Finally Some Advice If Youre Feeling Put On The Defensive As A Catholic:
My best advice on how to respond when asked why did Catholics add books to the Bible is to ask a more accurate question: Why dont all Christians have them? Dont you feel like youre missing something, especially considering the history and theology? And, ask these in a charitable mannerdont go attacking others, even if they attack your canon. Just defend.
The Old Testament Canon
The accepted list of books in the Bible is called the âcanon.â
The canon of the Old Testament books of the Catholic Bible is based on history. We didnât make up the list!
At the time of Jesus, there was no official canon of the books of the Old Testament. The process of defining that canon was not yet complete, and there were a few different collections of Scripture in circulation among the Jews.
The two most widely accepted collections of Old Testament writings at that time were:
- The was a Greek translation of the Old Testament. It contained 46 books:
- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach , Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.
The list of the Old Testament books of the Catholic Bible is firmly grounded in history.
What Name Is Given To The Eight Extra Books Included In The Catholic Bible
The deuterocanonical books are books and passages considered by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assyrian Church of the East to be canonical books of the Old Testament but which are considered non-canonical
Also Know, what are the 7 books of the Catholic Bible? Seven books of the Bible, all in the Old Testament, are accepted by Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, but are not accepted by Jews or Protestants. These include 1 and 2 Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, Baruch, Sirach, and Wisdom, and additions to the books of Esther and Daniel.
Additionally, how is the Catholic Bible different from the Protestant Bible?
“I would say that the main difference is that the Catholic Bible includes more wisdom books,” Collins said. “And wisdom is associated with natural theology, and that has been one of the major theological differences between Protestants and Catholics. Protestants generally reject natural theology.”
What are the parts of the Catholic Bible?
- Torah : Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
- Historical books : Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees.
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Did Someone Add Books
Lets just get that straight right away. Chronologically, Protestants took books out, not Catholics putting books in. Too often, people just assume the Catholic Church added books to conveniently fit its theology during the Reformation, but Catholics defended the already-instituted Christian canon of books from where its theology formed.
The Catechism Of The Catholic Church
The Catechism is what I lovingly refer to as the rulebook. The Baltimore Catechism of the pre-Vatican II era has a question and answer format and, while difficult to find, is an excellent resource. The updated version dispenses with that format in favor of paragraphs. It is divided into four parts: what we believe, sacraments, life in Christ, and prayer. It can be read cover to cover and probably should be.;
The USCCBs publication is an adaptation of the Catechism and includes in each chapter a story/lesson of faith, the teaching, relationship of the teaching to culture, doctrinal statements, and a meditation and prayer.
The YouCat returns to the question and answer format referencing specific paragraphs from the Catechism. It is friendly for teens and those new to the Faith as it also offers sidebars with quotes and definitions. Together, these three resources provide an excellent foundation and explanation of the Catholic Faith.
What Are The Wisdom Books Of The Catholic Bible
Referred to as wisdom literature, these five books deal precisely with our human struggles and real-life experiences. The books of wisdom include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. They contain the poetry of the Hebrew nation and they provide the reader with important stories and wisdom.
Subsequently, question is, why is the book of wisdom only in the Catholic Bible? The Wisdom of Solomon, also called the Book of Wisdom, is one of the books of the Apocrypha. The books of the Apocrypha are accepted primarily by the Roman Catholic Church and are included in Catholic Bibles. The Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical books teach many things that are not true and are not historically accurate.
Also to know, what are the extra books in a Catholic Bible?
They are called the Deuterocanonical books. They are Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Sirach , and Baruch including the Letter of Jeremiah.
What does the book of wisdom teach us?
The Wisdom of Solomon is a book about wisdomits benefits, nature, and role in ancient Israel’s history. It is more an exhortation to pursue wisdom than a collection of wise teachings .
The Hebrew Biblical Canon
So, knowing that the Maccabean Revolt reclaimed the Lords Temple from evil Greek idol worshippers and set up events for Jesus eventual coming, why isnt it in my New King James Bible? It sure seems important, right?
First, we need to understand how the Bible was organized and put together.
The bibles we read today, whether Protestant or Catholic, are both based on the Hebrew biblical canon. Rachel Turkienicz over at My Jewish Learning does a great job describing what a canon is.
In order to begin addressing the question of this omission , it is important to understand the formation of the Hebrew biblical canon. The word canon originally comes from the Greek and means standard or measurement. When referring to a scriptural canon, the word is used to designate a collection of writings that are considered authoritative within a specific religious group. To the Jewish people, the biblical canon consists of the books found in the Tanach .
