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December 06 , 2009

The Douay Rheims Version Holy Bible


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The Douai Bible, also known as the Rheims-Douai Bible or Douay-Rheims Bible and abbreviated as D-R, is a Catholic translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English. The New Testament was published in one large volume with extensive commentary and notes in 1582. The Old Testament followed in 1609 in two large volumes, also extensively annotated. The notes took up the bulk of the volumes and had a strong polemical and patristic character. They also offered insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate. The purpose of the version, both the text and notes, was to uphold Catholic tradition in the face of the Protestant Reformation which was heavily influencing religion in England. As such it was an impressive effort by English Catholics to support the Catholic Reformation.

Regarded from the point of view of scholarship, the Rheims-Douai Bible is seen, despite its stilted prose, as a particularly accurate version of The Bible; which was just what Catholicism preferred in a time of various and specific religious disputes. It deserves mention in the history of the English Bible because it was one of the versions consulted by the translators of the King James Version (the Authorized Version), especially for the New Testament. Though the Authorized Version is indeed distinguished by the strongly English (as distinct from Latin) character of its prose, some of the Latin vocabulary it used (and used effectively: propitiation Romans 3:25, concupiscence Romans 7:8, emulation Romans 11:14) was derived from the Rheims-Douai. Other words adopted from Latin were introduced into the English language directly by the Douai-Rheims Bible (not through the intermediary of the Authorised Version), and eventually became commonplace in both ecclesiastical and secular vocabularies: "acquisition," "adulterate," "advent," "allegory," "verity," "calumniate," "character," "cooperate," "prescience," "resuscitate," "victim," and "evangelise."

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