Jerome has been one of the most influential Bible scholars in the history of Christianity. He was the first to translate most of the biblical texts into Latin, and his translation, known as the Vulgate, was commonly accepted as authoritative in the Christian West for more than a millennium.
Already during his lifetime his exegetical works were used by eminent figures such as Augustine of Hippo. Throughout the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the modern era he was considered an excellent example of ascetic learning. Along with Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory, he was revered as one of the great doctors of the Latin Church, and Pope Boniface VIII confirmed him as such in 1295. Still today one of the most popular single-volume commentaries on the Bible is called The Jerome Biblical Commentary.
What was the key to Jerome’s success? In the following pages we will explore some aspects of his life and show how, mutatis mutandis, they can serve as a model for contemporary Bible scholars.