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)

The point lost in this discussion is that the Greek/Hebrew texts were themselves corrupted, whereas the Jerome Vulgate was translated from less corrupted texts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 18 September 2015 (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)

This is an incorrect view of the Douay-Rheims. King James and Douay-Rhimes are competing visions of the Bible. Calling it a "fork" shows a complete misunderstanding of the intent behind both. King James is a Bible that is meant to be read by Protestants to further spread the Protestant faith, focus is on clarity and beauty of language, underlying ambiguity be damned. Douay-Rhimes is a Bible that exists only out of a necessity created by the expulsion of Catholic Clergy from the United Kingdom and the need to find a way to reach out to the faithful and provide some guidance in the absence of priests. The Douay-Rhimes translators', and the Catholic Church's, belief is that the Bible shouldn't be read by lay-people, with the exception of some stories of people to admire, it is too complex, obscure and hermetic to be understood without serious study. However, given the political and religious environment of the time, they'll provide a translation for lay-people to read, but if it is going to be read, they are going to give them the most literal translation of the vulgate as possible, and clarity and beauty of language be damned. And, by way of guidance to the lay reader, the translators/Douay will offer extensive annotations. Chanlloner's revision isn't much different in mode, he too provided tremendous number of annotations to guide the lay reader. (talk) 17:24, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

The style comments connecting Coverdale and Tyndale to Douay-Rheims based on "The Part of Rheims in the Making of the English Bible" have to be significantly toned down. The author is a polemical protestant with an axe to grind. I quote from page 30: "Does the similarity of expression in Rheims and Coverdale imply a contact between the two versions, a borrowing of the later from the earlier? We have no positive proof that this was so, but it is difficult to account for the numerous coincidences except on such a supposition....if this conclusion is well grounded, and the Rhemish version owes to Coverdale's Testament many of those readings which it afterwards transmitted to the great Translation of 1611, the obligation of the English-speaking Christians to Rheims is in no wise diminished. But it is not without interest to learn that we are able to trace the ultimate source of so much that went to build up the fabric of our English Bible, to a Version which can more properly be called native and our own." The supposition is ridiculous without positive proof as both Bibles based their translation on the Jerome Vulgate. (talk) 02:38, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

User; I presume you are new to Wikipedia, so you may not be fully aware of its conventions and rules. The key rule here being Wikipedia:No original research. You need to read it. Carleton may have been a polemical protestant in your view; but your view constitutes "original research"; and so has no place in a Wikipedia Article. If, however, you could produce a published opinion from David Daniell (author) that 'Carleton is a polemical protestant and his views ridiculous'; that would not be "original research"; and so can be included in the article. The key point being that Daniell is a noted published authority on the subject of the article; and you are not (as indeed, nor am I). Wikipedia is soley concerned with the published opinions of authoritative scholars; and as, in the case of the Rheims New Testament, Carleton's study is the most thorough and authoritative in the field, he gets in, polemical protestant or not. Daniell himself certainly is certainly a polemical protestant and partial advocate for Tyndale's version. F.F. Bruce was also an evangelical protestant - though notably not polemical - but as also 'Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis' his published opinions are necessarily notable in Wikipedia. Wikipedia does not aim to present 'the facts'; it aims to present the published opinions of the authoritative scholars in the field. Sorry to be a bit pompous, it would be better to have a word on your own talk page; but it does not help (a second bit of advice) that you have yet to register as a user. TomHennell (talk) 08:49, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

I quote from Raymond A. Blacketer Review of Daniell's "The Bible in English: It's History and Influence", The Journal of Religion, Vol 87, No. 1 (January 2007) p. 152. "More to the substance of this study, Daniell’s analysis of persons and ideas suffers from a disturbing lack of evenhandedness that detracts from the overall credibility of the work. There is a lot of polemic in these pages...His treatment of Roman Catholic thought and attitudes toward the Bible is simplistic to say the least and comes disturbingly close to bigotry". Anne M. O'Donnell in her review of "The Bible in English" in The Catholic Historical Review, Vol 90, No. 4 (Oct 2004) "The scope of the book is awesome, but the negative comments range from Rome to Canterbury, exempting Geneva.". Another review by Cameron Mackenzie, "Review: The Bible in English: It's History and Influences" Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Vol 36, No.3 (Autumn 2004) "Daniell has little use for Catholics and their versions".

