Why do we do that? Catholic Life Explained

May 19, 2021

Question: Why are Catholic and Protestant Bibles different?

Answer: Since the earliest days of the Church, Christians used a Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. This collection of the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures included 46 books. At the time of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, the Protestant reformers began to create their own translations of the Bible (into local languages) and some began to question why the Jewish Scriptures would have included texts that were written in Greek, because, they assumed, the only valid Jewish Scriptures would have been written in Hebrew. And so, they decided to remove seven books from the Old Testament: Baruch, Sirach, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith and Wisdom (as well as portions of the Books of Daniel and Esther). This means that the Protestant Old Testament only includes 39 books, while Catholic Bibles continue to include those original 46 books. Both Catholic and Protestant Bibles include 27 books and letters in the New Testament.