Which Bible Should We Read?

Ephesians 3: 14-21

The bible comes in many languages in the modern world. But the languages that the original texts of the books which comprise the Bible are Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Around the year 400 A.D., St. Jerome, notably famous for his quote “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”, translated the Bible into Latin. From Latin, it was translated into the vernacular or “language of the people”. This is how we can read and hear it in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, … and so on. 

So what does all this mean? Well there was some debate about whether the Bible has 73 or 66 books. In Protestant Bibles, or Non-Catholic bibles, there are only 66 books. In Catholic bibles there are 73. Why are they missing some? In this long timeline of translating and retranslating, the original scrolls they had on hand were all in Hebrew, except for 7 books (Called the Deuterocanonical Books, or Apocrypha by our Protestant sisters… more on that tomorrow). So early translators thought that the 7 books were not part of God’s original work, and therefore, shouldn't be part of the Bible. Fast forward 100’s of years later and you’ll find the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the said “missing” 7 books written in the original Hebrew! Catholics have kept the full 73 books throughout the publishing history or the Bible, but non-catholic Bibles have most likely removed them over the years.

Catholic vs. Non-Catholic Bibles: it is best to use a Catholic Bible for your bible reading & studies. All texts are present and the Faithful believe all written in it to come from the inspiration of God. If you have a non-catholic bible, the Catholic Church gives the ok under two conditions 1) that the reader is involved in a Catholic Bible Study, and 2) that the non-catholic Bible is complete and faithful (comes with DB/Apocrypha) and without notes that attack or amount to an attack on the Catholic faith. Want to know if your Bible has all 73 books? Open up to the first couple of pages where you see the “List of the Books”. Make sure Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, & Baruch are listed. If you'd like to read more about this, a great reference is the Catechism of the Catholic Church #101-141.