Interpreting the Bible just got more complicated

Published: Posted on

The English translation of the recently discovered oldest Latin version of the Gospels may be problematic for those who want to read the Bible as a literal history.

Professor Candida Moss writes in The Daily Beast about the recently discovered oldest Latin version of the Gospels. It had been lost for more than 1,500 years and was discovered by a researcher, Dr Lukas J. Dorfbauer, from the University of Salzburg in 2012. The author of the commentary is Fortunatianus of Aquileia, a fourth-century North African who later became a northern Italian bishop. It predates the standard Latin version known as the Vulgate and provides new evidence about the earliest form of the Gospels in Latin.

The English translation of the Latin text was prepared by Dr. Hugh Houghton, Deputy Director of the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing (ITSEE), and is available online for free from De Gruyter press.

Professor Moss writes that “what’s most revealing about the commentary is the manner in which its author interprets his source text. Rather than treating the Gospels as literal history, Fortunatianus viewed these stories as a series of allegories.” Read the entire article, published on 3 September 2017, on the Daily Beast’s website.

Read more about the discovery and significance of the commentary, and how it was translated into English by Dr Hough Houghton, in an article on The Conversation and on the University of Birmingham’s website.

Candida Moss
Professor Candida Moss, Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology, Department of Theology, University of Birmingham
Dr Hough Houghton, Deputy Director, Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing, University of Birmingham

Leave a Reply