The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version (DV) - Judith
The Douay-Rheims Bible (abbreviated as DV) is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the English College, Douai, in the service of the Catholic Church. The New Testament portion was published in Reims, France, in 1582, in one volume with extensive commentary and notes. The Old Testament portion was published in two volumes thirty years later by the University of Douai. The first volume, covering Genesis through Job, was published in 1609; the second, covering Psalms to 2 Machabees plus the apocrypha of the Clementine Vulgate. was published 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.
The story revolves around Judith, a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for being unwilling to engage their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal if reluctant maid Abra to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, to whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him both sexual favors and information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust (though not having delivered on either promise), she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Though she is courted by many, she remains unmarried for the rest of her life.
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