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How is a Catholic Bible different from a Protestant Bible?

Updated on February 14, 2015
Heidi Vincent profile image

Ms. Vincent is an M.B.A graduate, Business Consultant and health, wellness & natural healing enthusiast, who reads a lot on those subjects.

Catholic Bible - Kindle version - Holy Bible - Books in the Bible - Non Protestant Books in the Bible
Catholic Bible - Kindle version - Holy Bible - Books in the Bible - Non Protestant Books in the Bible | Source

Isn't a Bible a Bible?

As I grew older and travelled and conversed with other people (Catholics & non-Catholics) about the Bible, more and more I came across people who didn't have a clue about three (3) of my favourite Books in the Bible that I would often speak about or quote from - Tobit (also called Tobias), Wisdom and Sirach (also called Ecclesiasticus).

In some instances, I would myself be shocked since those persons professed to have such good knowledge of the Holy Bible. So I then began searching different Bibles for the reason why some people didn't know about my favourite Books in the Bible which contain such profound knowledge for every human being on how to live everyday life.

Then I found it! I didn't even know this myself growing up as a Catholic all these years even though I read the Bible regularly. A Catholic Bible contains seven (7) additional Old Testament Books - Tobit (Tobias), Judith, 1st Maccabees, 2nd Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) and Baruch - as well as some additional texts in two (2) other Old Testament Books - Esther and Daniel.

I want you to read those Catholic Books in the Holy Bible for yourself. So in the remainder of this article, I will just give you a sneak peek into each of those seven (7) additional Books in order to pique your interest and encourage you to gain the bountiful wisdom that each of them holds for the reader.

I won't deal with the Books of Esther or Daniel since they are in the Protestant Bible but just have some additional texts in the Catholic Bible.If you'd like more details as to WHY the difference came to be, you can visit the EWTN Online Library to read Father William Saunders' detailed account.

Image credit: All images compliments AMAZON

Bible Poll No. 1

Did you know that a Catholic Bible has 7 additional books before today?

See results

Catholic Bibles (Book & Kindle Versions)

The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version - Burgundy - Second Catholic Edition
The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version - Burgundy - Second Catholic Edition
Get your own copy of the Catholic Bible and read more after you see the sneak previews into each of the 7 Catholic Books that I will be sharing with you shortly.This new edition has a new and better typeset which helps with reading and some of the archaic language has been updated to more modern language while maintaining the true essence of the original text.

More Wisdom for Everyday Living!

5 stars for The CATHOLIC Holy Bible
Archangel Raphael - Saints in the Bible - Angel of Marriage, Joy, Travel & Happy Meetings
Archangel Raphael - Saints in the Bible - Angel of Marriage, Joy, Travel & Happy Meetings | Source

Sneak Peek into Holy Bible Book No. 1 - Tobit

Since I love fables and allegory, this Book of Tobit has always been rather appealing to me. Tobit contains 14 chapters and focuses on four (4) main characters - Tobit, Tobias, Sarah and Archangel Raphael.

Tobit is a Jew who was captured from his hometown in northern Israel and brought into captivity in Assyria along with his wife Anna and his son Tobias. By all accounts he is a very faithful Jew who observes all of the Laws of Moses and remains faithful to his faith and religion while in captivity and throughout many hardships.

Tobias, who is Tobit's only son, sets out on a difficult and long journey to another town in order to recover some money that his father Tobit had left 20 years earlier with a man called Gabael.

Sarah is a young woman who has been married seven (7) times but who suffers the misfortune of each husband being killed even before they have time to consummate their marriage. She eventually marries Tobias and they live happily ever after.

Archangel Raphael appears on the scene in answer to the prayers of both Tobit and Sarah who are praying in separate places about their individual troubles. Through the help of Archangel Raphael and God's Divine Order and intervention things turn out well for all four (4) of the main characters in the Book of Tobit.

Bible Poll No. 2

Which of these Archangels is your favourite?

See results
Women in the Holy Bible - Good Women in the Bible - Bad Women in the Bible
Women in the Holy Bible - Good Women in the Bible - Bad Women in the Bible | Source

Sneak Peek into Holy Bible Book No. 2 - Judith

As a woman, I am particularly intrigued by the Book of Judith because it is 1 of 3 Books in the entire Old Testament where a woman is prominently featured. That's significant considering that there are 46 Books in the Old Testament.

