1 Corinthians 11:2
Challoner-Rheims Version (DRBO.org)
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you.
2Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
From that That Newer Americanized Bible Version:
2 I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.
2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.
The Ronald Knox translation from the Vulgate also says “traditions”, not ordinances. The Confraternity 1941 version says “precepts”. The reason I bring this up is because I was watching Ft. Pacwa last night on DVRd show “The Footsteps of St. Paul” when he quoted this verse. This verse is used time and again by Catholic apologists to defend “tradition”. Even my NIV, which uses the word “teachings” , has a note at the bottom which says the Greek version reads “traditions”.
So what is going on here? Take a look at the Vulgate.
2 laudo autem vos fratres quod omnia mei memores estis et sicut tradidi vobis praecepta mea tenetis
Nova Vulgata (1979)
2 Laudo autem vos quod omnia mei memores estis et, sicut tradidi vobis, traditiones meas tenetis.
Could a verse such as this possible put a kink in the Douay-Rheims Onlyisms? I’m not fluent but I do know the root of tradidi means to hand down something. It seems to me that at least in this case the 1941 Confraternity version more accurately translates from the Latin. Further, the word “ordinances”, as used in the Challoner and KJ Versions when applied by say…Baptists…has a completely different connotation and actually adds weight to their arguments against the Sacraments.
So I started looking into this last night and began searching for the text of the original Douay-Rheims Bible to see how we get from “praecepta” to the lacking “ordinances”, especially when the Greek says “traditions”. That text is only available online in photocopy/PDF format. I haven’t had a chance to go through it yet because you can’t search it and flipping the pages takes FOREVER. But you can buy it either in CD, download, or Print.
Then I found this site: http://www.realdouayrheims.com . Which has (in part) this to say:
“The changes introduced by him were so considerable that, according to Cardinal Newman, they almost amounted to a new translation. So, also, Cardinal Wiseman wrote, 'To call it any longer the Douay or Rheimish Version is an abuse of terms. It has been altered and modified until scarcely any verse remains as it was originally published.' In nearly every case Challoner's changes took the form of approximating to the Authorized Version [King James]. . ."
So is this an example? Since the KJV and the Challoner-Rheims match at least in that term? I don’t know. But clearly on face value it appears to be that the newer translations are (and this could be scandalous to some…hold on tight…) more Catholic in their interpretation of that particular verse.
As for the Vulgate itself, I don’t know why translator (St. Jerome?) decided to use preacepta. I can’t read Greek. But there is at least in modern English a big difference between the acceptable “precepts I have handed down to you” and “ordinances as I have given them to you.” I don't mean to say that "ordinance" is wrong but the connotation is certainly sketchy would you say?
However, the major reason (other than the obvious efforts of the enemies of Christ to suppress it) is because it has never been retyped
from the Old English script into modern English text to make it accessible to modern readers. Thus, it is extremely hard and tedious to read and understand.
In an effort spanning over eleven years, and as a corporal and spiritual work of mercy, Dr. William von Peters has prepared the Douay Rheims for modern readers. First hand retyping the REAL Rheims New Testament in its entirety, with all the notes and annotations, into modern English text for easy reading. Then continuing on with the REAL Douay Old Testament, also with notes and annotations.
It is to be emphasized that nothing in the text has been changed or modified. It has only been transliterated into modern English text, with archaic spellings updated to modern spellings. Where possible the archaic spelling has been left intact to preserve the "flavor" of this historic text.”
(!!!) The Douay-Rheims in modernized English? How fantastic is that? Guess what book just got on my short list?