Biblia, translated by Casiododra de Reina. Basle : T. Guarinus, 1569.
In an effort to respond to the criticisms of the Catholic Church levelled by Reformation theologians, the Council of Trent in 1562 requested Pope Pius IV to revise the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, or “list of prohibited books,” to ensure that the faithful were not exposed to heretical or misleading writings.
Curiously, this Protestant Bible, translated by Casiodora de Reina into Spanish and published in Protestant Basel in 1569, carries the text of the Council’s 3rd and 4th decrees on the back of the title page. The two decrees limit the buying, selling and reading of Bible translations.
Rule 3. The translations of writers, also ecclesiastical, which have till how been edited by condemned authors, are permitted provided they contain nothing contrary to sound doctrine. Translations of the books of the Old Testament may in the judgment of the bishop be permitted to learned and pious men only, provided such translations are used only as elucidations of the Vulgate Edition for the understanding of the Holy Scriptures and not as the sound text. Translations of the New Testament made by authors of the first class of this list shall be permitted to no one, since great danger and little usefulness usually results to readers from their perusal. But if with such translations as are permitted or with the Vulgate Edition some annotations are circulated, these may also, after the suspected passages have been expunged by the theological faculty of some Catholic university or by the general inquisition, be permitted to those to whom the translations are permitted. Under these circumstances the entire volume of the Sacred Books, which is commonly called the “biblia Vatabli,” or parts of it, may be permitted to pious and learned men. From the bibles of Isidore Clarius of Brescia, however, the preface and introduction are to be removed, and no one shall regard its text as the text of the Vulgate Edition.
Rule 4. Since it is clear from experience that if the Sacred Books are permitted everywhere and without discrimination in the vernacular, there will by reason of the boldness of men arise therefrom more harm than good. The matter is in this respect left to the judgment of the bishop or inquisitor, who may with the advice of the pastor or confessor permit the reading of the Sacred Books translated into the vernacular by Catholic authors to those who they know will derive from such reading no harm but rather an increase of faith and piety, which permission they must have in writing. Those, however, who presume to read or possess them without such permission may not receive absolution from their sins till they have handed them over to the ordinary. Bookdealers who sell or in any other way supply Bibles written in the vernacular to anyone who has not this permission, shall lose the price of the books, which is to be applied by the bishop to pious purposes, and in keeping with the nature of the crime they shall be subject to other penalties which are left to the judgment of the same bishop. Regulars who have not the permission of their superiors may not read or purchase them.