EWTN Catholic Q&A
Apologetics
Question from CK on 09-09-2009:

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

Thank you.

Answer by Fr. John Trigilio on 09-17-2010:

The Catholic Bible has 46 books in the Old Testament, the Protestant Bible has 39 books in the O.T. Both have 27 books in the New Testament. Martin Luther removed 7 books from the O.T. when he wrote his German Bible. The first Bible translated from Hebrew & Greek by St. Jerome in 400 AD had all 46 OT + 27 NT as did the Latin Guttenburg Bible of the 15th c. Only Protestant Bibles from 16th c. to today are missing the 7 books, Catholics call the Deuterocanonical and Protestants call Apocrypha. They are Baruch, Maccabees 1 & 2, Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) and Wisdom. These books were written during the Babylonian captivity and Diaspora and thus were written in Greek but by Jews outside Palestine and divinely inspired nevertheless. Jewish leaders removed them from their Bible in 100 AD merely because they were not originally written in Hebrew. But 2/3 of the world's Jews at that time (3rd c. BC, from 250-100 BC) lived outside the Holy Land and were more literate in Greek than Hebrew. Christians from the time of the Apostles and during Jesus' time knew and accepted these 7 books, hence their presence in St. Jerome's Bible and every other Bible until Luther. IRONICALLY these 7 books were in the ORIGINAL King James Bible but Parliament removed them in subsequent editions.

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