The: Douay-Rheims Bible
Exodus 20:1-17

And the Lord spoke all these words: I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
  1. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: And shewing mercy unto thousands to them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain.
  4. Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day. Six days shalt thou labour, and shalt do all thy works. But on the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work on it, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy beast, nor the stranger that is within thy gates.

    For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them, and rested on the seventh day: therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thou mayest be longlived upon the land which the Lord thy God will give thee.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house: neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his.
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Known details

1899 American Edition


This is a scrupulously faithful translation into English of the Latin Vulgate Bible which Jerome (342-420) translated into Latin from the original languages. The Latin Vulgate Bible had been declared by the Council of Trent to be the official Latin version of the canonical Scriptures. The DRB translators took great pains to translate exactly. When a passage seemed strange and unintelligible they left it alone, even if obscure.

The translators translated from a translation for ten reasons, ending by stating that the Latin Vulgate "is not onely better than al other Latin translations, but then the Greeke text itselfe, in those places where they disagree." They also state that the Vulgate is "more pure then the Hebrew or Greke now extant" and that "the same Latin hath bene farre better conserved from corruptions."

It has the imprimatur of James Cardinal Gibbons.

John Murphy Company (1899)

[University of Texas at Arlington Library, Arlington, Texas]

When Catholics were considering a vernacular Bible, professors at the English College at Douay, France, took up the work. Because of political unrest, the college was moved to Rheims, also in France. Work started in 1578. The New Testament, translated faithfully into the English out of authentic Latin and diligently conferred with the Greek, was printed at Rheims in 1582. The purpose was to discover corruptions in numerous late translations and to clear controversies in the religion of the day. In more peaceful times, the vernacular would not have been necessary. The Church never wholly condemned vulgar (popular or pertaining to common people) versions but warned against indiscriminate interpretation.

The groundwork was supplied by such sources as Coverdale, Bishop's Bible, and the Geneva Bible, but mostly Wycliffe. The Vulgate was used for translation because of its ancient character, its tradition, its accuracy, its sincerity, and the decree of the Council of Trent. The aim of the translators was a literal translation. The Old Testament was published in two volumes in 1609-1610. At the time of publication, both Testament translators were criticized. Later scholars praised the accuracy of the Douay-Rheims Bible.

[Tyndale House, Cambridge, United Kingdom]