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When it has no longer native speakers, a language dies. Latin is considered a dead language but it still remains the official tongue of the Vatican City.
Some of the foremost Bible translations was in Latin. Latin was also the first language of ancient Rome despite the common spoken language at that time was Greek. When the empire grew, so did the importance of Latin. As a result, the Holy Scriptures were translated from Greek into Latin. The first translations seems to have begun in North Africa in the second century C.E.
In 382 C.E. the bishop of Rome, Damascus, invited his secretary Jerome to revise the Latin text of the Gospels. Jerome completed that task in just a few years. Then he also translated other Bible books. Jerome’s revision later came to be called the Vulgate. Jerome translated a good part of the Hebrew Scriptures from the original Hebrew and was the first Bible go to press.
It was at the Council of Trent in 1546 that the Catholic Church for the first time called Jerome’s version the Vulgate making it a reference text for Catholicism.
In 1965 a Commission was established for the New Vulgate a revision of the Vulgate. This Commission was given the responsibility to revise the Latin translation of the Vulgate on the basis of updated knowledge. In 1979 Pope John Paul II approved the Nova Vulgata.
The first edition of the Nova Vulgata contained the divine name of God, Iahveh (Exodus 3:15 and 6:3). But in the second official edition published in 1986, “Dominus” was put back, in place of “Iaveh”.
Despite this, God’s Word in Latin and other languages, continues to exert power, changing the lives of millions of people who obediently strive to act in harmony with its precious teachings.—Hebrews 4:12.