The Holie Bible faithfvlly translated into English ovt of the avthentical Latin. Diligently conferred with the Hebrew, Greeke, and other Editions in diuers languages. By the English College at Doway. Douai: Lawrence Kellam, 160910.
Quarto. 2 vols. (v.1: , 1115 pages, 8½ x 6 inches; v.2: 1124 [i.e., 1128] pages, 8 x 6¼ inches). Title within ornamental border. The arrangement of the text on the page follows the same layout as the New Testament (1582). Bound in brown calfskin. § DMH 300. § CD-ROM: 10.4 (vol. 1), title page; 10.4, fol. 2r; 10.4, fol. 4v; 10.4, fol. 5r; 10.4 (vol. 2), fol. B4r; 10.4, fol. G2r; 10.4, fol. Dddddd2v.
When the Rheims New Testament was published, its preface noted that "the Old Testament [is] lying by us for lacke of good meanes to publish the whole in such sort as a worke of so great change and importance requireth." Twenty-seven years later, things had changed. The Vulgate itself had changed! The translation left unpublished "for lacke of good meanes" had been based on the unofficial Louvain Bible. In the meantime, renaissance techniques of compiling a critical edition had been applied to the Vulgate, producing the Clementine texts of 1592, 1593, and 1598. Before publication, therefore, changes had to be made to bring the Douai translation into conformity with the new "official" Vulgate sanctioned by the Church.
Coming as late as it did, the Douai Old Testament had little, if any, influence on the language of the King James. And indeed the charge of excessive adherence to the Latin is easily demonstrated, especially in the Psalms (a wonderful verbal playground). Most of the problems lay in the basic text underlying the translation. For the Psalms, for example, the translators preferred Jeromes Gallican revision because it was the version used for the Breviary and other Offices of the Church. The Catholic translators were in a locked positionand a philologically indefensible oneand the Protestants did not let the chance to criticize escape.
The Rheims New Testament continues to influence our lives. It lives! The Douai Old Testament is looked upon today as a quaint verbal war victim.
Literature: Carleton 1902; Pope 1952; Rheims 1975.