Moreover, it divides its list of Old Testament books into four (Pentateuch, Historical books, Poetry/Wisdom and Prophets) rather than the three Jewish divisions of the Torah (Pentateuch), Nevi'im (Prophets) and Kethuvim (Writings). Indeed, the oldest copies of the Bible now known to exist are the Dead Sea scrolls of the Septuagint. The basic reason is that the Protestant leaders chose to accept only the books of the Old Testament accepted as canonical in Judaism, which they assumed was the Bible used by Jesus and the earliest Christians. The view of Scripture is at the root of many, if not all, of the differences between Catholics and Protestants. Actually, Catholics have eight more books (Tobit, Judith, 1-2 Maccabees, Ecclesiasticus or Wisdom of Ben Sira, Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch and letter of Jeremiah) and two additions (additions to Esther and additions to Daniel), totalling 47 books and two additions. So, as long as you choose an edition that does not add explanatory notes opposed to a Catholic perspective, any reputable translation of the New Testament is fine. Why are Protestant and Catholic Bibles different? EIN: 04-2104698, The Reason Goes All the Way Back to the OT, Protestant Canon Follows the Jewish Canon. For the New Testament, it's a different story — and short. These books are collectively called 'Deuterocanonical books' and are authoritative. Away from their Temple and, often, from their priests, the exiled people forgot how to read, write, and speak Hebrew. Originally, the King James Bible as well as Catholic Bible had the books from Old Testaments, which are known as the Apocrypha or the Deutercanonicals. While all Christians have the same twenty-seven New Testament books, they disagree regarding the number of books in the Old Testament canon. All of the books were written in Greek or Aramaic from the start. Around 100 BC in Alexandria, the Greek Emperor, Ptolemy II, commissioned 71 Jewish leaders to translate the Jewish scripture into Greek. Some inclusive Bibles, both Catholic and non-Catholic, have adopted the term “Lord” or “LORD” instead of Yahweh as the name of God. At that time, the Reformers chose the shorter Old Testament, while the Roman Catholics decided (in 1546) for the larger canon. So now, when an edition of the Bible says "with Apocrypha" on the cover, the extra books from the Septuagint will usually be placed between the Old and New Testaments or at the end of the Bible. Today’s difference in Bibles is that the Catholic Church accepts seven additional Old Testament books of the Bible (Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiastes, Baruch, First and Second Maccabees) and parts of two others (Esther 10:14 to 16:14; and Daniel 3:24- 90; 13; 14). The Catholic Bible contains a total of 73 books, 46 in the Old Testament (Protestant Bibles have 39) and 27 in the New Testament (the same as Protestant Bibles). Catholic vs. Protestant Bibles By Greg Witherow Catholic Bibles contain Old Testament books not found in Protestant Bibles and as such Catholics are sometimes asked to explain this discrepancy. The books of Wisdom (or Wisdom of Solomon) and Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus, not to be confused with Ecclesiastes) are similar to the book of Proverbs; they have been placed after the Song of Songs. In the Catholic faith, one of the big reasons we accept these books as canon is because of the authority we assign to the Septuagint. After a while, Jewish scholars wanted to make the Bible accessible again, so they translated Hebrew scriptures into the Greek language commonly spoken. Question: What's the difference between a Catholic Bible and a Protestant one? It is comprised of two the COMPLETE Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament however, has 27 books in both. Early Protestants thought these books did not carry the authority of the other books of the Bible though they were still worth reading. We have to go back in history to explain why. The Old Testament of the Roman Catholic tradition, and also the Eastern Orthodox tradition includes a several writings more than in the Hebrew (Jewish) Bible or the Protestant Old Testament. The primary difference between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible is to be found in the Old Testament. They are interspersed throughout the Old Testament. What is the difference between . Only non-Catholic Bibles call Yahweh God, Jehovah. Consequently, many of them accepted not the Greek additions, but only the original Hebrew books of the Old Testament. This follows the practice of Martin Luther (but not Calvin), who considered these books “not equal to the Sacred Scriptures, but useful ad good for reading.”