Old Latin Gospels
A Study of their Texts and Language
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 239
Width: 14.5 cm
Height: 22.5 cm
This book is the first overall study of the texts and language of the Old Latin Gospels, the versions of the four Gospels that predate the Vulgate of Jerome. In this book three main questions are addressed. Do the various extant manuscripts represent the remains of many originally separate versions, or local variants of a single main tradition? How do we analyse the translation techniques used to produce these texts? What do these translations tell us about the development of post-classical, non-literary Latin, and vice versa? Dr Burton approaches the issue of monogenesis versus polygenesis through a systematic analysis of the vocabulary of each individual Gospel. He reassess the traditional description of these Gospels as 'literal' and 'vulgar', examining the extent to which these terms are meaningful and applicable.
... there is much stimulating and of value throughout the book. The Journal of Theological Studies Burton's book is an extremely important discussion of a fascinating and complex subject, and it deserves a very warm welcome indeed. Furthermore, Burton's clarity, acumen and blessed brevity, are to be applauded. Scripta Classica Israelica Important not just for Bible critics and historians of the Latin language, but also for the history of early Christianity ... Burton's writing is always clear and his argumentation is crisp, and the last fifty pages provide a useful account of the developments of post-Classical Latin which will be read with profit by students and scholars. Journal of Roman Studies Dr Burton's book, published in the series of Oxford Early Christian Studies, is excellent and important, being compact, concise, well-argued, well-presented, meticulous in detail, relevant to the stated topic, and, in its essential respects, convincing ... Burton has a good knowledge of modern theories of translation, but he is admirably sceptical of their practical value and shows why he is unconvinced of their relevance to his analysis ... Burton shows a convincing ability to understand and work accurately with data in various kinds of Latin, Greek, and the Romance languages. Roger Wright, Bryn Mawr Classical Review Burton's analysis of Greek is no less perceptive than of Latin, and this book will help Greek New Testament scholarship as well ... The best part of the book, in my view, is the third, and in particular the discussion of whether the gospels can be said to attest "Vulgar" Latin ... Burton's mildly sceptical reworking of the idea that "Christian Latin" had some kind of distinctive unity within this whole is persuasive, and so is his re-evaluation of the techniques of St Jerome. The bibliography is useful in itself for specialists in Greek and Romance as well as Latin, and the whole is a genuine contribution to rigorous scholarship, which would seem old-fashioned in nature but for his up-to-date knowledge of theory and recent research. Roger Wright, Bryn Mawr Classical Review