There are 16 chapters in the Book of Judith. The first 7 chapters focus on a war between the King of Assyria and the King of Mede (now North-western Iran and south-east Turkey), the King of Assyria's revenge on the nations that did not assist him during that war and the Israelites' defense plans against an oncoming attack from the King of Assyria.

Then the heroine of this Book - Judith - takes over the story from chapter 8 right through to chapter 16. She meets with the town officials and imparts her wisdom on how things should be handled. She receives a strong nod of approval from the town officials who add, "Everything you have said makes good sense, and no one can argue with it" (Judith 8:28).

Again this is huge because in Old Testament times women were not considered capable of giving advice of any sort and certainly not about military tactics!She devises a secret plan - yes, she even tells the town officials " must not ask me what I am going to do; I will explain it to you when it is all over" (Judith 8:34) - that saves the Israelites. In the Bible's own words, "For the rest of her life she was famous throughout the land of Israel" (Judith 16:21).

ALL the Women in the Bible! - The Good Girls & The Bad Girls

Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study
Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study
This is the audio version, which you can listen to while driving, doing chores, jogging, exercising or strolling with your baby (babies if you’ve been blessed with a twin). If you love to curl up and read and turn actual pages, well there’s also a book version.I really like this focus on women alone because it gives encouragement knowing that women back then had some of the same struggles and issues of the modern day woman.
Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them
Bad Girls of the Bible: And What We Can Learn from Them
Oh yes! There were some 'bad apples' and there's plenty to learn about what not to do!

Sneak Peek into Holy Bible Book No. 3 - 1st Maccabees

If you think that guerrillas and guerrilla warfare was invented by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, then you’re in for a big surprise!

First Maccabees showcases six (6) famous guerrillas; Mattathias and his 5 sons, John, Simon, Judas, Eleazar and Jonathan.

As background to why these Old Testament guerrillas were born, you need to understand what was happening at that time. It was around the time of ruthless leaders such as Alexander the Great, who was known for having “created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into present-day Pakistan” (Alexander the Great, Wikipedia ) through his famous conquests.

The Jews in Israel were also being persecuted and forced to abandon their faith. When Mattathias dies, his son Judas takes over the cause of fighting for Israel and the Jews and he is supported by his other brothers and some loyal followers.

And would you believe it! When Judas dies in battle, his brother Jonathan bravely takes over as the leader of the band of guerrillas and he has many successful victories himself.

There are 16 nail-biting chapters in this book. Go read them for yourself!

Bible Wars & Weapons
Bible Wars & Weapons
"What excites boys more than action, adventure, and cool weapons? In Bible Wars & Weapons boys ages 8 to 12 can read all about the action and adventure of battle in Bible times” (Rick Osborne). Boys love adventure stories! Have you noticed the following for ‘Superman and ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Why not get your tweens boys (aged 8 to 12 years old) hooked on the Bible with ‘cool’ Bible personalities and weapons?

Sneak Peek into Holy Bible Book No. 4 - 2nd Maccabees

In the 15 chapters of Second Maccabees, there are more Jewish persecutions, invasions, wars, attacks on Jerusalem, political intrigue, plots, betrayal, court trials, suicide, murders, letters back and forth and ruthless tyrannical leaders such as Antiochus Epiphanes.

He gave himself this name which, when translated means “God Manifest" (Antioch IV Epiphanes, Wikipedia ), when he ascended to the Throne as King. Does that tell you enough about his arrogance?

The most heart-rending story of all, though, is that of a mother who loses all of her 7 sons in 1 day as they are tortured and killed one by one in the most horrific ways, while she is forced to look on by Antiochus Epiphanes. I don’t think that you can find a better thrilling page-turner anywhere!

The Invisible War: What Every Believer Needs to Know about Satan, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare
The Invisible War: What Every Believer Needs to Know about Satan, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare
I have met people who simply refuse to believe in demons and spiritual warfare. News flash! Not believing won’t make demons go away or exempt you from spiritual warfare. So you’d better not bury your head in the sand but rather learn how to safeguard you and your loved ones. “The Invisible War examines what every believer needs to know about Satan, demons, and spiritual warfare, offering a balanced look at this controversial subject. This provocative book will help Christians understand what the Bible says about these threats and will show them how they can safeguard themselves and their families through prayer.”

Sneak Peek into Holy Bible Book No. 5 - Wisdom

This is one of my favourite Old Testament Books in the Holy Bible!

There is sound advice for leaders, the great responsibility they have as leaders and how they should dispense with their duties as leaders.

