In an earlier post, James included a quote from Whitaker:
"Certain English popish divines, who have taken up their abode in the seminary of Rheims, some years since translated the new Testament into the English tongue, not from the Greek text, but from the old Latin Vulgate. In order to persuade us of the wisdom and prudence of this proceeding, they produce in their preface ten reasons to prove that this Latin Vulgate edition is to be followed in all things rather than the Greek (p.141)."
Here's a little background on the Douay-Rheims bible from Wiki:
The Douay–Rheims Bible...is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English undertaken by members of the English College, Douai in the service of the Catholic Church. The New Testament was published in Reims (France) in 1582, in one volume with extensive commentary and notes. The Old Testament, which was published by the University of Douai, followed nearly thirty years later in two volumes; the first volume (Genesis to Job) in 1609, the second (Psalms to 2 Machabees plus the apocrypha of the Clementine Vulgate) in 1610. Marginal notes took up the bulk of the volumes and had a strong polemical and patristic character. They also offered insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate. The purpose of the version, both the text and notes, was to uphold Catholic tradition in the face of the Protestant Reformation which up till then had ovewhelmingly dominated Elizabethan religion and academic debate. As such it was an impressive effort by English Catholics to support the Counter-Reformation.
While doing some research for my last post I came across the 1989 Preface to the Douay Rheims which quotes from the 1582 version:
Sometimes the question is raised: Why translate from a translation (the Latin Vulgate) rather than from the original Greek and Hebrew? This question was also raised in the 16th century when the Douay-Rheims translators (Fr. Gregory Martin and his assistants) first published the Rheims New Testament. They gave ten reasons, ending up by stating that the Latin Vulgate "is not only better than all other Latin translations, but than the Greek text itself, in those places where they disagree." (Preface to the Rheims New Testament, 1582). They state that the Vulgate is "more pure than the Hebrew or Greek now extant" and that "the same Latin hath bene barre better conserved from corruption." (Preface to the Douay Old Testament, 1609).
(I believe that last phrase is suppose to read "the same Latin hath been far better conserved from corruption" based on the source below.)
I also came across an older version of the Douay-Rheims which includes what seems to be the original preface. If you go to page iv you will find the "ten reasons" that Whitaker referred to in the quote above. The preface is actually an interesting read. In addition to the love professed for the Vulgate, the Rheims authors seem to be conflicted at producing a vernacular version which every layperson could read (pg. iv):
(click to enlarge)
Part of the Old Testament preface can be found in Documents of the English Reformation starting on page 401. It's an interesting read also.