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The Vulgate Bible, Volume I: The Pentateuch

The Vulgate Bible, Volume I: The Pentateuch

Edited by Swift Edgar

ISBN 9780674055346

Publication date: 11/22/2010

The Vulgate Bible, compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome at the intersection of the fourth and fifth centuries CE, was used from the early Middle Ages through the twentieth century in the Western European Christian (and, later, specifically Catholic) tradition. Its significance can hardly be overstated. The text influenced literature, visual art, music, and education during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and its contents lay at the heart of much of Western theological, intellectual, artistic, and even political history of that period. At the end of the sixteenth century, as a variety of Protestant vernacular Bibles became available, professors at a Catholic college first at Douay, then at Rheims, translated the Vulgate into English, among other reasons to combat the influence of rival theologies.

This volume elegantly and affordably presents the text of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, beginning with the creation of the world and the human race, continuing with the Great Flood, God’s covenant with Abraham, Israel’s flight from Egypt and wanderings through the wilderness, the laws revealed to Moses, his mustering of the twelve tribes of Israel, and ending on the eve of Israel’s introduction into the Promised Land. This is the first volume of the projected six-volume set of the complete Vulgate Bible.


  • The goal of the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, of which this volume is a part, is to make selected foreign-language works easily accessible to English-speaking readers. That goal is admirably achieved in this volume, which is the first in a projected five-part series.

    —L. J. Greenspoon, Choice


  • Swift Edgar is a research assistant at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Book Details

  • 1200 pages
  • 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Harvard University Press