Bible Catechism – Lesson 16

Lesson 16:
Differences Between Catholic And Protestant Versions

1. Does the Catholic version of the Bible differ from Protestant versions?

Yes, in many ways.

2. What is the most noticeable difference?

The most noticeable difference is the absence of seven whole books and parts of two others from the Protestant versions.

3. What books are not contained in the Protestant version?

The Deutero-Canonical Books (See lesson 6).

4. Why are the Deutero-Canonical Books Omitted by Protestants?

Because the Protestant versions of the Bible follow the late Palestinian version of the Bible, which also omits these books (See lesson 8).

5. Name another difference between the Catholic and Protestant versions.

Many important arbitrary changes are found in the texts of the Protestant Bible. According to some scholars, the most popular Protestant Bibles have literally hundreds of mistranslations, additions and omissions.

6. To what do such changes of text lead?

They lead to an entirely different interpretation from the one intended by the Sacred Writer.

7. Give an example of this change of text.

St Paul says, “… Being therefore justified by Faith …” (Rom. V, 1), and Luther inserted the word “alone” so that the text reads, “Being therefore justified by faith alone.”

8. Why were the Reformers so anxious to change texts?

They were anxious to change texts to give force to the particular doctrine of their choice.

9. Should that behavior of the Reformers raise some questions in our mind?

Yes, what did they believe exactly concerning the Bible? Either they did not believe it was the Word of God, and therefore felt free to change it any which way; or if they did believe it was the Word of God, it took a lot of pride and presumption to correct God’s word. In either case, they should be called “Deformers” rather than Reformers.

10. Name other differences between the King James version and the Douay version.

The King James version has a preference for words of Anglo-Saxon origin whereas the Douay version freely uses words of Latin origin. The Douay version latinizes the name of some books while the King James gives what they thought at the time to be the Hebrew name. Many Protestant versions other than King James omit the Epistle of St. James. 

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