The Plain and Simple Truth About the 73 Books of the Catholic Bible

2/06/2021 11 Comments

The 7 apocryphal books of the Catholic Church

While the Bible has strong words and a stern warning for those who would dare add or deduct from what had been written (Revelation 22:18-19), the Catholic Church still had the nerve to add not only words, paragraphs, and chapters to the Bible, but books. Not one, not two, but seven books. 

As most people know, the more reputable versions of the Bible, such as the King James Version, Revised Standard Version, and the American Standard Version; are comprised of sixty-six (66) books – 39 of which are contained in the Old Testament (from Genesis to Malachi) – while the other 27 books are in the New Testament (from Matthew to Revelation). 

Surprisingly, the Good News Bible of the Catholic Church is made up of seventy-three (73) books. Added to the original 66 books were seven other books namely: Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, and Baruch. 

How did this happen? First, we have to understand that the penmen used by God in writing the Holy Scriptures were Hebrews. So, it is but wise and logical to believe that the original language in which the Bible was written was in Hebrew and it was dedicated to the Hebrew people. 

Historical accounts tell us that in the fourth century, Jerome was commissioned to make a Vulgate translation of the Old Testament. Meaning, from Hebrew, the original language in which the Holy Scriptures was written he translated it to Latin. And while Jerome was working on the Vulgate translation, he separated seven books from the actual compilation of the books of the Old Testament. 

This is what the preface of the Good News Bible of the Catholic Church says: 

According to the Good News Bible preface, in 1546, more than one thousand five hundred (1,500) years after the Bible had been completed or after the books that were written by the apostles and evangelists had been included in the Bible, the Catholic Church came up with a declaration that the seven books that had been separated by Jerome were sacred and canonical, and they deserved to be accepted with equal devotion and reverence.

This gives us the impression that prior to the declaration at the Council of Trent, those books were not accepted and revered by the Catholic Church, and its leaders were not sure if those seven books were authentic and divinely inspired. Otherwise, they should have accepted and revered them even before 1546.

On our end, we are confident that those seven books are not original parts of the Old Testament, are not divinely inspired, and are not canonical. And we have valid and concrete reasons to believe so.

First of all, the books in the Old Testament were frequently cited by apostles and evangelists such as Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, in their writings. When they wrote their respective books in the New Testament, they cited books in the Old Testament.

Actually, even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself cited the books in the Old Testament several times when He preached. In one instance He said, “Have you not read, In the Beginning God created them, male and female?” He was referring to the Book of Genesis. And whenever He was expressing His nonconformity with what the scribes and Pharisees were saying and doing, He would always say, “Have you not read...?” or “It is written...” He was, of course, referring to the writings in the Old Testament.

For example, in Matthew 21:15-16 (KJV), it says,

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,
16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

When the children in the temple were shouting “Hosanna to the son of David!” the scribes and the Pharisees were annoyed because they were noisy. They wanted to prevent them from shouting, but the Lord Jesus Christ told them, “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.” He was referring to the scriptures of the Old Testament.

The Lord Jesus Christ made it a point to always cite writings in the Old Testament each time He wanted to teach something to the scribes and Pharisees. Why? During the time of Christ, the scribes and Pharisees had the reputation of being learned men as they had mastery of the law; they were well-taught when it came to the Law of Moses.

The scribes wrote the Law of Moses while the Pharisees were the defenders of the Law of Moses. That was why whenever Christ was answering them, or whenever He would contest or rectify their statements, He would always cite the books of the Old Testament to them. It was like giving them a dose of their own medicine.

But what is very noticeable is that during the whole time that the Lord Jesus Christ was preaching, He never cited — not even once — the Book of Judith or the Book of Maccabees or any of the seven books that the Catholic Church added to the Bible in 1546.

The apostles never made any mention of those books when they preached and when they wrote their respective books and epistles as well. None of them cited the book of Tobit, Sirach, Baruch, or any of the seven books because they were not really part of the Old Testament and they were not canonical. Because if they were, surely Christ, the apostles, and the evangelists must have cited them. On the other hand, they made numerous citations of the legitimate books of the Old Testament like the Book of Psalms, Job, Genesis, and the prophets, among others, because those books were, indeed, integral parts of the Bible and the apostles and evangelists acknowledged them.

Another proof that those books are not canonical is the fact that the Catholic Church does not have any doctrine that used those books as their reference or basis.

Do the priests and the leaders of the Catholic Church cite the Book of Maccabees or the Book of Judith to prove that baptism must be paid? Do they cite those books to defend and justify their practice of praying repetitiously or praying the rosary? Do they cite them to defend their belief in their so-called seven sacraments? Never! They do not use them in defending their faith.

The truth is, they do not even read those books in their masses and other church ceremonies. If those books were authentic and divinely inspired, why don’t they use them? That only proves that they themselves doubt the integrity of those books. Plain and simple.

May God bless us all!