Where We Got the Bible


I am currently reading Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church by Henry G. Graham. I saw this book referenced many times here at CAF and decided to read it myself.

I am half way through and am very impressed with this book. It is so eye-opening. I was aware that Protestants had removed books from the Bible but was shocked to learn of other places where Protestants have changed the Bible (such as Luther insterting the word “only” to St. Pauls teaching on being justified by faith. I had no idea that Protestants had altered Gods word in so many other places of the Bible. The author points out that Protestants have corrupted Scripture, yet continue to accuse Catholics of not loving the Bible. It is Catholics that have a true love of God`s word by protecting it and preserving it all these years.

Protestants only have part of the Bible whereas Catholics have the complete edition. The Catholic Church truly loves and venerates the written word of God, as history shows.

This book is so eye-opening for me. It makes me feel sad because I don`t think most Prostestants know the history of the Bible.

I see so many contradictions within Protestant tradition and Protestant teaching. Why accept the authority of the Bible if you don`t believe in the authority of the Church that compiled it? If the only authority one believes in, is themself, than how does that make the Bible any different than other book? Sacred Scripture did just got fall from the sky.

There are specific points I would like to discuss from this book. If anyone else has read it, or is interested in reading it, please let me know. We could discuss it here (like an on-line book club).

For people who choose to respond to my thread, and I hope many will, please limit your comments to points made in this book, or on ideas that stem from this book. That way we can keep the discussion focused.

This is an excellent book and I hope others will read it. It is available from Amazon.com or from CAF.





What you consider as the complete edition is actually the complete edition plus books that are NOT inspired by God. The apocrypha which Catholic bibles include (and so do our Anglican ones) are not books that you can establish church teaching by bcause they contradict other inspired books in the Bible and too, many of these books of the apocrypha contain several proven errors chronologically and otherwise.


Are you not aware that the Christian Bible also omitted books when it was being canonized? Men, falable human beings, selected and omitted scripture to form what we now know of as the Bible.

Of course, those books omitted from the Bible were also called Apocrypha.


The Apocrypha:

Sirach 25:26 Divorce if your wife does not obey you.

Wisdom 12:10 God is unaware that the origin of some is evil.

Sirach 3:3 Whoever honors his father atones for sin.

Sirach 42:14 from garments come the moth and from a woman comes woman’s wickedness. better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good and it is a woman who brings shame and disgrace.


I am not sure what you mean. I believe in the authority of the Church that compiled the Bible. The Catholic Church existed before the Bible, and guided by the Holy Spirit, compiled the Bible.

Please let me know what part of the book you are referring to. Are you referring to Chapter Four?

Please respect my request to keep this thread on track, by limiting your discussion to the book.




absolutely. Most people don’t know that there were hundreds of gospels but in Scripture as we all know there are 4.


Catholic teaching does not contradict the written Word of God, nor the oral teachings from Jesus passed on to us through the Apostles.

Please respect my request by limiting discussions to the book. If you would like to open a new thread to discuss a particular aspect, such as how certain books were selected, please do so and I will be happy to respond to your comments there.




I’m unsure of what you mean here. I was merely pointing out that the Catholic church claims to have the whole Bible and i just commented that it is the whole Bible +. I believe the Early church established Scripture, not the Roman Catholic church. I think what I said is quite on topic even though I obviously don’t agree with you.


Yes I’m referring to Chapter 4.

I’m referring to the process by which the canon of the New Testament was formed. The process begain in the 2nd century AD and by the end of that century, select works were approved and others discarded.

Some Apocryphal books rejected by the Catholic Religion:
First and Second Esdras
Prayer of Manasses


Agreed, you’re right on topic. Chapter 4 discusses the compilation of the New Testament along with the selection of the gospels.


may I say that those books are still found in the Bibles of the Orthodox church.


I’m not aware of the Second Esdras being in the Orthodox Bible, but as for the other two, yes you’re right. There are hundreds of gospels rejected during the canonization process and do not exist in either Orthodox or Roman Catholic Bibles. A few of them are:

Epistle of Barnabas
Shepherd of Hermas
Paul’s Epistle to the Laodiceans
1 Clement
2 Clement
Preaching of Peter
Apocalypse of Peter
Gospel According to the Egyptians
Gospel According to the Hebrews


As the author illustrates, it is through the CATHOLIC CHURCH that Protestants got their Bible.

