The fact of the numerous differences between Jerome's Vulgate version of Tobit and the other ancient versions has long been an interpretive problem in Tobit studies. Did Jerome make use of an Aramaic Vorlage, as he claims in his letter to Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus? In this detailed study, Vincent Skemp takes up the problem by examining the ways in which Jerome's Vulgate version of Tobit differs from and corresponds to other ancient versions of Tobit, viz., the Qumran Aramaic and Hebrew fragments, the two main Greek recensions (GI and GII), and the extant forms of the Vetus Latina (VL), in order to elucidate Jerome's translation technique for Tobit. This commentary on Tobit is unique in that it treats the Vulgate in detail and provides textual and literary analyses of the ancient versions, including the Qumran fragments and the recently published VL forms. Skemp's use of new material in the reassessment of old questions makes his work of special significance for scholars in the fields of Tobit, Jerome's translation techniques, textual criticism, Septuagint, and Qumran studies.
Vincent T. M. Skemp is Assistant Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota.