“Editio Princeps” of the Roman Catholic Version of the Bible in English. A Complete Bible In 3 Volumes
BIBLE IN ENGLISH. Holie Bible Faithfully Translated into English, out of the Authentical Latin. Diligently conferred with the Hebrew, Greeke, and other Editions in divers languages. With Arguments of the Bookes, and Chapters: Annotations: Tables: and other helpes, for better understanding of the text: for discoverie of Corruptions in some late translations: and for clearing Controversies in Religion. By the English College of Doway. Douai: Printed...by Laurence Kellam , 1609-1610.
First edition of the Roman Catholic version of the Old Testament in English. Two small quarto volumes (7 7/8 x 6 inches; 199 x 154 mm). [20], 1115, [1, blank]; 1004, [1001]-1124, [1, errata], [1, blank] pp. Bound with the final blank leaf in Volume II. Titles within decorative border of type ornaments, decorative woodcut and typographic head- and tail-pieces, decorative and historiated woodcut initials.

[Together with:]

[BIBLE IN ENGLISH. New Testament]. The New Testament of Jesus Christ, Translated Faithfully into English, out of the authentical Latin, according to the best corrected copies of the same, diligently conferred with the Greeke and other editions in divers languages: With Arguments of bookes and chapters, Annotations. and other necessarie helpes, for the better understanding of the text, and specially for the discoverie of the Corruptions of divers late translations, and for cleering the Controversies in religion, of these daies: In the English College of Rhemes. [Rheims]: Printed...by John Fogny, 1582.

First edition of the Roman Catholic version of the New Testament in English. Small quarto,

(8 5/16 x 6 inches; 210 x 154 mm). [28], 745, [27] pp. Title within border of type ornaments, decorative and historiated woodcut initials.

Old Testament bound in modern calf, paneled with speckled and smooth calf. Boards ruled in gilt and spine stamped in gilt. Each volume with a red and brown morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. Boards edges gilt, gilt dentelles. All edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. Outer joints of both volumes, starting, but still holding firm. With three previous owner's bookplates on front pastedown of both volumes. Ownership signature dated 1622 on V1 recto of first volume. Title-page of volume II trimmed 3 mm short on fore-edge, not affecting woodcut border or text. Some mild dampstaining throughout, mainly to early leaves in volume I. Very minor worming to lower margin of the first few leaves of volume II, not affecting text. New Testament bound in 19th-century brown calf. Boards and spine ruled and stamped in blind. Spine with red morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. Board edges and dentelles stamped in blind. All edges red. Marbled endpapers. Boards slightly rubbed. Four previous owner's bookplates on front pastedown. Front free endpaper with old ink notations (quotation from Saint Augustine) and small purple library stamp from the "Society of Jesus" in Milltown Park Ireland. The "Society of Jesus" is the Catholic group of which its members are the Jesuits. Title-page with cropped early annotation at top margin, and same small "Society of Jesus" library stamp to lower corner. Some dampstaining and toning, particularly to beginning. Some slight worming to fore-edge margin, occasionally barely affecting text. Overall, an excellent copy of the Douai-Rheims Bible.

“The long title [of The New Testament] indicates, at least in part, the purpose which motivated William Allen and his small band of associates in the seminary of English Catholic refugees at Rheims. It was a losing battle for English Catholics merely to condemn the errors they claimed existed in other translations while declining to exhibit a translation which reflected their own critical principles...If the slow erosion of the Catholic faith in England was to be checked, loyal Catholics would better withstand the taunts of Protestant Bible readers with the comfort and consolation drawn from a version of their own. As the title announces, the translation was faithful to the Latin Vulgate, but it also acknowledges careful comparison with the Greek. What the title does not specifically advertise is that Gregory Martin, the chief translator, borrowed freely from existing English versions. Close textual analysis has revealed many striking resemblances between the Rheims New Testament and Coverdale’s diglot of 1538. One new principle...was followed consistently—technical words were transliterated in the text rather than translated, the notes providing a clarification. Many of these words subsequently passed into the English language, largely through the continuation of this practice by the revisers of the Authorized Version of 1611, who not only used these technical terms but also borrowed from Rheims many of its most felicitous and distinctive phrases” (In Remembrance of Creation 206).

The Douai Old Testament of 1609-1610 was based upon the same lines, and came from the same hands, as the Rheims New Testament of 1582. The complete work is commonly known as the “Douai-Rheims version,” or the “Douai Bible.”

“Gregory Martin had originally translated the whole Bible into English but lack of funds permitted publication only of the New Testament in 1582. The long delay of twenty-seven years in completing the publication is underscored in the Preface of the Old Testament by reference to ‘our poor estate in banishment’ (In Remembrance of Creation 208). The annotations in the Old Testament are ascribed to Thomas Worthington, who became President of the College at Douay in 1599. The “Approbatio” is signed by three Professors at Douai.

Darlow & Moule 231. Herbert 177. Herbert 300. In Remembrance of Creation 208. In Remembrance of Creation 206. STC 2284. STC 2207.

HBS # 67855 $35,000