Expert Answer Forum
Douay-Rheims Bible QUESTION from L. R. Torres July 12, 2000 I am completing literary research on Joseph Conrad which involves Bible allusions. Would the Catholic Polish Aristocracy of the mid 19th century as well as children being taught privately or in schools by nuns and priests (Catholic) have used the Douay version? Would there have been access to the Douay version in France and England in late 1800's- early 1900? I hope you can help me, if not, thanks anyway.
ANSWER by Mrs. Suzanne Fortin, B.A. on July 19, 2000 Dear Miss Torres
The Poles nor the French would certainly not have used the Douay Bible since it was in English. English Catholics would have had access to the Douay, but they would have probably used what was closest-- whether it was a Protestant or a Catholic Bible.
If you're doing research on biblical allusions in English, your first assumption should be that archaic-sounding allusions are from the King James Bible. The King James is renown for its beauty and most English writers of the past quoted from it. If you have a biblical quote and you're not sure whether it's from a KJV or the Douay, simply find a King James, then compare. If there is a discrepancy, then you proceed with finding out which version it came from. Joseph Conrad learned English in his adult life in England; his knowledge of biblical allusions in English would have almost certainly been influenced by the KJV.
If you want further information on the versions of the Bible used by various peoples, try looking it up in the Catholic Encyclopedia. There's the on-line version at www.newadvent.org which is from 1913, and there's the more recent version which is available in any decent university library.
I hope this helps. Good Luck.
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