Sixtine Vulgate

The Sixtine Vulgate or Sistine Vulgate (Latin: Vulgata Sixtina) is the edition of the Vulgate—a 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible that was written largely by Jerome—which was published in 1590, prepared by a commission on the orders of Pope Sixtus V and edited by himself. It was the first edition of the Vulgate authorised by a pope. Its official recognition was short-lived; the edition was replaced in 1592 by the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate.

Sixtine Vulgate
Frontispiece (with title) of the Sixtine Vulgate
CountryPapal States
GenreOfficial Bible of the Catholic Church
Followed bySixto-Clementine Vulgate 
TextSixtine Vulgate at Wikisource

In 1546, the Council of Trent had decreed that the Vulgate was authoritative and authentic, and ordered that the Vugate be printed as correctly as possible. No edition of the Vulgate officially approved by the Catholic Church existed at the time. Twenty years later, work to produce an official edition of the Vulgate began: Pius V appointed a commission to produce an official edition of the Vulgate. However, his successor, Gregory XIII, did not continue the work.

In 1586, Sixtus V appointed a commission to produce an official edition of the Vulgate. However, he was dissatisfied with the work of the commission. Considering himself a very competent editor, he edited the Vulgate with the help of a few people he trusted. In 1590, this edition was published and was preceded by a bull of Sixtus V saying this edition was the authentic edition recommended by the Council of Trent, that it should be taken as the standard of all future reprints, and that all copies should be corrected by it.

Three months later, in August, Sixtus V died. Nine days after the death of Sixtus V, the College of Cardinals suspended the sale of the Sixtine Vulgate and later ordered the destruction of the copies. In 1592, Clement VIII, arguing printing errors in the Sixtine Vulgate, recalled all copies of the Sixtine Vulgate still in circulation; some suspect his decision was in fact due to the influence of the Jesuits. In November of the same year, a revised version of the Sixtine, known as the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate or Clementine Vulgate, was issued by Clement VIII to replace the Sixtine Vulgate.