Why do some Bibles have seven fewer books than the Catholic Bible? Although some people claim that the Catholic Church added those books at a late date to support it’s teaching, a look at the facts indicates otherwise.
All of the early sacred Jewish writings were gathered together between 430 B.C. and 100 B.C. Translated into Greek beginning around 250 B.C. they were collectively referred to as the Septuagint. These 46 books were used as Jewish Scripture and were the acknowledged ones in use during the time of Jesus and the New Testament (NT) writers.
The canon (list of books) of the OT and NT writings was compiled and acknowledged as inspired by Church councils of Rome (382 A.D.), Hippo (393 A.D.) and Carthage (397 A.D.). Although there was much debate over which writings should be in the NT, the entire Septuagint was agreed to be the proper OT canon. Once the NT books were determined, the official canon of the Bible was finalized. Over 1100 years later Martin Luther published a Bible from which seven of the inspired OT books were deleted: Wisdom, Sirach, Judith, Baruch, Tobit, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. Fortunately, he was dissuaded from carrying out his desire to also delete the NT books of James and Revelation. Since Luther’s alterations were done on his own authority and were imitated by others of his time, the Catholic Church condemned those Bible editions and in 1546 the Council of Trent reaffirmed the proper OT and NT canon as defined by the earlier Church councils. In spite of this historical evidence, a significant number of Bibles that lack the seven inspired OT books continue to be published today.
It’s unfortunate that the people who deny the teaching and authority of the Catholic Church also choose to rely on an incomplete text of the writings inspired by God. Don’t follow their example. Read and reference the complete set of inspired books used by the Catholic Church and published in a Catholic Bible.
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