Talk:Douay–Rheims Bible

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Roman Catholic[edit]

The English exiles for religious causes were not all of one kind or of one faith. There were Roman Catholic refugees on the Continent as well as Puritan, and from the one, as from the other, there proceeded an English version of the Bible. Fake history. No Puritan refugees on the Continent in 1582. Protestants had flocked back to England since the accession of Elizabeth. The Douai bible was a Catholic bible designed to counter Protestant "errors." Wetman 20:56, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The above comment is wrong. It is also four years old, so I will leave it at that. --Secisek (talk) 18:03, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Questionable statement[edit]

The present version of the entry includes this sentence:

All translations of the Bible depend upon Latin at least for consultation and can also be considered to some extent a translation of a translation.

This is in my view so much an overstatement as to deserve removal from the article (I do not see a means of salvaging it). It would appear to have been written from an apologetic rather than neutral POV, as if to justify the Douai. However, there is a huge distinction to be made between the use of the Vulgate made by Hebrew-and-Greek-based translations of the Bible and that made by the Douai translators. The former consult the Vulgate for assistance in understanding the sense of the original languages where the original meaning may be less than clear; but for the Douai men, the Latin was the final authority and if the Hebrew/Greek of the Bible's original texts disagreed, the Latin was to be followed without question. Translations based on original language Bible texts would not follow the Latin Vulgate in the case of clear deviation between the two sources.

Therefore it is my view that the sentence in question should be deleted, but I will wait a couple of days and see whether or not there is any comment on this before doing so. Thanks for your attention. --MollyTheCat 09:33, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

go for it, I just changed it because it was impossible to read before. Kfort 17:35, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the comment, Kfort! I did think of a way of rewriting this, changing the sentence to:

Many highly-regarded translations of the Bible still use the Vulgate for consultation, especially in certain difficult Old Testament passages, but nearly all modern Bible versions go directly to the Hebrew and Greek Biblical texts for translation and not to a secondary version like the Vulgate. (The reason why the Douai translators went to the Vulgate instead is because they believed it was superior to the Hebrew and Greek Biblical texts--a belief which was common in their day, especially among Catholics, but which is no longer widely held.)

I think this sounds more balanced than what was there before. -- MollyTheCat 22:58, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

I still think it should go. Rwflammang 22:52, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Which one of the Continents?[edit]

I suspect I can guess which continent is being referred to here, where the statement is unclear:

"The English exiles for religious causes were not all of one kind or of one faith. There were Catholic refugees on the Continent as well as Puritan"

As Wikipedia is a German based project, simply to say the word "Continent" can lead many to assume you mean Europe(or to be precise, the European part of Eurasia), espectially those for whom English is a second language.

Remember that the world is a very big place consisting of several continents and billions of people with many differing traditions and perspectives.

Please be specific.

Continental Europe... AnonMoos 00:18, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Date of first publication[edit]

Can we get the date of first publication into the lead, please? Babajobu 22:20, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Hey, that's what I came to the talk page for! I'll try to fix it. Makemi 20:48, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Faithful to the Magisterium?[edit]

I removed a clause from a sentence that said that Douai-Rheims-Challoner was the favoured translation, not only of traditionalist Catholics, but also by those seeking a translation that was "faithful to the Magisterium." The way the sentence was cast, it seemed to suggest that the New American Bible was somehow not "faithful to the Magisterium". While the literary flavour of the NAB strikes me as almost as unpleasant as that of the Living Bible, I can't imagine it being the usual liturgical Bible of Roman Catholics in the USA were it not considered to be faithful to the Magisterium. Smerdis of Tlön 19:28, 18 June 2006 (UTC)


Should be something about how many of the versions or transcriptions of names of Biblical figures were rather different from those in the KJV (which have pretty much become standard in English) -- "Noe" instead of "Noah", "Isaias", etc. AnonMoos 00:20, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Hear! Hear! It would be extremely helpful to many, many people if there were a (long, thin) table of proper nouns in English bibles. The columns could be KJB, Douay, IPA, Hebrew, Transliterated Hebrew. (IPA for the English pronunciation, which is often troublesome.) Since the majority of the names are less than notable, this could equally well be located in Wiktionary as in Wikipedia. It could be named List of Proper Nouns in the English Bible. Is there already a website that does this? (talk) 11:47, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Questionable Influence[edit]

I've removed two claims of the Douay-Rheims influencing the King James Version. The words are present in the Bishop's Bible (visible on

I haven't altered them yet - but the words are suspect too. Allegory, character, and prescience are all present in the writings of Wyclif

