Rheims-Bishops’ Parallel New Testament, Fourth Edition

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book








Printed on Paper


3.6 × 9.1 × 3.4 in. (34.6 × 23 × 8.7 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

The Rheims-Bishops’ Parallel New Testament was the work of a Puritan theologian, but ended up aiding perhaps the most important Bible translation in the history of English Catholicism. In 1582, English Catholics working in exile in France published the Rheims New Testament, an English translation of the Vulgate with notes and commentary aimed at refuting Protestant doctrine. William Fulke, a Puritan minister and theologian, responded in 1589 with this parallel New Testament, which placed the Rheims translation side by side with the text of the Protestant Bishops’ Bible. The format allowed him to refute the Rheims text line by line. In publishing his work, however, Fulke unintentionally made the Rheims New Testament more widely available to Catholics in England. This copy is a fourth edition printed in 1633.

Printed in 1633 by Augustine Mathewes, London, England. Acquired by 1768 by Mary Tompkins, unknown owner.[1] Acquired by Richard Carver, unknown owner.[2] Acquired by F. H. Harpur, unknown owner.[3] Purchased in the 2000s by Sidney Ohlhausen, private collector, Houston, Texas; Purchased in 2015 by Tenny Family Bible Collection, private collection, Krum, Texas; Donated in 2020 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Mary Tompkins signature is located on the front pastedown, along with the date. [2] Richard Carver’s signature is located on the front free endpaper. [3] F. H. Harpur’s name is stamped on the front free endpaper.

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