Duoay Rheims Bible vs King James Bible

Has there been a huge rivalry between the Duoay Rheims Bible of 1609 of the Roman Catholics and the King James Bible of 1611 of the English Protestants in England and other English speaking countries?

It would have been same as the rivalry between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism was at that point I presume :smiley:

I find people to this day that claim that the KJV is the only inspired word of God. Most of the time after talking to them for 15 min I realize they are nutcases and with them a pleasant afternoon.

But then I have also met people who call the KJV “The King James Perversion” and say that it is traditional which to many today is almost a swear word. I would assume there are people who would say the same about the Douay-Rheims simply because it’s old.

When I was a Baptist, I was pretty big on the King James Bible. My first Catholic bible that I bought was a Douay Rheims. I prefer the older language style, having read the King James for so long. I’m not aware of much of a rivalry though, but I haven’t been Catholic for too long!

that made me laugh!

If the King James Bible was good enough for the Apostle Paul, it’s good enough for me!

Never heard of that, though I have heard conservative Evangelicals talk about translation errors in the KJV.

But at the heart of both “KJV-only” and “DR-only” positions is an uncomfortable truth: most modern Bible versions raise two major concerns:

  1. the omission of certain passages, not always for convincing reasons (for example, Tobit 6 reads very differently in the DR and in modern Catholic Bibles), and
  2. the translation of the Old Testament without regard for how certain passages have been quoted in the New Testament.

Of course, for us Catholics, there’s the added issue that non-Vulgate based translations sit uncomfortably with the decree of the Council of Trent.

What we really need, to set all these doubts to rest, is a Catholic Bible that:

  1. uses contemporary, but formal and reverent language (i.e. is poetic, but not necessarily with "thee"s and "thou"s)
  2. uses the Vulgate as a base text, while acknowledging other sources where there is a clear need to do so
  3. translates the OT in concurrence with how it is used in the NT.

If this were to become available (and I pray it will!), the “DR-only” position would become substantially weaker.

Haha. Funny. I find King James only people to be ignorant. Have they ever stopped to think that Jesus could not have spoken King James English?

Yes…the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic is quite different. There are even different versions of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic. Certainly none of them are exactly what Jesus said, nor is the KJV version, or the DR version. But they are all close enough!:slight_smile:

That’s because Tobit is a particularly tricky book to translate. All in all, you have at least THREE source texts, which do not always agree with each other, to translate from: a short Greek version, known as Greek I (preferred by most translations before the 1950s - this is the one found in the RSV), a longer Greek version, aka Greek II (the text of choice after the Aramaic and Hebrew fragments of Tobit discovered at Qumran are found to agree with this version - this is the source text for the NAB’s Tobit), and the Vulgate (which is, essentially, a translation of a translation - St. Jerome having translated the Hebrew translation of an Aramaic version of the text into Latin).

So yeah, here is how a part of Tobit 6 is attested in the Dead Sea Scrolls:

4Q197, fragment 4 + 4Q196, fragment 14

(10) And when they entered Media and he was already ne[aring Ecbatana, (**11) Raphael said to the young] man, T[o]biah, my brother. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said to him, In the house [of Raguel we shall stay. And the man is from the house of our father. And he has a beautiful daughter … (**12) [And] he has [no other (children) except Sarah a]l[one]. And you are re[lat]ed to her … [And this young girl is wise, stron]g and very beautiful, and her father loves [her] … her father. And a just decision has been made concerning you (13) to m[arry her] … You will speak about this young girl tonight. You will retain her and take her to be your wif[e … And {when we return from [Rages]} (4Q196), [we shall make for her] a wedding-feast. And I know that Raguel cannot refuse her to you for he knows … and to marry his daughter than any (other) ma[n. For h]e kno[ws] that if he were to give her to [another] man [this would be against the law in the Book] of Moses. And now [let us speak about] this [young] gir[l] tonight and let us retain her [for you …

(**14) Then Tobiah replied and said to Rapha]el, Azariah my brother, I have heard … (that she had seven husbands who all died) when they went in to her. … (15) And now I am [af]raid of this demon who {loves her … the demon kills them} (4Q196) …(bring) my [fath]er and my mother [to the grave … They have] no other son [to bury them.]

