Why does the Protestant Bible have 7 less books than the Catholic Bible?

A question from a reader: Why does the Protestant Bible have 7 less books than the Catholic Bible?

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17 Responses to “Why does the Protestant Bible have 7 less books than the Catholic Bible?”

  • clusium1971 says:

    Because Martin Luther edited the Old Testament.

  • Bill C says:

    Because the Catholic Bible contains extra books of Jewish literature and history. The Jews do not consider those books canonical, that is, they don’t consider them scripture. Other than Catholics and Orthodox, most Christians agree with the Jewish people that these books are literature and history, worth reading, but not scripture.

  • XiaoGou says:

    Because the those extra Catholic books have very supsicious information and authors and are extremely questionable.

    Historically, it is proven that these books were written by ancient authors as Fictiton Books for the entertainment of the Romans. The Catholics taught them as Non-Fiction to recruit more people. Romans were not buying into Catholic beliefs, and thought they were boring so the Catholics took these Fiction Books that people enjoyed so much and turned told people they were Non-Fiction holy books. This is how they “recruited” people.

  • Fireball says:

    the others werent authentic…

  • nick c says:

    Imagine the idiot southern baptists having to lie about reading even more books.

  • The Doctor says:

    Because Luther, et al threw them out the Bible.

    Luther wanted to take Jude, James, and Revelation out, too. But that caused too much of an outrage.

    Note: the Jews did not establish their canon until after the Christian Church established theirs. The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, included them. The Septuagint was the version of the Bible used by the authors of the New Testament, which is the main reason the Church included them.

    Ironically, I Maccabees is the only book of the Bible to have outside documentation to verify it’s accuracy (it’s 99% history).

  • The_Doc_Man says:

    The difference is sometimes called the Apocrypha, books for which authorship is in dispute. Pardon my while I laugh at my own joke… they are ALL in dispute. God didn’t write any of them, that’s pretty much a given. The apocrypha were rejected because of more than the normal amount of questioning their authenticity. To an atheist, the whole concept of authenticity is a big joke.

    To paraphrase George Orwell, “all books are divinely inspired, but some are more divinely inspired than others.”

  • Messenger of God says:

    The early Protestant Bibles did in fact have these seven books. And they were consider deuterocanoncal or second Scripture.

  • reflexologist says:

    The Protestants attempt to defend their rejection of the deuterocanonicals on the ground that the early Jews rejected them. However, the Jewish councils that rejected them (e.g., School of Javneh (also called “Jamnia” in 90 – 100 A.D.) were the same councils that rejected the entire New Testatment canon. Thus, Protestants who reject the Catholic Bible are following a Jewish council that rejected Christ and the Revelation of the New Testament.

    2 Tim. 3:16 – the inspired Scripture that Paul was referring to included the deuterocanonical texts that the Protestants removed. The books Baruch, Tobit, Maccabees, Judith, Sirach, Wisdom and parts of Daniel and Esther were all included in the Septuagint that Jesus and the apostles used.

    Sirach and 2 Maccabees – some Protestants argue these books are not inspired because the writers express uncertainty about their abilities. But sacred writers are often humble about their divinely inspired writings. See, for example, 1 Cor. 7:40 – Paul says he “thinks” that he has the Spirit of God.

    The Christian acceptance of the deuterocanonical books was logical because the deuterocanonicals were also included in the Septuagint, the Greek edition of the Old Testament which the apostles used to evangelize the world. Two thirds of the Old Testament quotations in the New are from the Septuagint. Yet the apostles nowhere told their converts to avoid seven books of it. Like the Jews all over the world who used the Septuagint, the early Christians accepted the books they found in it. They knew that the apostles would not mislead them and endanger their souls by putting false scriptures in their hands—especially without warning them against them.

    But the apostles did not merely place the deuterocanonicals in the hands of their converts as part of the Septuagint. They regularly referred to the deuterocanonicals in their writings. For example, Hebrews 11 encourages us to emulate the heroes of the Old Testament and in the Old Testament “Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life” (Heb. 11:35).

    There are a couple of examples of women receiving back their dead by resurrection in the Protestant Old Testament. You can find Elijah raising the son of the widow of Zarepheth in 1 Kings 17, and you can find his successor Elisha raising the son of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4,
    but one thing you can never find—
    anywhere in the Protestant Old Testament,
    from front to back,
    from Genesis to Malachi—
    is someone being tortured and refusing to accept release for the sake of a better resurrection. If you want to find that, you have to look in the Catholic Old Testament—in the deuterocanonical books Martin Luther cut out of his Bible.

