Challoner Revision to DR Bible


#1

Howdy,

I am aware that what most folks call the “Douay-Rheims” bible is more accurately the revision of that translation by Richard Challoner. However, I’ve heard differing claims as to the extent and nature of that revision.

Some say the revisions were minor, amounting to mostly spelling and a few changes to word order. Others say the changes were so extensive, it truly is a different translation.

Also, I’ve heard that some of the confusion may arise due to the fact that the original Douay-Rheims was translated from the Vulgate at that time, while Challoner worked from the newer Clementine Vulgate.

While I have not bothered to track down an “original” DR and see for myself, I know the side-by-side DR and Vulgate that I have (which uses the Clementine) shows very little difference between the Latin and the English of the DR.

Could someone more familiar with the revision weigh in and educate me? Are the major differences between the original and current DR due to different editions of the Vulgate being used? Did Challoner mostly update archaic words?

Thanks and have a Happy Memorial Day! :thumbsup:


#2

Catholic Encyclopedia, on the Challoner revision:The changes introduced by him were so considerable that, according to Cardinal Newman, they “almost amounted to a new translation”. So also, Cardinal Wiseman wrote, “To call it any longer the Douay or Rheimish Version is an abuse of terms. It has been altered and modified until scarcely any sense remains as it was originally published”. In nearly every case Challoner’s changes took the form of approximating to the Authorized Version, though his three editions of the New Testament differ from one another in numerous passages.
Ward, B. (1909). Douay Bible. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
newadvent.org/cathen/05140a.htm

An example is that where the Vulgate used* Christi, Christo, Christus*, and Christum the Douay-Rheims 1609 used Christ, but the Challoner revision used mainly annointed.

Example Excerpt of the Title Page of a Douay Version:The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate: Diligently Compared with the Hebrew, Greek, and Other Editions, in Divers Languages; and First Published by The English College at Doway, Anno 1609. Newly Revised, and Corrected, According to the Clementine Edition of the Scriptures. With Annotations for Elucidating the Principal Difficulties of Holy Writ.


#3

The TAN Publications edition of the 1899 Douay-Rheims-Challoner Bible would have you believe that Challoner’s revisions were minor, mainly to correct spelling, punctuation, syntax. But the comments of Cardinals Newman and Wiseman are more to the point. Methinks, though, that Wiseman was not pleased that Challoner moved his revision in the direction of the Authorized Version. If this was indeed the case with Wiseman, then I have to disagree with him.


#4

Would it still be a reliable translation?


#5

Some examples Vulgate, Rheims 1738, Challoner 1749:

Hebrews 4:1

[LIST]
*]Vulgate. Timeamus ergo ne forte relicta pollicitatione introëundi in requiem ejus, existimetur aliquis ex vobis deesse.
*]Rheims. Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps forsaking the promise of entering into his rest, some of you be thought to be wanting.
*]Challoner, Let us fear therefore, lest, the promise being left of entering into his rest, any of you should be thought to be wanting.
[/LIST]

Hebrews 4:3

[LIST]
*]Vulgate. Ingrediemur enim in requiem, qui credidimus: quemadmodum dixit: Sicut juravi in ira mea: Si introibunt in requiem meam: et quidem operibus ab institutione mundi perfectis.
*]Rheims. For we, that have believed, shall enter into the rest, as he said, As I sware in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest; and truly the works from the foundation of the world being perfected.
*]Challoner. For we who believed shall enter into rest; as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, If they shall enter into my rest; and this, when the works from the foundation of the world were finished.
[/LIST]

Hebrews 4:6

[LIST]
*]Vulgate. Quoniam ergo superest introire quosdam in illam, et ii, quibus prioribus annuntiatum est, non introierunt propter incredulitatem
*]Rheims. Because then it remaineth that certain enter into it, and they, to whom first it was preached, did not enter because of incredulity.
*]Challoner. Seeing then it remaineth that some are to enter into it, and they, to whom it was first preached, did not enter in because of unbelief.
[/LIST]


#6

My, there are hardly any changes here that Bishop Challoner made.

And then there are passages like this (Ephesians 3:6-12):

  • from the “original” Rheims NT:

The Gentils to be coheires and concorporat and comparticipant of his promis in Christ JESUS by the Gospel: 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. To me the least of al the sainctes is given this grace, among the Gentils to evangelize the unsearcheable riches of Christ, and to illuminate al men what is the dispensation of the sacrament hidden from worldes in God, who created al things: that the manifold wisedom of God, may be notified to the Princes and Potestats in the celestials by the Church, according to the prefinition of worldes, which he made in Christ JESUS our Lord. In whom we have affiance and accesse in confidence, by the faith of him.

