Catholic Bible


I have a New English translation Bible and was flipping through it today when I noticed something a bit odd considering it said “for Catholics” in that I cam across a part where it prefaced the section with “Some extra books” that some Protestants used but weren’t canonical for Roman Catholics. (Esdras I, Esdras II, and Prayer of Manasseh.) Thinking it was a bit odd that a Catholic Bible would have non-canonical books brings me two questions.

1: Are Orthodox Christians also known as Catholic?
2: Why aren’t they included in our Bible?

  1. No
  2. Can’t say with complete accuracy, but I do know that several of the Church’s ecumenical councils in the Forth Century listed the seventy-three book Bible used by Catholics as scripture. Various Orthodox communities have accepted extra books as canonical, while protestants eventually took out several books.


The NEB, REB and various others employ the protestant self-made ‘canons.’ They include what they consider to be the “apocrypha” - books that they consider not-inspired, but nevertheless are useful for reading. However, what they consider to be the ‘apocrypha’ include the seven Catholic Deuterocanonical books that were in the Greek Septuagint from which our Lord and the Apostles quoted. The Catholic canon also includes more complete manuscripts of Daniel and Esther.

The confusion enters in when 1 & 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Menassah are present. Protestants make no distinction between them and the other “apocryphal” books, so no notation is made for Catholic readers. Best to make a note on the title page of those books that they are indeed apocryphal, and treat them as such.


Who are the publisher? Sometimes it could be purely commercial and they do not know any better.

Catholic Bible includes the Deuterocanonical books and that’s it. No point in creating confusion. Sure we can read what are not in the Bible but I would not buy that Bible if it does not make any distinction about this but claim it is a Catholic Bible, which is a misrepresentation .

As an aside, I have a good collection of Bibles of different types/versions, but I know what they are, so they are collected for that purpose.


po18guy, thanks for your answer since I suppose I could see why someone could hold that opinion.

(Ended up doing some research and it seems it was due to revelations about non-authenticity and inaccurate translations that those books were dropped in particular.)

Reuben, Thomas Nelson Publishers is the company for my Bible and it’s a Precious Moments one.

I’m a bit curious what people would argue to be the best translation now.


I would not go into this but there are probably many people who have particular choices.

There are Catholic Bibles that you can use as references like:

New American Bible and Jerusalem Bible, both of which are used in the lectionary for mass readings.

Others are the RSV Catholic Edition and a more classic DRB (Douay Rheims Bible).

For working or teaching Bible, I would normally use the simple to read ones like GNB (Good News Bible and even NIV). You have to be discerning though and always compared with the Catholic Bible for appropriate word translation.


The Orthodox are a schismatic part of the Catholic Church.


And historically, they have not even been in full communion with each other. Their own disputes rage on, never mind unity with the West. I believe that unity will be achieved, if it ever is, bit by bit.


Although it is not now common to find those non-canonical works (Esdras I (a.k.a. Esdras III) and Esdras II (a.k.a. Esdras IV) and the Prayer of Manasses) in a Catholic Bible, for most of the history of the Catholic Church they were commonly found somewhere in the Catholic Bible. Prior to 1592, they often appeared mixed in with the canonical works. The Clementine Vulgate, the official Bible of the Catholic Church from 1592-1976, included them in an appendix following the New Testament. (source)


As I recall, they were preserved “lest they be lost entirely.”


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