Extracts from Latin theological translations supplied to previous customers


From the biography "On the life of St Ebba, Virgin and Abbess", attributed to Reginald of Durham (late 12th century). Our translation is thought to be the only modern English version. It was published in a compilation by a local historian and displayed in a 1998 exhibition celebrating the 900th anniversary of the founding charter for a church at Coldingham in Berwickshire, south-east Scotland. The English text later aided a composer in setting the original Latin words to music, in anthems and underchants to the spoken translation. These were first performed in Coldingham Priory Church on 25 August 2001 (St Ebba's Day), by the Merse Singers.

'The virgin St Ebba, sprung from royal stock, was sister to Oswiu, king of the Northumbrians, and aunt of the later king, Ecgfrith. During their reigns she won distinction as a mother-figure to the realm and was honoured for her great nobility... She took the veil of her holy commitment from St Finan, bishop of Lindisfarne. Before nobility, she preferred service to the Lord; before wealth, spiritual moderation; and before honours, voluntary humility.'

'...Now there was a certain young girl, harassed by evil spirits and apparitions, who had lost her sight in one eye, her hearing in one ear, and the use of her tongue entirely, for fifteen days. While she was in the chapel of the holy virgin, she fell asleep from weariness, and saw a snow-white dove fly down and alight on the altar. When she awoke, she sensed that she was restored to perfect health...Also, there was a certain youth who had the bone of a goose stuck in his throat, and his neck swelled up. After washing in the virgin's spring and praying effusively in her chapel, he was suddenly cured, and completely mystified as to what had become of the bone...'


Biblical scholarship: a variety of dissertations and commentaries on New Testament passages were translated to assist a researcher in the Faculty of Divinity, Edinburgh University. These works, by Dutch, German and French authors, span the 16th-19th centuries. The passage below is from Erasmus' annotated edition of the New Testament (1516) and relates to I John 5:7-8.

'...The preceding phrase also, "And these three are one", referring to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, is acceptable if taken as an allusion to the concord of love and testimony. Now, from these words, John attributed the same nature to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Initially the inference is completely reasonable, that the three have a common nature which is entirely uncompounded and indivisible. If this were not so, the Son would not in truth have been begotten of the Father, nor would the Holy Ghost in truth have proceeded from the Father and Son, as a god from the essence of a god...'

'...In my opinion there is no danger, whichever reading you espouse; for Thomas, referring to the clause supposedly added by the heretics...does not assert that it was in fact added by them, but says it is reported to be so; otherwise the Catholic Church throughout the world would embrace a doctrine made spurious by the heretics. The manner of speaking concerning the spirit, water and blood, namely that there are three, and these are one, will torture the grammarians, especially since "spirit", "water" and "blood" are all of the neuter gender in Greek.'


From Theodore Beza's annotations on the Greek New Testament, published in 1565 - here on I Timothy 3:16.

'...God...was justified in the spirit...'    "To be justified" does not always signify "to become just" (a fact not believed by those who have become perplexed in the analysis of this passage), but due to the peculiarities of the Hebrew language, it means "to be endowed with the due praise of justice", when you have been approved as just, and that to such a degree as means "perfect", and declared and recognised as perfect by all estimations. In the same way, the commands of God are termed "justified" (Psalms 19:10); that is, studiedly perfected to a nicety; certainly to such a degree that they openly appear to be so. Thus in Psalms 51:4 God is said to be justified in his speeches; that is, great praise of justice itself is being rendered. And in Matthew 11:19, wisdom is said to be justified of its sons; that is, recognised and endowed with due honour. Likewise, therefore, in this passage (I Timothy 3:16) there is placed in opposition to the manifestation of the flesh the glory of divinity, which revealed itself in that weak flesh in such a way that Christ, although a feeble man, was yet also openly made to be the true God. This is sufficiently clear from the whole Evangelical account...'


From J.J. Griesbach's edition of the Greek New Testament, published 1796-1806.

'...To be sure, Worthy Citizens, we were wishing to remind You fully of Your duties, and to exhort You by that love with which we now embrace You, to celebrate these same festal days in such a way that Your enthusiasm for the religion handed down by Christ and more fully revealed by the Apostles, aided as we have seen by the manifold assistance of God, shall both be recognised by those with whom You live, and also, chiefly, that it shall be felt by the public proclaimers of the doctrine of salvation, who will strive to inflame and foster Your piety with their speeches.'