A Latin translation of the Bible completed in about 405 C.E. by Bible scholar Eusebius Hieronymus, more commonly known as Jerome.
In Jerome’s day, translations of the Bible in what is known as Old Latin were common but were lacking in quality. Jerome was commissioned to correct this problem by producing a standard Latin translation. He began with the Gospels, working from the best Greek manuscripts available to him. Then, moving on to Psalms, he embarked on the Hebrew Scriptures, initially basing his translation on the Septuagint but later working directly from the Hebrew. (Some of the Vulgate may have been translated by others.) Jerome recognized God’s name but did not use it in his translation. In his prologue to the books of Samuel and Kings, Jerome wrote: “And we find the name of God, the Tetragrammaton [i.e., יהוה], in certain Greek volumes even to this day expressed in ancient letters.”
Initially, Jerome’s translation was not well-received, but later it was widely accepted. Eventually, this translation became known as the Vulgate, a name that comes from a Latin word meaning “common” or “popular.” After various revisions, the Vulgate of 1592 (known as the Sixtine Clementine version) became the official translation of the Roman Catholic Church. Thousands of Vulgate manuscripts are in existence today.