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.