Augustine’s Disappointment in Translation

Augustine as depicted by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1480)

A while back, I was listening to an audio course on “The Confessions of Augustine”.  One thing that stuck with me was this quote (in the accompany study guide):
“Because his mother was a Christian, he first turned to the Bible but is disappointed by the quality of the language.”

If I recall, the gist was that Augustine was an expert in Latin, Greek, and rhetoric, and I presume it was the Latin translations he had of the Bible as a youngster or young man, did not meet up to the what he would consider the standards of Cicero, Virgil, etc…  He points out that when he was young, he was not taught morals, but how to write great quality Latin.

Apparently he turned to Christianity at about the age of 32 from a rather rugged life and became quite an apologist.  So the point is that the Bible translation (of his day) influenced his life and perhaps delayed his spiritual journey.

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