JoeBlogsDord 23:50, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

I have removed the entire list of words. It is very similar to lists given by Daniell in The Bible in English and in Herbert’s Historical Catalogue. However, consulting the Oxford English Dictionary reveals that all the words were already in use: evangelise too goes back to Wyclif, 200 years earlier. (Cooperate is not in the 1582 NT: if it occurs in later editions, it is probably anticipated by a 1604 usage. The version on is not the 1582 NT edition.) No doubt there are some words that were introduced by the D-R Bible, but this list will not do. EEye 17:39, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

More to the point, none of the list of words is actually in the KJV. (If anyone can find them, let us know!) This is beginning to look like a long-established factoid. Where did Daniell get it from? EEye 16:00, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Psalm Numbering[edit]

I think there should be some mention somewhere in the article about the differences in the numbering of the Psalms as opposed to other translations. I hesitate to put it in myself since I dont know enough about it.

Douay or Douai?[edit]

Which spelling should be used- the article uses both? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:25, 25 April 2007 (UTC).

I propose making the spelling of the text conform to the spelling of the wiki-link, unless an external source is referenced, in which case the spelling of the source should be used. Rwflammang 13:52, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I've always seen it as "Douay." I suppore the recent changes to such. Yahnatan 00:43, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
The modern spelling of the town's name is Douai. The Oxford Style Manual specifies "Douay" for the name of the Bible. The article can legitimately use both spellings, according to context, but should be consistent within each context. EEye 17:43, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

External Links to the pre-Challenor Rheims text[edit]

There are a number of links to sites with the Challenor Revision, but I cannot find any that searchable (i.e. not facsimile) to the original. I am not sure that anything is gained by adding yet more Challenor links - but I would strongly urge someone who has more knowledge of the field to find a public-access version of the 1582 text. It does not help that the Challenor version is constantly mislabled to give the impression that it is the original.TomHennell (talk) 10:30, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

What you hope someone will find (a freely available, searchable text of the entire online Douay Rheims Bible) simply does not now exist. I have just added a Google Books link to a text of the Rheims NT of 1582 (it's searchable if you allow for the many errors from poor OCR). I agree with you both about the mislabeling (in the past I've seen the error on this page, and I am the one who organized the external links to try to carve a space for the pre-Challoner version), and about the unnecessary profusion of links to Challoner's revision. Some of these are redundant or border on spam, and I'll try to shorten the list. Wareh (talk) 04:03, 31 August 2008 (UTC)


I just noticed that the link to Bibleshark that I added was removed in these modifications with a note for link Spam. Bibleshark is non-profit and does have a revenue stream of any type and thus there is nothing for them to gain except visitors. The link was added as one of the only sources on the internet to side by side compare the "Douay-Rheims Bible" with many other translations. So I argue that it does add value over the other external links. I would like for it to be added back if possible. Is Bibleshark the Challenor Revision or the original?...I do not know enough about it to be able to tell. <<< aboved posted by User:

I didn't remove Bibleshark. It uses the Challenor Revision. However it is an incomplete bible. It only has the 66 books. It is the only instance, which I am aware of, which removed the deutrocanonicals from the Douay. Therefore I would advise against using Bibleshark ClemMcGann (talk) 08:58, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I removed it. As I noted at User talk:, this IP address has been used solely for the single purpose of promoting As Clem points out, the addition ought to have been reversed even if it didn't come from a source with an apparent conflict of interest. Wareh (talk) 17:53, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Relationship to the King James Bible[edit]

I have redrafted much of this section, both to take into account the researches of Ward Allen on the John Bois's notes on the discussions of the General Committee of Review, and also to clarify the implications of Butterworth's work. Butterworth found many of the Latinate terms preferred by the KLJV translators had previously been used in one or another of the Wycliff bibles. But the KJV translators had no interest in Wycliff, they do not refer to him and had no regard for his text. But the Rheims translators do appear to have used the Wycliff Bible extensively - being unaware that the standard English manuscript bible that they knew well, was in fact, Wycliff's. So where the King James Bible uses a term that originated with Wycliff but is found in Rheims, it is from the Rheims version that the KJV translators will have been working. TomHennell (talk) 12:28, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I notice that the Main Douay-Rheims Bible entry states that '...the official instructions to the King James Bible translators excluded the Rheims version from the list of previous English translations that should be consulted...' The (unknown) author of the entry for 'Authorised Version of the Bible' in the third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church makes a quite contrary statement that 'Their [the body of revisers] instructions were to take the Bishop's Bible as their basis, to consult all earlier versions, esp. the Rheims NT [my emphasis] and the Geneva Bible...' John Boutland 23:19, 7 January 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jboutland (talkcontribs)

