Vulgate, and duay rheims?

I am a anglican protestant and i am getting more and more confussed by these terms. I have always understood them to be “catholic” but never really knew what they were. We all know the KJV but the DR is not as commonly known. What are the vulgate and DR and why are they seen as the true ‘catholic’ bibles when modern scholarship (even catholic scholars) do not use them?

The Douay-Rheims was the standard Catholic Bible in English. The NT of the DR was first published in 1582 and the OT in 1609. It was translated from the Vulgate, which is the standard Latin text of the Bible translated by St. Jerome.

We still use the Vulgate, and you can access the neo-Vulgate (it was cleaned up a bit) online at the Vatican’s website.

does the neo vulgate make use of the newer scrolls that translations like the NRSV use? So why do catholics hold so strongly to the DR as being the 'catholic bible"… all i can see it being is a tradition based argument, there is no scholarly support for using the DR over and above such translations as the RSV (which is much more accurate to the earliest texts). It seems more like a, “its more catholic so i use it” argument

I don’t know for sure about the Neo-Vulgate, but I think so.

Since the Council of Trent said that the Vulgate was legitimate and normative for all debate and discussion, the DR (which is translated from it) is likewise good for practically anything you might need a Bible for. Since the Vulgate lacks nothing necessary in Faith and Morals, the DR likewise shares this distinction. For personal reading, many of us like the DR or the Confraternity version because of its more traditional wording and absolute lack of “inclusive” language.

Catholic Scripture scholars have their favorites, but we are generally open to using other translations for the benefit of protestants as we are not bound up in “sola scriptura”. However, the Vulgate is still a normative text that we base texts from the Liturgy from (as outlined in Liturgiam Authenticam).

You seem to be grouping all Catholics into this category, but surely you don’t believe so? Indeed, you mention the exception of “catholic scholars” above?

To do so would be just as unfair as attributing KJVism to all protestants (sure there are some who trust only in the KJV, but by no means all).

:twocents:
tee

Vulgate refers to the use of Latin in the Mass. Vulgate comes from the word vulgar, referring to the language of the people. The Mass, in Greek, appealed to the learned and the Kyrie remained in Greek until Vatican II allowed for the use of the vernacular since Latin was no longer the language of the people.
The Douay Rheims was translated from French into English. The Douay Rheims was the official Catholic Bible in the same way that Protestants adopted the King James translation. Like the King James, language has changed with time and these translations are less understood by modern man.
Moreover, acheological findings have enabled scholars to translate scripture from the original Greek leading to more acurate translations than the Douay Rheims and King James.
The official English translation now used in Catholic liturgical services is the New American Bible.
On tour at Ft. Sheridan, I learned about the possibility of reading the Bible from start to finish in 1 year by reading three chapters a day plus 5 on Sunday. In this manner I read several different translations including the Jerusalem (considered the most literary) and the RSV.
Most of the Prostestant churches I have visited use the RSV while the Catholic Church considers the New American Bible (from a Bible study I attended) to be the most literal.

I don’t think this is quite right. Vulgate does refer to the vulgar form of Latin, but it is not, to my knowledge, relevant to the Mass. St. Jerome chose the tongue of the common people, the vulgar, for his translation and therefore it was called the Vulgate. This really had nothing to do with what was used in the Mass really.

The Douay Rheims was translated from French into English.

I am aware of no French in the Douay or the Rheims bibles. They were translated in France by the English who had fled their own country and the persecutions being perpetrated there at the hands of the King, who had brought in the Reformation. However, no French was used to my knowledge, but rather the translation was directly from the Latin to English.

The official English translation now used in Catholic liturgical services is the New American Bible.

The New American Bible is the “official” bible in America, but, IIRC, it was not actually approved by Rome for liturgical purposes. Overly strong use of inclusive language and other such things have contributed to this I think. Therefore the actual readings in the lectionary are a modified NAB, and do not actually appear in any bible. At least, that is my understanding.

Patrick

While the main points of your post are necessary corrections to some of DebCWil’s earlier statements, I would like to add a couple of clarifications.

“Vulgar Latin” seems to refer primarily to spoken, not written Latin. The Vulgate entry in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia of 1915 is also instructive as to the origins of the name. St. Jerome was a very learned scholar. The Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say about his style:

From his master, Donatus, he [Jerome] had received a grammatical instruction that made him the most literary and learned of the Fathers, and he always retained a love for correct diction, and an attraction towards Cicero. He prized good writing so highly that he grew angry whenever he was accused of a solecism; one-half of the words he uses are taken from Cicero and it has been computed that besides employing, as occasion required, the words introduced by earlier writers, he himself is responsible for three hundred and fifty new words in the vocabulary of ecclesiastical Latin.