Contrary to your assertion, Daniell is a polemicist and if you're going to include anything from Daniell or Carleton then this needs to be noted. (talk) 02:37, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

The comments of your reviewers are a pretty fair assessment; Daniell is both a partisan Protestant and a strong advocate for Tyndale - and so denigrates other versions of the Reformation era, Protestant and Catholic alike. With a particular animus against the Rheims New Testament and the Bishop's Bible. But that doesn't stop his being the leading authority in the field; and his book, far the most authoritative study. He needs to be cited with caution, especially in his evaluations; but his underlying coverage of the scholarly field is comprehensive, and good. Plus, biased as he is, he is mostly right; the Bishop's Bible is seriously inadaquate as a translation, Tyndale on most of his translational judgements has been found to be correct and is revered by most modern translators; and the annotations of the Rheims New Testament are tendentious in the extreme. If you are looking for an equivalent non-polemical scholar, you should consult Henry Wansbrough (the supervising editor of the New Jerusalem Bible). But you will find that Wansbrough is almost as much of a Tyndale fan as Daniell is. And he hasn't published anywhere near so much on the history of translations. Carleton is a different case, he is inclined to draw back from drawing the full inferences from his findings, but those findings constitute the major scholarly study of Douay-Rheims. For instance, the cited article by GJ Reid is entirely based on Carleton, and fully acccepts his major finding that the bulk of the Rheims New Testament reworks the 1538 Coverdale diglot. Like a number of 19th century scholars, Carleton tends to dissmiss Wycliffe; and it is only in the counterpart study by Butterworth that the extent of Rheims dependence on the Wycliffe Bible (and hence the route by which readings from Wycliffe passed into the Authorized Version) became clear. If you don't like Carleton, then consult Westcott, who was the first scholar to appreciate the high positive value of the Rheims New Testament text (as disinct from its notes). TomHennell (talk) 10:06, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

My only interest with respect to Daniell or Carleton is that if you're going to quote either of them, then you need to mention in at least one sentence that both are polemical protestants with axes to grind, just as you've noted that the Douay-Rhimes itself was written with a polemical purpose. With respect to Carleton specifically, if you're going to cite him for influence, then you need to also note page 30 from that work. I It doesn't matter if you think Carleton draws back from the full inferences from his findings, in his book he states, there is no "positive proof" of the Cloverdale connection. So as written, that section goes beyond the quote. With respect to the scholarship, generally: the only actual record of the translation, besides the translation itself, are just two notes in a notebook. Everything else is textual analysis, which is extremely difficult in the particular case where we have two translators translating from the same underlying work at roughly the same period in the English language. It is to be expected that there would be similarities if they are both decent translators, without one necessarily influencing the other. (talk) 14:25, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Nope. To add a rider to the article that - in your view - Daniell and Carleton are polemical writers whose scholarship is thereby impaired, would constitute original research. You are drawing an inference from published scholarly opions, rather than simply citing those opinions. Wikipedia is inherently elitist; published opinions get in depending on the author's academic standing in the field covered by the article; whether they are justified in their opinions, (or indeed whether those opinions are entirely wrong) makes no difference. In this case, both Carleton and Daniell are 'notable'; even allowing that your inference of a polemical protestant motive were correct (which in the case of Carleton is not at all widely held), their opinions on the subject are accepted as authoritative by all counterpart scholars in the field, notwithstanding the axes they may grind. You, me, Blacketer, O'Donnell and Mackenzie are not 'notable'. TomHennell (talk) 17:07, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