Well, it seems that the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church is contradicted by current scholarship. (What is the date of ODCC? Is it Protestant or Catholic oriented or neither?) "Fourteen rules were given to the translators," says David Norton in his lively little book The King James Bible, a Short History from Tyndale to Today (2010, Cambridge U P), where the 14 rules are stated and discussed. On page 86 is the last rule: "14. These translations to be used where they agree better with the text than the Bishops' Bible, viz.: Tyndale's, Matthew's, Coverdale's, Whitchurch's, Geneva." [Whitchurch was the first to print the Great Bible.] Norton cites the original manuscrips in a footnote. Norton makes clear, with examples, that the KJB crew also consulted Rheims and Fulke.

The KJB is a revision of a revision of a revision of a revision of Tyndale and Coverdale. It helps me to think in terms of software version numbers. With apologies:

  • English Bible 0.1, by Tyndale
  • English Bible 0.5, by Coverdale
  • English Bible 1.0, by Matthew
  • English Bible 2.0, the Great Bible
  • English Bible 3.0, the Bishop's Bible
  • English Bible 4.0, KJB

If you want, the Douay Bible can be thought of as a fork in the development of the English Bible, a competing version 4.0. I call it a fork, because the Douay standard for avoiding doctrinal error was to follow the Vulgate, while the KJB followed the Hebrew and Greek originals; the two groups had their reasons. (Calling Matthew version 1.0 is my personal judgment.) (talk) 12:44, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Move Sections "Names of Books" and "Relationship to the King James Bible" to the separate KJV Article?[edit]

While the KJV might itself relate to the Douay-Rheims Bible, DR's influence on the KJV should be moved to one of the KJV articles. This article compares too much, the Douay-Rhiems Bible and the KJV to the point that its scope appears narrowly focused on such comparison.

This article should specifically articulate the Douay-Rheims Bible and its influences, history, etc. Lengthy discussion on other topic's influence (KJV, in this case) should be placed in separate article. The above referenced sections are tangents to this subject. Timhunger (talk) 02:40, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Tricky point this, as at one time the KJV article contained extensive discussion on the degree of relationships to previous English versions, but these were removed when it was appreciated that the KJV article needed drastic shortening. I agree that the present text here is over-wordy, chiefly becuase it incorporates contributions from editors with greatly differing perspectives. So it would be a good idea to shorten it a lot - and perhaps extend the counterpart passages in the KJV article a bit.
However, the issue of influence from the Rheims New Testament to KVJ New Testament is probably the most significant aspect for discussion in relation to the first Rheims-Douay text, as otherwise it had very little impact. 17th century English Catholic clergy and educated laity read the Bible in the Vulgate latin. Uneducated Catholics were strongly discouraged from reading the Bible at all. When the need for a vernacular Bible became pressing, the Challenor revision was produced - which took its name from Rheims-Douay, but its forms of English much more from the KJV. So, in my view, future editors are likely to want to develop this article in relation to this issue more than any other. Which does imply that it is worthwhile keeping a substantial section in being for such edits to find a home.
So, by all means cut it down to what you might consider helpful - and then see which removed bits really need to go into the KJV article TomHennell (talk) 09:29, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
The same issue with the overburdened KJV article occurred to me independently when I read Timhunger's comment yesterday. A couple of thoughts. I personally would love to see this version's history, qualities, etc., take up more space than its influence on the KJV; absence of desired material, though, is not by itself a good reason to shorten the material we do possess. (I'm not saying that section can't be improved and condensed!) I also think that the somewhat tenuous connection would be better integrated into a fuller discussion of the Douay-Rheims version's place in the history of English versions. A more practical suggestion would be to start an article on the influence of previous versions on the KJV. It is clear that this is a notable subject, and that Early Modern English Bible translations is oriented in a different direction and cannot fulfill that function. Wareh (talk) 14:57, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I have redone the section; do you think it an improvement? TomHennell (talk) 10:55, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it seems a definite improvement. Thanks for your work on this article. Wareh (talk) 17:40, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Parallel line-for-line formatting for Comparison[edit]

a personal experiment with wikitables... would this look good in the section "Challoner Revision... - Translation"?