  • imacatholic2 says:

    Protestants have fully accepted each and every one of the 27 books that the Holy Spirit inspired Catholics to select for the New Testament over 1,500 years ago..

    The difference in the Old Testaments actually goes back to the time before and during Christ’s life. At this time, there was no official Jewish canon of scripture.

    The Jews in Egypt translated their choices of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek in the second century before Christ. This translation of 46 books, called the Septuagint, had wide use in the Roman world because most Jews lived far from Palestine in Greek cities. Many of these Jews spoke only Greek.

    The early Christian Church was born into this world. The Church, with its bilingual Jews and more and more Greek-speaking Gentiles, used the books of the Septuagint as its Bible. Remember the early Christians were just writing the documents what would become the New Testament.

    After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, with increasing persecution from the Romans and competition from the fledgling Christian Church, the Jewish leaders came together and declared its official canon of Scripture, eliminating seven books from the Septuagint.

    The books removed were Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom (of Solomon), Sirach, and Baruch. Parts of existing books were also removed including Psalm 151 (from Psalms), parts of the Book of Esther, Susanna (from Daniel as chapter 13), and Bel and the Dragon (from Daniel as chapter 14).

    The Christian Church filled with the Holy Spirit did not follow suit but kept all the books in the Septuagint. 46 + 27 = 73 Books total.

    1500 years later, Protestants decided to keep the Catholic New Testament but change its Old Testament from the Catholic canon to the Jewish canon.

    The books that were removed supported such things as
    • Prayers for the dead (Tobit 12:12; 2 Maccabees 12:39-45)
    • Purgatory (Wisdom 3:1-7)
    • Intercession of saints in heaven (2 Maccabees 15:14)
    • Intercession of angels (Tobit 12:12-15)

    The books they dropped are sometimes called the Apocrypha.

    Here is a Catholic Bible website: http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/

    I also suggest you read “5 Myths about 7 Books” by Mark Shea http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0120.html

    With love in Christ.

  • cristoiglesia says:

    In first century Jerusalem there were at least four OT Canons in use by different Jewish Groups. There was the Canon of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Ethiopian Jews and the Diaspora/Essene Jews. Jesus and the disciples used the Septuagint which was the Canon of the Diaspora/Essenes. We know this because it is quoted in the New Testament. This Canon continued to be the Canon of Christians until after the Reformation and, in fact until about 200 years ago when the Protestants adopted a condensed version of the Canon eliminating the Deuterocanonicals from their Bibles. Even the AKJ originally contained the complete Christian Canon. It has been said by critics of Christ’s Church that the Deuterocanonicals were never believed to be inspired and just the opposite is true. The decision by Christians as to which books are inspired and useful for teaching was decided at the African Synods in the late fourth and early fifth century. There was never a question about their inspiration.

    The OT Canon chosen by the Protestants is actually a Jewish Canon not chosen by the Jews until after the establishment of Christianity as a result of the spread of Christianity to slow the growth of the new group in Jerusalem after the fall of the Temple in 70AD. Until then as I said previously there were many Canons in use. The adoption of the Canon missing the Deuterocanonicals united the Jews against the Christians was decided in the Jewish Council of Jamnia because the Deuterocanonicals referred too strongly to the Messiah fulfilled in Christ.

    Some Protestants will claim that only the Jews have the authority to choose Canon but the Church deferred that decision to Christ and the disciples and it is clear through biblical research, that the Septuagint is the Bible used by the first century Church and quoted in the NT Scriptures. The fact that Protestants choose to adopt the Canon that was approved by the same Jews that accused our Lord that resulted in His crucifixion suggests the source of this confusion as from the father of lies who led the Pharisees to accuse Christ and petition for His punishment. It is another way that Satan divides the body of Christ and separates the faithful denying Christ’s prayer that we all be one in Christ through His Church. The Christian Church has always used the Septuagint as Canon and never the truncated version of modernist Protestants.

    Some Protestants erroneously believe that Catholics added to the Bible with the Deuterocanonicals but this shows an ignorance of their own history and the history of Christianity as witnessed by Christ’s Church. The facts are that the Protestants removed the Deuterocanonicals and even considered strongly to remove some of the NT books currently in use by Protestants and Catholics. Fr. Martin Luther was in favor of removing the book of James because it conflicted with His heretical man made doctrines of the “Solas”, Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. The heretic Ulrich Zwingli wanted to remove the Gospel of John because of its teaching of the commandment to Eat Christ’s Body and drink His Blood which contradicted his view of a real absence of Christ instead of a real presence in the Eucharist. Even Fr. Martin Luther could not endorse such a departure from Scriptures and deny that Christ is truly and really present in the Eucharist in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

    In Christ
    Fr. Joseph

  • XAndrewX Church Militant Mt10:34 says:

    The Catholic bible is the complete bible with all 73 books. The Protestant bible only has 66 because Martin Luther removed 7 of them.