(16) {[Do you not remember the com]mands of your father} (4Q196) who commanded you … {[And no]w listen to me, my brother. Do not (be afraid of) this [de]mon and marry (her) {tonight … (17) [t]ake from the heart [of the fish: … (**18) … the demon [will sme]ll it and will [flee]} (4Q196) … (When you go in) [to be wi]th her, ri[se up] … [And do n]ot be afraid [for] she has been allotted to you and for you … you will save [her. And] I suppose that you will have [children by her … And when] Tobiah [h]eard the words of Raphae[l that she was h]s sister and of [the house of his father’s family] he fell in love with her [gr]eatly and his heart (was much attached) to her.

Not really, no. The Rheims NT-Douai OT were really only came to the limelight somewhat ironically when an anti-Catholic named William Fulke brought it to public attention. According to the Wiki article on the D-R:

The Douay Old Testament was reprinted once in the course of a century, and the Rheims New Testament a few times in the next century. In England, the Douay–Rheims Bible was ironically popularized by the action of a vehement adversary, William Fulke, who, in order to expose its perceived errors, in 1589 (Herbert #202) printed the Rheims New Testament in parallel columns with the Protestant Bishops’ version of 1572, and the Rheims annotations with his own refutations of them; and this work had a considerable vogue among Protestant Reformers. Further editions of Fulke’s work continued until 1633 (Herbert #480).

…] The Douay–Rheims Bible, however, achieved little currency, even among English-speaking Catholics, until it was substantially revised between 1749 and 1752 by Richard Challoner, an English bishop, formally appointed to the deserted see of Debra. Challoner’s revisions borrowed heavily from the King James Version (himself being a convert from Protestantism to Catholicism, and thus familiar with its style) whose translators had themselves borrowed from the original Rheims NT of 1582. The use of the Rheims New Testament by the translators of the King James Bible is discussed below. Challoner not only addressed the odd prose and much of the Latinisms, but produced a version which, while still called the Douay–Rheims, was little like it. At the same time he aimed for improved readability and comprehensibility, rephrasing obscure and obsolete terms and construction; and in the process, consistently removing ambiguities of meaning that the original Rheims–Douay version had striven to retain.

Compare it with Greek II’s text (from the New English Translation of the Septuagint):

(10) And when he went into Media and already drew near to Ecbatana, (11) Raphael said to the young man, “Brother Tobias.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” Then he said to him, “This night we must stay in the home of Ragouelos. Now the man is your relative, and he has a (beautiful) daughter whose name is Sarra. (12) And he has no male son or daughter except Sarra alone, and you are closer to her than all other men, to have her as an inheritance. Also the girl is sensible and brave and very beautiful, and her father is noble. (13) And he said, “It is right for you to take her. So listen to me, brother, and I shall speak to the father about the girl this night so that we may take her to be your bride. And, when we return from Rhaga, we shall celebrate her wedding feast. And I know that Ragouel cannot keep her from you or promise her to another; he would be liable to death according to the decree of the book of Moyses. And he knows that the inheritance is yours by right to take his daughter before any other man. So now listen to me, brother, and shall speak this night concerning the girl and have her engaged to you. And, when we return from Rhaga, we shall take her and bring her back with us to your house.”

(14) Then in reply Tobias said to Raphael, “Brother Azarias, I have heard that she already has been given to seven husbands, and they died in their bridal chamber. On the night when they went in toward her, they would die. And I heard people say that a demon kills them. (15) And now I am afraid – for it does not harm her, but anyone who desires to approach her it kills; I am my father’s only son – that I may die and bring my father’s and my mother’s life, because of me, to their grave with sorrow. And they have no other son, that he may bury them.”

(16) But he said to him, “Do you not remember your father’s commandments, that he commanded you to take a wife from your father’s house? So now listen to me, brother, and do not worry about the demon, and take her. And I know that this night a wife will be given to you. (17) Now when you go into the bridal chamber, take some of the fish’s liver and heart, and put them on the embers of the incense, and the smell will go forth. (18) Then the demon will smell it and flee and will never be seen around her any more. And when you are about to be with her, get up first, both of you, and pray, and beseech the Lord of heaven that mercy and safety may be upon you. So do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you from of old. And you will save her, and she will go with you. And I suppose that you will have children by her, and they will be as brothers to you. Do not worry!” Now when Tobias heard the words of Raphael, and that she was his kinswoman of the lineage of his father’s house, he loved her very much, and his heart clung to her.

