Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: Eusebius, if acting honestly, should have shown me what he thought dangerous.
20. I remember indeed that one of these people, when he was convicted of having falsified this passage, answered me that it was so in the Greek, but that I had, of purpose, changed it in the Latin. I do not indeed, treat this as a serious accusation because, though what they say is untrue yet, even supposing that the words did stand so in the Greek, and I had changed them in the Latin, this is nothing more than I had said in my Preface that I should do. If I had done this with the view of making an expression which in the Greek was calculated to make men stumble run more suitably in the Latin, I should have been acting only according to my expressed purpose and plan. But I say to my accusers You certainly did not find these words in the Latin copies of my work. Whence then did it come into the papers from which he was reading? I, the translator, did not so write it. Whence then came the words which you who have got no such words of mine turn into a ground of accusation? Am I to be accused on the ground of your forgeries? I put the matter in the plainest possible way. There are four books of the work which I translated; and in these books discussions about the Trinity occur in a scattered way, almost as much as one in each page. Let any man read the whole of these and say whether in any passage of my translation such an opinion concerning the Trinity can be found as that which they calumniously represent as occurring in this chapter. If such an opinion can be found, then men may believe that this chapter also is composed in the sense which they pretend. But if in the whole body of these books no such difference of the persons of the Trinity exists anywhere, would not a critic be mad or fatuous if he decided, on the strength of a single paragraph, that a writer had given his adherence to a heresy which in the thousand or so other paragraphs of his work he had combated? But the circumstances of the case are by themselves sufficient to shew the truth to any one who has his wits about him. For if this man had really found the passage in question in my papers, and had felt a difficulty in what he read, he would of course have brought the documents to me and have at once asked for explanations, since, as you well know, we were living as neighbours in Rome. Up to that time we often saw one another, greeted one another as friends, and joined together in prayer; and therefore he would certainly have conferred with me about the points which appeared to him objectionable; he would have asked me how I had translated them, and how they stood in the Greek.
Next: Jerome's method of translation was the same as mine.
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