    The books Protestants will call the Apocrypha are actually called deuterocanonical books. The Catholic bible also include chapters in the books of Esther and Daniel not found in the Protestant Bibles. They will say Catholics added them but they have always been in the Bible.

    They can be found in the Greek Septuagint bible used by Jesus and the Apostles and the Codex Sinaiticus bible, the oldest surviving bible. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4739369.stm

    They are also found in the dead sea scrolls. Kind of hard to say Catholics add them when the dead sea scrolls are from the 2nd century B.C.

    The only record of Hanukkah is in the deuterocanonical books of 1 and 2 Maccabees.

    1Machabees 4:56 And they kept the dedication of the altar eight days, and they offered holocausts with joy, and sacrifices of salvation, and of praise. 57 And they adorned the front of the temple with crowns of gold, and escutcheons, and they renewed the gates, and the chambers, and hanged doors upon them. 58 And there was exceeding great joy among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was turned away. 59 And Judas, and his brethren, and all the church of Israel decreed, that the day of the dedication of the altar should be kept in its season from year to year for eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu, with joy and gladness.

    2Machabees 10:6
    And they kept eight days with joy, after the manner of the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long before they had kept the feast of the tabernacles when they were in the mountains, and in dens like wild beast.

    Peace be with you

    < <>>

  • raphael says:

    reformers took them out, it’s as simple as that.

  • David N says:

    Reformers took them out in order to conform with the current Jewish Scriptures.

    They seem to have forgotten that the Jewish Scriptures were edited AFTER the time of Jesus and the apostles (in 90 AD.)

    That means that when Jesus and the apostles referred to “the scriptures” they were, in fact, referring to the Septuagint, which included the 7 books.

    There are quotations from the deuterocanonical books in the Gospels and Epistles, so why they decided to delete them is beyond me! (Sirach 5:13-14 matches with James 1:19, Wisdom 2:12-20 with Matthew 27:41-43, and 1 Maccabees 4:36-59 and 2 Maccabees 10:1-8 with John 10:22-36.)

    They agree that certain books should be included in the New Testament because of Church Councils.


    They throw out Old Testament books that were established in the very same Church Councils.

    You would think that the voiding of what was in the Old Testament would also void what was in the New Testament, wouldn’t you?

  • James O says:

    Protestants (but not all) take the Pharisee Canon over the Alexandrian because Maccabees praises praying for the dead and the intercession for Jerusalem of martyred Jeremiah and Onias

    Since they believe that they go by the Bible Alone they cannot have anything in the Bible that contradicts Protestant oral church Tradition so obviously

    Hence, Protestant go with the modern Jewish OT rather than the traditional Judeo-Christian

  • Reoriented says:

    The Church (unified at the time) used the Alexandrian Jewish scriptures for its old Testament. Many converts used these scriptures before their conversion. Martin Luther believed that the Jerusalem version of the Jewish scriptures was the scriptures of Jesus and claim the use of the Jerusalem version more authentic.

    The Jerusalem scriptures are missing some of the Alexandrian scriptures. Catholics did not change, because it had been the historic judgment of the (then unified) Church that the Alexandrian Jewish scriptures be used. Because the Jewish canon was not established until after Jesus it is arguable that the Jerusalem scriptures should be used.

    Judaism rejected the Alexandrian scriptures partly because during the period of canonization (by the Jews of their scriptures) it was know that the Alexandrian scriptures were used by Christians.

    A Jewish study bible will contain the details of how the Jewish canon was arrived at. After Martin Luther changed the old Testament, the Church (now no longer united with the Reformers) made the canonization of the scriptures definitive and final clearly rejecting the teachings of Luther.

  • Matt says:

    The protestants kicked out the books that clashed with their ideas.

    One of the big ones is the idea of “Faith without works is dead”. Protestants like to say you can do anything you want and go to heaven as long as you truly believe. Catholics believe you better show God you believe and act like it as well. You cannot be Adolf Hitler and say you believe so that you can slide into heaven. Your actions and your lifestyle is evidence of whether you really believe.

    This doesn’t make protestants bad people. They just don’t have the fullness of the entire Bible. I pray for the day that all Christian religions on earth are united and praying together. It will be a beautiful thing!

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