022: Why Catholic Bibles Are BIGGER

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard
The Art of Catholic with Matthew Leonard

catholic_FINAL_150It’s not just because we want to look cool or think bigger is better. Catholic Bibles are simply bigger than Protestant Bibles.

(And I don’t mean they’re printed in a larger font. I mean ours have more books than theirs.) The question is “Why?”

It’s a huge issue…one of, dare I say, biblical proportions.

One of the fundamental principles of Protestantism is the doctrine of sola scriptura – the Bible alone. In other words, it teaches that the only sure authority upon which we can base our lives is the Bible because it alone is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

Of course, this belief raises obvious questions. For example, if the Bible is the only authority, then who has the right to interpret it? You? Your pastor? Your mechanic? It’s a problem. In fact, the issue of authority was the original impetus behind my eventual move to Catholicism some eighteen years ago.

But the problem of authority doesn’t just come into play with regard to interpreting Scripture. It has a colossal impact on the book itself. In other words, who decides what books are actually inspired and which are just wise sayings? How did we get the canon of Scripture in the form we now possess?

And why are Catholic Bibles different than those of our Protestant brothers?

That’s what this show is all about.Holy Bible

As you’re going to see, I’ve brought in an expert on this topic. His name is Rob Corzine, a friend, and one of the vice presidents of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

He’s a very smart cookie. (Someone please get me the etymology of that phrase.)

And it’s a pretty fair bet that you’re going to come away from this episode with whole lot more understanding about the important and fascinating history of Sacred Scripture than before.



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2 Responses

  1. I guess I will have to listen again but I did not find clear answers to these questions.

    The Septuagint was “the bible” for the early Christians but from what Hebrew documents was the Septuagint translated into Greek. Does not that mean that the Hebrews at one point did accept the deuterocanonical books as part of their “cannon” on scripture?

    Did Jesus or other NT writers quote the deutero books in the NT?

    Why did the Hebrews not accept the deutero books? Any logical criteria for what they did or did not accept?

    Why exactly did the Pope or the Church overrule St. Jerome and others in saying the deutero were to be part of the canon. I do not believe you said enough about that. It sounded like since Macabees II is the only scriptural basis for Purgatory, the Church had to keep that book in.

    St. Jerome was a holy saint but he was “wrong” about wanting to leave Macabees out? Was Jerome of the same opionion about the other six books, that is, he wanted that they not be accepted simply because Hebrews did not accept them?

    The show did shed some light on these matters but was not clear enough.

    Also think you needed to say that the King James Bible – 1611 “Authorized” version is the only one that included the apocyypha — or whatever the facts are about that. Is any KJV bible still being printed that that does include the books. What do Protestant aplogogists say about this.?

    1. Jeannon – First of all, thanks for the comments. And, yes, I agree that there was a lot unsaid. It’s impossible to systematically cover every aspect of the issue in what boils down to a half hour conversation. However, I hope it spurs interest in others as it has in you. Either I or Rob will weigh in later with answers to your great questions, though I can say real quickly that yes, New Testament authors quoted or referenced the Septuagint. In fact, even according Protestant authors, it happened 340 times. More answers soon!

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