Sebastian Castellio's Bible

Serenus

Civis Illustris
Sebastian Castellio (Sébastien Châteillon) was a 16th century French theologian and polyglot who translated the Bible into Classical Latin, sticking to Ciceronian Latin as much as he could. His translation is not appreciated in Christian circles for its schewing of well-entrenched words for Christian concepts (e.g. he uses lōtus for baptism instead of baptismus, and the Gospel of John opens talking about a sermō instead of a verbum), besides considering it unnecessary as Jerome's Vulgate and the Nova Vulgata are not inadequate as they are. I think it's nevertheless interesting to compare the two (e.g. whereas Jerome sometimes uses et...non, Castellio uses nec).

A few verses for comparison, from Genesis 3.
JEROME:
16 Mulieri quoque dixit, "multiplicabo aerumnas tuas et conceptus tuos in dolore paries filios, et sub viri potestate eris et ipse dominabitur tui".
17 Ad Adam vero dixit, "quia audisti vocem uxoris tuae et comedisti de ligno ex quo praeceperam tibi ne comederes, maledicta terra in opere tuo, in laboribus comedes eam cunctis diebus vitae tuae".
CASTELLIO:
16 Deinde ad mulierem, "ego te multis doloribus", inquit, "aerumnisque afficiam: tu natos cum dolore paries, et pendebis a viro tuo, tibique ipse imperabit".
17 Deinde ad Adamum, "quia uxori tuae morem," inquit, "gerens, de arbore comedisti, cuius ego tibi esu interdixeram, erit humus infelix propter te, quaeresque ex ea victum laboriose per omnem vitam".

JEROME:
22 et ait, "ecce Adam factus est quasi unus ex nobis, sciens bonum et malum, nunc ergo ne forte mittat manum suam, et sumat etiam de ligno vitae, et comedat et vivat in aeternum".
CASTELLIO:
22 Deinde ipse sic loquitur: "Quum homo quasi unus de nobis evaserit, boni malique sciens, periculum est ne manum admoveat etiam arbori vitali, ut eius decerpto et gustato fructu, vivat in sempiternum".

Here's three links to scans of Sebastian Castellio's translation of the Bible. They are all downloadable, although for the 2nd and 3rd scans you have to agree to certain terms and conditions. I'm sure there's more scans available online but I think three are enough.

Google scan, public domain (1697):
https://books.google.ca/books?id=uPBEAAAAcAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
How to download: Move the mouse on top of the "EBOOK - FREE" red button on the left, and do not click. After a second and a half, links will show up, one of which will be "Download PDF - read eReader instructions". Click on that and you'll get the file directly for you to save.

Scan from the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (1729):
http://digitale.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/purn/urn:nbn:de:gbv:3:1-161230-p0018-7
How to download: Go to the Titelaufnahme page, and click on "Biblia Sacra [587,82 mb]" under Links.

Scan from the state libraries of Bayer and Munich, Germany (1734):
http://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10272048_00056.html
How to download: Click on the "[PDF-Download]" link on the left. Then select the radio button "Ja" instead of "Nein" to agree to the non-commercial terms and conditions, then enter the Schlüssel number in the field right above it, and click on the first "WEITER" button to get a PDF (or the second "WEITER" button if you want the book as images). Once you get to the second page, wait for 3-6 minutes for the download link to appear.
 

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
After searching for his Bible, I came across Pacifica's comment about it, and she posted this thread in her comment. A good find it is indeed.
 

Serenus

Civis Illustris
I like how no one pointed out I was using a non-existing word in the post. "Schewing" is, I believe, I misremembered version of "skewing", and here I'm also misusing the verb "to skew", wrongly thinking it was a synonym of "to get rid of". I should've said something like "His translation is not appreciated in Christian circles because it doesn't use well-entrenched words for Christian concepts".
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I thought "schewing" might be some shorter form of "eschewing", which would make sense here.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It actually exists (just looked it up in the OED) but is rare and obsolete.
 

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
I didn't even notice, in the context given it just seemed like it meant "using" or something and I was fine with that.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It means the contrary, though ("avoiding the use of"). :p
 

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
Well, I guess my mind saw it as "unusing".
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
From the quotes you posted Jerome's version seems more elegant to me for some reason, perhaps Castillo sounds unnecessarily convoluted.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I don't think Castellio's version of those verses sounds convoluted. It has a more classical elegance to it, but the Vulgate has a beauty all of its own, which one may understandably be attached to.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Ah, are they so few to do so?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Well, the Latin isn't always top notch, technically; I'm not going to say otherwise or suddenly take the Vulgate as my standard for Latin composition in general; but it is still beautiful.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
As for what my standard is, I'm not a hardcore Ciceronianist. Cicero is only one of the authors I'd be happy to follow. Plautus, Livy, Seneca, Suetonius, Tacitus... are models just as valid, to my mind. I'm not going to shy away from a construction because it isn't found in Cicero by "only" in Tacitus or so. However, I'd sooner follow the example of native Latin speakers rather than medieval ones, say. The Vulgate is something special because, though written by an ancient Roman, it's a literal translation of a sacred text. It doesn't, and wasn't meant to, sound like idiomatic Latin. It sounds nothing like Jerome's other writings.
 

Serenus

Civis Illustris
I wish more Latinists admitted this...
I like the Vulgate quite a bit. And I personally have zero personal problems with Late Latin. In fact, I'd prefer it if most everything in terms of formal writings from Cato the Elder all the way down to writings by the more learned authors of the 5th and 6th century AD was fair game (so including Symmachus, Orosius, Vegetius, Hilarius, Boethius, Isidore, Pope Gregory I). I consider them native speakers of Latin too after all, even if for later authors the written language was quite a bit more distanced from their natural dialect than the earlier ones. I'd say that writing mostly in SVO sentences, often putting the finite verb after the subject or otherwise at or near the end with an accompanying infinitive in the middle (Erant autem quī dēferre minōrēs opēs volēbant ad urbem illam...), as in so much Late Latin, shouldn't be considered a mistake. Nevertheless I actually avoid such things because I've come to understand that socially my view is an unusual one...

I agree Castellio's Bible sounds excessively convoluted in order to Ciceronian, but it's still interesting to have a look at.
 

LCF

One of "those" people
As for what my standard is, I'm not a hardcore Ciceronianist. Cicero is only one of the authors I'd be happy to follow. Plautus, Livy, Seneca, Suetonius, Tacitus...
How did Plautus get on your list? Most Ciceronians dismiss his style.
 
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