Though there is some debate, some scholars contend that a gathering of certain rabbis was held in the town of Jamnia in Israel to discuss the Hebrew Bibles contents and to adopt them as the Tanach formally. No one knows for sure if such a council ever took place except for some mentions of it in certain Jewish literature.
Regardless, it appears a group of rabbis got together at some point in time and picked which books to put in the Hebrew Tanach. They finally settled on 24 books.
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What About The New Testament
As for the New Testament, thankfully both the Protestant and the Catholic Bibles are the same after Athanasius defined it in 367.
Athanasius was a theologian and Roman Bishop of Alexandria. He fiercely defended Christs divinity against a fellow priest named Arius who denied Jesus as the promised Christ. Arius promoted the idea which was current at that time in the church, say what?! that the Father created Jesus to be His Son but Jesus was neither coeternal with the Father nor had the same substantive power. In other words, Jesus was subordinate to the Father though He was still the Son of God. Sort of like Zeus and his sons. Same idea.
Arius ideas did not sit well with Athanasius. He staunchly defended the word of God to the point that he was put in exile for 17 years and banished five times after a lot of horrible politics and evil shenanigans on Arius part.
Things werent all bad for Athanasius, though. God had a plan.
While Athanasius was in exile, he wrote a fictional book about his friend, Saint Antony, and his encounters with Satan. The book was a smash success converting many pagans to Christianity and set up the Christian idea of monasticism in the church. It was then that the church permanently reinstated Athanasius in the church.
Though church leaders proposed other lists, it is Athanasiuss list that the church eventually adopted, and it is the one we use to this day.
Establishing The Canon Of Catholic Sacred Books
Catholic leaders convened three synods, or church councils, to determine the books worthy of incorporation in the canon. The three synods, all held in Northern Africa, were Hippo , Carthage I and Carthage II . The councils determined to be sacred what are now the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament of the Catholic Bible. This canon constituted the official Christian Bible.
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Which Septuagint Which Deuterocanonical Books
So weve only talked about the 7 books that the Catholic Church uses. However, they arent the only deuterocanonical books. The full list of books regarded as a second canon is a lot longer.
- 1 Esdras
- 2 Esdras
- 4 Maccabees
- Psalm 151
The Catholic Church only recognizes 7 of these, but some denominations recognize more. . However, The three earliest Greek manuscripts dont contain those exact 7. They contain only some of the list. Notice the books below in red? Those books arent considered canon by the Catholic Church OR Protestants.
So theres no help from the extant copies of the Bible to support those exact 7. This doesnt meant he Catholics are wrong about those exact 7, but it does mean theres very little manuscript support for those exact 7.
How the Jews view the Deuterocanonical books
Infallibly Part Of The Canon
Catholicism claims to be infallible in moral and faith matters. Infallible is devoid of the possibility that you might be wrong. Officially, the Catholic Church declared the seven books in dispute to be part of the Bible. If the Catholic Church is infallible, its pointless to continue studying because they cant be mistaken.
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An Ignatian Introduction To Prayer
This book by Timothy Gallagher, OMV also rocked me. Im sheepish to admit that until my faith reversion I didnt know that the Bible is alive and God talks to us through it.;Thats present tense: God talks to us now. This slim volume offers forty Scripture passages, a meditation for each, and three questions to pray with. It is a way to start wading into the pool of praying with Scripture, and for me there were a lot of Wow! moments as I encountered God through his Word for the first time. Whether one is a seasoned Scripture reader or new, this is a great way to be with some of Gods greatest hits.;
What Are The Sacred Books Of Catholics
Size matters, it seems, at least when it comes to the Catholic Bible. Catholics have seven more sacred books than do their Protestant brethren. As with most religions, Christians understand their sacred books to be gifts of divine inspiration. Though men wrote the texts, members believe that God, the creator, informed the authors what to write through divine intervention. Once Christianity became legal to practice in 312, the Catholic Church created a canon, or standard set of books, for the practice of Christianity. This canon, the Catholic Bible, consists of 73 books that the church considers sacred.
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So Yes Sacred Tradition Is A Reasonable Defense
It would be impossible for a human to recordor even to know as a finite beingeverything about an infinite God. People taught the faith to each other through tradition, and most books were passed on orally long before being written down. Additionally, sola scriptura itself isnt in the Bible; it could be called a Protestant tradition, stemming from the Protestant Reformation efforts to break away from the Catholic Church. The Church uses both faith and reason, in both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, which have preserved and guided us to stable, absolute truths throughout the centuries.
