London: Sheed & Ward, . First edition. 12mo. (7 1/8 inches tall), modern full crushed chocolate brown morocco, tan flyleaves, four ribbon markers, bindery ticket. Sporadic faint spotting to text, binding fine. Item #653
"SCRIPTURE IS BEST EXPLAINED WITH SCRIPTURE" (ST. BERNARD) First edition of this explanatory edition of the 1582 Rheims New Testament as revised by Richard Challoner in 1740. "For a hundred years or more the Douay version of the Bible, as amended by Challoner the official text of the Catholic Church in England, had been generally recognized as unsatisfactory" (Evelyn Waugh). A revision by John Henry Newman was proposed—and ultimately tabled—in the 1850s so updating the established Douay-Challoner translation was destined to be arduous. This early title from the newly established publishing house of Sheed and Ward was intended as "a companion to the New Testament which shall bring it into touch with the church's doctrine" and features a short Introduction and marginal foot and shoulder Notes by Hugh Pope, O.P. The English Dominican's introductory consideration of the cross references the problems that developed with the Challoner text over the years: "The cross references have for many years proved a snare and a delusion in the printed text. Printed without verification, from stereotyped plates, they have become almost fantastic in their inaccuracy." Rather attempting to revise the text, the notes here guide the reader through Challoner's existing text. Pope was later a member of the commission considering the eventual Ronald Knox edition of the New Testament. He evidently made plain his concerns and objections to Msgr. Knox's revision of the Challoner translation. Originally bound in navy cloth, this copy was sympathetically bound in a rich full brown morocco binding by Richard and Margaret Norman's Downside Abbey Bindery (established with the blessing of the Benedictine community) with their bindery ticket on the rear pastedown. With two maps (a map of Palestine at the opening of Matthew and a map of Asia Minor in Acts) and an extensive Index. Approbations. Uncommon in a fine binding.