Questions About Douay-Rheims Version


There is a very good Douay-Rheims translation where the translator uses the Challoner version as a guide.Its basically the same except for no Thees or Thous. It’s called the Catholic Public Domain Version. There are a few Bible apps on Android that use it.


Friends I am greatly Intrigued with the Jerusalem Bible 1966 version (Used by Mother Angelica), and the 1899 Douay Rheims Version. Question is where can I buy an authentic ones online?

Douay-Rheims version problems is that most that I found is Venerable Bishop Challoner’s Version only, not the 1899 ones. Where can I find authentic ones? (Please don’t put shady store links here please.)

For Jerusalem Bible 1966 version its hard to come by with its original. Where can I find authentic ones?

Thanks guys for your full effort in expanding to the versions of the bible.


I love the Douay-Rheims. For Bible study, I’ll use the RSV. The wonderful Truth and Life app uses the RSV and also the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for the print text. The recorded text is also RSV, so you can listen and read along at the same time.


When I was in my senior year in college (I.e. in the last millennium :wink:), a non-Catholic girl & I were comparing the Douay-Rheims, the New American and the New Jerusalem Bibles, in particular the Our Father (Matt. 6: 9 et seq.):

[9] Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. [10] Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

[11] Give us this day our supersubstantial bread.[12] And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. [13] And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen. [14] For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. [15] But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.

[11] “Supersubstantial bread”: In St. Luke the same word is rendered daily bread. It is understood of the bread of life, which we receive in the Blessed Sacrament.

[13] “Lead us not into temptation”: That is, suffer us not to be overcome by temptation.



When we saw v. 11: “Give us this day our supersubtantial bread…”, that made us stop. "Supersubtantial bread?!? we were shocked! Then we read the footnote:

[11] “Supersubstantial bread”: In St. Luke the same word is rendered daily bread. It is understood of the bread of life, which we receive in the Blessed Sacrament.

Result: She went through RCIA, made her Profession of Faith, received Confirmation & made her First Holy Communion.


Have you searched on abebooks?


I picked up a vulgate bible in a second hand bookstore once. It’s about 200 years old but I got it cheap because it’s in poor condition and the cover is missing. At some point I want to have it rebound. It makes good reading though. I’m not very good at Latin but the language is much easier than the Latin we had to read at school so I can sort of muddle along most of the time, but need to look up a word here or there.


Are they authentic friend? Please help me. I cannot distinguish between authentic and fake ones.


I downloaded the Jerusalem Bible in .PDF. But trying to navigate a .PDF Bilble…forget it.


In response to your questions:

-The Douay-Rheims is probably the most faithful English translation of the Latin Vulgate. (At least that I know of). However, that doesn’t necessarily make it the best or most accurate Bible translation period.

-The Challoner update is not recent. Bishop Challoner lived in the 18th century. His revisions updated the Douay-Rheims to make it more readable, since the English language had changed quite a bit over the last few centuries. It is still faithful to the Vulgate, to my knowledge.

-Yes, it is still approved. The USCCB list only includes Bibles approved since the existence of the USCCB. Older Catholic Bibles aren’t included. At the end of the day, if the Bible has an imprimatur, it is approved. Any Douay-Rheims Bible should have an imprimatur.

-I’m regards to modernized versions of the D-R, There are none that I know of. The King James Bible has an updated version called the New King James Bible, but there is no such version of the D-R that I know of. The Challoner version was essentially a modernized version of D-R, but that’s the closest thing you’ll find. There are other Bibles which have been translated from the Latin Vulgate into more modern English (while also taking into account the Greek and Hebrew sources). The most notable of these are the Knox Bible, which is still in print thanks to Baronius Press, as well as the Confraternity Bible, which is no longer in print, but used copies can easily be found cheaply online.

-For a traditional Catholic, they are a number of different “traditional” Bible translations to choose from. The Douay-Rheims is always a great choice, but a little archaic and hard to read at times. The Knox Version and the Confraternity Bible are both great (I have a copy of both). They are both based on the Vulgate, but also take into account the Greek and Hebrew sources. The RSV Catholic Edition is also a good literal translation, but is based solely on Greek and Hebrew; not the Vulgate. I’d argue that the most recent edition of the NAB is a decent translation, although it’s not likely to appeal to a strict “traditionalist.”

I hope this helps!


My Mariology prof. at Holy Apostles recommended the RSV for academic work. He did not recommend the NRSV, however.
I do love the majestic language of the D-R. Picked one up at an FSSP bookstore for less than $40. Hardcover, nice font. A steal!


New Catholic Bible (Jerusalem Bible, 1966) from Catholic Truth Society. The use of Yahweh was eliminated and it has the Grail Psalms, so it is not exactly the original.

The 1899 edition is The Douay-Rheims-Challoner translation, available from Baronius Press and another from St. Benedict Press. I have the Baronius Press edition.

There are some versions of Douay-Rheims available without the Challoner revisions of 1749/50. There are 3027 scanned pages of the 1582-1610 Douai-Rheims available on website for download. Also there is the William von Peters (3 volume) publication of it. He transliterated the text into modern English and that includes all the original notes.


One of the challenges with the OP is that the English language changes over time, so maybe there will be a better translation made into English from the Vulgate. Actually, the KJV was also made from the Vulgate. But I think that Catholics might tend to prefer the Douay-Rheims over the KJV at least partly because the former is a Catholic edition.


The KJV was actually based on the Greek and Hebrew texts that were available at the time, with only a little influence from the Vulgate.


There is the Confraternity Catholic bible and their new testament is a revision of the challoner, which is a more updated vulgate. You can find a lot on ebay, I have one from 1950 and 1957 and its real nice.


I just ordered the original hardcover douay rheims from William von peter. Do you have a copy yourself? what do you think of it compared to the the Challoners?


Indeed. I have a copy too.


I don’t have it, but have read the scans from the original. The older vocabulary is very different than today. Similarly, the King James Version was updated to later English in 1769.


Unfortunately I don’t believe there are any modern translations of the Latin Vulgate, approved by the church for use as Sacred Scripture.

So basically we have the Douay Rheims Bible, The Knox Bible and the Confraternity NT. To my knowledge these are the only translations of the Vulgate into English, that were once was used universally by the Church.


You are correct since the church seems to come up with new translations quite often. In the English speaking world there is a constant battle with the use of the male pronoun. An issue in the non english world that usually does not get so much contention

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