The Book of Psalms in Latin

This webpage is a collection of Internet resources for different translations of the Book of Psalms into Latin. Many are image files, but some are html/text files.

Versions from the Greek

Old Latin

The Old Latin or Vetus Itala versions are translations from the Septuagint predating St. Jerome. A few versions have left many examples, but most are given by only one or two [1].

  • The Vetus Itala as edited by Pierre Sabatier from citations found in the works of Church Fathers. Published in 1743.
    • Liber Psalmorum, text from Bibliorum sacrorum latinae versiones antiquae seu Vetus Italica.
  • The Roman Psalter or Psalterium Romanum traditionally has been considered St. Jerome's first revision of the Vetus Itala, completed about 384.
  • The Ambrosian Psalter is used in the Ambrosian Rite.
  • The Mozarabic Psalter is used in the Mozarabic Rite.


The Gallican Psalter or Psalterium Gallicanum is St. Jerome's revision of the Old Latin made according to the Greek of the Hexapla, some time before 392.

  • The Gutenberg Bible, printed in Mainz in 1454, reproduces the text of a now-lost manuscript of the Exemplar Parisiense tradition, which was the most widely used form of the Vulgate text from the thirteenth century to the middle of the sixteenth century.
  • The Clementine Vulgate is the late medieval form of the text authorized by Pope Clement VIII in 1592.
  • Weber's critical text [2], based on the Benedictine version [3], represents early manuscripts.

Versions from the Hebrew

St. Jerome

This is a new translation, with Origen's Hexapla and the other ancient versions in view, and was completed about the end of the fourth century.

Felix Pratensis

First published at Venice in 1515.

Santes Pagninus

A very close and literal translation. First published at Lyon in 1527.

Martin Bucer

First published at Strasburg in 1528.

Thomas de Vio Cajetan

First published in Venice with the Vulgate psalms and commentary in 1530.

Sebastian Münster

Published at Basel, as part of a Hebrew/Latin Old Testament, first edition volume 1 in 1534 and volume 2 in 1535, and second edition in 1546. Used by Coverdale in preparing the Great Bible of 1539. Also printed with the 1571, 1574, and 1594 editions of the Latin Book of Common Prayer. Is close to the original, but does not rigidly adhere to the grammatical signification of the words, like Pagninus and Montanus, and so is more intelligible; but by not deviating from the sense of the Hebrew text, retains some of its peculiar idioms.

Ioannes Draconites

First published with commentary at Marburg in 1540.

Leo Juda and Theodore Bibliander

Also called Versio Tigurina, or Zürich Version. Bibliander completed the last 48 psalms after the death of Juda. First published at Zürich in 1543. Used in the abridged Latin prayer book of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1676, 1689, and 1726 (perhaps 1615 and 1660 as well). Eliminates Hebraisms retained by Münster, but departs in some instances too far from the literal sense.

Sebastian Castellio

Psalms first published at Basel in 1547; complete Bible with revised Psalms published at Basel in 1551. Style was an elegant Latin like that of the classic authors. Revised for Thomas Parsell's 1706 Latin Book of Common Prayer and Edward Harwood's 1785 revision of Parsell [4].

John Calvin

First published at Geneva in 1557. Likely based on Juda's version [see the Calvin Translation Society edition of Calvin's commentary on Genesis].

Benedict Arias Montanus

A revision of Pagninus to make it not just more literal than Pagninus, but more grammatically similar to the Hebrew. Used for an interlinear Hebrew/Latin Old Testament in the Antwerp Polyglot, 1572.

Immanuel Tremellius

Complete Old Testament first published at Frankfurt in 4 parts between 1575 and 1579. Said by Calvinists to be strictly conformable to the original text. Was frequently reprinted.

Johannes Piscator

Essentially a revision of Tremellius. First published at Herborn in 1611.

Thomas Malvenda

Gives the closest possible rendering into Latin of every word in the original; but many of the Latin words employed are intelligible only through equivalents supplied in the margin. First published at Lyons in 1650.

Sebastian Schmidt

A very literal translation. First published at Strassburg in 1696. Favored by Emanuel Swedenborg.

Charles Francois Houbigant

Translated from a critical edition based on the Masoretic. First published at Paris in 1753.

Johann August Dathe

Said to be in high repute for its general fidelity and elegance. First published at Halle in 1787.

Versio Piana

The Versio Piana, Psalterium Vaticanum, or Novum Psalterium, was published by the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 1945. Its style was more classical than traditionally biblical. Its use in the Office was encouraged but not required.

Versio Nova Vulgata

First published in 1969. Translated the Masoretic text while keeping much of the style of the Gallican psalter. Is used in the Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio [10].


  1. Collectanea Biblica Latina x, Le Psautier Romain et les autres anciens psautiers latins, edition critique par Dom Robert Weber, moine benedictin de l'Abbaye Pontificale de Saint-Jerome in Urbe, Libreria Vaticana, 1953
  2. Biblia Sacra iuxta vulgatam versionem; adiuvantibus B. Fischer, I. Gribomont, H. F. D. Sparks, W. Thiele; recensuit et brevi apparatu critico instruxit Robertus Weber; editionem quartam emendatam cum sociis B. Fischer, H. I. Frede, H. F. D. Sparks, W. Thiele; praeparavit Roger Gryson; Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, 1994
  3. Biblia Sacra iuxta latinam vulgatam versionem ad codicum fidem, iussu Pii PP. XII, cura et studio monachorum Abbatiae Pontificiae Sancti Hieronymi in Urbe ordinis sancti Benedicti edita, Liber Psalmorum ex recensione Sancti Hieronymi cum praefationibus et epistula ad Sunniam et Fretelam, Romae, Typis polyglottis Vaticanis, 1948
  4. The Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World, by William Muss-Arnolt, London, 1913
  5. The New Latin Psalter, by Augustin Bea, explains the criteria for and the reasons behind this version
  6. Mohrmann, Christine, "The New Latin Psalter: Its Diction and Style," The American Benedictine Review 4:1 (1953) 7-34
  7. Biblia Sacra vulgatae editionis iuxta PP. Clementis VIII decretum, nova editio, Gianfranco Nolli curante, A Vaccari S. J. praefante, Bruce, Milwaukee, 1955
  8. Liber Psalmorum cum canticis breviarii Romani nova e textibus primogeniis interpretatio Latina cum notis criticis et exegeticis, cura professorumPontificii Instituti Biblici edita, Benziger Brothers, New York, 1945
  9. The Book of Psalms in Latin and English with the canticles used in the divine office, English and notes by Ronald A. Knox, Sheed and Ward, New York, 1948
  10. Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio, Praenotanda, IN PSALTERIO, Editio typica altera


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