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The Douay-Rheims Bible, also known as the Douai Bible, and abbreviated D-R or DV, is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English by members of the English College, Douai, who were commissioned by the Catholic Church. Its name stems from the fact that the New Testament portion of the translation was published in Reims, France in 1582, while the Old Testament translation was published in two volumes in 1609 and 1610 by the University of Douai. The purpose of the translation was to uphold Catholic tradition in the face of the Protestant Reformation, which was then dominating religious academic debate. Margin notes took up the bulk of the volumes. Much of the text of the D-R employed a densely Latinate vocabulary, so much so people found portions of it to be unreadable. Revisions to the translation were made in 1749, 1750 and 1752 by Bishop Richard Challoner, who used the King James Version of the Bible as a base text rather than the Latin Vulgate. Subsequent editions of the Challoner revision reproduce his text of the Old Testament with few changes, but Challoner's New Testament text was extensively revised by Bernard MacMahon in a series of editions from 1783 to 1810, although subsequent editions of the Challoner Bible printed in England often follow the 1749 and 1750 text, as do most 20th century printings and online versions of the Douay-Rheims. Although other translations are more commonly used in English-speaking Catholic churches today, the Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims text is often the Bible of choice for more traditional Catholics, often used in Latin Missals, and revered for its history, tradition and language, much as the King James Version is revered by more traditional Protestants.

 

 

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