The Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible Fast gaining recognition as THE Bible in English...
The Douay-Rheims Bible is a scrupulously faithful translation into English of the Latin Vulgate Bible which St. Jerome (342-420)
translated into Latin from the original languages. The Vulgate quickly became the Bible universally used in the Latin Rite
(by far the largest rite of the Catholic Church).
St. Jerome, who was one of the four great Western Fathers of the Church, was a man raised up by God to translate the Holy
Bible into the common Latin tongue of his day. He knew Latin and Greek perfectly. He was 1500 years closer to the original
languages than any scholar today, which would make him a better judge of the exact meaning of any Greek or Hebrew word in
the Scriptures. Besides being a towering linguistic genius, he was also a great saint, and he had access to ancient Hebrew
and Greek manuscripts of the 2nd and 3rd centuries which have since perished and are no longer available to scholars today.
St. Jerome's translation, moreover, was a careful, word-for-word rendering of the original texts into Latin.
The Latin Vulgate Bible has been read and honored by the Western Church for fifteen-hundred years! It was declared by the
Council of Trent to be the official Latin version of the original. Hear what the Sacred Council decreed: "Moreover, the same
Holy Council . . . ordains and declares that the old Latin Vulgate Edition, which, in use for so many hundred years, has been
approved by the Church, be in public lectures, disputatious, sermons and expositions held as authentic, and so no one dare
or presume under any pretext whatsoever to reject it." (Fourth Session, April 8, 1546). As Pope Pius XII stated in his 1943
encyclical letter Divino Afflante Spiritu, this means the Vulgate is "free from any error whatsoever in matters of faith and
morals." And the Douay-Rheims bible is a faithful, word-for-word translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible of St. Jerome.
In their translation, the Douay-Rheims translators took great pains to translate exactly. Contrary to the procedure of the
modern Bible translators, when a passage seemed strange and unintelligible they left it alone, even if obscure, and "let the
chips fall as they may." The modern Bible translators, on the other hand, will often look at an obscure passage, decide what
they think it means, then translate in words that bring out that meaning. The result is that the English is usually (not always!)
easier to understand, but it is not necessarily what the Bible says; rather, it is their interpretation and understanding
of what the Bible says. Moreover, the Holy Ghost may have hidden several additional meanings in the passage. Those meanings
may well be completely translated out!
Sometimes the question is raised: Why translate from a translation (the Latin Vulgate) rather than from the original Greek
and Hebrew? This question was also raised in the 16th century when the Douay-Rheims translators (Fr. Gregory Martin and his
assistants) first published the Rheims New Testament. They gave ten reasons, ending up by stating that the Latin Vulgate "is
not only better then al other Latin translations, but then the Greek text itself, in those places where they disagree." (Preface
to the Rheims New Testament, 1582). They state that the Vulgate is "more pure then the Hebrew or Greek now extant" and that
"the same Latin hath bene barre better conserved from corruption." (Preface to the Douay Old Testament, 1609).
The present Bible is the Challoner revision (1749-1752) of the Douay-Rheims Bible. Catholics owe the saintly Bishop Richard
Challoner (1691-1781) a great debt of gratitude for undertaking this work. Challoner was one of those courageous priests who
traveled around offering Mass secretly for small groups during the religious persecutions in England. Such Catholics needed
a Bible, and had needed one for 100 years. The Douay-Rheims Bible had been printed a few times on the Continent but had never
really spread to England. Some Catholics in England were even reading the King James version--a situation which Bishop Challoner
knew had to be rectified.
Some of the passages in the original Douay-Rheims Bible were needlessly obscure. As an extreme example, Ephesians 6:12 read,
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and bloud: but against Princes and Potestats, against the rectors of the world of
this dankness, against the spirituals of wickedness in the celestials." The spellings were archaic, and the verses were not
set off by new lines for clarity. Challoner rectified these problems, checking carefully against the Clementine Vulgate and
the original-language texts. On the whole, Bishop Challoner's revisions were minor. He replaced certain anglicized Latin words
and archaic words and expressions, rearranged the word order of the sentences, and yet maintained the overall word-for-word
accuracy of the 16th/17th-century Douay-Rheims Bible.
The Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims Bible was a godsend. It became the standard Catholic Bible in English until the
mid-20th century (when the Confraternity Bible was published). It continued to be called the "Douay-Rheims" because of its
similarity to the original Douay-Rheims Bible. The great work English Versions of the Bible, by Frs. Pope and Bullough, states
that English-speaking Catholics the world over owe Dr. Challoner an immense debt of gratitude, for he provided them for the
first time in history with a portable, cheap and readable version of the Bible, which has stood the test of 200 years of use.
Moreover, it is more accurate than any modern Bible because it is based on ancient texts, no longer extant, which were "captured"
and "frozen," so to speak, by St. Jerome (342-420) in his Latin Vulgate. The Douay-Rheims is thus the most reliable English-language
Bible there is. We look forward to the day when the Christian world will rediscover this fact and come to a renewed appreciation
of the monumental work of St. Jerome, of the Douay-Rheims translators and of Bishop Richard Challoner--men who were raised
up by God to make the Bible available to the English-speaking world.
The Old and New Testaments
- from the 1899 edition published by John Murphy Company, Baltimore, Maryland. Imprimatur: James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop
of Baltimore. The Old and New Testaments and Historical and Chronological Index have been beautifully re typeset, faithfully
to reproduce the original 1899 Gibbons edition. The text is set in the classic Century Expanded font, which was originally
used in the 1899 edition, and has been lovingly typed line by line to represent exactly the original edition. The Family Register
pages have also been digitally typeset and redrawn.
- from the 1941 edition published by The Douay Bible House, New York. Imprimatur: Francis J. Spellman, D.D., Archbishop of
New York. These thirty-two beautiful engravings have been scanned and digitally retouched, and their captions have been re
typeset and corrected to match the appropriate verses in the Bible text.
- from the 1911 edition published by Wm. Aleiter Co., Catholic Supply House, Indianapolis. Imprimatur: John Cardinal Farley,
Archbishop of New York. Eleven colored maps digitally redrawn by hand and fully colored.
Included in this edition
- Three Papal encyclicals regarding the importance of the Holy Bible!
PROVIDENTISSIMUS DEUS - Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII - On the Study of Holy Scripture
SPIRITUS PARACLITUS - Encyclical of Pope Benedict XV - On St. Jerome
DIVINO AFFLANTE SPIRITU - Encyclical of Pope Pius XII - On Promoting Biblical Studies, Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary
of Providentissimus Deus
Douay Rheims Bible Product Details
Douay-Rheims Bible of Baronius Press - The Best Douay-Rheims Bible on Catholic Market