I got a Protestant bible for my birthday.

So, I got received into the Church a little less than a year ago, and before I wasn’t very religious. Neither is anyone else in my family but my grandma. My grandma is Episcopal, and even though I was going into the Catholic Church she was still excited that I had come to Christianity and now started to live a Christian life. My birthday was yesterday and she got me a gift. It was a Bible, a Protestant one though. I accepted it, and I thanked her and gave her a hug. I appreciate the gift. Especially because I don’t think she is aware that Catholic Bibles have seven more books in the Old Testament then Protestants do. What should I do with it now? Could I read it?

By all means, read it. It’s still scripture. What translation is it?

Just be wary of commentary/footnotes; if you’ve been properly catechized, you’ll be able to spot the discrepancies with Catholic doctrine.

Of course you can read it and you did good in thanking her for it. What it contains is no less the word of God then a Catholic Bible. It’s just missing some important parts. :slight_smile:

It’s NKJV, I don’t think Protestant Bibles are different in doctrines than Catholic Bibles are. It’s still the same books. Protestants miss-interpret scripture but I don’t think there would be any false doctrine in it.

Read it. And supplement with Apocrypha if it floats your boat.

The LCMS recent put put a version with notes.


The Orthodox Study Bible uses the NKJV for the NT.

:DThat could have been me giving such a gift. I was unaware until about three years ago that the Catholic bible has some extra books.
But for the Protestant version, aside from the missing books, are there any other differences? For example does the Protestant version state anything against your Catholic faith?

Really? Cool. Orthodox have 99% in common with Catholics so, I guess it wouldn’t make much of a difference if Catholics use it.

There are some additions to Daniel and Esther in Catholic Bibles. Also, nope, Protestants versions do not state anything against the Catholic faith.

No English translation of the Bible is original, so you could read that one at home for personal use. Yes, you are missing 7 books, but the ones that are there are accurate (as others said, just be careful if it’s a student bible with protestant footnotes).

Why, yes, in the Second Book of Luther (2 Luther 4:23–25):

“And lo! There is a great evil among thee. The Whore of Babylon, that is to say, the Church of Rome. And let no one mistake these signs hereforth, as the Whore is most certainly the Roman Church and not merely a general warning against deception to those who hold the Faith.”

And in Calvin’s epistle to the Genevans (Genevans 2:14-16):

“And you shall form thousands upon thousands of groups, each new one in conflict with the last. And despite your enmity, you shall all agree on one belief: that those of the Roman Church are apostates, and that their persons smell of decaying plantlife.”

…what, those books aren’t in your guys’s Bibles? :wink:

I LOVE my NKJV for a couple of reasons. 1. It’s the style I grew up with, so it’s very familiar reading to me. 2. It has a TON of study resources I’ve never found in any other Bible. Ever.

Here’s my take on it:

  • It’s missing the Apocrypha. Disappointing, but not my mainstay of scripture and study anyway. It DOES have a section describing those books and their contents, along with rationale for not including them.
  • The scripture text itself, as others have said, will not lead to error. It’s important to note that the Authorized Version compiled and translated under King James did have some liberties taken with translations. Pleasantly surprising, mine points those out. (For instance, in St. Matthew’s Gospel account of the Lord’s Prayer, the line “for thine is the kingdom, the glory, and honor” etc. has a footnote stating this was not in the original manuscript but added due to the use in [Anglican] liturgy.)
  • The footnotes and study aids yours may (or may not) have are the only places doctrinal error could creep in - and if you’re well-formed in your faith and aware of this, that’s no big issue. Mine is published by Thomas Nelson, so naturally has a Southern Baptist theology behind the study aids. Even so, nothing overtly anti-Catholic there (which is a bit shocking!).

Enjoy this gift. If nothing else, treasure it for who gave it to you and what it represents.


I can’t believe I’m the only Catholic who has come forward to suggest this…
Stick with Catholic bibles!
Maybe trade it in, or pass it along to a protestant.
Catholics are to stick with Catholic bibles for a reason.

The imprimatur may not be as strict as it once was, but it is there for our protection and is important. Protestant bibles contain error and anti catholic slant. It would take a serious bible scholar to pin point all the differences. Why take a chance?

We value sacred scripture and sacred tradition in equal measure. Stay with the sacred scripture that sacred tradition has given us!

Agree with NiceMarmot, Martin Luther changed text e.g. Romans 3:28 & 4:15 he added the word alone which changed the meaning. He knew the word was not in the Bible and also misinterpreted other texts.

I would suggest getting a Catholic Bible.

Yes you can…and should…it’s not like a Protestant bible has “extra” questionable books; rather it is only missing some of the complete Catholic cannon, which means what you have is still Sacred…everyone should have more than 1 bible in their library, and while very much a Catholic, I on occasion read from the King James, which is very Protestant.

I have a King James, New American Bible (Catholic), and New American Standard Bible (study). The NASB I do find helpful. What ever Protestant bible version a Catholic has, do get a Catholic bible that contains all 73 books as well.

Not to the degree one might think, especially for casual Gospel reading for enjoyment. If something seems off from your understanding, you can always Google the verse and pull up multiple translations including Catholic ones to compare.

I just googled the NKJV test for both of those verses, and the word “only” wasn’t in either of them. Are you sure you’re thinking of the NKJV?

I have three different Bibles as well. I have a King James Version from when I first started to study the Bible, and later realized that the KJV had less books than a Catholic Bible so I got a New American Bible (Catholic) and use that to study from. But, now I have a third Bible the New King James Version. I think I might use the NKJV just to study the gospels from. I really like the writing style in the NKJV. It kind of looks like a mix of old English and new English, which is what I like. I’ll use my NAB (Catholic) to study everything else from. And I’ll use my KJV every now and then probably just to look through.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.