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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: Why my translations of Origen had created offence, but Jerome's not.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

46. I suppose it is not to be wondered at that I am always blamed for the points in which I have praised him. It is quite right, no doubt. But to come to the matter itself. I said that when grounds of offence appeared in the Greek he had cleared them away in his Latin translation; and not wrongly; but he had done this just in the same sense as I have done it. For instance, in the Homilies on Isaiah, he explains the two Seraphim as meaning the Son and the Holy Ghost, and he adds this of his own: “Let no one think that there is a difference of nature in the Trinity when the offices of the Persons are distinguished”; and by this he thinks that he has been able to remedy the grounds of offence. I in a similar way occasionally removed, altered or added a few words, in the attempt to draw the meaning of the writer into better accordance with the straight path of the faith. What did I do in this which was different or contrary to our friend’s system? what which was not identical with it? But the difference lies in this, that I was judging of his writings without ill-will or detraction, and therefore saw in them not what might lend itself to depreciation, but what the translator aimed at; whereas he is seeking for occasions for calumniating others, and therefore finds fault with those things in my writings which he himself has formerly written. And indeed he is right in blaming me, since I have pronounced what he has said to be right, whereas in his judgment it is reprehensible. This holds in reference to the doctrine he has expressed about the Trinity; namely, that the two Seraphim are the Son and the Holy Ghost, from which especially the charge of blasphemy is drawn, that is, if he is to be judged according to the system which he has adopted in dealing with me. But according to the system which I have adopted in judging of his writings, apart from the matter of calumny, he is not to be held guilty because of what he has added on his own account to explain the author’s meaning.


Next: A Synod, if called on to condemn Origen, must condemn Jerome also.

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