Last year, Timothy posted a review of the hardcover Douay-Rheims Bible published by Loreto Publications. As Timothy mentioned in his review, Loreto has been working on a new typesetting for their Douay-Rheims, and it is now available in print! Loreto kindly shipped me a review copy.

The overall construction of this bible is very similar to the previous edition. It features a hardcover wrapped in bonded leather, a sewn binding, two high-quality ribbon markers that are 5/8-inch (1.6 cm) wide, and Loreto’s unique endpapers emblazoned with blue crosses.

The ribbon markers are double-sided and very large.
The endpapers featuring Loreto’s blue cross design.

I enjoy the feel of this bible in the hand. It’s very close to a perfect size for me, measuring 6 3/16 X 9 1/4 inches (15.8 X 23.5 cm). It has a slightly smaller footprint than the HarperOne NRSV Catholic Edition hardcover, as shown below:

The Loreto Douay-Rheims stacked on top of the HarperOne NRSV Catholic Edition hardcover.

The binding is also very usable out of the box. It easily opens flat throughout the vast majority of the bible with minimal stiffness. Near the beginning and ending (around the first and last 50 pages), it will require a bit of use before it will effortlessly lie flat, but this is very normal, especially for a new bible.

The new typesetting is a significant improvement over the older editions of this bible. Loreto reports that the font is larger, and I can confirm that it is large, bold, and very readable. It is significantly larger than the 8 pt font in my Cambridge hardcover REB. I would estimate it is at least a 10 pt size. The pages also have a cleaner look compared to the old edition with its line dividers between the columns and its antiquated font which looked like a newspaper from the 1800s (see Timothy’s review for a few photos of the old edition).

The text is line-matched, and the ghosting is very minimal. In fact, the ghosting is surprisingly minimal in light of how bold the text is. I think readers who have trouble with small bible font or who long for a bible with darker and bolder letters will love this edition. I’m disappointed to see that it retains the verse-by-verse format (with each verse beginning on a new line) instead of a paragraph format, but this is common in Douay-Rheims editions and other older bibles like the King James Version.

The bible features several illustrations, a few prayers, and the encyclical Providentissimus Deus by Leo XIII. There is a section between the Old Testament and New Testament that includes an index of references and a chronological table of important events surrounding the Old and New Testaments.

For anyone who is currently looking for a Douay-Rheims edition, or who prefers the Douay-Rheims, I can whole-heartedly recommend this new edition from Loreto. It’s very nicely done with few shortcomings.

19 thoughts on “First Look: Newly Typeset Douay-Rheims from Loreto Publications”

  1. Ah! Gorgeous, simple gorgeous!
    The verse-by-verse formatting actually makes me feel a little nostalgic when I look at it, back when I read the KJV nearly exclusively. 🙂

    And to put vanity on vanity, I find myself really liking that calligraphic “A” in the picture showing off Exodus. I really appreciate old-style aesthetics like that.

  2. I have the older edition, looks like this is a significant improvement over that one. May have to consider upgrading.

  3. Omg that type is waaaaaaay better than before! I remember looking at this DR a long time ago for the price and the type of cover but was heavily disappointed in the type. Now I can reconsider it.

  4. Where I can find this Bible in Europe? I like it, but purchasing from Us is too expensive. Do you think they will sell it on Amazon webstores in Europe?

      1. Thank you for your answer. I wrote them but they did not reply, so I think I will read DR in ebook. Your blog is very interesting.

    1. The DR here is actually the Challoner version. It is a good read; however, to me it is the sheet metal of the King James Version that has been pounded into the shape of the Latin Clementine Vulgate. This doesn’t make it a bad translation as there is greatness in the KJV; however its connection to the Doughy-Rheims original is not significant. I have read only portions of the New Testament of the original. In the context of a Bible Study (1 Corinthians) ,I found the original to be not just a translation but a significant and valuable commentary. Clearly, when reading the notes, you can see that it is a counterreformation document; as it was intended to be an evangelical tool for the brave priests, who often ended up being, hung drawn and quartered, who went to England with goal of returning England to its Catholic roots. I do not believe that the original DR was printed in any volume; thus I think its actual significance may be overrated. That being said; with its notes and commentary I think it is a great contemporary tool, among many ,to be used in a serious Bible Study. Facsimile copies of the complete original DR are very expensive. However, there are a number available online such as: http://catholicresourcepage.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-original-douay-rheims-bible-pre.html. So why is this Challoner version important? It is important because there was no Catholic Bible for English only speakers available until the Challoner version was published in 1750. The original DR appears to have been out-of-print for many years (perhaps more than 100). It wasn’t until the Jerusalem Bible in 1966 and the New American/Confraternity Bible completed in 1970 that a modern English language Bible (Knox Bible would be an exception) was mass produced, and ,used in the liturgy of the mass. Note: Knox was approved for liturgical use; but to my knowledge only in the Liturgy of the Hours. My bottom line is that all Bible Translations are to a degree commentaries; and, nearly all shed light (from the Holy Spirit) on the original writings. However, the intensity of the light varies from translation to translation. I think, in the case of the DR, that it is more nostalgia that drives its somewhat meager publication figures (hence its expense.) However, as I always try to remember when asked what is the best translation, I should reply that the best translation is the one you want to read.

      1. The Knox translation is not in modern English, it is in archaic English in ‘On Englishing the Bible’ he complains about this, but his mandate was to use archaic English, and he followed his mandate. The first Catholic Bible in modern English appears to be the Jerusalem Bible.

  5. Adrian, I have a copy of it but while I do like it, it is clearly not the best as it is a paraphrase. The best out there is, so far, the RSVCE in my humble opinion.

  6. One change in this new type-setting is the spellings have changed from British to American e.g Saviour becomes Savior, honour becomes honor etc. I prefer the British spelling of Saviour with 7 letters…won’t be a big deal to most people though. Just something I observed in comparing it to the old type-setting.

    1. Have the spellings of proper nouns been changed to match modern spellings (de-Latinized you could say), i.e. Noah vs. Noe, etc?

  7. Note- this bible does not have a sewn binding. Look closely; you can see the glue. It appears to be very well-done and sturdy, just not sewn.
    Peace.

    1. Hi Douglas,

      I can confirm that the binding on this bible is sewn. Most modern sewn bindings are constructed by sewing the signatures together and then gluing the spine, so technically these bindings are both sewn and glued. When I refer to a glued binding, though, I mean one where there are no folded signatures and no sewing to hold the pages together – there is only a strip of glue along the spine that is holding the pages in place.

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