Although Henry VIII severed the English church from Rome in 1534, the English College at Douai—where the Douay-Rheims bible was created—was not founded until 1568, at which time Elizabeth had already been on the throne of England for ten years. She was in the 24th year of her reign by the time the Rheims NT appeared.

It is primarily the NAB’s revised Psalms of 1991 that has been kept out of the U.S. lectionary. And while changes have been made to some inclusive language in the New Testament, I believe some remains in the lectionary. Other word changes were made as well, but I think much of the NAB (especially the Old Testament) and the lectionary are the same. The lectionary is certainly a hybrid, though, and in its entirety does not match any bible.

The RSV Old Testament (and nearly all other modern translations) is based on the Hebrew Masoretic Text. The oldest extant Masoretic codex dates from around 900 A.D. St. Jerome created the Vulgate (of which the D-R is an English translation) working from Hebrew manuscripts 500 years earlier. That by itself would seem to make it worthy of respect and study. And although most of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments agree with the Masoretic, many do not. Also, as has been mentioned, the Council of Trent declared the Vulgate to be free from doctrinal error. Frankly, I see nothing wrong with the “it’s more Catholic so I use it” approach! :slight_smile:

Yes, for some it is a “tradition based” or “more catholic” argument. That doesn’t mean that the DR isn’t a worthwhile bible to use (it is), and it also doesn’t mean that all Catholics (even those who labels themselves as traditionalists) use the DR.

I own both a RSV-CE and a DR, and while I will occasionally reference the footnotes in my DR for clarification of a passage, I tend to use the RSV-CE almost exclusively.

I avoid the NAB. It’s a quite unlovely translation, and I believe there’s a problem with inclusive language in it. I wish the Church would dump it, but as long as it remains an approved bible to read I see no problem with someone choosing it over another version. Since we’re not protestants, who depend upon specific translations to support or argue doctrine, even if a passage is not as clear as it could (or should) be, we still have the Church to guide us.

That is very interesting. I must admit little specific knowledge on St. Jerome’s work directly.

Although Henry VIII severed the English church from Rome in 1534, the English College at Douai—where the Douay-Rheims bible was created—was not founded until 1568, at which time Elizabeth had already been on the throne of England for ten years. She was in the 24th year of her reign by the time the Rheims NT appeared.

Also quite interesting. I should have, of course, been more careful, and I will admit that I really was not sure if the college had been founded during the reign of Henry or Elizabeth. What mattered to me was that people be aware that the Challoner Bible is a revision of a translation of a translation, and not a revision of a translation of a translation of a translation. :smiley:

It is primarily the NAB’s revised Psalms of 1991 that has been kept out of the U.S. lectionary. And while changes have been made to some inclusive language in the New Testament, I believe some remains in the lectionary. Other word changes were made as well, but I think much of the NAB (especially the Old Testament) and the lectionary are the same. The lectionary is certainly a hybrid, though, and in its entirety does not match any bible.

I do seem to remember seeing that the psalms were the worst offenders, but I was not sure how much beyond it was problematic. It does seem that much is carried over to the lectionary (just going by experience seeing the readings) but I did know there were some troubles. What I think matters most is that many Catholics are buying a bible called “Catholic” and produced by the bishops which cannot, in its entirety, be read in the liturgy. And it is often called “official.” That has always kind of bothered me, at least a little.

Patrick

The last point about the NAB is another reason many Catholics have an aversion to tranlations other than the DR - modern scholars/translators, even of ecclesiastically approved translations, often work with poorly formed modern biases (like inclusivism) or impoverished understandings of Scripture, which show through in their work. Not to mention that the NAB uses about the most unattractive committee-speak known to man.

Sooooo… (another dumb question) whats the difference between the KJV and DR? Other than one is protestant and one catholic? Are they both Old English, etc? KJV is seen by many, including secular people, as a momumental literary achievment and many still read it for its poetic way of presenting the bible… but yet i have never heard this said about the DR?!

I always find this kind of funny. I do think the AV or KJV is very beautiful, but so is the Challoner version. Of course, Challoner revised the Douay Rheims translation using the AV as a guide, and so a surprising amount of similarity really exists. But, also, on its own there is some gorgeous language in the Challoner. For instance, consider Psalm 23:

The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof: the world, and all they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas; and hath prepared it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord: or who shall stand in his holy place?
The innocent in hands, and clean of heart, who hath not taken his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbour.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God his Saviour.
This is the generation of them that seek him, of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.
Who is this King of Glory? the Lord who is strong and mighty: the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.
Who is this King of Glory? the Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.