No sale. You are drawing scholarship in this section from a particular field (The Study of the English Bible) that is well known for polemics with Protestants scholars minimizing Catholic influence on the "English Bible" (aka the KJV), and Catholic scholars doing the quite the opposite. Your failure to acknowledge this, when given three different reviews in competent journals of your source material noting its polemical nature suggests that you too hold the Protestant view of the development of the KJV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:06, 25 September 2015 (UTC) O'Donnell: PhD Yale, Professor Emerita at Catholic University of America. Mackenzie Phd Notre Dame, Faculty Concordia Theological Seminary. You are picking and choosing your authorities. Classic bias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

My apologies to Cameron Mackenzie; I missed his 'Battle for the Bible in England', which looks like a substabtial contribution to scholarship in the field. Happy to defer to your observations on that; if you have access to a copy and can cite his opionions in the article (I fear I don't and can't) then it would be very much improved. The other names do not offer notable publications in respect of the Douay-Rheims version - Blacketer's work is on Geneva, Calvin and Beza; O'Donnell's on Erasnmus, Tyndale and More. 'Picking and choosing authorities' is what editing Wikipedia is all about; so long as the criteria for inclusion is that of status in current academic debate on the topic in question; rather than personal preference, or conformity to unpublished original research. In respect of Carleton's work, I don't find that anyone other than user has a problem. In the 'Bible Researcher' resource on Douay-Rheims: Carleton's paper is the only substantial piece of systematic analysis, and all subsequent studies appear to accept his findings without reservation (at least in respect of Douay-Rheims). In our article here, Daniell is cited in support of the statement that the Rheims NT editors adopted readings both from the Coverdale 1538 diglot (as Carleton found) and from the Geneva Bible. Does any published work question this latter finding; and does Daniell's known personal bias against the Rheims NT require this observation to be qualfied? As I see it, it is a straight observation of fact, from the most substantial work of scholarship in the field - flawed as it may be? TomHennell (talk) 11:29, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

O'Donnell and Daniell have actually corresponded over Tyndale and More. Daniell is a Shakespeare scholar who became interested in Tyndale, and started making crazy claims (No Tyndale, No Shakespeare), so he's not the historical scholar you seem to think he is. Carleton and Daniell are noted for bias (as I quoted above for Daniell) and with respect specifically to Carleton's book you cite (and Daniell cites) it states on page 30 that it is Carleton's _unsupported speculation_ as to whether the Coverdale version was used as a base by Douay-Rheims translators. I have already cited the exact quote "There is no positive proof [of the connection]".

Yet you fail to acknowledge that in the section thus my revisions, one scholars unsupported speculation does not authority make. So yes, I will continue to edit the Style section since you have written as authoritative a statement that is not supported even by your deliberately chosen biased authorities, as admitted by those selfsame authorities. Now with respect to the historical record, since you don't seem to understand the ludicrousness of the statement that a Catholic Bible was directly based on a Protestant Bible I will note that if the Catholic scholars translating the Vulgate at Rheims/Douay had actually based the majority of their text on a Protestant version instead of doing their own translation that would have undermined the entire process and would have resulted in them being unable to get ecclesiastical approval of the translation. Even Challoner understood that (paraphrasing here from Dumberton Oaks preface), his revision of the Douay, only drew on the King James Version with respect to the wording of the most oddly constructed Original Douay phrasing, the vast majority of Challoner's revision is either the original translation, or the original translation with Challoner's slight modifications of the original for better reading, having little to do with the KJV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

It really is important,, when you add a statement to the article that you provide a cited authority for the opinion stated. In particualr, it would be best if you were able to cite from Cameron Mackenzie. But in the meanwhile - and in deference to your reservations about both Carleton and Daniell - I have replaced the places where they are cited with counterpart references from Brobrick and Reid; which do indeed support the same assertions. Does this resolve your misgivings? TomHennell (talk) 22:27, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Reid p. 581 doesn't support your statement it merely says "it is extremely probably that the diction was influenced by traditional protestant bibles" which has nothing to say about a Coverdale base text. Reid points out that Martin slavishly followed the Latin, aided only by the Septuagint for definite articles, and provides no support for even the weak "diction was influenced" statement. I'll trundle down to the Library and get Brobrick's book, but I doubt it will support the line either. Carleton and Daniell are bigots and only interested in dismissing Catholic input into the KJV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

