Orientalist and exegete, b. at Kevelaer in the Duchy of Geldern, 1704; d. 1 Dec., 1770. He entered the Order of Friars Minor, in the Belgian province, at the age of eighteen. As a religious he applied himself with remarkable success to the study of Biblical languages and Sacred Scripture and was appointed lector. From 1732 to 1744 he published, at Antwerp, several Biblical theses dealing with questions of textual criticism and chronology. In one of these, "Isagoge Romano-Catholica ad textum hebraeum. . .", he shows that the Latin Vulgate is substantially a faithful translation of the original Hebrew; and in another, "Isagoge Romano-Catholica ad textum graecum vulgo LXX. . .", he states the reasons why the Septuagint is preferable to the actual Hebrew text. Yielding to the entreaties of Cardinal Thomas Philip of Alsace, then Archbishop of Mechlin Smits undertook the translation of the entire Bible into Flemish. But far from merely rendering the Vulgate into his native tongue, he has left us a voluminous and learned work of monumental importance. The title is: "Biblia Sacra Vulgatae editionis, versione belgica, notis grammaticalibus, literalibus, criticis,. . .elucidata per FF. Minores Recollectes musae philologico-sacri antwerpiensis." Of this series he lived to finish only thirteen Sacred books, which were published, in seventeen volumes, from 1744 to 1767. The work was continued by his collaborator and former pupil, Peter van Hove. In 1765 Smits was appointed the first prefect of the "Musaeum philologico-sacrum", a Franciscan biblical institute at Antwerp which, though shortlived, has a glorious history.
St Luke Holy Card
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online