Ask a Priest

Why are the Catholic and Protestant Bibles different?

Mar 09, 2015

Why are the Catholic and Protestant Bibles different? And who originally compiled the Bible?

Asked at 11:47 pm on March 09th 2015

Dear Sammy:

You can see here what the Catechism has to say about what we call the canon of Scripture, that is, the books recognized by the Church as being part of the Bible.

It took a period of discernment by the Church in the early centuries in order to determine which of the writings were to be considered inspired by the Holy Spirit and would form part of God’s revelation.

By the end of the fourth century, in positions taken by the Council of Hippo in 393, and the third and fourth councils of Carthage, in 397 and 419, the books of the Bible as we know it today were settled.

These and other decisions on the canon remained in force until the Protestant reformation, when Luther and others rejected some books of the Bible – that perhaps not coincidentally clashed with their theological position.

That is why there is a difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles. Following the arguments by the Protestants the Council of Trent, in 1546, reaffirmed the position of the Catholic Church regarding what books were in the Bible.

There is some good background information about the canon of Scripture on this Website, in the section titled, “I would like information about the Canon of Scripture.” And this article refutes the arguments used by Protestants to exclude some of the books of the Old Testament.

Replied at 12:12 am on March 10th 2015

Awesome response Fr.

Replied at 09:08 am on March 10th 2015