Catholics along with all other Christians are of the same faith, they also share many of the same common religious practices. As most other Christians follow the same version of the bible, we will be comparing the Catholic’s version of the bible with the Protestant’s version of the bible.
The Modern Bible’s Content
The modern bible is not just one book, but many books, stories and historical events that have been compiled into a single volume. These books come from both the Old Testament and the New Testament alike.
In the late 4th century, these books, and scriptures, were compiled into a single volume. The Protestant and the Catholic bibles are different from one another today. As the Catholic version includes seven books that the Protestant bible does not acknowledge.
The Old Testament
The between 200 B.C. and 100 B.C. the original version of the bible was transcribed from the Greek translations of the Hebrew Scripture, and was known as the Septuagint.
This text was questioned by St. Jerome when he translated the original Hebrew scripture into Latin during the 380’s A.D. He believed that the Septuagint included inauthentic books, that would become known as the seven books of the Apocrypha.
The New Testament
There are no differences between the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant bibles when they cover the New Testament content. The New Testament is about the life of Jesus, his apostles and their lives following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
All twenty-seven books in the New Testament are included in the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant versions of the Bible.
How the Bibles Diverted
During the 1500’s, Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church and embraced St. Jerome’s argument, and lead the Protestant Reformation, with the return to the original Hebrew scripture and away from the Greek translation. They only acknowledged 39 of the Old Testament books and refused to accept the seven books of Apocrypha as gospel.
This division is what has led to the core differences between Catholics and Protestants. Catholics view the word of the church, as having just as much, if not more authority then the words of the bible. While Protestants only acknowledge the word of God written in the Bible as having any authority over men.
The seven books of Apocrypha are also known as the books of Deuterocanonical scripture by Catholics, and have remained within their version of the bible. Meaning that the Catholic bible contains 73 books in total, as apposed to the Protestant’s 66 books.
It is from these books of Deuterocanonical scripture, that Catholics derive their belief in purgatory. That praying for the dead can influence the souls of the dead, and that doing good works will please God.
Protestants on the other hand, do not acknowledge the seven books of Apocrypha. Most do not accept the existence of purgatory, nor that praying for the dead has any influence on their souls what so ever. They also believe that it’s God’s grace regardless of a persons life or works, that leads to eternal life.
Book Contained Within the Bibles
The following table has a list of the books from the Old and New Testaments (that are found in the Catholic and Protestant bibles).
|Old Testament Books|
|1 Samuel||1 Samuel|
|2 Samuel||2 Samuel|
|1 Kings||1 Kings|
|2 Kings||2 Kings|
|1 Chronicles||1 Chronicles|
|2 Chronicles||2 Chronicles|
|Song of Solomon||Song of Solomon|
I am confronted with a born again Christian, who was a Catholic for 27 years. He keeps asking what is the gospel? Can you explain? Thank you.
The Gospels are the first 4 books in the New Testament. Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John.
As i have read. Jusus said all christians must be born again. Simply…you give up sinful ways and turn your life over to the teachings of christ.
1 Corinthians 15 1-4: „Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
The word gospel means “Good News,” The “gospels” referred to are the books written by Jesus’ disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each gospel covered the life of Jesus as the disciples walked with Jesus during His life on earth. It is important not to confuse the Gospels (books in the Bible) with “THE Gospel” which is the revelation of Jesus Christ, come down from heaven to redeem mankind and restore those who follow Jesus to the Father. When you share the Gospel, you are telling the good news of the power of Jesus Christ to redeem the souls of mankind.
The Bible teaches that there is no other way to salvation than through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The “Good News: is Galatians 5:8, “But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We do not earn salvation, it is a free gift from God! Romans 3:24, Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God,
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
The Good News (The Gospel) is that Jesus Christ loves, frees, and restores those who call on His name. This Good News is for all people, all races, all genders. We cannot buy it, we do not earn it, we don’t deserve it, but Christ, in His love, freely “Gives” salvation to all who call upon His Name.
Acts: 30-32 “Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then Paul and Silas spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.…”
One mistake or misleading argument is that some think that because we are saved through the blood of Christ that we can do whatever we want and still go to heaven. This is not true. We must be born again and from there are we must give up our sinful ways and try to sin no more. Not just think that because we accept Jesus Christ that we can keep murdering and any of the 10 commandments and still go to heaven. Although people have repented with a horrible sinful life right before they for and confess their sins.. but remember.. only the Lord knows how truly sorry you are, not only sorry but repent your sins. And the Lord will make that decision.
When you are born again, it doesn’t mean your life automatically changes, we still have our free will, god will never force us to do anything. The definition of Repent is to turn away, into a different direction. That you turn from sin and fix your eyes to the cross, where the sin was forgiven. The more one has fellowship with god and his word, the more you will be able to fight the spiritual battle. We equip ourselves with his word.
1John chapter 2:7 in Jesus’ own words…
“Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.”
Your interpretation on how one is saved is not what the original church taught. Each break from the original church has brought more confusion. Protestants chose to remove books from the original word passed along by the Apostles and followed by the Nicene Fathers. How are you truly learning all of God’s word? How are you sure the interpretation you follow is what Jesus taught? Jesus wanted you to know what He meant and chose to pass down the scriptures through chosen teachers, our Bible did not exist until the Catholic faith was 350 years old. God did not give you a book, he gave you the church and a direct line of Priests who are descendants from the original 12 teachers to watch over your spiritual journey and faith forming. After all my seeking, this is the reason why I am back to being Catholic. Go back into history and see if it helps you moving forward. Keep seeking Him and you will find His way.
“The Old Testament
The between 100 A.D. and 200 A.D. the original version of the bible was transcribed from the Greek translations of the Hebrew Scripture, and was known as the Septuagint.”
Please note that the translation was carried out in 200 year s before birth of Christ and therefore the AD should be repalced by BC.
Thank you for spotting that, it was an oversight on our part and has been corrected.
The title should be Catholic Bible vs Protestant Bible as Catholics are Christians and Protestants belong to one of the many Lutheran denominations.
When reading the NRSV Bible by Catholic Press, the into to the Apocrypha books all list the author years as BCE or CE instead of BC or AD. This caught me off guard because I feel like this took Christ out of the scriptures as it does in the secular world. Kind of disappointing.