Catholic chronology

Contrary to the common view that interest in historicising the scriptures and offering aids to comprehension to the lay vernacular reader was a strictly Protestant phenomenon, this chronological table from the Douai Old Testament of 1609-10 attests to English Catholic interest in charting the chronology of the Hebrew Bible at great length. ‘An historical table of the times, special persons, most notable thinges, and canonical bookes of the Old Testament’ extends in its final page to the life of Christ, whose death signalled ‘The end of the sixth age, and of the old Testament. Occasionally, extrascriptural events from secular and ecclesiastical history slide up alongside scriptural ones, as where the fall of Troy appears alongside the birth of King David, and where, as scriptural narrative grows thin, the production of the Septuagint (the great Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) accompanies a defense of the books called ‘Apocrypha’ by Protestants. BW

The Holie Bible faithfully translated into English, out of the authentical Latin (Douai: Laurence Kellam, 1609[-10]).

CUL: BSS.209.CO4.4

By kind permission of Bible Society

Further reading:

Alexandra Walsham, ‘Unclasping the Book? The Douai-Rheims Bible’, in her Catholic Reformation in Protestant Britain (Farnham, 2014), pp. 285-314.

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