Parallel Comparison of Ephesians 3:6-12
verse # Rheims 1582 Challoner 1749 KJV 1611 Tyndale 1534
6 The Gentils to be coheires and concorporat and comparticipant of his promis in Christ JESUS by the Gospel: That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body: and copartners of his promise in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: That the gentiles should be inheritors also, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise that is in Christ, by the means of the gospel,
7 whereof I am made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God, which is given me according to the operation of his power. of which I am made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God, which is given to me according to the operation of his power. whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. whereof I am made a minister, by the gift of the grace of God given unto me, through the working of his power.
8 To me the least of al the sainctes is given this grace, among the Gentils to evangelize the unsearcheable riches of Christ, To me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; Unto me the least of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to illuminate al men what is the dispensation of the sacrament hidden from worldes in God, who created al things: and to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God who created all things: and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: and to make all men see what the fellowship of the mystery is which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God which made all things through Jesus Christ,
10 that the manifold wisedom of God, may be notified to the Princes and Potestats in the celestials by the Church, that the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the church, to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, to the intent, that now unto the rulers and powers in heaven might be known by the congregation the manifold wisdom of God,
11 according to the prefinition of worldes, which he made in Christ JESUS our Lord. according to the eternal purpose which he made in Christ Jesus our Lord: according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: according to that eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesu our Lord,
12 In whom we have affiance and accesse in confidence, by the faith of him. in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. by whom we are bold to draw near in that trust, which we have by faith on him.

was kinda fun learning this and succeeding! :) alveolate (talk) 23:50, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I think it would belong there. However, I'd want to see the versions arranged chronologically, as any other arrangement (including this one) ends up seeming arbitrary and misleading. Wareh (talk) 18:01, 29 October 2010 (UTC)


"In this version the 14 books of the Apochrypha are returned to the Bible in the order written rather than kept separate in an appendix." In what previous Catholic Bible were they kept separate in an appendix? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Challoner's Notes[edit]

I am surprised to find that Bishop Challoner's footnotes, commonly still printed in copies of his translation to this today, are not clearly mentioned in this article? Why not? These exegesis notes were substantial(hence the fact they are still printed in copies of his bible to this day), contributed alot to the merits of his translation and are one reason I find this bible to be one of my favourites. First am I right that they are not mentioned? and am I right in believing they should at least be noted? Colliric (talk) 06:17, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Obsolete external links[edit]

Per a request received on my talk page, here is a quick explanation of why some of the external links (mostly originally added by me to the article) are now obsolete. In general, the important thing to know is that when I added links to the bits and pieces of the original 16th-c. D-R version (or paywalled scane of it, as EEBO), that was all that was available! Now that we have full Google Books versions of both OT and NT (which did not then exist), the page of the "bees" Bible is a mere curiosity. Online versions of the Challoner revision are plentiful, so there is a need to be selective. It seems to me we need one version with bells and whistles, and one plainer version that can be downloaded in toto. We should also avoid sites that have no distinctive content and are heavier with advertisements, etc. I believe that these principles are reasonable, and that I have acted by them and by the general spirit of WP:EL to prune away drbo and vulgatebible in favor of the veritasbible and the EWTN plaintext. Wareh (talk) 02:15, 31 July 2012 (UTC) conflict of interest[edit]

I am not removing the recent addition by (talk · contribs) of a link to However, I do wish to put on the record here: (1) this IP has made this sole edit, and is located in St. Mary's Kansas; (2) the website is registered in St. Mary's, Kansas; (3) the website is liberally festooned with commercial advertisements. Wareh (talk) 19:00, 28 February 2013 (UTC)


