The Douay-Rheims Bible

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

While prayerfully meditating on today's Gospel, I became more curious with the Douay-Rheims Bible. It has been for such a long time the official English translation of the Catholic Church, one that is most faithful to the Latin Vulgate Bible of Saint Jerome.

What was most different was how it felt reading this particular translation. Take for instance the Gospel for today, which I have quoted in my blog entry.

28 And when he was come on the other side of the water, into the country of the Gerasens, there met him two that were possessed with devils, coming out of the sepulchres, exceeding fierce, so that none could pass by that way.
29
And behold they cried out, saying: What have we to do with thee, Jesus Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
30 And there was, not far from them, an herd of many swine feeding.

31 And the devils besought him, saying: If thou cast us out hence, send us into the herd of swine. 32 And he said to them: Go. But they going out went into the swine, and behold the whole herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea: and they perished in the waters.
33
And they that kept them fled: and coming into the city, told every thing, and concerning them that had been possessed by the devils.

34 And behold the whole city went out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart from their coasts.

Very beautiful. Compare this with the contemporary translation I am using for my reflections.

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?
Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”
Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
The demons pleaded with him,
“If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
And he said to them, “Go then!”
They came out and entered the swine,
and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
where they drowned.
The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

Which is for you a better rendering of God's Word? It's yours to decide. As for me, I felt very refreshed after reading the Word in the Douay-Rheims version. I hope I can buy the Holy Bible in this translation, and I really pray it's available in the Philippines.

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Saint Peter Canisius, pray for us.

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