DRB - 1899
Douay-Rheims Bible
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This is a scrupulously faithful translation into English of the Latin Vulgate Bible which Jerome (342-420) translated into Latin from the original languages. The Latin Vulgate Bible had been declared by the Council of Trent to be the official Latin version of the canonical Scriptures. The DRB translators took great pains to translate exactly. When a passage seemed strange and unintelligible they left it alone, even if obscure.

The translators translated from a translation for ten reasons, ending by stating that the Latin Vulgate "is not onely better than al other Latin translations, but then the Greeke text itselfe, in those places where they disagree." They also state that the Vulgate is "more pure then the Hebrew or Greke now extant" and that "the same Latin hath bene farre better conserved from corruptions."

It has the imprimatur of James Cardinal Gibbons.

John Murphy Company (1899)

[University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arlington, Texas]

When Catholics were considering a vernacular Bible, professors at the English College at Douay, France, took up the work. Because of political unrest, the college was moved to Rheims, also in France. Work started in 1578. The New Testament, translated faithfully into the English out of authentic Latin and diligently conferred with the Greek, was printed at Rheims in 1582. The purpose was to discover corruptions in numerous late translations and to clear controversies in the religion of the day. In more peaceful times, the vernacular would not have been necessary. The Church never wholly condemned vulgar (popular or pertaining to common people) versions but warned against indiscriminate interpretation.

The groundwork was supplied by such sources as Coverdale, Bishop's Bible, and the Geneva Bible, but mostly Wycliffe. The Vulgate was used for translation because of its ancient character, its tradition, its accuracy, its sincerity, and the decree of the Council of Trent. The aim of the translators was a literal translation. The Old Testament was published in two volumes in 1609-1610. At the time of publication, both Testament translators were criticized. Later scholars praised the accuracy of the Douay-Rheims Bible.

[Tyndale House, Cambridge, United Kingdom]

Genesis 1: 1, 2

In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of he deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.


John 1: 1 - 3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was made nothing that was made.

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