Why do Catholic, Protestant Bibles differ? - Catholic Courier

Why do Catholic, Protestant Bibles differ?

What Catholics Belief Series

Catholic Bibles differ from those used by Protestants because they include in as parts of the Old Testament the deuterocanonical texts Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch and 1 and 2 Maccabees, as well as portions of Esther and additions to Daniel, according to Father Michael Costanzo, assistant professor of religious studies at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford.

Most of the deuterocanonical texts and the books of the Hebrew Scriptures were included in the Greek Septuagint, which Jewish scholars translated from about the third to the first century B.C. Early Christians, who predominantly spoke Greek, used this translation.

In the first century A.D., the Jewish presbytery eliminated from the Hebrew Scriptures any book that was written in Greek only, Father Costanzo said, adding that this was done in part because the rabbis didn’t believe these books were inspired by God.

The earliest complete list of what would become the books of the Catholic canon was published in 367 A.D. by Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria. The deuterocanonical books were officially included in the Catholic canon when it was codified during the Council of Trent in the 16th century.

When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, he used the Hebrew Scriptures for the Old Testament, said Father George Heyman, adjunct assistant professor in Biblical studies at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford. As a result Protestants consider the deuterocanonical texts to be apocryphal, or outside of the accepted canon, and either omit them from their Bibles or list them in a separate section.


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