(a father of the early Christian Church whose major work was his translation of the Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin known as the Vulgate)

Translator of the Vulgate

Jerome (ca. 340-420), whose full name was Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus is best known as the translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. Jerome's edition, the Vulgate, is still the official biblical text of the Roman Catholic Church.

Jerome is a name shared across the European languages in different forms: Latin (and German) Hieronymus, English Jerome, French Jérôme, Dutch Jeroen, Italian Girolamo and Spanish and Portuguese Jerónimo.

In spite of his defects and weaknesses, Jerome has retained a high rank among the western Fathers. This was a result of the incalculable influence exercised by his Latin version of the Bible upon the subsequent ecclesiastical and theological development of the Roman Catholic Church.

That he won his way to the title of a saint and doctor of the Catholic Church was possible only because he broke away entirely from the theological school in which he was brought up, that of the Origenists.

Jerome was a noted scholar of Latin at a time when that statement implied a fluency in Greek. He knew some Hebrew when he started his translation project, but moved to Bethlehem to perfect his grasp of the language and to strengthen his grip on Jewish scripture commentary.

A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Paula, founded a monastery for him in Bethlehem which was more like a "research institute", today, and it was there that he completed his translation work.

He began in 382 by correcting the existing Latin language version of the New Testament, commonly referred to as the Itala or Vetus Latina (the "Italian" or "Old Latin" version).

By 390 he turned to the Old Testament in Hebrew, having previously translated portions from the Septuagint Greek version. He completed this work by 405.