There are examples of the results of wisdom and lack of wisdom for several renowned Bible personalities such as Adam, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph and Moses.

Some of the chapters review particular events related to the Israelites escape from bondage in Egypt from a different perspective, the fate of the Egyptians, God’s providence for the Israelites while in the desert etc.

#2 As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord Vinyl wall art Inspirational quotes and saying home decor decal sticker steamss
#2 As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord Vinyl wall art Inspirational quotes and saying home decor decal sticker steamss
A lovely profession of you and your family's faith that can be used to decorate your living room or any other room in your home.

Sneak Peek into Holy Bible Book No. 6 - Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)

Now this is one of the creme-de-la-creme Books in the Holy Bible! While reading through the 51 chapters in the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), everyone can gain wisdom to last for a lifetime in every situation and throughout the changing seasons of their lives.

It is a Book that you will find yourself coming back to again and again and again... Well you get the picture. There is advice about self-control, begging, giving to the poor, generosity, kindness, charity, sincerity, self-confidence, relations with others, using common sense, pride, humility, self-respect, appearances, responsibly using wealth, self-examination, loose and inappropriate talk, knowing when to speak, laziness, taking oaths, sin, betrayal, hypocrisy, resentment, loans and repayment, guaranteeing debt, home and hospitality, bringing up children, problems caused by money, behaviour at dinner parties, independence, interpreting the law, choosing a wife, false friends, controlling one’s appetite, sickness and medicine, work, mourning for the dead, death, the joys of human life, the results of evil etc.

There is even advice for parents, children, women, men, leaders, fathers and daughters. It also highlights various qualities of a good friend , and gives sound advice about how to choose friends and avoid false friends.

Did I leave out anything? Well I am sure that you will find it somewhere in the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)! That’s how comprehensive this Book is.

The Great Adventure: Bible Indexing Tabs (2017)
The Great Adventure: Bible Indexing Tabs (2017)
You will definitely need these after you read the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. There are a total of 85 nicely colour-coded, pre-cut, self-adhesive tabs that help you get to the part of the Holy Bible you want as quickly as possible. They are very easy to apply. You just have to peel off a tab, position it where you want it and apply it. Done!
History of Jerusalem - National Bestseller - Simon Sebag books
History of Jerusalem - National Bestseller - Simon Sebag books | Source

Sneak Peek into Book No. 7 - Baruch

The Book of Baruch is very short; 6 chapters taking up only 4 pages in the entire Holy Bible. It quite appropriately follows the Book of Lamentations which poetically but sorrowfully describes the destruction and fall of Jerusalem (circa 586 B.C.) as well as the demolition of the magnificent Temple built by Solomon, which was the pride and joy of the Israelites.

We shouldn’t have done it! Baruch is a tearful admission by the Israelites in exile that their sins against God is what led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and them being held in captivity by the Babylonians. Only the poorest of the poor are left behind in Jerusalem and the Israelites living in exile send on some money for their countrymen left behind as well as a Book to be read.

The exiled Jews from Israel and Judah make a public confession of sin and urge their countrymen back in Judah and Israel to do the same. They also offer up a public plea to God asking for deliverance from their misery in exile.

Baruch, who was secretary to the Prophet Jeremiah, tells the people that they “will remain there [in Babylon] in exile for many years, as long as seven generations” (Baruch 6:2) but he comforts them in the same breath, quickly pointing out, ...then God will lead you peacefully home from Babylon”.

Small comfort, though, but some comfort all the same, given that it meant they would be in captivity for at least 140 years; since a generation is considered roughly between 20 to 25 years. A really sad end to a very great nation!

So you see? Whoever said that the Bible was boring to read is a liar!

Jerusalem: The Biography
Jerusalem: The Biography
The New York Times described this national bestseller as "Impossible to put down. . . . Vastly enjoyable."“In this masterful narrative, Simon Sebag Montefiore brings the holy city to life, through the people who created and destroyed it…”

Bible Poll No. 3

From what you have read here or your own reading of these 7 additional (Catholic) Books in the Holy Bible, which one is your favourite?

See results
New American Bible: St Joseph Edition
New American Bible: St Joseph Edition
Do you have elderly parents, relatives, friends or colleagues who find reading difficult with regular-sized prints? Or do you know someone with an eye problem that makes it difficult to read small print? Well you can make this GIANT PRINT BIBLE a perfect gift or special surprise for him or her.

