As you read in my previous post, the highlight of my third day in Rome was visiting the Lux in Arcana Vatican Secret Archives exhibit. The image to the left is taken from the trial of Galileo. At the bottom you can clearly see Galileo’s signature. Everyone else I talked to who had seen the exhibit raved about it. If you’re visiting Rome anytime between now and when the exhibit ends in September, do yourself a favor and GO SEE IT! It’s like walking through the key events in Church history.
So, my final day in Rome brought time well-spent at the Capitoline Museum, which even without the Vatican Secret Archive’s exhibit is something to behold - filled with statuary and other fantastic artwork.
In case you missed it, we did a Register Radio Friday from Rome.
I met up with the Register’s Rome correspondent Edward Pentin for a little wine, cheese, bread, and some wonderful conversation.
In the evening, I attended the inaugural lecture series at the Augustinianum, being put on by the Green Scholars, the family associated with putting together the collection for the Verbum
Rev. Dr. Jare M. Abrego de Lacy, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute spoke about the Church’s role in supporting reading and study
of Holy Scripture.
Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey, Distinguised Professor of Literature and the Humanities at Baylor University spoke on the motives for translation.
“Since the Reformation, especially in England, the thought was that the Church was against translation,” said Jeffrey. This, he pointed out, wasn’t true.
Rather, the Church allowed for extensive vernacular translations and by the 15th century the Bible had been translated into the vernacular in French, Swedish,
Danish, Polish, Italian, and a number of other languages. “All were Catholic and done with Church approval,” added Jeffrey.
Dr. Gordon Campbell, Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester, England and a recent inductee into the British Academy, gave an
entertaining and informative lecture on the King James Version of the Bible.
“English and American Protestants are in denial about the Catholic influence on the King James Version of the Bible,” explained Campbell. While Catholic
scholarship had been forbidden to be used in creating the King James’ Bible, Campbell pointed out that much of the Latin language (with no English equivalent)
is owed to St. Jerome. As examples, Campbell listed the words: apostolis, salvatio, ecclesia, evangelium, testamentum, and raptura. “Christian scholarship was
almost entirely Catholic.”
“Protestant translators became Catholic for a moment to have the right reading,” said Campbell. “They consulted the Latin Vulgate frequently, and borrowed from
it without footnoting it.”
Furthermore, said Campbell, “Catholic scholarship and translation demonstrated great integrity in that it preserved ambiguities.”
Finally, Campbell said that “we have the Catholic Church to thank for restoring the entire Protestant King James Version of the text when the Catholic edition
Revised Standard Version reintroduced the Apocrypha to the King James’ Bible.
The final lecture was given by Dr. Andrew Atherstone, tutor in History and Doctrine at Wycliffe Hall and Oxford. He spoke on the legacy of Dean Burgon of
Chichester, an avid Bible hunter who did research in the Vatican Library and brought numerous codexes to light in the 1880s.