"BY A SHORT AND SUFFICIENT REPLY, THE WEAK MIGHT BE CONFIRMED, THE DOUBTFUL SATISFIED AND ESPECIALLY THE INSOLENCE OF THE ADVERSARIES MIGHT BE REPRESSED": FULKE'S POLEMICAL PARALLEL EDITION OF THE RHEIMS NEW TESTAMENT AND THE BISHOPS' BIBLE, 1589
BIBLE. The Text of the New Testament of Jesus Christ, Translated Out of the vulgar Latine by the Papists of the traiterous Seminarie at Rhemes… Whereunto is added the Translation out of the Original Greeke, commonly used in the Church of England… London: Deputies of Christopher Barker, 1589. Folio (8 by 10-1/2 inches), 17th-century full brown calf rebacked with original elaborately gilt-decorated spine laid down, raised bands. $18,500.
First edition of Fulke's parallel presentation of the Rheims New Testament and the Bishops' Bible—"an invaluable assistant to the Protestant divine" (Allibone, 641)—intended to show the superiority of the latter to the former but inadvertently setting the stage for the Rheims Testament's influence on the King James Bible. Handsomely bound in full 17th-century calf-gilt.
"The appearance of a Roman Catholic-sponsored translation of the New Testament in 1582 at Rheims kindled a controversy that produced William Fulke's defense (first edition, 1583) of the Bishops' Bible [which was first published in 1568; here called 'The Translation of the Church of England']. The Rheims New Testament was an accurate translation of the Vulgate, but its very competence served to emphasize the Roman Catholic Church's reliance on the Vulgate as authoritative against the Reformers' desire to translate from the Greek text. Fulke's parallel column edition with marginal notes was designed to highlight differences and defend the Bishops' Bible. Unfortunately the polemical rhetoric on both sides only fanned the flames of the controversy. Fulke's work proved quite popular and went through numerous printings" (100 Bible Landmarks 67). Indeed, this intended "counterblast" to the Roman Catholic translation it reprinted "secured for [it] a publicity which it would not otherwise have obtained, and was indirectly responsible for the marked influence which Rheims exerted on the Bible of 1611" (Darlow & Moule 156). Title page with elaborate woodcut border. With woodcut historiated initials (several large), ornamental head- and tailpieces. Darlow & Moule 156. Herbert 202. STC 2888. Armorial bookplate of American book collector Paul Schmidtchen. Early ink owner signature on verso of title page. Two dealer descriptions affixed to front pastedown. Ink annotations to *3, The Gospel of St. John, Corinthians, and scattered additional leaves. Very occasional underlining.
Title page mounted with corner repaired using partial border from another copy, marginal repair and closed tear through text of A6, tiny pinpoint hole through textblock, faint dampstaining to marginal edge of some leaves, occasional scattered soiling and embrowning, expected wear to handsome early binding. A desirable and complete copy. Scarce.