As far as I am concerned that is some of the most beautiful English writing in the world, and it is in the Challoner Douay Rheims Bible. I much prefer it to the KJV’s “who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord” or “lift up your head, o ye gates, and be ye lift up.” Not that there is anything wrong with the KJV rendering really, but the Challoner just flows more elegantly in this case.

And there are certainly troubling translation issues in the AV. For instance, and most prominently for me, is the wedding at Cana, in which Christ is said to respond to his mother this way: "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" Now, where in the original languages does he even begin to hint this disrespect of his mother? He says literally “What is that to me and to you?”, which, btw, is exactly what the Challoner bible gives. Where does this go to what the AV renders? It just bears no resemblence and smacks of horrific intent, IMO. But, even still, it is a phenomenally important and beautiful work of art in its own right.

Patrick

Confraternity New Testament plus Douay Rheims Haydock Old Testament = a pretty decent bible!

Before posting today, I remembered the letter from Pope Paul VI in the front of my Bible in which he recognizes the achievement of the NAB translation “for the faithful of all English speaking countries.” In the letter he references Pope Pius XII Divino Afflante Spiritu and the decree from Vatican II prescribing "‘up-to-date and appropriate translations be made in various languages, by preference from the original texts of sacred books’ and that ‘with the approval of Church authority, these translations may be produced in cooperation with our separated brethern that all Christians may be able to use them.’"
The title page states the NAB is authorized by the Board of Trustees of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and Approved by the Administrative Committee Board of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference.
I have a copy of the United States Edition Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers. Readings are taken directly from the Lectionary and are revised NAB. The Canadian edition is from the New Revised Standard Version. This information is from the backcover of the workbook.
For those who corrected earlier statements about the Douay-Rheims, I am sure you are correct. Scholars of the day were well versed in Latin and St. Jerome is highly honored by the Catholic Church for his translation of the Bible.
The point I was trying to make is that until 1970, the Douay-Rheims was the official English translation of the Bible accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. It is the translation I read in high school English while almost everybody else in my class read KJV.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines vulgate as common speech or vernacular; Vulgate as the Bible translation used by the Roman Catholic Church; and Vulgar Latin as the language of the common Roman and from which the Romance languages developed.

What is the AV? And is all of the DR poetic like that? (i have never seen one before) I am also a bit confused as to what all these various DR’s listed are (i.e. challoner), is there no standard DR version?

Dbcwil- the RCC actually had an official englihs bible? (being the DR) like the Protestants did with the KJV?

By AV I mean Authorized Version, or what is commonly called the King James Version. AV is the more proper or accurate term, and so I usually default to that

As for versions of the Douay Rheims, there is really only one around today. All the bookstores or publishers that make them use the identical text, and they are all called Douay Rheims. But, technically, they are quite different than the original Douay Rheims bibles, and were revised very heavily by Bishop Challoner in the late 18th century. For that reason they are also called Challoner versions, but don’t be confused they are still Douay Rheims bibles and don’t vary in text at all from any other bible with that name you will find. There is even a very heavily annotated version called the Haydock Bible, but that is still a Challoner Douay Rheims in text, unless I am greatly mistaken.

As for poetic, I am not too sure. The Psalms maybe more “poetic” than other parts, but I have always found that overall the style is not too different from the AV. For example consider this from the Gospel according to St. John 3.11-21:

Amen, amen I say to thee, that we speak what we know, and we testify what we have seen, and you receive not our testimony.
If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not; how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things?
And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but may have life everlasting.
For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.
For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him.
He that believeth in him is not judged. But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.
For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.
But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.

That may give an idea of what some basic text looks like, and you can compare it to the other Bibles you have used for some idea of what you think about it.

Dbcwil- the RCC actually had an official englihs bible? (being the DR) like the Protestants did with the KJV?

Well, I don’t really know too much, but I imagine that the Douay was really more official in the Catholic Church than was the King James in Protestantism. I know most Protestant churches used the KJV, but I am not sure how “official” that really was, except perhaps for the Anglicans. The Catholic Church really did officially use the DR, in the liturgy and personal use, for something like three hundred years or more. So, yes I think you could say it was quite official.

Patrick

Well……the D-R/Challoner New Testament was revised (in places) a few times back in the day. I’m not sure anything was gained with these tweakings. One of these versions, known as Dr. Troy’s, is supposedly what is found in Haydock bibles. I believe its New Testament will differ in places from that of the D-R/Challoner from Baronius or Loreto. If you really want the nuts and bolts of the D-R history check out this exhaustive survey written by John Henry Cardinal Newman in 1859 (Haydock is covered). :bible1:

thanks patrick. That helps! I do have a bias being a anglican and tend to sterotype protestants as that lol.

Hmm, the DR seems to have less thees, thou, etc of old english… it seems poetic but at the same time more easily read in modern times than the KJV

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