Protestant bibles have sixty-six books in them: twenty-seven in the New Testament and thirty-nine in the Old Testament. Catholic bibles have the same number of books in the New Testament, but they have six more books in the Old Testament: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees, as well as more chapters in the books of Esther and Daniel. Catholics call these books as the deuterocanonicals, or second-canon, whereas Protestants call them the “apocrypha” and consider them as uninspired as any other non-biblical work. Catholic bibles contain the deuterocanonicals because those books were part of the Bible that Jesus and the apostles used. Called the Septuagint, it was the Greek translation of the Old Testament and was widely used in the early Church due to the fact that Greek, like English today, was a universal language of commerce. Now some Protestants say we shouldn’t include the deuterocanonical books in the canon because Jesus and the apostles never quoted from them. But as Protestant scholar Bruce Metzger observes, “Nowhere in the New Testament is there a direct quotation from the canonical books of Joshua, Judges, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, Obadiah, Zephaniah, and Nahum.” In fact, the New Testament authors never even allude to the books of Esther, Ecclesiastes, or the Song of Solomon. They did, however, allude to deuterocanonical books, such as in Mark 12:18-22 where the Sadducees question Jesus about a woman who was married to seven brothers who all died consecutively. That story is from the deuterocanonical book of Tobit, yet Jesus doesn’t dismiss it as an apocryphal legend. So the real question is not, “Why are Catholic bibles bigger?” Rather it’s, “Why are Protestant bibles
smaller?” The first Christians did not reject the Deuterocanonical books, as is evidenced in Church Fathers like Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Methodius, Cyprian, Athanasius, and Augustine, who all cited the deuterocanonical books as Scripture. For the great majority of the early Church Fathers As the Anglican scholar J.N.D. Kelly wrote, “the deuterocanonical writings ranked as Scripture in the fullest sense.” For more information about this topic and others like it, visit our website at catholic.com. For Catholic Answers, I’m Trent Horn. Thanks for watching.