Books of the Catholic Bible vs. Protestant Bible

Additional Books in Catholic Bible

Introduction

If you've ever perused through the books of the Catholic Bible vs. the Protestant Bible you may have noticed some additional books in the Catholic Bible.

The Protestant Bible consists of 66 books which are considered to be divinely inspired.  39 books are contained within the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. 

By comparison, the books of the Catholic Bible include all 66 in the previous list plus seven extra books. The additional books in the Catholic Bible are found in the Old Testament and include: Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus / Sirach, Baruch, and 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees bringing the total to 73 books.

Table of Catholic Books vs. Protestant Books

Catholic Books in Red

Law

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

History

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1 Samuel

2 Samuel

1 Kings

2 Kings

1 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Tobit

Judith

1 Maccabees

2 Maccabees

Poetry / Wisdom

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

Wisdom

Sirach

Major Prophets

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Baruch

Minor Prophets

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habbakuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

Why the Difference

The difference between the two lists has to do with how each branch of Christianity defines their divinely inspired books. 

In the third and fourth century, church councils met to determine which books were to be considered divinely inspired.  At the time, the Jewish Old Testament had already been decided upon by Jewish leaders and included the 39 books which are part of both Catholic and Protestant Bibles (Old Testament).

However, at the time, there was also a Greek Old Testament in circulation (known as the Septuagint).  This Greek Old Testament contained all of the books in the traditional Old Testament, plus additional books that had been written in between the time of the Old and New Testaments.  Among them, these included the seven additional books in the Catholic Bible (Old Testament).

The Septuagint was the Bible that the New Testament writers used and quoted from.  Thus, when the church councils met to determine the divinely inspired books, these additional seven books were also chosen to be included in the books of the Catholic Bible (Old Testament).

Protestants of the Reformation are credited with removing these additional seven books from the Protestant Bibles.  Here they argued that the additional seven books were not contained in the the Hebrew Bible (the 39 books of the traditional Old Testament) and thus should not be a part of the Christian Bible.

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