Depending on which Christian denomination you belong to, your Bible could have seven fewer books than other faiths. Which books were they? Find out why, what, where, and when these books were removed!
Many people believe the Roman Catholic Church is the oldest Christian denomination. However, according to learn religions, its official beginning is considered 590 CE with Pope Gregory I.
However, the earliest followers of Jesus Christ were a set of apocalyptic Jewish Christians within the realm of Second Temple Judaism. According to Wikipedia, these were strictly Jewish, and the early Christian community in Jerusalem was led by James the Just, the brother of Jesus.
According to Quora, the next oldest is the Orthodox Church of Antioch (Antiochian Orthodox), as mentioned by Paul in the book of Acts.
Protestantism and its many branches did not develop until the early 16th century, led by Augustinian friar Father Martin Luther.
Roman Emperor Constantine I summoned a conference of all the bishops of the Christian church in Rome to create the first ecumenical “worldwide” council, held in Nicea in Bithynia (in present-day Turkey), in 325 CE. He invited 1800 bishops of the Christian church, although only 250-320 bishops participated. Many people mistakenly think this is where the books of the Bible were decided. According to scholars, the canonization was a longer process spanning from the first through the fourth centuries and beyond.
Today, the Protestant Bible most of us are familiar with came about during the 16th century when church reformer Martin Luther published his German translation of the Bible, which had previously only been translated in two Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
The Bible isn’t a single book, but a collection of books written by at least 40 authors.
To keep examples simple, we are going to compare only the Catholic Bible with its 73 books and Protestant Bibles, such as the King James Bible, with its 66 books.
Both the Catholic and Protestant Bibles contain the same 27 books of the New Testament. However, Protestant Bibles have 39 books of the Old Testament, while the Catholic Bible 46 contains seven additional Old Testament books known as the Apocrypha.
An honorable mention goes to the Ethiopian Bible, which is the denomination with the largest Canon according to the British Library. The Ethiopian Bible contains 84 books. It includes pseudepigrapha (Greek for “false author”) such as 1 Enoch and Jubilees. However, it’s worth noting that the apostles actually referenced these books! The apostle Jude quoted from Enoch in Jude 1:14-15 (Enoch 1:9) in a nearly exact match (depending on the English Bible translation you use).
The seven books removed from the Protestant Bible and present in the Catholic Bible are Tobit; Judith; 1 & 2 Maccabees; Wisdom of Solomon; Ecclesiasticus, also called Wisdom of Sirach; Baruch.
These books are considered Apocrypha, which is Greek for “the hidden things.”
These are known as Deuterocanonical Books, which mean in Greek “belonging to the second Canon.” These are books that are accepted in some cannons but not all. The deuterocanonical books are accepted by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Assyrian Church of the East.
According to the Penn Book Center, the reasoning for their removal was that they were Old Testament texts that the Jews did not include in the modern Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, according to the Penn Book Center. These books were included in the Septuagint (the earliest Greek translation of texts from the Hebrew Bible) and the Latin Vulgate (a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible).