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Catholic vs Protestant Bible: Understanding the Differences
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Catholic vs Protestant Bible: Understanding the Differences

The Bible is the holy book of Christianity, and it is divided into two main sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. However, there is a significant difference between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible.

While both contain the same 27 books of the New Testament, the Old Testament varies in content and number of books.

The Catholic Bible includes seven additional books in the Old Testament that are not found in the Protestant Bible. These books are referred to as the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books. The Catholic Church considers these books to be part of the canon of scripture, while Protestants do not.

The seven additional books are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.

The difference between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible can be traced back to the 16th century Reformation.

During this time, the Protestant reformers rejected the Apocrypha, while the Catholic Church continued to recognize it as scripture. This difference in canon has led to some theological and doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants.

Catholic vs protestant bible: understanding the differences

What is the Catholic Bible?

The Catholic Bible is a collection of sacred books that is accepted by the Roman Catholic Church as the inspired Word of God. The Catholic Bible contains 73 books, which is seven more than the 66 books found in the Protestant Bible. These additional books are known as the Deuterocanonical books or the Apocrypha.

The Catholic Church considers the Deuterocanonical books to be part of the canon of Scripture, while the Protestant Church does not. The Deuterocanonical books include Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and First and Second Maccabees.

In addition, the Catholic Bible also includes longer versions of the books of Daniel and Esther.

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The decision to include the Deuterocanonical books in the Catholic Bible was made by the Council of Trent in the 16th century. The Council of Trent was a response to the Protestant Reformation, which challenged many of the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church.

The Council of Trent reaffirmed the authority of the Catholic Church and its traditions, including the use of the Deuterocanonical books.

The Catholic Church believes that the Holy Spirit guides the Church in its interpretation of Scripture. This belief is based on the teaching of Jesus that the Holy Spirit would guide his disciples into all truth.

The Catholic Church also places great emphasis on the Mass, which is considered the most important form of worship. The Mass is a celebration of the Eucharist, in which the bread and wine are believed to become the body and blood of Christ.

The Catholic Church is led by the Pope, who is considered the spiritual leader of the Church. The Pope is believed to be the successor of Saint Peter, who was appointed by Jesus to be the leader of his disciples.

The Catholic Church also recognizes the importance of tradition, which includes the teachings of the Church Fathers and the lives of the saints. The Church also has a number of dogmas, which are considered to be infallible teachings of the Church.

What is the Protestant Bible?

The Protestant Bible refers to the collection of books that are accepted as Scripture by Protestant denominations. These denominations include Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and many others.

The Protestant Bible consists of the same 39 books of the Old Testament as the Jewish Bible, and the same 27 books of the New Testament as the Catholic Bible.

One of the most popular versions of the Protestant Bible is the King James Version (KJV), which was first published in 1611.

The KJV has been widely used by Protestants for centuries and is still a popular choice today. However, there are many other versions of the Bible that are used by Protestants, including the New International Version (NIV), the English Standard Version (ESV), and the New King James Version (NKJV).

Publishers of the Protestant Bible vary, but some of the most well-known ones include Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, and Tyndale House Publishers. These publishers are responsible for producing many of the different versions of the Bible that are used by Protestants today.

Copyright is also an important consideration when it comes to the Protestant Bible. While the text of the Bible itself is not subject to copyright, the translations and editions of the Bible are protected by copyright law.

This means that publishers must obtain permission from the copyright holder before producing a new edition or translation of the Bible.

In summary, the Protestant Bible is the collection of books accepted as Scripture by Protestant denominations. It includes the same books as the Catholic Bible and the Jewish Bible, but may use different translations and versions.

Publishers and copyright are also important considerations when it comes to the production and distribution of the Protestant Bible.

What is the difference between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible?

When it comes to the Bible, there are differences between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible. These differences stem from the historical and theological differences between the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations. Here are some of the key differences:

Number of Books

The Catholic Bible contains 73 books, while the Protestant Bible contains 66 books. The additional books in the Catholic Bible are known as the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books.

Canonical Books

The Catholic and Protestant Bibles share the same 27 New Testament books. However, the Catholic Bible includes additional books in the Old Testament, such as Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. These books are not considered canonical by Protestants.

Deuterocanonical Books

The Deuterocanonical books are the seven books that are included in the Catholic Bible but not in the Protestant Bible. These books are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.

Translation

There are many translations of the Bible available, and both Catholic and Protestant Bibles come in various translations. One notable difference is that the Catholic Church has an official Latin translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate. The Protestant Bible does not have an official translation.

Old Testament

The Catholic Old Testament includes the Deuterocanonical books, which are not found in the Protestant Old Testament. These books were written in Greek and were not included in the Hebrew Bible.

New Testament

The New Testament is the same in both the Catholic and Protestant Bibles.

Apocrypha

The Apocrypha is a group of books that were written during the time between the Old and New Testaments. The Catholic Church considers some of these books to be part of the Bible, while Protestants do not.

The Catholic Bible includes the Deuterocanonical books as well as other Apocryphal books, such as Tobit, Judith, and Baruch.

In conclusion, the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible have some notable differences. These differences are rooted in historical and theological differences between the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations.

While both Bibles share the same New Testament, the Catholic Bible includes additional books in the Old Testament and considers some Apocryphal books to be part of the Bible.

The History of the Bible

The Early Church

The Bible has a long and complex history that spans thousands of years. The Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek.

The early church used the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, as their primary scripture. The Septuagint included additional books that were not included in the Hebrew Bible, which became known as the Apocrypha.

In the fourth century, Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, listed the 27 books that make up the New Testament in his Easter letter. This list was eventually accepted by the church and became the canon of the New Testament.

The Reformation

During the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, there was a debate over which books should be included in the Bible. Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church, believed that the Apocrypha should not be included in the Bible. He also questioned the canonicity of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation.

Other reformers, such as John Calvin, agreed with Luther’s exclusion of the Apocrypha but did not question the canonicity of the New Testament books. The Protestant Bible includes only the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

The Council of Trent

In response to the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church held the Council of Trent in the 16th century. The council reaffirmed the canonicity of the Apocrypha and declared it to be part of the Bible. They also reaffirmed the canonicity of the books that were questioned by Luther.

The Catholic Bible includes the 73 books of the Old and New Testaments, including the Apocrypha. The Latin Vulgate, translated by Jerome in the fourth century, became the official Bible of the Catholic Church and was used until the Second Vatican Council in the 20th century.

In conclusion, the history of the Bible is a complex and fascinating topic that spans thousands of years. The differences between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles stem from disagreements over which books should be included in the canon.

Despite these differences, both Catholics and Protestants revere the Bible as the inspired Word of God.

The Books of the Catholic Bible

Old Testament Books

The Catholic Bible contains 46 books in the Old Testament, which is seven more than the Protestant Bible. The additional books are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.

The Catholic Church considers these books to be deuterocanonical, which means “second canon.” They are not considered to be on the same level as the 39 books that make up the Protestant Old Testament, but they are still considered to be inspired by God and are therefore included in the Catholic Bible.

New Testament Books

The Catholic and Protestant Bibles have the same 27 books in the New Testament. These books include the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), the Acts of the Apostles, 21 letters, and the book of Revelation.

Deuterocanonical Books

The deuterocanonical books are considered to be part of the Old Testament in the Catholic Bible. These books were written between the third century BC and the first century AD. They were originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic, but were later translated into Greek. The deuterocanonical books are:

  • Tobit
  • Judith
  • Wisdom of Solomon
  • Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
  • Baruch
  • 1 Maccabees
  • 2 Maccabees

These books contain important teachings and stories that are not found in the Protestant Bible. For example, 1 and 2 Maccabees tell the story of the Maccabean revolt, which led to the rededication of the Jewish temple and the celebration of Hanukkah.

Sirach contains wisdom sayings and teachings that are similar to those found in the book of Proverbs.

In conclusion, the Catholic Bible has seven additional books in the Old Testament that are not found in the Protestant Bible. These books are considered to be deuterocanonical and are still considered to be inspired by God. The Catholic Church has included these books in the Bible since the fourth century AD.

The Books of the Protestant Bible

The Protestant Bible is a collection of 66 books, divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The books are arranged in a specific order that differs slightly from the Catholic Bible.

