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.: You swear that you did not write my pretended retractation. Your style betrays you, and I have given a full answer about my translations already.
25. To what point will not audacity burst forth when once it is freed from restraints? He has imputed to himself the charge made against another so that we may be thought to have invented it. I made a charge against some one unnamed, and he takes it as spoken against himself; he purges himself from another mans sins, being only sure of his own innocence. For he takes his oath that he did not write the letter that passed under my name to the African bishops, in which I am made to confess that I had been induced by Jewish influence to make false translations of the Scriptures; and he sends me writings which contain all these things which he declares to be unknown to him. It is remarkable to know how his subtlety has coincided with another mans malice, so that the lies which this other told in Africa, he in accord with him declared to be true; and also how that elegant style of his could be imitated by some chance and unskilled person. You alone have the privilege of translating the venom of the heretics, and of making all nations drink a draught from the cup of Babylon. You may correct the Latin Scriptures from the Greek. and may deliver to the Churches to read something different from what they received from the Apostles; but I am not to be allowed to go behind the Septuagint version which I translated after strict correction for the men of my native tongue a great many years ago, and, for the confutation of the Jews, to translate the actual copies of the Scriptures which they confess to be the truest, so that when a dispute arises between them and the Christians, they may have no place of retreat and subterfuge, but may be smitten most effectually with their own spear. I have written pretty fully on this point if I rightly remember, in many other places, especially in the end of my second book; and I have checked your popularity-hunting, with which you seek to arouse ill will against me among the innocent and the inexperienced, by a clear statement of fact. To that I think it enough to refer the reader.
Next: You bid me beware of falsification and treachery. You warn me against yourself.
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