Visit the Catholic Contributor for more…

…inspirational & uplifting Catholic & Christian articles, great product reviews for everyone, delicious recipes and winning gift ideas at

Let me know you stopped by for a visit :)

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    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      Welcome to the Catholic family, Mel! Glad you liked my hub. I think you're intrigued by those 4 gospels because Jesus is the star in them :) Who wouldn't be?

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      4 years ago from San Diego California

      I am a converted Catholic, but even when I was a Protestant I was aware of the Apocrypha, or the additional books the Catholics have in their Bible, and was always very intrigued by them. Having read them now, I still think that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are what inspires me most, and this is the basis of unification for all Christians everywhere. Great hub!

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i have never read a protestant bible but I do know that they are pretty agrresive

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      5 years ago from GRENADA

      You're welcome! They are very insightful. You should definitely look at them. Thanks for visiting. Happy Easter!!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hi, Heidi! Thanks for this very informative piece! I guess I have to review the books of the Catholic Bible. I tend to focus only on the Old Testament and the gospels of the Evangelists.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      5 years ago from GRENADA

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to read my summary of the differences, Ron. Do take a look at them. There is much wisdom for living, especially in Sirach.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      This is an interesting perspective, Heidi. I've been aware of what, as you note, Protestants call the Apocrypha, but must admit I've never read any of them. Since Protestants don't consider them canonical, I haven't thought there would be any particular profit in reading them. Seeing the high value they have for you is an encouragement to check them out.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      5 years ago from GRENADA

      Thanks Sherry! Great to see you here. I'm glad you liked my sneak peek into each of the 7 Bible books. Thanks for visiting and have a very blessed week!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Well explained Heidi! I have heard of some of these books that were left out of the KJV that my church uses. I am glad that you wrote this page to let those who do not know about these other books that are not known to those who do not use the Catholic Cannon.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      This is fascinating. It especially interested me because my family on one side was Catholic and on the other side was Protestant. I was raised Protestant and NEVER heard about these other books in the Bible. I am going to have to get myself a new Bible!

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @Arachnea: Thanks for visiting Arachnea! Have a blessed weekend!

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 

      6 years ago from Texas USA

      Hi, FreshStart7. When I belonged to another religion, years ago, I had become familiar with many of the bible translations and the fact that the Catholic Bible had a few differences from the protestant bible. Saw your post in grammieo's best of post in the forum.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you for this great description of the 7 books in the Catholic Bible that are not in the Protestant Bible. I knew a little about them but learned more here and appreciate it.

    • Aladdins Cave profile image

      Aladdins Cave 

      6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Very interesting Thank you, and it turns out that I am reading this on a Sunday morning.I'll give thumbs up and tweet. God Bless from DOWNUNDER

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      This was interesting to get details about.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @Merrci: Thanks Merrci! Protestants say 'Apocrypha'. Happy Easter!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      6 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Great lens! I've heard of the Aprocraph (sp?), but didn't realize the Catholic Bible was different. Interesting to know what they are about.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @TanoCalvenoa: Great, TanoCalvenoa! Thanks for visiting and continue to have a very blessed Holy Week. In advance, I also wish you a Happy Easter!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is good information. I've read these "extra" books before, since my King James version doesn't have them. I think they have a lot of valuable information.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @shellys-space: You're welcome CosmeticMom! Thanks for visiting and continue to have a very blessed Holy Week. In advance, I also wish you a Happy Easter!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Thanks for sharing the difference between your Catholic Bible and a "Regular" Bible translation.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @junecampbell: :) Don't worry nightcats. As I explained in my intro I was in the same boat as you since I only found out that there was difference as an adult. I just though that all Bibles were like my Catholic Bible. You see I went to Catholic primary and secondary schools. No one told me :) Continue to have a very blessed Holy Week and thanks for visiting and sharing so honestly. In advance, I wish you a Happy Easter!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I am embarrassed to admit this, but until I found your lens, I didn't know that Catholic's had a different Bible from Protestants. Thanks for the info! You have done a great job of explaining the Books.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @georgepmoola2: Always good to hear from you, georgepmoola! I think we must just bear patiently with those persons who distort things, whether it is the Holy Bible or the Qur'an, since I have come to understand that it just means that they are less mature on their spiritual journey at that point in time. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Have a Happy Easter!

    • georgepmoola2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Fascinating stuff. All versions of the Bible do, of course, have the same underlying message, as do all other religions - love, peace, tolerance, etc., etc., none more so than the Koran which has been so shamefully distorted by people who ought to know better.


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