Did you know there are two different Bibles available? I don't mean the
different brands, but Bibles that have different books and translations in them.
The two different types are Protestant and Catholic.
When the Protestant reformers established their own church in centuries past,
they adopted the Jewish books, which make up the Old Testament, that were
established by the Synod of Jewish Rabbis in 100 A.D. The Synod had revised its
books to exclude some previous inclusions.
After the Synod, the Catholic Church determined to continue with the same books
that previously made up the Old Testament. Their rationality was that these were
the same books from which Jesus taught; so, they must have been correctly
There are seven (7) books in the Catholic Old Testament that do not appear
in the Protestant Old Testament. They are:
- First Book of Maccabees
- Second Book of Maccabees
- The Book of Wisdom
- Ecclesiasticus (also called The Wisdom of Sirach, for the author Ben Sira)
- The Book of Baruch
But There's More ...
In addition to having seven additional books, the Catholic Old Testament also
has longer versions of The Book of Daniel and The Book of Esther.
The books are the same in both Protestant and Catholic New Testaments; however,
the way certain words were translated into English from the original language in
which they were written can be different. When my daughter and I talk faith,
we'll both pull out our Bibles. We occasionally run into problems, since she is
Protestant and I am Catholic. She'll read me a passage from the New Testament,
and I'll say, "Okay, that's not what mine says. It says ....." This makes for an
interesting discussion. Here's a sample of what I'm referring to:
Catholic Bible: The New Jerusalem Bible
"Now I say this to you: anyone who divorces his
wife I am not
speaking of an illicit marriage and
marries another, is guilty
Protestant Bible: The New International Version
"I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife,
except for marital
unfaithfulness, and marries another woman
This difference in the passage above is why the Catholic Church doesn't allow
for divorce, except under certain conditions. Their version does not allow for
divorce for unfaithfulness (note: an illicit marriage is the sin of fornication
between two unmarried persons, which could be two people living together and/or
having intimate relations).
Which is correct that is not for me to say. I can only say which is correct
for me. I just wanted you to see that there is a difference between the Bibles.
So, ensure you purchase the right Bible for your belief system; otherwise, you
may feel lost when reading along with your pastor in church.
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