The Original Douay Rheims Bible
In early 2007, I decided to reprint the original 3 volume Douay Rheims Bible. I did this for 3 primary reasons.
#1. It is out of print. A bible of this historical significance should be in print and accessible to the general public.
#2. It is important for students of the bible and of Latin to be able to have access to such a work. The original Douay Rheims bible is the most literal translation of the Latin Vulgate ever produced. it is an excellent resource for students of the Vulgate.
#3. This may be a superficial reason, but think it is a really fine bible to read and appreciate. The format and typography are truly a work of art.
This is not the Challoner revision of the Douay Rheims bible. This is the bible that Bishop Challoner used as a base text for his translation. While most complete bibles come in at about 1000 to 1200 pages, this one is almost 2900 pages. It is filled with tons of notes, annotations, historical texts and tables, and a lot of other information. I have provided some page samples below so you can look at them and judge for yourself. At first, my intent was to only produce a printed edition but due to the cost of it to the consumer and the diversified needs of the consumer, I have made it available in 3 different formats. A printed version, a CD ROM version, and a download.
A few notes on this edition
The edition I am offering is a facsimile, not a re-typeset edition. Taking this into consideration, and also considering the period in which the original texts were printed (printing technology has changed drastically in the last 500 years!), there are a few isolated places where the text that is printed in a smaller font is very difficult to read. This applies to the notes and annotations. The biblical text is in a larger font and is much clearer. I had second thoughts about reprinting this edition because of these faults. Then I realized the fact that offering a slightly inferior edition is better than not having this bible available at all. I had this edition professionally scanned and converted it to an 8 ¼” by 10 ¾” page size. To my knowledge, this is the largest facsimile reprint of the original Douay Rheims Bible.
Why is this bible printed in 5 volumes?
Since the publisher I use has a page limit of 800 pages for their hardcover books, and each volume of the Old Testament has around 1000 pages, I had to split the original 2 volume Old Testament into 4. This made the cost go up since you have to buy more books get a complete set, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. One good thing, the divisions turned out to correspond with the 4 major divisions of the books of the Old Testament (the Pentateuch, the Historical Books, the Wisdom Books, and the Prophetical Books). It turned out that the New Testament has exactly 800 pages, so I was able to keep it a single volume.
Is there an inexpensive alternative to the printed edition?
Due to the cost of the printed edition, I produced a fully bookmarked .PDF available on CD-ROM or by Download that are a fraction of the cost (available below).
Is there any advantage to ordering the whole set?
I am also offering a substantial discount if you purchase the complete Douay Rheims Bible (all 5 volumes) as a complete set (see below). Also note the other “perks” when buying the whole set. (see the listing for the whole set below).
Why did you reprint the 1635 edition of the Old Testament and not the original (first) 1609 edition?
The reason why I reprinted the 1635 edition and not the 1609 edition is because this was the edition that was used in the facsimile that I scanned. There are very few differences between these editions, even though they were printed over 25 years apart. The spelling and format varied slightly but content is the same.
Is the Original Douay Rheims bible available anywhere else?
Yes, but not as a facsimile. I have reprinted the actual historical text. There is another edition out there that is the fruit of a man named Dr. William von Peters. After many years of re-typesetting and re-formatting, he has released a slightly “updated” edition of the Douay Rheims. He calls it the Real or Original and True Douay Rheims Bible. When I say “updated”, I don’t mean revised or edited in any way. He has typed the whole bible out using a word processor and corrected the archaic word spellings. That is it. The original text was not corrupted in any way. If you are interested in such a version, look here - http://www.realdouayrheims.com/
On ordering the Douay Rheims Bible
Note that these volumes are heavy. Shipping can be a bit expensive especially if you are ordering the complete set. Please read the “How to Order” link under the “Books” link on the homepage for detailed ordering instructions and then send your order to churchlatin at gmail dot com. Also note that there will be a 2 ½ to 3 week waiting period while your books are being printed. This time period is beyond my control. This is just how long it takes for the publisher to print and bind hardcover books. I have included large sample files of each volume that includes all of the front matter and the whole first book of each volume. I did this so you could carefully examine these texts before you decide to purchase.
For a full description of this offer, please visit our Douay Rheims Page. Click the link on the lower right of the homepage.
The Complete Douay Rheims Bible 5 Volumes
Original year of publication: 1582, 1635
Reprinted in the year: 2007
Here is the complete 5 volume set of the original, unrevised Douay Rheims Bible. Presented in a facsimile format, this bible has been historically preserved in this edition. Presented with a free download of the pdf version and free book considering the merits of this bible. Individual volumes and a more complete description of this edition can be found at our Douay Rheims page. Ordering options (below) include a print edition, CD ROM only edition, download direct from this site (link given manually after payment), or purchase and download from lulu.com (download link provided immediately).
Save about $10 when you buy all five volumes of the printed edition, all at once. PLUS- You will get a free book “A Historical and Critical Analysis of the Douay Rheims Translation of the Holy Scriptures” by Fr. Hugh Pope, O.P. AND download of the fully bookmarked pdf version.
