Although the possibility of rabbinic traditions informing Jerome’s translation of the Bible “according to the Hebrews,” the so-called Vulgate, has long been acknowledged, identification of these traditions remains a desideratum. Such identification involves challenging but manageable source-critical issues. We now know more about Jerome’s more general methods from the works of Adam Kamesar, Hillel Newman, and Michael Graves. They indicate that Jerome’s grammatically informed recentiores-rabbinic philology provides a basis for incorporating unreferenced oral rabbinic traditions in his translation. In this article, I examine several texts from the book of Numbers that reflect Jerome’s practices, including his utilization of these Jewish traditions. In addition, I outline a method for securely determining rabbinic influences. Finally, the close textual analysis contributes to recent developments in translation studies and Hieronymian studies. Attention to the process of the translator offers a perspective that differs from a simple comparison between the source text and target text. Such a “thick” description of Vulgate Numbers shows how translation can create a bridge, not a wall, between Jews and Christians.

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