Catholic Bible

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The Catholic Bible is the Bible comprising the whole 73-book canon recognized by the Catholic Church, including the deuterocanonical books.

Books included in the Catholic Bible[edit]

The Catholic Bible is composed of the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament.

Old Testament[edit]

Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy;
Historical books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees;
Sapiential books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Wisdom, Sirach;
Prophetic books: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

Of these books, Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, parts of Esther and parts of Daniel are deuterocanonical, and are usually not found in the Protestant Bible, but are found in the Bibles of Eastern Christianity.

New Testament[edit]

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.

English versions[edit]

In another sense, a "Catholic Bible" is a Bible published in accordance with the prescriptions of Catholic canon law, which states:

Books of the sacred scriptures cannot be published unless the Apostolic See or the conference of bishops has approved them. For the publication of their translations into the vernacular, it is also required that they be approved by the same authority and provided with necessary and sufficient annotations.

With the permission of the conference of bishops, Catholic members of the Christian faithful in collaboration with separated brothers and sisters can prepare and publish translations of the sacred scriptures provided with appropriate annotations.[1]

The following are English versions of the Bible that correspond to this description:

Abbreviation Name Date
DRB Douay-Rheims Bible 1582–1609
DRC Douay-Rheims Bible Challoner Revision 1752
WVSS Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures 1913–19351
SPC Spencer New Testament 1941
CCD Confraternity Bible 19412
Knox Knox's Translation of the Vulgate 1955
KLNT Kleist-Lilly New Testament 19563
JB Jerusalem Bible 1966
RSV-CE Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 1965–664
NAB New American Bible 1970
TLB-CE The Living Bible - Catholic Edition 1971
NJB New Jerusalem Bible 1985
CCB Christian Community Bible 1986
NRSV-CE New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 1989
RSV-2CE Revised Standard Version - Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Version) 2006
NABRE New American Bible Revised Edition 2011/1986 (Old Testament and Psalms)/New Testament

1Released in parts between 1913–1935 with copious study and textual notes. The New Testament with condensed notes was released in 1936 as one volume.
2NT released in 1941. The OT contained material from the Challoner Revision until the entire OT was completed in 1969.
3New Testament only; Gospels by James Kleist, rest by Joseph Lilly.
4Second Catholic Edition released 2006.

In addition, the authors of the Catholic Public Domain Version and The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible refer to them as Catholic Bibles.

Differences from other Christian Bibles[edit]

The Protestant Bible excludes the deuterocanonical books, which Protestants call the Apocrypha.

The Catholic Bible differs also from the Bible as recognized by churches of Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, which include books not accepted by the Catholic Church as canonical.

The Greek Orthodox Church generally considers Psalm 151 to be part of the Book of Psalms and accepts the "books of the Maccabees" as four in number, but generally places 4 Maccabees in an appendix, along with the Prayer of Manasseh.[2] There are differences from Western usage in the naming of some books (see, for instance, Esdras#Differences in names). Greek Orthodox generally consider the Septuagint to be divinely inspired no less than the Hebrew text of the Old Testament books.

The Bible of the Tewahedo Churches differs from the Western and Greek Orthodox Bibles in the order, naming, and chapter/verse division of some of the books. The Ethiopian "narrow" biblical canon includes 81 books altogether: The 27 books of the New Testament; the Old Testament books found in the Septuagint and that are accepted by the Eastern Orthodox (more numerous than the Catholic deuterocanonical books);[3] and in addition Enoch, Jubilees, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Rest of the Words of Baruch and 3 books of Meqabyan (Ethiopian books of Maccabees entirely different in content from the 4 Books of Maccabees of the Eastern Orthodox). A "broader" Ethiopian New Testament canon includes 4 books of "Sinodos" (church practices), 2 "Books of Covenant", "Ethiopic Clement", and "Ethiopic Didascalia" (Apostolic Church-Ordinances). This "broader" canon is sometimes said to include with the Old Testament an 8-part history of the Jews based on the writings of Titus Flavius Josephus, and known as "Pseudo-Josephus" or "Joseph ben Gurion" (Yosēf walda Koryon).[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Code of Canon Law, canon 825
  2. ^ McDonald and Sanders' The Canon Debate, Appendix C: Lists and Catalogs of Old Testament Collections, Table C-4: Current Canons of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, page 589=590.
  3. ^ See Deuterocanonical books#Eastern Orthodoxy
  4. ^ Ethiopian Canon, Islamic Awareness.
  5. ^ "Fathers". Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL).