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Ask Fr. Francis: Why Does the Catholic Bible Have More Books?

The following is an excerpt from askfrfrancis.org. Fr. Francis Ching, CC answers tough questions about the Catholic faith.

Fr. Francis Ching PortraitQuestion:

Why is it that the catholic Bible has books that the other Bibles don’t contain?

Fr. Francis' answer: 

This is not correct. It is not the Catholic bible that has more books, but the Protestants decided to omit 7 of the Old Testament books.

When Martin Luther began the reformation and began to translate the bible into German, he wanted to go back to the original source. For the Old Testament, he assumed at the time that the oldest version would be in Hebrew, and that he should find it from the version used by the Jews. He discovered that the Jewish Torah has only 39 books and not the 46 books of the Catholic Church. The “extra” seven books were considered to be not trustworthy by the Jews. As a result, he omitted those seven books.

What he didn’t know, and couldn’t know at the time, was that at Jesus’ time, there were actually several versions of the Torah, most written in Hebrew, but especially one written in Greek, the so-called Septuagint translation, or LXX. The most widely used version at Jesus’ time was actually the LXX, which contains all 46 books. During the second century, when the Christian Church became more and more prominent and increasingly under persecution, the Jews and the Christians had a number of fallouts. The Jewish leaders decided to definitively separate themselves from any mis-identification with the Christians...

Read the full answer here!

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