Douay-Rheims Bible
Posted: 29 November 2013 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Reading OP’s post I understand that this might be the proper Forum for my question.

I am interested in purchasing a Christian Bible and from the information that I’ve sought it seems that the Douay-Rheims Bible is perhaps the best choice for one who is interested in language.

It is the only Catholic Bible that is translated literally from Latin Vulgate and has been used in the Roman Catholic church for 1,500 years.

From what I’ve read the Douay Bible seems to be the better purchase for one interested in historical accuracy and the more literal translation.

I thought I’d submit a post on this Forum, for there might be someone more knowledgeable who could offer a better alternative, or more information that would influence me in another direction.

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Posted: 29 November 2013 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Unless you specifically want a translation of the Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims version isn’t the right choice. It’s an eighteenth century translation, so the English is dated and it doesn’t reflect the Biblical scholarship that has accumulated in the intervening centuries. And, more importantly, since the original texts are Hebrew and Greek, it’s a translation of a translation. (As a medievalist, I use Douay-Rheims quite a bit, but that’s because when I look to the Bible I generally want the Vulgate, as that’s the version that most medieval people would have been familiar with.)

The New Revised Standard Version (NSRV) is a relatively recent (1989) and very good translation. There are editions that include the Apocrypha of the Catholic Bible. I use the New Oxford Annotated Bible, which is an NSRV edition with the Apocrypha.

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Posted: 29 November 2013 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dave Wilton - 29 November 2013 01:32 PM

The New Revised Standard Version (NSRV) is a relatively recent (1989) and very good translation. There are editions that include the Apocrypha of the Catholic Bible. I use the New Oxford Annotated Bible, which is an NSRV edition with the Apocrypha.

That is my choice as well. The annotation will help where literal translations lead to textual difficulty. Study Bibles take this a step further with greater commentary, but even there you need to know who the scholars who are doing the commenting.

The NRSV also tried to use gender neutral words “friends,” “brothers and sisters,” and etc where “men” or “brothers” are in the Hebrew or Greek (mostly Greek) texts. But the editors will always put the original wording in a note at the bottom of each page such as (Gk: brothers).

the problem with a literal rendering of the original languages is always “Which word or modern phrase to pick?” As we have learned at WO, English changes over time and the older the translation does not guarantee that it will somehow be protected from the shifts that occur in English. My favorite recent shift is the RSV (1940s) phrase in Psalm 50, “I will accept no bull from your house.” the NRSV changes that to “I will not accept a bull from your house.”

In our Bible studies I encourage people to bring different translations to the table and often ask, “what does your version have at that point in the text?”

Here is an excellent (in my view)discussion of translations from a Roman Catholic perspective. The bishop there makes Dave’s point about Douay-Rheims.

The Douay-Rheims currently on the market is also not the original, 1609 version. It is technically called the “Douay-Challoner” version because it is a revision of the Douay-Rheims done in the mid-eighteenth century by Bishop Richard Challoner. He also consulted early Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, meaning that the Douay Bible currently on the market is not simply a translation of the Vulgate (which many of its advocates do not realize).

it’s worth reading to the end to see which version he recommends.

[Edit: corrected bad link--dw]

[ Edited: 29 November 2013 04:22 PM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 29 November 2013 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Dave Wilton - 29 November 2013 01:32 PM

Unless you specifically want a translation of the Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims version isn’t the right choice. It’s an eighteenth century translation, so the English is dated and it doesn’t reflect the Biblical scholarship that has accumulated in the intervening centuries. And, more importantly, since the original texts are Hebrew and Greek, it’s a translation of a translation. (As a medievalist, I use Douay-Rheims quite a bit, but that’s because when I look to the Bible I generally want the Vulgate, as that’s the version that most medieval people would have been familiar with.)

The New Revised Standard Version (NSRV) is a relatively recent (1989) and very good translation. There are editions that include the Apocrypha of the Catholic Bible. I use the New Oxford Annotated Bible, which is an NSRV edition with the Apocrypha.

Thank you, very much appreciated, as I am to Oecolampadius’ information, quite helpful.

[ Edited: 29 November 2013 04:35 PM by Logophile ]
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