|English: Page from the Dutsch Professorenbijbel ("Professors Bible"), a translation of the Latin Vulgate of the Books of the New Testament. This part, covering the Pentateuch, was published in 1904. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
March 19, 1263
Hugh of St. Cher, a Dominican, made the first significant concordance of the Bible. This was for the Latin Bible, the Vulgate. He is said to have had the help of 500 Dominican friars. The only other person known to have attempted to compile a Bible concordance before him was St. Anthony of Padua. Hugh's concordance only gave the Latin word but did not give any of the text around it. This made it crude by modern standards. All the same, it served as a basis for the work of men who soon came after him.
Bible chapters had not yet been broken into verses. In order to help scholars find words, Hugh broke each chapter into seven parts to which he gave letters of the alphabet.
The concordance was only one of three tools that Hugh gave the Dominicans. Each of them was needed to assist the order to meet their goal of preaching the Gospel. One of his other efforts was an attempt to correct the errors of the Vulgate. However, he did not know that Jerome had made the original translation and often turned down Jerome's comments in favor of the ideas of other writers. When the church learned that Jerome had actually made the Vulgate translation, Hugh's work lost all credibility.