the Reid reference states "Martin and his colleagues had an English translation of the Vulgate New Testament readily to hand in Coverdale's, and as Dr J.C. Carleton remarks, the Rhemish New Testament has a considerable number of readings in common with Coverdale's work". Broberick says "Another important source for the Catholic scholars was the diglot, or bilingual Latin-English edition of the New Testament, that Miles Coverdale had prepared in 1538.." Which is what the article now states, I think. Having replaced both the Carleton and Daniell citations with those of Reid and Broberick respectively; what Carleton and Daniels may say no longer has relevance to the editing of the article. Nevertheless, while I would be the last to defend Daniell from the charge of being - at times - a religious bigot, his book is, notwithstanding this, a major contribution to the historiography of the English Versions. His basic thesis; that the history of the English Bible is, over the 16th and 17th centuries, the major development narrative of English as a literary language; is now widely accepted as academic orthodoxy. Carleton, however, I do not see at all as a bigot; though certainly a nationalistic Englander. You mistake him if you see him as dismissing Catholic input into the KJV; quite the contrary, his thesis is to defend the Catholic Rheims version as fully an 'English' version; as such distinct from the 'foreign' (as he sees it) Geneva version. Rheims is "..a lineal descendent of the versions which preceded it, and well entitled to take an honoured place in the connected series of English Bibles" (p20). This sets Carleton apart from Butterworth - who sought to maximise the degree to which the Authorized Version depended on Geneva; and minimise its dependence on Rheims. Again, Carleton's findings are now academic orthodoxy; and his view of the place of Rheims within the line of English Versions is vigorously maintained by such modern Catholic scholars as Wansbrough. TomHennell (talk) 17:30, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Look you won't acknowledge the polemical nature of the scholarship in this field. When I have time to get the exact cite I will post the Dumberton Oaks preface that states that explicitly "One peculiarity of Bible studies is that many areas of interest are plagued with partisanship, and it can be difficult to make any argument without seeming to side with one religious (or secular) establishment against another[.]" (Preface Dumberton Oaks Medieval Library: Douai-Rheims) at the beginning of the style section. Again, the section you wrote and are defending presents the Protestant view of the development of the Douay-Rheims and you do not acknowledge that fact. You will note I have never suggested removing the section, I have only, ever, advocated that you note that this represents the views of protestant theologians. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

