THE NEW TESTAMENT of  Jesus Christ: faithfully translated into English, out of the authentical Latin, diligently conferred with the Greeke. ..

Antwerp, Daniel Vervliet, 1600.,


4to. pp. [xxxvi], 745, [xxvii]. [a-d⁴, e², A-5D⁴, 5E².] Roman letter, some Italic, Hebrew and Greek. Title within ornate typographical border, woodcut initials, head and tail pieces, typographical ornaments, occasional lengthy manuscript annotation in an early hand, Milltown Park label, William O’Brian’s ex legato label, and engraved armorial book plate of Sir Tho. E. M. Turton on pastedown. General light age yellowing, title page fractionally dusty, small waterstain at blank gutter in last part. A very good, unusually clean copy, in late seventeenth century calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule, leaf fleurons blind stamped to corners, spine with raised bands, blind ruled in compartments, red morocco label gilt, edges marbled in red, rubbed and worn.

Second edition of the Roman Catholic version of the New Testament, with extensive commentary and notes, first published at Rheims in 1582, here revised with additions such as the ‘Table of Heretical Corruptions’. It remained the standard and virtually the only English Catholic bible for some four hundred years. “The Douai-Reims Bible was created in response to the multiplication of Protestant English Bibles in the first half of the 16th century. It was the brainchild of Roman Catholics who fled England at the accession of Elizabeth I. This group established an English College in the Flemish town of Douai in 1568. Europe’s ongoing political upheavals led the College to relocate temporarily to Reims in nearby France. While there a team led by Gregory Martin completed a translation of the New Testament in 1582. Modern scholars now generally recognise that this text played an important role in the formation of the King James Bible. The Douai-Reims Old Testament did not, however, appear until 1609-10 by which time the English College was once again based in Flanders” University of Canterbury Libraries. The Douai version, as it is now universally known, was translated from the Vulgate chiefly by Gregory Martin (d. 1582), His text was revised by Thomas Worthington, Richard Bristowe, John Reynolds, and Cardinal Allen himself – all of them Oxford men. A series of notes was added, designed to answer the theological arguments of the Reformers; these were prepared by Allen, assisted by Bristowe and Worthington. They translated directly, not from the original Hebrew or Greek, but from the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome which had been declared authoritative for Catholics by the Council of Trent. The translation retained many technical words, such as pasch, parasceve, azmes, etc. In some instances where it was difficult or impossible to find an English equivalent for a Latin word, the latter was retained in an anglicised form, in preference to supplying an inadequate rendering. As many Protestant versions of the Scriptures were compiled by the reformers for polemical purposes, their texts showed signs of controversial bias; English Catholics needed an accurate translation of their own, which they could appeal in the course of argument. The notes take up a good deal of the volume and have both a polemical and patristic character. They also offer insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate. From the point of view of scholarship, the Douay-Rheims Bible is seen as particularly accurate. Although not officially mentioned as one of the versions to be consulted, it is now recognised to have had a large influence on the King James Version.

The Douai version was printed in very small quantities for export to England and suffered from persecution whilst there, not to mention centuries of use; complete and attractive copies, in good condition such as this are rare.

STC 2898. ESTC S102510. Darlow & Moule I 198. Allison and Rogers (rev. edn.) II 174. Lowndes I 185.


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