. into Greek. Essentially, the Roman Catholic Church’s denial of sola scriptura and its insistence that both the Bible and tradition are equal in authority undermine the sufficiency, authority, and completeness of the Bible. A third difference is the arrangement of the books (see below). In addition, the Greek Orthodox, or Eastern Orthodox, Church accepts a few more books as canonized scripture. This translation came about to fill the need of an increasing number of Jews who lived outside of Palestine (especially in Egypt) and spoke only Greek. She points out that she knows that the Catholic Bible has more books, but wonders if the meanings of the words change as well. Sometimes these extra books are called the Apocrypha, a word meaning “secret, hidden,” that is, not intended for public reading. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. It might be said that Protestants have a kind of hybrid Bible – the same number of books as the Jewish Bible but the order of books that are in the Greek and Latin Bibles. The status of the extra books remained somewhat fluid in early Christian history, but most Christian writers used an Old Testament that included extra books until the time of the Reformation (sixteenth century). The Well-Worn Path to Truth Leads to Catholicism, Christmas is a Time to Celebrate the Truth About God, Away in a Manger: St Francis and the Nativity. The Bibles of the Eastern Orthodox churches also include these additional books, but they contain still other books, also a part of the Septuagint. Later on, when St. Jerome translated the whole Bible into Latin (the common language of the Western Roman Empire), he translated the Greek New Testament and the original Hebrew Old Testament into Latin, and then also translated the Greek “Apocrypha” into Latin with prefaces indicating that they were not part of the original Hebrew Old Testament. While all 66 books found in Protestant Bibles are also found in the Catholic Bible, the Catholic Bible also contains other books, and additions to books. Both the Jewish Bible and the Hebrew canon in a Protestant Bible (aka Old Testament) contain 39 books, whereas a Catholic Bible contains 46 books in the Old Testament. We looked at some of these matters earlier. Get started with Bible study here. The books of the Bible were written as individual books or writings. Some books dropped out of Protestant Bibles in the early 19th century when Bible societies which were founded and supported initially by Protestants began printing Bibles for the masses. Learn why Catholics and Protestants have different versions of the Bible. While Protestant and Jewish Bibles have thirty-nine Old Testament books, the Bible used by Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians include the thirty-nine books and several additional writings. Catholic and Protestant Bibles? As it happened, some more late Jewish books were written not in Hebrew, but in Greek, because by then it was the common language of the Eastern Roman Empire. We have 7 more books within the OT than do Protestant Bibles. All of the Deuterocanonical books emerged in the Jewish community in the pre-Christian era. A third difference is the arrangement of the books (see below). But even Catholics with an extensive knowledge of the Bible — and there are many now —have not always found it easier to discuss the Bible with Protestants or to state the biblical basis for Catholic beliefs. The differences between the Catholic and Protestant bibles took shape in the 4th century AD with a disagreement between two early saints. Father Dave responds, “So interestingly, she uses the phrase ‘Catholic Bible.’ The Protestant canon contains 7 fewer books than the Catholic canon. The books of Tobit and Judith are placed between Nehemiah and Esther, while 1 and 2 Maccabees follow Esther. These extra books are usually called the “Apocrypha” (meaning “hidden books”), or “Old Testament Apocrypha” (since they are all included in the Catholic Old Testament), or “deutero-canonical” books (since they have only secondary authority), and include such books as I-II Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, I-IV Maccabees, etc. The Roman Catholic Bible also has additions to the books of Esther and Daniel. do not. The Catholic New Testament canon is identical to that of the Protestants other than some minor translation differences. One effect of this interest was a separation of those books that were known to be originally written in Hebrew from those that were not. They are Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus and Baruch. Help us continue by donating here. These differences among existing Bibles stem from the complex history of how our Bible came to be the way it now is. 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