On behalf of our ancestors before us, youre welcome for the Churchs part in preserving and passing down Sacred Scripture through Sacred Tradition, having councils seeking the Holy Spirits will in the canon, and providing us a solid canon with faith and logic to back it up.
Why Do Catholic Bibles Have Extra Books
Q. Why does the Catholic Bible have seven more books than other Bibles?
A. Seven Old Testament books are found in Catholic Bibles but not in Protestant ones. Catholics call them the deuterocanonical books; Protestants call them the apocryphal books. These books include Baruch, Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom , and Sirach .
They were included in the Septuagint, a third-century-B.C. Greek translation of the Old Testament, which served as the Scripture of the apostles and the generations that followed them. The earliest Greek manuscripts of the Old Testament, such as Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus , include the deuterocanonical books with the others.
Regional Church councils at Hippo and Carthage listed these books as Scripture, endorsing what had become the general belief of the universal Church. The ecumenical Council of Trent confirmed this canon in the sixteenth century.
How did Protestant Christians lose these books from their Bibles? The influential Protestant Reformer Martin Luther deleted them. Though he insisted that Scripture must be the sole authority for the Christian faith, when scriptural texts did not support his teaching, he tended to deny the authority of the books in which those texts were found.
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Why Do The Catholics Use These 7 Books
According to Catholic sources, there were two major canons that governed the Old Testament during the time of Christ. The first was the Palestinecanon, which is identical to that of the Protestant Old Testament. The second was called the Alexandrian Canon and was the Septuagint.
According to Catholics, the Bible Christ and his Apostles used was the Septuagint or the Alexandrian Canon. The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures .
Catholics believe that the Septuagint includes the additional seven books that are the subject of this article.
The following quote comes from The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, published in 1907. It was awarded a Nihil Obstat from a Doctor in Sacred Theology and an Imprimatur from an Archbishop. The full text of this article can be found here.
These additional Scriptures were conveyed into the Catholic Church through the ancient Greek Old Testament, also known as the Septuagint. The Septuagint was the Bible of Hellenist or Greek-speaking Jews, whose intellectual center was Alexandria.
The Catholics believe that the Septuagint was Christs Bible. It is simple logic: If it was good enough to Christ, its good enough to us.
If you believe Christ used Septuagint, thats a valid argument. Both sides have evidence, which well examine later.
Theology Of The Body In One Hour
Theology of the Body was introduced by St. John Paul II in his general audiences and in addition to confirming the teachings of Humanae Vitae, goes further to reveal Gods plan for love and how masculinity and femininity are part of that plan. The original document is over five hundred pages. To get a taste of it, read Theology of the Body in One Hour by Jason Evert.
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The Bible Designed With Catholics In Mind
Every single page of this Bible has been carefully, lovingly designed. In fact, one of our editors even hand-spaced every line of the Psalms so their poetic nature could be maintained while remaining as readable as possible.
Curtis Mitch, the principal annotator and associate editor of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, said it best:
“The new Great Adventure Catholic Bible is a thing of beauty. There’s no other way to describe it.
The layout of the biblical text is wonderfully readable; its teaching enhancements, which give Catholics needed help in grasping the grand story of Salvation history, are superb; and even the maps and charts are visually stunning.
Everything about this Bible says “read me!” Hats off to Jeff Cavins and his team for pouring their gifts and talents into this fabulous new resource. This is not a book you’ll want in your library; it’s a book you’ll want in your hands!”
Who Decided What Books Are In The Bible
Editors are the unsung heroes of culture. While some of their work amounts to fiddling with commas, they also make crucial decisions that affect the shape of the future. Am I serious? You bet. Recall the handful of folks who wrote the founding documents of our nation. Then consider the roomful of others who haggled over every last sentence, phrase, and word choice. Once those documents left the editorial room, they would be the framework of a country to come. They had to be letter perfect and to mean what they said.
If editors are vital to society, then those who serve as compilers are an elite corps among that profession. Their work takes them beyond polishing sentences and sharpening nuances. Compilers determine which texts see the light of another day, which are worthy of promoting. They influence how texts will be understood in the futureas significant or bogus, fundamental or passé. They arrange material, bringing some ideas to the front and tucking others to the rear. They put contradictory passages side by side to remind the reader that there are other points of view.
So lets talk about the Bible. No matter how you feel about it, whether or not you consider it a sacred book, you have to admit its been a most influential collection of writings. Therefore its worth asking: Who decided what got in the Bible to begin with? How did this material get organized into the familiar package we call the Bible today?
Image:;Dan Kiefer on Unsplash
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