Rheims New Testament, First Edition

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book








Printed on Paper


8.5 × 6.7 × 2.1 in. (21.7 × 17 × 5.3 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

The Rheims New Testament, as part of the Douay-Rheims Bible, formed the basis of nearly every English translation of the Catholic Bible until the twentieth century. After the ascension of Elizabeth I to the throne in 1559, some Catholic scholars fled to Douay, France, where they formed a college for English priests. They eventually began work on an English translation of the Bible based on the Vulgate, which they hoped would combat the influence of Protestant translations. They published the New Testament, along with notes and commentary, in Rheims in 1582. The Old Testament was later published in Douay in two volumes in 1609 and 1610. The Douay-Rheims translation became the principal text for Catholic Bibles in English and even influenced the Protestant King James Bible. This copy is a first edition.

Printed in 1582 by John Fogny, printer, Rheims, France. Purchased in the early 2000s by Sidney Ohlhausen, private collector, Houston, Texas;[1] Purchased in 2015 by Tenny Family Bible Collection, private collection, Krum, Texas; Donated in 2020 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Information from Sidney Ohlhausen via email, December 2020.

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