had recalled all the copies of the Sixtine Vulgate in 1592, in November of that year he published a new official version of the Vulgate known as the Clementine Vulgate, also called the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate. Faced with about six thousand corrections on matters of detail, and a hundred that were important, and wishing to save the honour of Sixtus V, Bellarmine undertook the writing of the preface of this edition. He ascribed all the imperfections of Sixtus' Vulgate to press errors.[g] "However, a slight possibility remains that Sixtus V, who we know worked until the last day of his life to purge his Bible of the printing mistakes it contained, had let slip a few words which were heard by his familiars, one of whom was Angelo Rocca, giving the impression that he was planning a new edition."
Scrivener notes that to avoid the appearance of a conflict between the two popes, the Clementine Bible was published under the name of Sixtus, with a preface by Bellarmine. This preface asserted that Sixtus had intended to publish a new edition due to errors that had occurred in the printing of the first, but had been prevented from doing this by his death, and that now, in accordance with his desire, the work was completed by his successor.
The full name of the Clementine Vulgate was: Biblia sacra Vulgatae Editionis, Sixti Quinti Pont. Max. iussu recognita atque edita (translation: "The Holy Bible of the Common/Vulgate Edition identified and published by the order of Pope Sixtus V.") The fact that the Clementine edition retained the name of Sixtus on its title page is the reason the Clementine Vulgate is sometimes known as the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate.
Nestle notes: "It may be added that the first edition to contain the names of both the Popes [Sixtus V and Clement VIII] upon the title page is that of 1604. The title runs: 'Sixti V. Pont. Max. iussu recognita et Clementis VIII. auctoritate edita'." Hastings also points out that "[t]he regular form of title in a modern Vulgate Bible -- 'Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis Sixti V. Pont. Max. jussu recognita et Clementis VIII. auctoritate edita' -- cannot be traced at present earlier than 1604." Up to that time, Sixtus seems to have appeared alone on the title page; later, Clement occasionally figures by himself.
In 1591, Gregory XIV wondered what to do about the Bible published by Sixtus V, where so many things had been wrongly corrected. There was no lack of serious men who were in favor of a public condemnation. But, in the presence of the Sovereign Pontiff, I demonstrated that this edition should not be prohibited, but only corrected in such a way that, in order to save the honor of Sixtus V, it be republished amended: this would be accomplished by making disappear as soon as possible the unfortunate modifications, and by reprinting under the name of this Pontiff this new version with a preface where it would be explained that, in the first edition, because of the haste that had been brought, some errors were made through the fault either of printers or of other people. This is how I returned good for evil to Pope Sixtus. Sixtus, indeed, because of my thesis on the direct power of the Pope, had put my Controversies on the Index of Prohibited Books until after correction; but as soon as he died, the Sacred Congregation of Rites ordered my name to be removed from the Index. My advice pleased Pope Gregory. He created a Congregation to quickly revise the Sistine version and to bring it closer to the vulgates in circulation, in particular that of Leuven. [...] After the death of Gregory (XIV) and Innocent (V), Clement VIII edited this revised Bible, under the name of Sixtus (V), with the Preface of which I am the author.
Bellarmino, Roberto Francesco Romolo (1999). "Memorie autobiografiche (1613)". In Giustiniani, Pasquale (ed.). Autobiografia (1613) (in Italian). Translated by Galeota, Gustavo. Internet Archive. Brescia: Morcelliana. pp. 59-60. ISBN 88-372-1732-3.
(in original Latin: Vita ven. Roberti cardinalis Bellarmini, pp. 30-31); (in French here, pp. 106-107)
The various editions of the Vulgate are indicated by the following abbreviations when information about their text is necessary or informative: vgs for the Sixtine edition (Rome: 1590) and vgcl for the Clementine edition (Rome: 1592). vgs is not indicated independently when its text agrees with vgcl.
Vulgate is the name given the form of the Latin text which has been widely circulated (vulgata) in the Latin church since the seventh century, enjoying recognition as the officially authoritative text, first in the edition of Pope Sixtus V (Rome, 1590), and then of Pope Clement VIII (Rome, 1592), until the Neo-Vulgate.
Novit beatitudo vestra cui se totamque ecclesiam discrimini commiserit Sixtus V. dum juxta propriae doctrinae sensus sacrorum bibliorum emendationem aggressus est; nec satis scio an gravius unquam periculum occurrerit
Novit Beatitudo Vestra, cui se totamque ecclesiam discrimini commiserit Sixtus V. dum juxta propriæ doctrinæ sensus, sacrorum Bibliorum emendationem aggressus est: nec fatiscio an gravius unquam periculum occurerit.
Works about the Vulgate Sixtina