The Difference Between the Roman Catholic and Non-Catholic Bible

Luther W. Martin
St. James, Mo.

Much mis-information, exists and has been deliberately circulated by priests of the Roman Catholic Church in an effort to leave the impression that "Protestants" and non-Catholics have removed several books from the originally revealed body of Holy Scripture. Therefore, we have compiled the following information, in order to demonstrate the falsity of the Roman Church's claim.

First-The Catholic Encyclopedia

Protocanonical (protos, "first") is a conventional word denoting those sacred writings which have been always received by Christendom without dispute. The protocanonical books of the Old Testament correspond with those of the Bible of the Hebrews and the 0.T. as received by Protestants. The deuterocanonical (deuteros, "second") are those whose scriptural character was contested in some quarters, but which long ago gained a secure footing in the Bible of the Catholic Church, though those of the 0.T. are classed by Protestants as the "Apocrypha." These consist of seven books: Tobias, Judith, Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, First and Second Maccabees; also certain additions to Esther and Daniel . . ." (Vol. 111, page 267).

Thus, we have an admission from one of the most authoritative sources of the Roman Catholic Church to the effect that the books contained in the NON-CATHOLIC BIBLE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN RECEIVED WITHOUT DISPUTE! . . . that the additional books now accepted by the Roman Church have been "CONTESTED IN SOME QUARTERS"! We shall endeavor to give the definition of the expression "some quarters".

Also, we wish to show just how "long ago" the apocryphal books gained their "secure footing in the Bible of the Catholic Church."

During the first century, the Jews did not accept the apocryphal books as canonical, nor did the writers of the New Testament use any quotations from the apocrypha.

In the second century, Melito, a bishop of Sardis, drew up a list of canonical books of the Old Testament and rejected all of the books that non-Catholics reject today.

From the third century, Origen included only the 39 books of the Old Testament as being canonical . . . thus agreeing with the canon of the nonCatholic Bible of today.

The fourth century theologians who were among those rejecting the apocryphal books included: Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Hilary, Eusebius of Caesarea, Jerome (the translator of the Latin Vulgate), and the bishops assembled at the Council of Laodicea (between 343 A.D. and 380 A.D.) This action of the Council of Laodicea was later confirmed by the Sixth General Council in 680-1 A.D.

The fifth century is not without theologians who rejected the apocryphal books of the Old Testament. Among them were Epiphanius, and Augustine.

In the sixth century history records at least two well known men who rejected the apocryphal books. They were Juvilius, a bishop from Africa, and Isidore of Seville.

Even the noted bishop of Rome, Gregory 'the Great' of the seventh century rejected the apocryphal books of the Old Testament. This is set forth in the Vatican edition of Gregory's Works. (Edit. Rom. 1608. Typog., Vat. II. P. 899.

The First 'Infallible' Pronouncement on the Canon

"The Tridentine (Council of Trent, Session IV., 1546 A.D.) decree . . . was the first infallible and effectually promulgated pronouncement on the Canon, addressed to the Church Universale. . ."(Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. III, page 270).

Obviously, the apocryphal books of the Old Testament have been "contested in some quarters" . . . in fact, they have been rejected in MANY QUARTERS, and in every century! Also, the "secure footing" of the apocryphal books can only be traced back to the year 1546 A. D.

Now, for fear some devout but misled Catholic think that we are merely picking out the ONLY existing historical evidence against the acceptance of the apocryphal books, we copy again f rom the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"In the Latin Church, all through the Middle Ages (476 A.D. until about 1500 A.D., according to the Britannica Dictionary. L.W.M.) we find evidence of hesitation about the character of the deuterocanonicals. (Deuterocanonicals . . . meaning the extra O. T. books rejected by non-Catholics. L.W.M.) There is a current friendly to them, another one distinctly unfavorable to their authority and sacredness, while wavering between the two are a number of writers whose veneration for these books is tempered by some perplexity as to their exact standing, and among these we note St. Thomas Aquinas. Few are found to unequivocally acknowledge their canonicity . . ." (Vol.111, page 273).

By the way, Thomas Aquinas lived and died in the 13th century. So the admission of the Catholic Encyclopedia as to his questioning of the O.T. canon, indicates the unsettled condition of Catholicism in that century. In modern times, however, Thomas Aquinas has been hailed as one of the all time greats of the Roman Church, having been dubbed "Doctor Angelicus" (The angelic doctor. LWM.) . . . yet he was confused as to the Canon of the Old Testament . . . therefore it is not until 1546 A.D., that the Roman Church finally ended such confusion among her 'Doctors' by 'infallibly' listing 73 books to be included in the Bible, rather than the original 66 as accepted by Protestants and non-Catholics.

Truth Magazine I:11, pp. 22-23
August 1957