What is the Reason to Believe that the Bible is Less Than 73 Books (all inerrant and inspired)?

If you believe that the Written Word of God contains only 66 books, or if you believe that only 66 books are inspired and inerrant, why is that? Catholics and Orthodox believe the bible contains at least 73 books, all of which are inspired and inerrant.

From history we can read what the Church believed to be inspired and inerrant at the Council of Rome.

“The order of the Old Testament begins here: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book; Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Joshua [Son of] Nave, one book; Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; Kings, four books [ie., 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings]; Paralipomenon [Chronicles], two books; Psalms, one book; Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one book; Canticle of Canticles, one book; likewise Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus [Sirach], one book. Likewise the order of the Prophets. Isaias one book, Jeremias one book,…lamentations, Ezechiel one book, Daniel one book, Osee … Nahum … Habacuc … Sophonias … Aggeus … Zacharias … Malachias … Likewise the order of the historical [books]: Job, one book; Tobit, one book; Esdras, two books [Ezra and Nehemiah]; Esther, one book; Judith, one book; Maccabees, two books.” Council of Rome, Decree of Pope Damasus (A.D. 382).

At the Synod of Hippo

“That nothing be read in church besides the Canonical Scripture. Item, that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in church under the name of divine Scripture. But the Canonical Scriptures are as follows: Genesis. Exodus. Leviticus. Numbers. Deuteronomy. Joshua the Son of Nun. The Judges. Ruth. The Kings, four books. The Chronicles, two books. Job. The Psalter. The Five books of Solomon. The Twelve Books of the Prophets. Isaiah. Jeremiah. Ezechiel. Daniel. Tobit. Judith. Esther. Ezra, two books. Macchabees, two books.” Council of Hippo, Canon 36 (A.D. 393).

At the Synod of Carthage

“[It has been decided] that nothing except the canonical Scriptures should be read in the Church under the name of the divine Scriptures. But the canonical Scriptures are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, Paralipomenon, two books, Job, the Psalter of David, five books of Solomon [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach], twelve books of the Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobit, Judith, Esther, two books of Esdras, two books of the Maccabees.” Council of Carthage III, Canon 397 (A.D. 397).

I welcome our Orthodox brothers to share dates where in their tradition, the canon was listed as well.


According to what I’ve read, the Protestants, in reaction to the Jews’ elimination from Scripture all books which were not originated in the Hebrew language (which excluded some books written in Greek and other languages accepted by Catholics), eliminated those same books from the Protestant canon.

It’s really sad to believe that God can only speak in the Hebrew language. He it was who created the many languages from the Tower of Babel.

it only maters if you are not spiritually decerning

1 Corinthians 2
King James Version (KJV)
2 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

2 Timothy 2:23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid …



Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. …

Nothing can be more emphatic than

St. Paul’s warnings against foolish and … nor attended to in private conversation; as being unworthy of the notice of a …

6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

Pork, this question has been asked an answered ad nauseum on many different threads.:stuck_out_tongue:

I take it you won’t be replying on this thread :smiley:
; most every topic has been discussed on many threads but often with new posters.

But I did, see? You even quoted me :smiley:


73 books?

Pah! A proper Bible should have 74 books as Luther would have it! :smiley:


The Bible does have 66 inspired books, as all 66 books are inspired! But I get your point, and I rather like Pope Gregory the Great’s explanation:

“With reference to which particular we are not acting irregularly, if from the books, though not Canonical, yet brought out for the edifying of the Church, we bring forward testimony."

He then goes on to quote Maccabees. I agree, I think that the books are great but not canonical.

(CAF explodes)

Which is the 74th book?


Bat, that means you must have a good answer put together by now. :stuck_out_tongue:

Go head…I’d like to hear what you think.


I believe it was the Epistle to the Laodiceans.

There is no sound reason because only Christ’s Church can mandate which books are the inspired Word of God. We only know which books belong to the Bible through the authoritative decision of the Church in the fourth century. Anyone is able to have a Bible today because the Catholic Church collected the writings and made an infallible declaration on the canon of the Scriptures as to which books are the inspired Word of God. Most non-Catholic Bibles are missing seven books and thus many also miss out on vital truths as they follow the error of “Scripture Only”.

The books that actually are declared the inspired Word of God was decided by Pope Damasus at a Council of Rome in 382, confirmed at the Councils of Hippo, 393, Carthage III 397, Carthage IV in 419 and canonised at the Council of Trent (1545-1563) – 46 books in the Old Testament, 27 books in the New Testament.

Pfft. I’ve been married twice. You know I cant think.:smiley:

Well Saint Jude did say:
Beloved, although I was making every effort
to write to you about our common salvation,
I now feel a need to write to encourage you
to contend for the faith that was once for all
handed down to the holy ones.
– Jude 1:3
At the time of Jude, the Faith of Early Christianity used the Septuagint,
so of course we Catholics are going to defend the Holy Bible of the 73
books in the Canon of Scripture. Other translations of Jude 1:3 do also
say to “contend earnestly” , so we Catholics are certainly not going to
give up on the Full Bible used for over 1,000 years before Martin Luther
messed things up.

One, people take that Infallibility clause thing far too seriously, as the Pope is not Perfect.
Two, the Canon was decided long ago.
Three… I believe Popes of the past took the Deuterocanon as
Canonical, so even if a later Pope felt iffy about any DC-book,
the Canon was sealed once and for all LONG AGO.

Luther translated (or had translated) and included with the DC’s the Prayer of Manasseh.


It may have more to do with “not agreeing” with the Catholic Church than it does anything else.

Posted from Catholic.com App for Android

The basic argument is that the canon was decided before jesus in judaism, hence no more can be added. Although I have not seen any sources for such a universal canon among the pharisees.

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.