Old Testament Books

The Old Testament of the Protestant Bible contains 39 books. These books are the same as those in the Jewish Bible, but they are arranged differently. Here are the books of the Old Testament in the Protestant Bible:

  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1 Samuel
  • 2 Samuel
  • 1 Kings
  • 2 Kings
  • 1 Chronicles
  • 2 Chronicles
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther
  • Job
  • Psalms
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon
  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi

New Testament Books

The New Testament of the Protestant Bible contains 27 books. These books were written in Greek and are arranged in a specific order. Here are the books of the New Testament in the Protestant Bible:

  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • Acts
  • Romans
  • 1 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • Philemon
  • Hebrews
  • James
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter
  • 1 John
  • 2 John
  • 3 John
  • Jude
  • Revelation

The King James Bible is a popular version of the Protestant Bible, but there are many other translations available, such as the New International Version (NIV) and the New King James Version (NKJV). Each translation may use slightly different wording, but the books and their order remain the same.

In conclusion, the Protestant Bible contains 66 books, divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The books are arranged in a specific order and are the same across different translations, such as the King James Bible and the NIV.

Similarities between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles

Both the Catholic and Protestant Bibles contain the same 27 books in the New Testament, including the Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation. Additionally, both versions recognize the Old Testament as containing 39 books, including the Pentateuch, Historical books, Wisdom literature, and Prophets.

The Scriptures in both versions contain the Word of God and are considered sacred scripture. Both the Catholic and Protestant churches hold the Bible as the ultimate authority for faith and practice.

The Eucharist and Baptism are also recognized as sacraments in both the Catholic and Protestant churches. The Eucharist, also known as Communion, is a commemoration of the Last Supper, where Jesus broke bread and shared wine with his disciples.

Likewise, Baptism is a sacrament that symbolizes the washing away of sins and the rebirth of the soul in Christ.

In summary, while there are some differences between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles, there are also many similarities. Both versions contain the same New Testament books and Old Testament books, are considered sacred scripture, and recognize the sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the differences between the Catholic Bible and the Protestant Bible are significant and have been a source of debate and controversy for centuries.

While both Bibles contain the same 27 books in the New Testament, the Catholic Bible includes additional books in the Old Testament known as the Deuterocanonical books.

These books were not accepted by the Jewish community as part of the Hebrew Bible, but were included in the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint.

Another key difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles is the way in which they are organized. The Catholic Bible includes a total of 73 books, while the Protestant Bible contains only 66 books.

The additional books in the Catholic Bible are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. The Protestant Bible, on the other hand, considers these books to be apocryphal and not part of the canon of Scripture.

The differences between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles also extend to the translations that are used. While there are many different translations of the Bible available, the Catholic Church has traditionally used the Latin Vulgate translation, which was completed by St. Jerome in the 4th century.

The Protestant Church, on the other hand, has used a variety of translations over the years, including the King James Version (KJV) and the New King James Version (NKJV).

Overall, it is important for Christians to be aware of the differences between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles, but it is also important to remember that both Bibles contain the same core message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we should focus on what unites us rather than what divides us, and strive to live out our faith in a way that honors God and reflects His love to the world around us.

Sources and References

When it comes to the Bible, both Catholics and Protestants have their own versions. The Catholic Bible contains 73 books, while the Protestant Bible contains 66 books.

This difference in the number of books is due to the fact that the Catholic Bible includes seven additional books known as the Deuterocanonical books or the Apocrypha.

The sources and references for the Catholic and Protestant Bibles are different. The Catholic Bible is based on the Latin Vulgate, which was translated by St. Jerome in the 4th century. The Protestant Bible, on the other hand, is based on the original Hebrew and Greek texts.

In terms of maps, both the Catholic and Protestant Bibles offer maps of the Holy Land and other biblical locations. These maps can be helpful in understanding the context of the stories and events in the Bible.

When it comes to digital versions of the Bible, both the Catholic and Protestant Bibles are widely available in various formats. Many websites and apps offer free digital versions of the Bible, making it easy to access and study the scriptures on the go.

References for the Catholic Bible include the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Council of Trent, and the Douay-Rheims Bible. For the Protestant Bible, references include the King James Version (KJV), the New International Version (NIV), and the New King James Version (NKJV).

Overall, while there are differences between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles, both contain the same core message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.