Catholic vs. protestant Bibles: Are they the same?

As a Christian who has worked in the ministry for over 15 years, I love interacting and learning more about how different Christian denominations carry out their faith. Recently, I sat down with a friend from the Catholic Church as we discussed the impact of the word of God in our lives. While at it, my friend mentioned how the catholic bible has more books than the protestant bible. We then discussed the two Bibles more deeply, how they differ, and some of their similarities. So, here is my finding on Catholic vs Protestant Bibles.

Catholic and protestant bibles are slightly different, as the Catholic Bible contains seventy-three books, while the protestant bible has sixty-six books. While both Bibles have twenty-seven books in the New Testament, the difference comes in the Old Testament as the catholic bible has seven more books than the protestant bible. The extra books in the catholic bible are referred to as Deuterocanon by the catholic faith, while the Protestants refer to them as the Apocrypha.

So, join me until the end as I explore more about these Bibles. In this article, I will list a few differences and similarities between these Bibles. I will also talk about the books in the Catholic bible and not the Protestant bible, among other topics.

Catholic vs. Protestant Bibles

Catholic vs. protestant Bibles
Catholic vs. Protestant Bibles. Image source: Pixabay

Catholic Bibles can be referred to as the versions of the Bibles that have been published with the Catholic Church’s approval under the Catholic canon law. Catholic bibles can also refer to Christian bibles that contain the regular sixty-six books and additional seven deuterocanonical books, which were written according to the Greek Septuagint collection.

On the other hand, protestant bibles can be referred to as the type of Christian Bibles revised and translated by protestant Christians. These Bibles have sixty-six books, thirty-nine of which have been written according to the Hebrew bible text, while twenty-seven are in the New Testament.

Difference between Catholic Bible and the Protestant bible.

Catholic Bible

Protestant bible

Has a total of 73 books

Has a total of 66 books

The catholic bible follows the Septuagint order when it arranges its books

The protestant bible follows the Hebrew text in its arrangement of books.

The catholic church refers to the additional books in their bible as Deuterocanonical books.

The protestants refer to the additional books in the Catholic bible as Apocrypha.

The Catholic church views its bible as part of a tradition that includes the church’s teachings and the pope’s authority.

The protestants use their bible for one reason, to teach the scriptures and the word of God.

The Old Testament of the Catholic bible contains 46 books

The Old Testament of the protestant bible contains 39 books

Are there any similarities between the Catholic bible and the Protestant bible?

protestant Bibles
Catholic bible and the Protestant bible similarities. Image source: Pixabay

There are a few similarities between the Catholic bible and the Protestant bible. These Bibles contain the same New Testament books.

Both the Catholic bible and the protestant bible contains the Ten Commandments, which play a more significant role in the teaching and beliefs of the two churches.

Both the Catholic bible and the protestant bible contain historical narratives of different biblical characters, such as the story of Adam and Eve, Abraham and his descendants, the story of Noah and the floods, and the life of Jesus Christ on earth.

Can Catholics read the protestant bible?

Catholic leaders have suggested that it is okay for Catholics to read the protestant bible, as the books found in the protestant bible are all found in the catholic bible. Since all Catholics are Christians, they have the freedom to use the bible, as it is the only right book to be used by Christians.

However, suppose you are a catholic and want to read only a protestant bible, and there is a possibility you may miss out on the teachings from the deuterocanonical books that play a significant role in the Catholic faith; the Catholic Church urges its members to read the catholic bible as it contains all the books that any catholic believer should read.

Can I have both the Protestant and Catholic bible?

There is no crime in having both the protestant and catholic bible. If you are a Catholic, having both Bibles will significantly help your faith as you will fully benefit from them. On the other hand, if you are a protestant, it is okay to own a catholic bible if you are curious or want to understand some of the teachings in the catholic bible. However, it is not entirely advisable to have a catholic bible when you are a protestant because your belief may be conflicted at some point and lose focus on what the protestant bible teaches about.

What books are in the Catholic bible and not in the Protestant bible?

Catholic and Protestant bible books. Image source: Pixabay

There are a total of seven books that are in the Catholic bible that are not in the protestant bible. These books are:


The Tobit is the seventeenth book in the Old Testament in the Catholic bible. This book is also known as the Book of Tobi or the Book of Tobias. This book mainly covers the test of God to the faithful ones and how he responds to the prayers as well as protecting the covenant community.


The Book of Judith is the eighteenth one in the Catholic bible that mainly focuses on one woman named Judith.


The book of Baruch is named after Baruch Ben Neriah. He was prophet Jeramiah’s well-known scribe, and it is suggested that he wrote the book of Baruch. This book focuses on the history of Israel and the Jewish exile from Babylon.


The book of Sirach is also known as the Ecclesiasticus and focuses more on ethical teachings. This book was believed to be written by Judahite, a scribe named Ben Sira.

1 Maccabees

This book mainly contains the history of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It also includes an explanation of the earliest history of the independence of the Hasmonean kingdom.

2 Maccabees

The 2nd Maccabees book records the persecution of Jews under King Epiphanes and the Maccabean Revolt against him.


The Book of Wisdom focuses on wisdom itself rather than King Solomon. This book contains two aspects; the wisdom about humankind suggests that wisdom is the perfection of knowledge of the believers and is a gift from God that shows itself in actions. The second aspect is the wisdom that directly relates to God. This aspect suggests that wisdom is with God from all eternity.

Which one is more accurate between the Catholic and Protestant bible?

No bible is more accurate than the other, as both Bibles are accurate according to their doctrine. The Catholic Church may suggest that their bible is more accurate than the protestant bible, while the Protestants may suggest otherwise. It is essential to follow the bible your church believes in to avoid confusion. As Christians, we should focus on the important teachings of God and not rely on which bible is more accurate than the other.

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