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The Douay-Rheims Bible, also known as the Rheims-Douai Bible or Douai Bible and abbreviated as D-R, is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English. The New Testament was published in one volume with extensive commentary and notes in 1582. The Old Testament followed in 1609–10 in two volumes, also extensively annotated. The notes took up the bulk of the volumes and had a strong polemical and patristic character. They also offered insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate. The purpose of the version, both the text and notes, was to uphold Catholic tradition in the face of the Protestant Reformation which was heavily influencing England. As such it was an impressive effort by English Catholics to support the Counter-Reformation.
Much of the text of the 1582/1610 bible, however, employed a densely latinate vocabulary, to the extent of being in places unreadable; and consequently this translation was replaced in 1752 by a version undertaken by bishop Richard Challoner. Although retaining the title Douay-Rheims Bible, the Challoner revision was in fact a new version, taking as its base text the King James Bible rigorously checked and extensively adjusted for consistency with the Clementine edition of the Vulgate.
Although the Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible (in the United States), the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version and the New Jerusalem Bible are the most commonly used in English-speaking Catholic churches, the Challoner revision of the Douay-Rheims is still often the Bible of choice of English-speaking Traditionalist Catholics.
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