Sunday, 10 August 2014

Douay-Rheims Bible

Having decided to convert to Catholicism, I knew I would need to buy a Catholic Bible at some point.

Since I went to college, I have been a King James Bible reader. I do read other Bible translations some times, but I don't care for them and I used to be a fierce defender of tha accuracy of the King James Bible.

I didn't want a Catholic RSV as the RSV is too associated in my mind with liberalism and I didn't want a Jerusalem Bible, as I find the modern language horribly banal. I cringe when I hear the Jerusalem Bible being read at mass.

So I bought a Douay-Rheims Bible. It was published a few years before the King James Bible and so has the same kind of language that I'm used to with the KJV. The version I bought was the Saint Benedicts Press edition with a soft immitation leather cover.

I find it fascinating seeing the textual differences in the New Testament. In some places the Douay-Rheims agrees with the modern critical text and in other places it agrees with the Textus Receptus. My old KJV-Only bias actually makes me more comfortable with this text than the Westcott and Hort text.

I'm well aware of the fact that the Douay-Rheims is a translation of the Vulgate and not from the original languages. I know that it would be unwise to use it for serious study without also consulting other translations.

Unfortunately, the Catholic prayer books I use in my devotions use readings from modern Catholic Bibles. Morning and Evening uses several translations, including the abominable Good New Bible; the Saint Benedict's Prayer Book uses the Jerusalem Bible and my copy of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin uses the New American Bible. I'm tempted to buy a copy of the Baronius Little Office, as that contains Douay-Rheims readings, but that is quite expensive.

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