This time with Greek I (from the World English Bible):

(9) But when they drew near to Rages, (10) the angel said to the young man, Brother, today we shall lodge with Raguel, and he is your kinsman; and he has an only daughter, named Sarah. I will speak for her, that she should be given you for a wife. (11) For to you does the inheritance of her appertain, and you only are of her kindred: (12) and the maid is fair and wise. And now hear me, and I will speak to her father; and when we return from Rages we will celebrate the marriage: for I know that Raguel may in no wise marry her to another according to the law of Moses, or else he shall be liable to death, because it appertains to you to take the inheritance, rather than any other.

(13) Then the young man said to the angel, Brother Azarias, I have heard that this maid has been given to seven men, and that they all perished in the bride-chamber. (14) And now I am the only son of my father, and I am afraid, lest I go in and die, even as those before me: for a devil loves her, which hurts no man, but those which come to her: and now I fear lest I die, and bring my father’s and my mother’s life to the grave with sorrow because of me: and they have no other son to bury them.

(15) But the angel said to him, Do you not remember the words which your father commanded you, that you should take a wife of your own kindred? and now hear me, brother; for she shall be your wife; and make you no reckoning of the devil; for this night shall she be given you to wife. (16) And when you shall come into the bride-chamber, you shall take the ashes of incense, and shall lay upon them some of the heart and liver of the fish, and shall make a smoke therewith: (17) and the devil shall smell it, and flee away, and never come again any more. But when you go near to her, rise up both of you, and cry to God which is merciful, and he shall save you, and have mercy on you. Fear not, for she was prepared for you from the beginning; and you shall save her, and she shall go with you. And I suppose that you shall have children of her. And when Tobias heard these things, he loved her, and his soul clave to her exceedingly.

And finally from the Vulgate (Challoner):

(10) And Tobias said to him: Where will you that we lodge? (11) And the angel answering, said: Here is one whose name is Raguel, a near kinsman of your tribe, and he has a daughter named Sara, but he has no son nor any other daughter beside her. (12) All his substance is due to you, and you must take her to wife. (13) Ask her therefore of her father, and he will give her you to wife.

(14) Then Tobias answered, and said: I hear that she has been given to seven husbands, and they all died: moreover I have heard, that a devil killed them. (15) Now I am afraid, lest the same thing should happen to me also: and whereas I am the only child of my parents, I should bring down their old age with sorrow to hell.

(16) Then the angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will show you who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. (17) For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil has power. (18) But you when you shall take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep yourself continent from her, and give yourself to nothing else but to prayers with her. (19) And on that night lay the liver of the fish on the fire, and the devil shall be driven away. (20) But the second night you shall be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs. (21) And the third night you shall obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you. (22) And when the third night is past, you shall take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham you may obtain a blessing in children.

Well, Jesus was voted by 1% of the population of the U.S. of A. as the greatest American of all time. :smiley:

Once again, thanks for the fantastic research! :thumbsup: You’re one of my heroes here on CAF. :wink:

I somehow assumed that the version above (being in the Vulgate) was the one that would be authoritative for Catholics - not only because it’s in the Vulgate, but because it fits in well with traditional Catholic ideas about periodic continence and the purpose of marriage. I’ve read the NAB and RSV versions too, and wondered why they’d left this out. On scholarly grounds, which is the “best” or “closest to the original” reading? :slight_smile:

Reading the Douay-Challoner version for the first time I was a little taken back by some of the obscure (to me) words. Such as where many translations refer to Passover, the Douay uses a word “azymes” which I had never heard of.:confused:

As said, the fragments of Tobit from Qumran agree substantially with Greek II (the longer version) with minor variants. Incidentally, Greek II in its full form is attested only in Codex Sinaiticus: most other manuscripts have the shorter version, while a couple have bits of the longer version embedded within the Greek I text.

One advantage of the “thee/thou” language is that it tells us whether Our Lord is talking to one person in particular, or his entire audience (and consequently, possibly ourselves). Modern English just uses “you” for both forms, so we lose this distinction. I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve heard over who “you” refers to. If only I’d had a DR back then!

Excellent point. :thumbsup:

Which is why I always keep a French Bible de Jerusalem handy for such issues: French, being closer to Latin, does retain separate singular (“tu”) and plural (“vous”) second-person pronouns. :smiley:

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