The article as it stands gives a completely misleading impression of the influence of Douay-Rheims on the KJV. A scholarly article comparing the English translations (which I cited but which was reverted) found that about 84% of the King James New Testament is from Tyndale's translation of the text, while for the Old Testament it is about 76%. However the article mentions the debate over D-R's influence on KJV then claims the debate has been resolved, citing one scholar who has noticed a few influences from D-R and then claiming the KJV has adopted Latinate terminology. To leave out the fact that a clear, high majority of the KJV is Tyndale's work is not neutral. The article as it stands claims too much influence for the D-R.--Britannicus (talk) 14:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm afraid it was me that reverted the Tyndale version reference. I do not currently have the Nielson and Skousen article cited, but from reviews in other publications, I find it as saying that 84% of the KJV New Testament text derives ultimately from Tyndale, 5% from the Geneva Bible, 3% original to King James translators, and 2% each from Coverdale, the Great Bible, the Bishops' Bible and Rheims. But these percentages are not exclusive; the bulk of the Tyndale 84% will also be in Rheims (and Geneva and the Bishops'). Nielson and Skousen took a sample of KJV texts, and sought to track the earliest occurrence of each word or phrase to its origin in a previous version. But we know that the King James translators didn't start with the earliest English versions and work forwards, they started with the most recent versions - Rheims, the Bishops' and Geneva - and then worked backwards. Ward Allen states: "The [KJV]translators, for example, in revising the text of the synoptic Gospels in the Bishops' Bible, owe about one-fourth of their revisions, each, to the Geneva and Rheims New Testaments. Another fourth of their work can be traced to the work of Tyndale and Coverdale. And the final fourth of their revisions is original to the translators themselves". The Rheims New Testament is derived largely from Coverdale's 1538 edition, which itself was a reworking of Tyndale with his objectional non-ecclesiastical terms taken out. So the overwhelming bulk of Rheims is Coverdale, which is also Tyndale; and in so far as the KJV translators may be found to have adopted Tyndale's phrasing, they are more likely to have taken it from editions of Rheims, Geneva or the Bishops' - which we know they had open in front of them - rather than directly from Tyndale. There is no inconsistency between Ward Allen's findings and those of Nielson and Skousen. TomHennell (talk) 16:23, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
In one respect, D-R can be said to have a major influence on the KJV. That is on its vocabulary - or how not to do it. The KJV uses a total vocabulary of only about 8,000 words. Modern Bibles use nearly double that number. The D-R became known as a "translation needing translation", because it used words which were less commonly used in everyday conversation, at the time. Also is used "latinisms". In short, it had a bigger vocabulary. Some editions of the D-R included a "dictionary", as an appendix, to explain some words. It would seem that the KJV translators observed this and resolved to avoid such an error. The preface to the 1611 addresses this issue: "we have shunned the obscurity of the Papists, in their AZIMES, TUNIKE, RATIONAL, HOLOCAUSTS, PRÆPUCE, PASCHE, and a number of such like, whereof their late Translation is full, and that of purpose to darken the sense, that since they must needs translate the Bible, yet by the language thereof, it may be kept from being understood. But we desire that the Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of Canaan, that it may be understood even of the very vulgar". This implies that the D-R had a major influence on the KJV, but not in the way we would expect to regard "influence". As an aside: AZIMES= Jewish term for unleavened bread; TUNIKE= tunic (clothing, dress); RATIONAL= ceremonial robe worn by OT priest, also a vestment worn by R Catholic priests; The KJV says "breastplate", however it was not an item of armour. HOLOCAUSTS= burnt offering; PRÆPUCE: medical term for foreskin; PASCHE= passover, in Acts 12:4 where KJV says Easter Lugnad (talk) 03:59, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
True to a point Lugard. The Rheims New Testament does indeed choose Latinisms and transliterated Greek/Hebrew in preference for common English terms in rendering 'religious' and 'ecclesiastical' terminology. And the KJV translators filched a lot of these, especially for their marginal readings (the KJV preface is not to be taken at face value here). But otherwise Rheims uses a vocabulary that is much closer to everyday terminology. By contrast, the Bishop's bible had tended to adopt a more dignified vocabulary, as more suited for public reading in church (the Rheims version of course not being intended for public reading). Hence at Luke 22:56, the servant girl is termed a 'wenche' in Tyndale; but this is reworded by both the Bishops' and Geneva to 'maid'. Rheims keeps Tyndale's 'wenche'; the KJV sticks with 'maid'. Mostly the KJV retains the Bishops' aim for dignified language; but sometimes does go back from the Bishop's more pompous terminology to amore colloquial form from Tyndale; but in this it is commonly following Tyndale as found in Rheims, rather than the original Tyndale text (which was not readily accessible in the early 17th Century). But of course, all this is more germane to the KVV and Tyndale articles; I don't see, as yet, anything in this discussion which requires emendation to the article here; do you? TomHennell (talk) 08:50, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
If KJV is 2% D-R the article should really make that clear because as it stands it's claiming that the debate has been solved and that D-R is a significant influence upon KJV.--Britannicus (talk) 10:35, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry Britannicus; I may not have made it clear. The KJV clearly isn't 2% D-R; I don't know whether anyone has done an equivalent study to Nielson and Skousen for the Rheims New Testament (Old Testament influence being clearly precluded); but it is likely they would find well over 75% correspondence to the KJV text (and once you factor in the marginal readings, even more). But that doesn't tell us anything about the actual degree to which the KJV translators picked Rheims readings - whereas Wade Allan's 'one-fourth' is taken directly from the translators working papers. Would it help if I drafted an additional sentence or so to that effect? TomHennell (talk) 11:02, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I have amended the article as suggested. TomHennell (talk) 13:50, 2 June 2015 (UTC)