First Edition of the Roman Catholic Version of the Bible in English, New Testament.
BIBLE IN ENGLISH. 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.

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 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).

“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. . In Remembrance of Creation 206. STC 2284. STC 2207.

HBS # 68152 $22,500