  • from the Rheims-Challoner NT:

That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and co-partners of his promise in Christ Jesus, by the gospel: 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:
To me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ,
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:
That the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the church,
According to the eternal purpose, which he made, in Christ Jesus our Lord:
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Yes, so if the latter rendering approximates to the Authorized Version, so be it.


#7

In every example there are very many changes made to the words. I think you intend to say that there are not many changes made to the meaning. The original follows the Latin more closely.

Vulgate

                                                                                 **6**                                                              esse gentes coheredes et concorporales  et conparticipes promissionis in Christo Iesu per evangelium                                                       
                                                  **7**                                                              cuius factus sum minister secundum donum  gratiae Dei quae data est mihi secundum operationem virtutis eius                                                       
                                                  **8**                                                              mihi omnium sanctorum minimo data est  gratia haec in gentibus evangelizare ininvestigabiles divitias Christi                                                       
                                                  **9**                                                              et inluminare omnes quae sit dispensatio  sacramenti absconditi a saeculis in Deo qui omnia creavit                                                       
                                                  **10**                                                              ut innotescat principibus et potestatibus in caelestibus per ecclesiam multiformis sapientia Dei                                                       
                                                  **11**                                                              secundum praefinitionem saeculorum quam fecit in Christo Iesu Domino nostro                                                       
                                                  **12**                                                              in quo habemus fiduciam et accessum in confidentia per fidem eius

#8

I’ve read the entire Challoner revision Bible. I’ve read many passages from the original Douai text, and done many comparisons of verses between the two editions.

I would characterize the Challoner text as a new translation, made using the Douai text as a guide. The differences between the two versions are many and substantial. The Douai is very literal. The Challoner is substantially looser, though not nearly as loose a translation as the typical modern text.


#9

But still reliable correct?


#10

Thank you, Ron. This was how I’ve always understood the difference between the 1609 original D-R and the 1749-1752 revisions of Challoner. Reading the 1609 edition would hardly be an option for me.


#11

Yes, both versions are reliable.


#12

Thanks for answering my question! :slight_smile:


#13

Thanks all!


#14

As soon as I saw this thread I was hoping Ron Conte would chime in, he is an authority on this subject.


#15

I do want to mention that the original Douay Rheims Bible of 1609 has the best footnotes of any Bible I have seen. Not to be confused with Challoner’s version which are good but dont have a fraction of the Douay Rheims of 1609.


#16

Yes, they are pretty awesome comments and footnotes! Always worth a look.


#17

Excepting only the unabridged Haydock Bible. :thumbsup:

I believe if someone persevered in reading the entire Haydock Bible, text and notes, he would be a formidable authority on the Sacred Scripture! The Haydock Bible incorporates most of the notes from the 1609 D/R, the Witham translation and all of Challoner’s own notes, as well as all of the Haydock notes from doctors and fathers of the Church, and even his own original notes! It’s a staggering work in its own right, never published separately, but if it were, would comprise many volumes!


#18

I have used the Haydock Bible and commentary and like it, however interestingly, the New Testament is not the Rheims-Challoner but the Troy revision (1794).
Father Haydock’s chief publication was a new edition of the English translation of the Latin Vulgate first published at Reims in 1582, and at Douai in 1609; Bishop Challoner’s text of 1750 was the basis of the work, but in the New Testament Dr. Troy’s edition of 1794 is largely followed. The notes are partly original, partly selected from other writers, those on the New Testament not having been compiled by Father Haydock.

Maas, A. (1910). George Leo Haydock. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
newadvent.org/cathen/07160a.htm


#19

[quote=AmbroseSJ;1300i440]Excepting only the unabridged Haydock Bible. :thumbsup:

I believe if someone persevered in reading the entire Haydock Bible, text and notes, he would be a formidable authority on the Sacred Scripture! The Haydock Bible incorporates most of the notes from the 1609 D/R, the Witham translation and all of Challoner’s own notes, as well as all of the Haydock notes from doctors and fathers of the Church, and even his own original notes! It’s a staggering work in its own right, never published separately, but if it were, would comprise many volumes!
[/quote]

Good point. Haydock is basically a catena.


#20

In the USA, there are basically two different versions of the Haydock Bible. There is the First Quarto of 1852 which was revised and changed from Dr. McMahon’s version of Challoner’s text and went through numerous reprintings, and the First Folio of 1825, which is almost an exact reproduction of the English folio Haydock of 1811-1814. There was even a third version which was even further corrected and changed from the “McMahon” text, which was published by Virtue in London, (with an American counterpart) by Canon Oakley and Thomas Law.

In any event, these Haydock bibles do deserve our attention. There is even a modern printing of the Haydock Bible by Catholic Treasures. Although I have heard that it takes really keen eyesight to read the reduced-size notes. :smiley:


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