Wednesday, March 29, 2023

What Does the Bible Really Say!

Reading my Breviary (1962) I came across this magnificent turn of phrase at the beginning of Psalm 22 (Vulgate): "Dominus regit me" and wondered at the common English romantic rendering: "The Lord is my Shepherd."

Then I looked it up on the Septuagint and found that the form was the active verb form of the Latin and not the abstract poetic form of the normal English translation. My Modern Greek Bible also goes poetic. Then I went to the 1964 English translation of the 1962 breviary and it already goes to the romantic poetry, deviating from the Septuagint. I presume that these deviations from the Septuagint come from the Hebrew texts, which, as I understand it, are much later editions of the Scripture than the earliest extant Septuagint editions.

It seems the "The Lord is my Shepherd" is originally from the anti-Hellenist Protestants, the King James Version has it that way, and, it is Psalm 23! the same as our Post Vatican II Bibles! The New Vulgate (1979) says Dominus pascit me, the Lord shepherds me, which maintains the active verb form.

Finally, I went to the Douay Rheims (1899 version), which says, directly translating from the Vulgate: "The Lord ruleth me." Then, going to my copy of the original Doway (1609) it says "Our Lord ruleth me." Then, with immense pleasure, I continued looking at the rich text of that original Doway, including all the notes and glosses, which are many! Here is what I make it out to say, in contemporary English words, as literal as I can render it. It is a veritable complete little Catechism is one psalm!

Psalme XXII

[Thanksgeuing for Gods protection]
A forme of thankesgiuing for al spiritual benefites (described vnder the metaphor of temporal prosperitie) euen from a sinners first conuersion, to final perseuerance, and eternal beatutude.

1 + The Psalme of Dauid
[Isa. 40. Jere.23. Ezech.34. Ioan.10. I.Pet.2.&5.]

2 Our a Lord ruleth me, and nothing shal be wanting to me: + in place b of pasture there he hath placed me.
[a Christ the good pastor, gouerneth, protecteth, and feedeth his faithful flocke.]

3 Vpon c the water of refection he hath brought me vp: + he hath d conuerted my soule.
[c Baptisme of regeneration, d which is the first iustification.]

4 He hath conducted me vpon e the pathes of iustice, f for his name.
[e Gods precepts which the baptised must obserue. Mat.28. v.20. f Saluation is in the name and powre of Christ, not in mans owne merites.]

Thy rod and thy k staffe: they haue comforted me.
[i Gods direction and law is streight, k and strong.]

5 + Thou hast prepared in my sight l a table, m against them; that truble me.
[l Christ hath prepared for our spiritual foode the B. Sacrament of the Eucharist. S. Cyprian. Epist. 63. Eutim. in hunc Psal. against al spiritual enemies, the world, the flesh, and the diuel.]

Thou n hast fatted my head with oyle: and my o chalice inebriating how goodlie is it!
[n Christian soules are also streingthned by the Sacraments of Confirmation, Penance, holie Orders, Matrimonie, and Extreme Vnction. The B. Sacrament and Sacrifice of Christs bodie and bloud.]

6 + And thy mercie shal folow me p al the dayes of my life:
[p continual and final perseuerance is by Gods special grace.]

And that I may dwel in the house of our Lord, q in longitude of dayes.
[q in eternal life.]

Photostatic reprint by Forgotten Books, English College of Doway, The Second Tome of the Holie Bible Faithfully Translated into English, Out of the Authentical Latin, Diligently Conferred With the Hebrew, Greeke, and Other Editions in Divers Languages, London, 2018. ISBN: 9780365484530
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