Vetus Latina is the name given to a collection of Biblical texts that were translated into Latin before the Vulgate became the standard version used in the Latin-speaking world. The texts themselves are written in Late Latin, not in Old Latin. They often use different words than the Vulgate. No complete manuscript survives, only fragments are known. Many text passages are known because Church fathers such as Augustine of Hippo cited from them.
Some of the Vetus Latin texts survives in the Liturgy, however:
|Vetus Latina||Latin Vulgate|
|Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis||Gloria in altissimis Deo, et in terra pax in hominibus bonæ voluntatis|
The Old Latin text means, "Glory [belongs] to God among the high, and peace [belongs] to men of good will on earth". The Vulgate text means "Glory [belongs] to God among the most high and peace among men of good will on earth".
Probably the best known difference between the Old Latin and the Vulgate is in the Pater Noster, where the phrase from the Vetus Latina, quotidianum panem, "daily bread", becomes supersubstantialem panem, "supersubstantial bread" in the Vulgate.
- W.E. Plater and H.J. White, A Grammar of the Vulgate, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1926
- Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Latine, Novam Vulgatam Bibliorum Sacrorum Editionem secuti apparatibus titulisque additis ediderunt Kurt Aland et Barbara Aland una cum Instituo studiorum textus Novi Testamenti Monasteriensi (Westphalia), Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1884-1998, Lc 2,14, citing Wordsworth, supra, and Stuttgart, supra