I am sure that the opinions of Doauy-Rheims expressed in the preface to the Dumbarton Oaks Vulgate would be a valuable addition to the article. I would be especially interested to know whether they have identified Martin's source Vulgate text - given that it differed in many places from the subsequent Sistine and Clementine editions. It has commonly been asserted that Martin used the 1547 Louvain Vulgate of Hentenius; but, given that he had Coverdale's diglot to hand, might he have followed Coverdale's Vulgate text instead?
You are certainly right that partisanship - open and covert - remains common in the field of Bible studies, damagingly so in the case of Daniell. Cameron Mackenzie - whom you cite above - is open in acknowledging his own Lutheran partisanship; justifying this here; Mackenzie finds in English Bible versions a 'Great Tradition' that originates with the Luther Bible in German; and then passes through Tyndale to the KJV and modern versions; but for him this is a Protestant-only party in which Catholics are not welcome, and so he minimises the extent to which the KJV depends on the Rheims New Testament, and equally the extent to which Rheims depends on Tyndale. Polemical conservative protestants - and King James Only partisans - often say the same. A contrary view is maintained by such Catholic scholars as Wansbrough; as here: Wansbrough also recogises the same 'Great Tradition', but for him Tyndale's linguistic inspirations are Erasmus and Wycliff (orthodox catholic and heretical catholic respectively), and precede Luther; and for Wansbrough, the Rheims version is securely in the club of English versions, all of whom he states as deriving from Tyndale. See here: .
But confessional partisanship is far from universal; and indeed Wansbrough does not embody the main ongoing scholarly debate on Douay-Rheims; which is well surveyed here; . The divide here is not between Catholic and Protestant; but as with much in Recusancy studies, reflects a debate between those who understand Elizabethan Catholicism as predominantly a mission movement, building a new church consistent with the Council of Trent (as maintained by John Bossy); as against those who rather emphasize continuity with the pre-Reformation, and Marian, Catholic church in England (as maintained by Eamon Duffy. On the face of it, the Douay-Rheims version is a clear 'missionary' enterprise; such that William Allen assured Rome that it would never be anything more, and that mission purpose has been assumed by most scholars. But an alternative 'continuity' view is advanced by Lucy Wooding, in 'Rethinking Catholicism in Reformation England'; noting that the Marian church had approved the production of an English Bible, and that serious proposals for a Catholic translation had been made by expelled English clegy in 1567. For Wooding, the Douay-Rheims version has a continuity with widespread late medieval English and humanist vernacular piety, devotion and religious study (as for example in the manuscript English Bible, in the Wycliffe version, openly listed in the 1594 will of the strong traditionalist, John Clopton); and so the assurances that Allen gave to the Roman Curia that the proposed version would fully comply with the restrictions on the use of vernacular translation introduced by the Council of Trent were deliberately misleading (or outright falsehoods). Wooding's opinions are maintained, in modified form, in Alexandra Walsham 'Catholic Reformation in Protestant Britain'. Walsham maintains that the Douay-Rheims version was uneasily straddling both mission and continuity agendas - and notes that equivalent ambivalence was also found in Protestant exercises in translation. Both Protestants and Catholics saw the need to respond to lay aspirations for access to the vernacular scriptures; but both balked at unrestricted self-interpretation of scripture by the mass of the laity. What is not in dispute is the 'Protestant-like attitude' toward the Bible (Cameron Mackenzie) found in the way that the Douay-Rheims version was actually received by Elizabethan Catholics. Allen had stated that the version would only be used to confute heresy, and never for private devotion; that it would only be allowed to priests, and never the laity; and that its use was a temporary expedient for an emergency situation, after which it would be withdrawn and Catholics banned from reading it. None of which happened. TomHennell (talk) 10:36, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Wooding's thesis is contrary to the stated intent in both prefaces to the original Douay-Rheims, not to mention the continual reminder by Martin and the other annotators on the difficulties in understanding the Bible (c.f. The annotations to the First Chapter of the Book of Genesis, or the comments on the extensive annotations to the Book of Job). If anything, the Douay-Rheims translators reflect standard Medieval-Reformation Catholic opinion that the Bible was too complicated for lay people. It was produced out of fear, fear that a lack of any tangible link to the faith would cause English Catholics to stray from the faith. In the margins, the DR Bible lists the daily readings, so Catholic Families unable to attend Mass could follow along with the readings; the New Testament preface reminds Catholics worried over the salvation of their unbaptized children, that both the Baptism by Desire and Baptism by Blood are acceptable to God if one is unable to be Baptized properly by a Priest. And of course the constant reference to the Authority of the Catholic Church. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:00, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Some interesting points there - but remember, to go in the article they need to be cited in published scholarship. If you cite Wooding, but add your view that her opinions are contrary to the stated intent of the translators, then you are drawing an inference - and that is original research. You need to find a published book or article that states 'Wooding's theses is contrary to the stated intentions of the translators in their preface'. That, or go back to Wooding herself; since, as I read it, she fully admits the contradiction. In her view the preface is a smokescreen to hide the true intentions of the translators from the Roman Curia; who would certainly not have allowed it, had they known how it was going to be used. But Wooding's many opinons on Elizabethen Catholics are highly controversial - see the powerful critique of her theories of papal supremacy in 'Fires if Faith' by Eamon Duffy. I have been trying to find Duffy's opionons on the Douay-Rheims; but not found anything specific; maybe you have access to better sources. In 'The Stripping of the Altars', Duffy proposes that English late medieval restrictions on lay bible reading in the vernacular, would not have continued into the mid 16th century had it not been the necessity of defending Catholic practice against Protestant criticisms. He notes that there was a substantial (and contrary) body of English humanist opinon that strongly favoured vernacular translation - from the Vulgate, but corrected with reference to the original tongues. The Princess Mary herself was very much of this opinion; as witness her participation in the published English version of Erasmus's gospel paraphrases; as also the proposal for a vernacular bible in the protocols of the London synod of 1555. Wooding's thesis is that a strong Erasmian humanist strand within the Marian church continued covertly within the Douay-Rheims project; but that the prefaces were added to make the version appear to conform to the very different principles of scriptural authority stated in the decrees of the Council of Trent.
The key issue perception behind current debate on Doay-Rheims, is that it is a Billy-no-mates version. If (like Wansbrough, and most commentators) you locate it within the tradition of English bibles of the Reformation era. then it is the only Catholic one. But if you try to locate it in distinct tradition of Catholic vernacular versions; then it is the only wholly post-Tridentine one. Either way, it is an oddity; and its production does require explanation. TomHennell (talk) 09:40, 5 October 2015 (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)

