I wanted to start this thread for two reasons: 1) I believe the answer to my question is “vitally important” and I’d like to share why, 2) It seems like Catholics don’t seem to think what Bible is used (66 or 73 book) is a big deal and I want to know why.
My reason for believing a 73 book Bible is “vitally important” is for the following reasons:
Council of Trent formally reaffirmed that a 73 book Bible is to be used and anyone who disagrees is anathema.
The 7 books that are not found in the Protestant Bible contain clear language as to the “holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead” (2 Macc 12:46). Someplace other than heaven or hell (Purgatory) is the only logical interpretation of why to pray for the dead. To not be able to use this verse to make our case for Purgatory (and salvation as a whole) is like asking a boxer to fight with one arm (can still win, but man is it going to be harder!)
There are translation issues between the 66 and 73 books Bibles. The clearest one is Luke 1:28 where the 66 book Bible declares Mary to be “highly favored” while the 73 book Bible says that Mary is “full of grace”. Huge difference in that “highly favored” doesn’t connote anything extraordinarily unique as many could be “highly favored”. Rather, “full of grace” is to connote something where you can’t have more, which is key to explaining the uniqueness to Mary of being immaculately conceived. It’s a big deal.
Because Catholics are so wishy-washy on this topic it allows some Protestants to spread the lie that it was the Catholic Church that added 7 books to the Bible. Many believe that still today and I wonder how many fallen-away Catholics left the Church, in part, because of this misunderstanding.
I’ve heard from my pastor, others on this board, and Catholics that I know who just don’t see which Bible we use as being a big deal. I’ve even heard of a 66 book Bible on the shelves of a Catholic Church (I haven’t checked at my church yet). Why is this the case? Wouldn’t you think that a person was a heretic if they started preaching that the “real” Bible only had 64 or 77 books? If so, then why are we as Catholics so casual when it comes to the 66 book Bible?
Anything other than a 73 book Bible has been declared as anathema so why is it that many Catholics don’t believe they have to obey this? Are there other beliefs that have been declared anathema that we can likewise disobey?
I know it’s been like 500 years, but they changed the Bible!! Why aren’t we as Catholics driving this point harder when it comes to defending and promoting our faith? It’s like we’ve given up that point and rather spend most of our time in a “my interpretation is better than yours” type debates and arguments…each using different Bibles to make our point!
As you can probably tell this drives me crazy!! So, please help me understand. Thanks.