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Lastly, Conder's identification of Bethulia with Mithilia (loc. And we are given details about the death of Judith's husband which (viii, 2-4) can hardly be attributed to art, but are rather indications that Judith represents a really existing heroine. These few Catholics, together with the non-Catholics that do not care to throw the book over entirely into the realm of fiction, assure us that the Book of Judith has a solid historical foundation.With regard to the state of the text it should be noted that the extraordinary variants presented in the various versions are themselves a proof that the versions were derived from a copy dating from a period long antecedent to the time of its translators (cf. Judith is no mythical personage, she and her heroic deed lived in the memory of the people; but the difficulties enumerated above seem to show that the story as we now have it was committed to writing at a period long subsequent to the facts. It is exceedingly brief, some forty lines, and gives us only the gist of the story.Even Jahn considers that the genealogy of Judith is inexplicable on the hypothesis that the story is a mere fiction ("Introductio", Vienna, 1814, p. Why carry out the genealogy of a fictitious person through fifteen generations?The Fathers have ever looked upon the book as historical. Jerome, who excluded Judith from the Canon, nonetheless accepted the person of the valiant woman as historical (Ep. Against this traditional view there are, it must be confessed, very serious difficulties, due, as Calmet insists, to the doubtful and disputed condition of the text.The book closes with a hymn to the Almighty by Judith to celebrate her victory. in Lib.) says that he translated it from the Chaldaic in one night, "magis sensum e sensu, quam ex verbo verbum transferens" (aiming at giving sense for sense rather than adhering closely to the wording).The book exists in distinct Greek and Latin versions, of which the former contains at least eighty-four verses more than the later. He adds that his codices differed much, and that he expresses in Latin only what he could clearly understand of the Chaldaic.Calmet insists that the Biblical Nabuchodonosor is meant, while in Arphaxad he sees Phraortes whose name, as Vigoroux (Les Livres Saints et La Critique Rationaliste, iv, 4th ed.) shows, could easily have been thus perverted.
Jerome is referring to the use made of the book in the discussions of the council, or whether he was misled by some spurious canons attributed to that council, but it is certain that the Fathers of the earliest times have reckoned Judith among the canonical books; thus St.The historical and geographical statements in the book, as we now have it, are difficult to understand: thus Nabuchodonosor was apparently never King of Nineveh, for he came to the throne in 605, whereas Nineveh was destroyed certainly not later than 606, and after that the Assyrians ceased to exist as a people; the character of Nabuchodonosor is hardly that portrayed for us on the monuments: in the India House Inscription, for example, his sentiments are remarkable for the modesty of their tone.On the other hand, we must remember that, as Sayce says, the "Assyrian kings were most brazen-faces liars on their monuments"; the name Vagao, or the Septuagint Bagoas, for the eunuch of Holofernes is suggestive of the Bagoses, who, according to Josephus (Antiquities, XI, vii, 1), polluted the temple and to whom apparently we have a reference in the recently discovered papyri from Assuan; the genealogy of Judith as given in the Vulgate is a medley: that given in the three principal Greek codices is perhaps better but varies in every one.Two Hebrew versions are known at present, a long one practically identical with the Greek text, and a short one which is entirely different; we shall return to the latter when discussing the origin of the book. Jerome made our present Vulgate version, is not recoverable unless it be identified with the longer Hebrew version mentioned above. Jerome's work by comparing the Vulgate with the Greek text. Jerome did not exaggerate when he said that he made his translation hurriedly.Thus a comparison between vi, 11, and viii, 9 shows us a certain confusion relative to the names of the elders of Bethulia a confusion which does not exist in the Septuagint, where also x, 6, should be compared.
and Psalm 105:6; , and Psalm , 93:2; 9:6, 9, and Psalm 19:8; , and Psalm 1; , and Psalm 105:1). We referred above to a shorter Hebrew version of the book; Dr. If it could be maintained that we have in this manuscript the story in its original form, and that our canonical book is an amplification of it, we should then be in a position to explain the existence of the numerous divergent versions.