Conspiracy Theories[edit]

In general, speculation around conspiracy theories and niche obsessions has no part in Wikipedia. Articles should only set out the views of acknowledged authorities; so conspiracy views should not be given audience unless they are also maintained in mainstream published scholarship. I'm afraid that the text below looks to me to lack any such authority - I can find no mention of it in Daniel for example. If better citations cannot be provided, maybe the whole section should be removed?

Conspiracy Theories Associated with the Douay-Rheims

Only a brief synopsis as an exhaustive and fully descriptive list of all occult and other "conspiracies" associated with the Douay-Rheims should be on a separate page.

-Shakespeare's plays show knowledge of three Bibles: Douay-Rhimes (Rhimes New Testament Only), the Geneva Bible and the Bishop's Bible. Some have used Shakespeare's knowledge of the Rhimes New Testament as evidence that he was a secret Catholic.[13]

-The original Douay-Rhimes was suppressed by Catholic and Protestant authorities because it was the only existing evidence for the true (pre-Clementine) Vulgate. (White Identity Preacher Gordon Winrod in preface to his 1987 facsimile of the 1609/10 Douray Bible).[14]

-Haydock Douay–Rheims Bibles with the Masonic Eye of Providence on the cover are evidence of Masonic control over the Catholic Church (Fatima Movement)

-The Original and/or Challoner Douay-Rheims is/are the only authentic Bible)s, all other Bibles rely, deliberately or otherwise, on corrupted Greek or Hebrew manuscripts (various). Alternatively, the Original Douay-Rheims is the only authentic Bible based on the (pre-Clementine) Vulgate. Generally both of these are based on various facts of translation the most important seem to be: (1) the translation of Genesis 3:15 "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." Considered by Catholics as a clear reference to the Virgin Mary crushing Satan. This verse was present in the Clementine Vulgate but has been changed in the new Vulgate to "He or it" and "Him" and modern Catholic Bibles, was never found in any other English translation, and has resulted in various claims, the most extreme being that Satan has changed the Bible. (2) The fact that St. Jerome had access to the Hexapla when translating [15] and (3) various other translation differences between the Douay-Rhimes and other Bibles.

-Finally the Douay-Rhimes is the preferred Bible for certain mystical/hermetic studies. Mystics such as Valentin Tomberg and Eliphas Levi quote solely from the Douay-Rhimes; and while Waite himself only quotes from the KJV he notes at several places in his book "The Secret Doctrine of Isreal" that the Zohar translation he is working from uses Douay-Rhimes for it's biblical reference translations as it correctly matches the (at the time) Clementine Vulgate.

what do other editors think? TomHennell (talk) 16:50, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

I have reverted all of this as original research. Haappy to discuss here re-instating any material that is fully citable from published authoritative sources. TomHennell (talk) 10:43, 23 September 2015 (UTC)