Who added what to the bible? Catholic Bibles & Protestant Bibles
The Catholic Church is often accused of adding books to the Bible after the protestant reformation to make the Bible agree with the church's teachings. This accusation is simply not true and anyone who studies the history of the Bible and the early Church will quickly find this statement to be false. Catholic and Protestant Bibles both include 27 books of the New Testament. However, Protestant Bibles have only 39 books of the Old Testament while Catholic Bibles have 46 Old Testament books. The seven books included in Catholic Bible's are Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. Catholic Bible's also include sections in the Books of Esther and Daniel which are not found in Protestant Bible's. These books are called the deuterocanonical books. The Catholic Church considers these books to be inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Here are a number of places in the New Testament that refer directly or indirectly to passages from these Old Testament books which are included in a Catholic Bible:
1. Heb 11:35…2 Maccabees 7:24-29 2. Matt 6:14…Sirach 28:2 3. Matt 27:39-42…Wisdom 2:16-20 4. Rom 1:20…Wisdom 13:1 5. Rom 1:20-32…Wisdom 13 and 14 6. Heb 1:3…Wisdom 7:26 7. James 1:19…Sirach 5:11-13 8. 1 Peter 1:6…Wisdom 3:1-3
Question:So why does the Catholic Church have 46 Old Testament books in its Bible while the protestant Bible has only 39 Old Testament books in it?
Answer: The Catholic Church includes in its Bible what is referred to as the Septuagint (Greek) Old Testament. The Jewish people of the Greek world added these books to their Bible and considered them sacred while the Jewish people of Palestine continued with the shorter Hebrew Bible. It wasn't until the late second or third century that the Hebrew Jews canonized the shorter version of the Bible. By that time the early Christians had already been using the Greek Old Testament which contained 7 more books than the Hebrew Old Testament. The Catholic Church canonized this Greek Old Testament along with the books of the New Testament at the Councils of Rome, Hippo, and Carthage (A.D. 382, 393, 397, respectively). It wasn't until around 1522, during the protestant reformation, that Martin Luther changed the Old Testament in his Bible back to the Hebrew Old Testament which has only 39 books. The other books, he considered to be uninspired. It should also be noted that Martin Luther also wanted to remove several books of the New Testament which he also thought were uninspired and which seemed to disprove his Sola Fide theology. Martin Luther was finally persuaded by his colleagues not to do so. Finally, while it is true that God’s written word was entrusted to the Jews, God never provided the Jews with an inspired table of contents.
Question:Didn't The Council of Trent add these extra books to the Catholic Bible?
Answer: No! The Council of Trent was convened to reaffirm Catholic doctrines, revitalize the Church, and to proclaim that these books had always belonged to the Bible and had to remain in it. After all, it was the Catholic Church, in the fourth century, at the councils of Rome, Hippo, and Carthage that officially decided which books belonged to the Bible and which did not. This had been reaffirmed by many popes and councils later, including the ecumenical Council of Florence. When the Council of Trent was convened, it merely formally restated the constant teaching of the Church.
Something to consider: If the Bible contains all the information that’s needed for salvation as Protestants believe, then where in the Bible is the list of books that should be contained in the Bible? There is no such list! This obviously contradicts the protestant belief in Sola Scriptura (The Bible Alone) and points to an authority outside of the Bible.
Some interesting Historical FACTS: -Most protestants are very familiar with the King James version of the Bible. However, most protestants do not know that the original 1611 version of the King James Bible actually contained the same books as a Catholic Bible. It wasn't until later that the protestant reformers took these books out of the King James Bible because they were associated with the Catholic Church and deemed too Catholic.
- The printing press was invented in 1454 by a German named Johann Gutenberg. The first book ever printed on the printing press was the Latin Vulgate Bible. This first mass produced Bible is commonly called the Gutenberg Bible and it was a Catholic Bible (the reformation would not occur until 80 years later) which contained all 46 Old Testament books. It seems odd that many protestants often ignore this obvious historical fact and continue to accuse the Catholic Church of adding books to the Bible after the reformation at the Council of Trent.
- Martin Luther remarked several years after he separated from the Church: “We concede - as we must - that so much of what they (the Catholic Church) say is true: that the papacy has God's word and the office of the apostles, and that we have received Holy Scriptures, Baptism, the Sacrament, and the pulpit from them. What would we know of these if it were not for them?” Sermon on the gospel of St. John, chaps. 14 - 16 (1537), in vol. 24 of LUTHER'S WORKS, St. Louis, Mo., Concordia, 1961, 304
One Last Point to Consider about The Bible: Most Non-Catholic Christians never stop and think about how the Bible came to be. A simple study of history will quickly show that it was the Catholic Church who compiled the Bible as we have it today.
During the early Church there were many writings which were used along with oral tradition to spread the Gospel. When the Catholic Church decided to compile these writings they had to decide which books were truly inspired by the Holy Spirit and which ones were not. The sacred writings which make up the Bible were chosen to be part of the official canon of the Bible by the Catholic Church in around the year 385AD. Many of the early Church writings were not considered inspired by the Catholic Church and were therefore not included in the official canon of the Bible. Writings like "The Gospel of Peter" or the "Acts of Peter and Paul" although widely read by the early Christians, were not included in the official Canon. These books are what the Catholic Church calls "Apocrypha". Lastly, when non-catholics read the Bible they are unknowingly relying on the authority of the Catholic Church because without this authority they would have no Bible to read at all.
Note: If you would like to read an excellent short book on the History of the Bible pick up a copy of "Where We Got the Bible" By Rev. Henry Graham.