Testimonial(s) regarding this book...
May 15, 2013
To own this facsimilied set of the Douay Rheims is an honor; I'm proud of this particular english translation because , for some reason, it literally feels holier than the numerous translations out there. Per the physical attributes of the set, the hardcover binding is sturdy and very well made, the entire set is heavy but it's worth the heft due to the letter-sized pages, which are standard 20 lb. pages, not the flimsy sheets usu. found in bibles. B.Y. from Chicago, IL
If I were a demon, I wouldn't want Catholics (or anybody for that matter) reading this translation since it just feels like that much of a weapon against evil, which is what every Bible should be. God bless always
February 22, 2013
Wanted to let you know I received my five Douay-Rheims Bibles. I have started reading the
Old Testament and I'm really enjoying reading it. Before ordering these bibles from you
several people had told me they thought these Bibles would be too difficult to read since they were originally written in Old English. I have to say this is definitely not true. After getting used to
the Old English style, which really is not that difficult to do, these bibles are very understandable.
Further, the Bibles are beautifully printed. A blessing to read. Thank you so much for bringing the true and original Douay-Rheims Bibles back to us. I feel in some ways that God directed me to
your website to find these treasures. Thank you also for your fantastic customer service.
Your replies to my questions we're always quick and detailed. I really appreciated this.
May God bless you and your work.B.T. from Keller, TX
May 26, 2011
Ave,K.H. from Aurora, IL
First, thank you for making this Bible available. The CD arrived only a couple of days after I placed my order, and the 5 volumes of the Bible arrived in less than a week. Great service. I am sorry I didn't contact you sooner but I have been too busy enjoying my new Bible. Thanks again and keep up the great work.
October 27, 2010
If it's given any thought at all by English-speaking Catholics, the original Douay Rheims is usually dismissed as being unreadable. After spending several weeks with it, I can confirm this reputation is undeserved. On the contrary, I find the translation clear and precise; it benefits greatly by tracking so closely to the Latin of the Vulgate. I prefer this translation to Bishop Challoner's mislabeled "revision", which takes as much from the King James as from the original DR, and ends up being less aesthetically pleasing than either.
Regarding this particular facsimile, it is excellent. The print is large and easy to read. The orthography is initially strange, but it did not take me long to become accustomed to it. However, the marginal notes and end-of-chapter annotations are in small print -- even in this oversize format -- and can be difficult to read. Having said that, they are very much worth the effort needed to decipher them. Written during the Counter-Reformation in response to Protestant heresies, it is a mistake to think these notes have lost any relevance with the passage of time. On several occasions already the notes have shed light on passages that have puzzled me for years.
In sum, the original DR is the best English version of The Holy Bible I have yet encountered. It is a shame that it has languished in obscurity for almost four centuries. I would very much like to see this reprinted by an established publisher, with updated orthography but otherwise unchanged (and with the notes intact). Until that day arrives, this facsimile edition comes highly recommended.RH from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
November 04, 2009
Maximus,T.H. from Florence, MS
Here is my quite tardy testimonial. Mea culpa. I am enjoying the D-R Bible quite a bit, and am incorporating it into my daily reading and worship quickly. Thanks again.
"When one hears the words "facsimile edition", one immediately thinks of nearly unreadable Shakespearean folios or a set of Paradise Lost. This edition of the Douay-Rheims Bible has none of these flaws. There are a few fuzzy spots and glitches, but this is head and shoulders the best facsimile edition I've ever seen of any book of antiquity. Also, the publisher has done the Catholic Church a huge favor by bringing the D-R back into print. At last, one can read the original Catholic Bible as it was translated into English from the Vulgate. Any serious student of the Bible, or any Catholic interested in the true English translation owes it to himself or herself to get and read this bible.
January 04, 2009
(This comment is referring to the CD ROM only)
I’ve been enjoying the CD very much. Once one gets into the groove of reading that font, etc., the reading flows effortlessly. And it doesn’t take all that long to get accustomed to it. I was reading their notes for St. Thomas of Canterbury today and learned a lot from them.
(After his printed edition arrived, W.A. made this comment)
The Douay Rheims arrived last Tuesday, the 20th, and I have been enjoying it ever since. They are indeed beautiful. The study notes alone are worth the price of the volumes. I have been using them in my daily devotions. The print is clear and legible, the binding strong. Best of all from a practical standpoint, the division into five volumes makes reading and studying very manageable because no volume is too bulky or awkward to hold. Thank you so much for reprinting them.
W.A. from Grove City, PA
The Psalms of the Douay Old Testament
The Psalms of the Douay Old Testament
Original year of publication: 1635
Reprinted in the year: 2010
Upon a customer's request, I created this book by extracting the book of Psalms from the Original Douay Old Testament. This is an inexpensive alternative to purchasing one complete volume of the Old Testament if you desire to only obtain the Psalms. Filled with copious notes and annotations, this historic translation of the Psalms is sure to increase your appreciation of the Holy Psalms of David.
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