The Douay Rheims Bible surfaced in a time when Gutenberg's printing press was still a mere century old, and only about half a century had gone by
since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses
to the door of some church in Wittenberg that would ignite the Protestant Reformation and mark the
start of the end of Imperial Catholicism. All of this would change the face of Christendom for all future. To put this reproduction I now own into
some perspective take a look at a few important events that happened over the coarse of roughly a century:
1516 ==> The Greek (but modern) Textus Receptus is published
1517 ==> Martin Luther sparks the Reformation
1526 ==> Tyndale's first edition of the NT in English
1534 ==> The Protestant Church of England claims independence
1557 ==> Wittingham's Geneva NT is published in English
1553-1558 ==> Mary I of England AKA Bloody Mary persecuted and beheaded Protestants and rivals left and right
1560 ==> The complete English Geneva Bible is published by exiled Protestant scholars in Geneva, Switzerland
1582 ==> Rheims NT published by the English College at Rheims
1592 ==> Pope Clement VIII publishes his Sixto-Clementina Vulgate in Latin
1599 ==> The «Modern» Geneva is reissued with updated spelling and grammar
1609 ==> The complete Douay Rheims Bible is Published by the English College at Douay
1611 ==> The «Authorised» and Protestant King James Version is published in «modern» English
These were troublesome times, and not only was religious preference potentially lethal, there were lit. tons of cheap and erroneous bible translations
circulating, mostly in Latin but also in other translations, like German or English. Both the Catholic Church and the reformist Church of England
wanted an authoritative English translation they could call their own, the Roman Church produced an updated Latin version of Jerome's Vulgate, called
the Clementine Vulgate, and in England the Catholic clergy wanted an English version of the Latin Vulgate to counter the growing number of popular and
affordable Protestant bibles that came served in people's mother tongue.
While most protestant bibles from this era, like the original German Luther Bible and the King James Version were based on a Greek codex called Textus
Receptus-- the Douay Rheims was mostly based on Jerome's Vulgate, and at least the OT was further based on the work laid down under popes Sixtus V and
Clement VIII in editing and publishing the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate in Latin during the 1580's and 90's.
The Douay Rheims was issued just 2 years before the KJV and 10 years after the 1599 «Modern» Geneva. All in all, Jesus in this version is just as
misunderstood and Paul is just as inquisitive cursing people left and right, but they seem to have avoided the main «draconian traps» I normally
search for in different bible versions. But like virtually all other bibles produced in these tumultuous times, it contains the «Comma Johanneum», a
well known forgery. It's a doctrinal comma interpolated between vv 7 and 8 in 1John 5 (my strike-out):
For there are three that bear record
in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three
that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. [KJV]
1st Epistle of John
My main guess is that this bible will end up collecting dust together with other historical bible-translations I own, such as the '99 Geneva and the
1611 KJV. However, I do from time look up a certain verse for reference in these historical bibles, but there is hardly any «authority» left in
either of them, whether theologically or scientific. Since the Reformation our biblical source library has grown considerably and with the advent of
textual criticism and scientific method-- a modern «critical» study bible like the English Standard [ESV] or the New International [NIV] dwarves
editions like the King James or in this case, the Douay Rheims-- in terms of any REAL «authority». Anyway, a well sought after addition to my
So, does anyone have any particular insight to this bible? Things to look for and so on? Anything worth mentioning about this bible version?
Douay Rheims Bible ==> en.wikipedia.org...
Luther's 95 Theses ==> en.wikipedia.org...
Bloody Mary ==> en.wikipedia.org...
The Geneva ==> en.wikipedia.org...
The Sixto-Clementine Vulgate ==> en.wikipedia.org...
Comma Johanneum ==> en.wikipedia.org...
Textus Receptus ==> en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 25-12-2014 by Utnapisjtim because: ref. for textus receptus, 99 Geneva
and Tyndale NT + typos & syntax + reproduction