Why “Catholic Bible” is Different from “Other Christian Bible”


All the 66 books found in the “Christian Bible” are also found in the Catholic Bible but Catholic Bible contains a total of 73 books. Catholic Bible has 46 books in the Old Testament, Christian Bibles have 39. Both Bibles have 27 books in the New Testament.

You may wonder: are Catholics, not Christians? One of the best ways to answer the question is: Catholicism is the largest denomination of Christianity. All Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholics.

Many Christians believe that Catholics are not Christians because of some deep-seated differences in their beliefs.

Catholics view the Bible as having equal authority with the Church and tradition. Christians view the Bible as the supreme authority for faith and practice.

Also, Catholics tend to approach God through intermediaries, such as Mary or the saints. Christians approach God directly, offering prayers to no one other than God Himself.

The most crucial difference between Catholics and Bible Christians is on the issue of salvation. Catholics view salvation almost entirely as a process, while Christians view salvation as both a completed status and a process.

Catholics see themselves as “being saved,” while Christians view themselves as “having been saved.” First Corinthians 1:2 says, “To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy.” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root. This verse is declaring that Christians are both sanctified and called to be sanctified. The Bible presents salvation as a gift that is received the moment a person places faith in Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16). When a person receives Christ as Savior, he/she is justified (declared righteous – Romans 5:9), redeemed (rescued from slavery to sin – 1 Peter 1:18), reconciled (achieving peace with God – Romans 5:1), sanctified (set apart for God’s purposes – 1 Corinthians 6:11), and born again as a new creation (1 Peter 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Each of these is fully accomplished at the moment of salvation. Christians are then called to live out practically (called to be holy) what is already true positionally (sanctified).

The Catholic viewpoint is that salvation is received by faith, but then must be “maintained” by good works and participation in the Sacraments. Christians do not deny the importance of good works or that Christ calls us to observe the ordinances in remembrance of Him and in obedience to Him. The difference is that Christians view these things as the result of salvation, not a requirement for salvation or a means of maintaining salvation


The additional books in the Catholic Bible are known as the deuterocanonical/Apocrypha. They are Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), and Baruch. The Catholic Bible also includes additions to the books of Esther and Daniel.

The Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals were written primarily in the time when God did not speak for about 400 years. The time between the Old and New Testaments. 

Some Christians reject the Apocrypha claiming there was no direct word of God or direct reference to God in them. But is also worthy of note that there is no direct mention of God in the books of Esther and Songs of Solomon.

Additionally, it is worthy of note that Jude and Paul quoted extra-Biblical writings, though they never presented them as the inspired word of God or authoritative scriptures.

Jude’s quotations of extra-Biblical writings are in Jude 1: 9, 14-15. Paul quoted similar writings in 2 Timothy 3:8, just like Paul quoted pagan poets in Acts 17:28 and (unGodly) prophets in Titus 1:12-13.

The Apocrypha was not officially made a part of the Catholic Bible, until the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation.

The early Protestant Reformers determined that the Apocrypha did not belong in the Bible, and therefore removed the Apocrypha from their Bibles.

The most popular English translations of the Catholic Bible today are the New American Bible, the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, and the New Jerusalem Bible.

Aside from the inclusion of the Apocrypha, each of these Bible translations is reasonably good and accurate in how it renders the biblical text into English.

In summary, the Catholic Bible is the version of the Bible promoted by the Roman Catholic Church and used by the majority of the world’s Catholics.

Aside from the inclusion of the Apocrypha, the Catholic Bible is identical to Protestant Bibles.

The Apocrypha is not the Word of God and must not be read as such but it does provide some value to believers. The 66 books of the Bible are sufficient for the knowledge of God, faith, and life.

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