1582 Rheims NT/ 1609-1610 Douay OT/ 1635 Douay Bible

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the original Douay and Rheims Bible translations online. There have been various transcriptions made available for academic use, but a lot of these got made un-public afterward, folded into various university library subscription schemes. There have also been various digitizations that were taken down again. When you add in the difficulty of finding it at all without the correct search terms already in mind… well, it can be a pain.

So here’s an archive.org copy of the 1635 edition of the Douay Bible:

AKA “The Holy Bible, Faithfully Translated Into English Out Of the authentical Latin, diligently conferred with the Hebrew, Greek, & other Editions in divers languages: With Arguments of the Bookes and Chapters, Annotations, Tables, & other helps, for better understanding of the text; for discoverie of Corruptions in some late translations: and for clearing Controversies in Religion. By the English College in Douuay.”

It’s not the original edition, because there were two: the 1582 Rheims New Testament, and the 1609/1610 two volume Douay Old Testament. This 1635 is the first combined edition. Of course Douay was putting this out at the same time they were constantly sending new priests over to England to sneak the Sacraments to Catholics, and to die martyrs. Also, it was treason to possess this book, and often that meant the death penalty or losing your house. So it’s amazing that so many copies survived.

One of the sadder features of the original annotations is that all verses used in the lectionary are noted, so that people who don’t have access to Mass can read along with the Church year.

The 1582 Rheims digitized at gallica.fr, the French national library. Translated by the English College at Rheims. (Reims in modern spelling.) If you don’t want to read the interesting preface, here’s the beginning of Matthew.

The 1609 Douay Old Testament at archive.org. Genesis to Job.

The 1610 Douay Old Testament at archive.org. Psalms to 2 Maccabees. Also includes a prologue on reading Psalms; an essay on the continuity of the Church with the OT qahal, and the continuity of Jewish belief between captivity in Babylon and NT Judaism; the non-canonical Prayer of Manasses and 3 and 4 Esdras; a chronological table of Biblical historical events; and a short index for finding particular Bible stories.

And yes, the King James Version didn’t come out until 1611, and yes, there were tons of other Bible translations into English before Wycliffe, and yes, it’s pretty freaking sad that most of the English-speaking world swallows so many false legends about its own religious history.


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5 responses to “1582 Rheims NT/ 1609-1610 Douay OT/ 1635 Douay Bible

  1. Well I guess I don’t have to spend the weekend firnuigg this one out!

  2. Matthew W. I. Dunn

    Thank you!

  3. I made a website with the original Rheims New Testament that is much easier to read. I am still working on it, but I should be done with all of the verses soon. It is yet to include the many annotations too.

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