1 Peter 3:22 (DRB):

Who is on the right hand of God, swallowing down death, that we might be made heirs of life everlasting: being gone into heaven, the angels and powers and virtues being made subject to him.

1 Peter 3:22 (Latin Vulgate):

  1. qui est in dextera Dei profectus in caelum subiectis sibi angelis et potestatibus et virtutibus

1 Peter 3:22 (KJV):

  1. Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

I looked about 30 English translations of the Bible, I didn't find the excess phrase: (swallowing down death, that we might be made heirs of life everlasting) except in Douay-Rheims Bible, the phrase seems not to be found in the Latin Vulgate.

So, what is the accurate translation of this verse?, Why Douay-Rheims Bible is not faithful to Latin Vulgate in this verse?

  • The Douay-Rheims is a faithful translation of the Latin Vulgate; but there are several editions of the Vulgate, and some are known for their (sometimes unique) interpolations.
    – Lucian
    Jun 7, 2020 at 11:03
  • "The original translation was based on the Latin Vulgate. However, it was revised from 1749–1752 by Bishop Richard Challoner, who corrected it according to the Clementine edition of the Vulgate (published by Clement VIII in 1592, after the Rheims New Testament) and the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. He also updated the spelling, vocabulary, and sentence structure." From catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/…. As Dottard mentioned the additional line is from the Clementine edition. Jun 7, 2020 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


I have just two (paper) versions of the Latin Vulgate to examine the text of 1 Peter 3:22:

  • The Jerome text (of about 400 AD) published by Deutsche Biblegesellschaft, Stuttgart, 1994, which OMITS the OP's phrase in question
  • The Clementine text originally published in about 1592 by Pope Clement as a result of a resolution of the council of Trent. This text INCLUDES the phrase.

I also have a DRB published by Pope Leo XIII in 1948, which INCLUDES the phrase but with slightly different wording. (Note that the DRB uses the Clementine text and not the Jerome text.)

… swallowing up death that we might be made of heirs of eternal life …

This phrase is also accompanied by a footnote that says (quite correctly):

"swallowing up death that we might be made of heirs of eternal life: wanting in the Greek text."

That is, there is frank acknowledgement that while the Clementine Latin text includes this phrase it is absent from the Greek text. This is quite correct - No Greek text or manuscript includes this phrase.

Therefore, I assume that the OP's Latin source text is presumably not the Clementine text but something closer to the Jerome text, or perhaps the Jerome text itself. (I note that the Jerome text, generally speaking is much closer to the Greek than the Clementine text and this is another instance of just that.)

Note that the critical editions of the GNT, UBS5 and NA28 do not show any significant textual variants at 1 Peter 3:22, so I am at a loss to understand the origin of this inserted phrase in the Clementine text.

Further note: The Wyclif Bible (translated from the Latin) of 1388 includes the phrase; therefore, the phrase had crept into the text sometime between Jerome and Wyclif.

  • Here is the Clementine version: 22 Qui est in dextera Dei, deglutiens mortem ut vitæ æternæ hæredes efficeremur : profectus in cælum subjectis sibi angelis, et potestatibus, et virtutibus. From vulsearch.sourceforge.net/html/1Ptr.html. Jun 7, 2020 at 14:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.