Before the collectgion of the New Testament books was settled at the Council of Carthage, 397, Christian writings were divided into three distinct classes, We know this from the works of early Christian writers like Eusebius, Jerome, and Epiphanius. These classes were

  1. Books acknowledged as Canonical
  2. Boks disputed or controverted
  3. Books declared “spurious” or false.

In class (1), the books were acknowledged by Christians everywhere to be genuine, and authentic, and to have been written by Apostolic men. This inclues the four Gospels, 13 Epistles of St. Paul, and the Acts of the Apostles. These were recognized east and west as “Canonical.”

Protestants, please take note, that in Class 2, some books were acknowledged and others rejected. Books such as the Epistle of St. James, Epistle of St. Jude etc. There were doubts about these books in Class 2 and in some parts of the Christian world they were viewed as genuine, and in other parts suspect.

There were some books floating around before 397 A.D. tgat were bever treated as having any value in the Church, nor were treated as having any Apostolic authority. We know the names of about 50 gospels that were rejected, and a smaller number of Epistles and Apocalypses. They were rejected as “Apocrypha” and uncanonical and false.

In 397 at the Council of Carthage, the Church confirmed and approved decrees from the Council of Hippo (393), declaring what was the exact collection of Sacred writings, as the inspired Scripture of the New Testament. A second Council of Carthage in 419 renewed the decrees of the former one.

Rome had fixed the “Canon” of the New Testameent. There were still two sets of books, inspired and nonnspired, but twithin the covers of the New Testament, all is inspired.

The Catholic Church existed before the Bible, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit the Chuch selected what books would be included, and the Church has preserved and handed down the Word of God throughout the years.

Chapter 5 discussed the deficiencies of the Protestant Bible, but let`s start at the beginning of the book and work our way forward.

For folks who are interested, and already have the book, please let me know and we can start with Chapter One. If you are still waiting for the book but would like to participate, just let me know.




As the book shows, the early Christian Church was the Catholic Church. I have no problem with posters disagreeing with me, but I am trying to discuss the book. If there are parts where folks disagree with the book, please let me know what part you disgreed with (chapter and page number etc). That will help keep things focused and prevent the thread from being hijacked.




Lets understand your position a bit more shall we:

  1. You believe the Catholic Church, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit selected the books in the Catholic Bible (apparently the Orthodox version).
  2. You believe all the books in the New Testament are inspired by God.
  3. You mention “deficiancies” in the Protestant Bible.

Clearly if one believes the first 2 points, they must also believe the third one. There is no point discussing the third point if either of the first two are in question.

The root of the issue is not the “deficiancies” in the Protestant Bible, but whether you believe the Catholic Church was divinely guided by the Holy Spirt when it canonized the Orthodox Catholic Bible.


More correctly, in SOME…

The Prayer of Manasseh is a short work of only 15 verses that purports to be the penitential prayer of the Judean king Manasseh, who is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous (2 Kings 21:1-18). However, after having been taken captive by the Assyrians, he prays for mercy (2 Chronicles 33:10-17) and turns from his idolatrous ways.

The Prayer of Manasseh is included in certain editions of the Greek Septuagint; for example, the fifth-century Codex Alexandrinus includes the prayer among fourteen Odes appearing just after the Psalms.[1] It also appears in an appendix to the Latin Vulgate, and in the apocrypha of the King James Bible. It is also considered apocryphal by Catholics, and by Jews and Protestants alike. Clement VIII included the book in an appendix to the Vulgate stating that it should continue to be read “lest it perish entirely.” In some editions of the Septuagint, it forms a part of the Book of Odes. It is accepted as a deuterocanonical book by some Orthodox Christians, though it does not appear in Bibles printed in modern Greece, no matter whether these Bibles are in ancient or in modern Greek language. In the Ethiopian Bible, this text appears within 2 Chronicles. The book appears in ancient Syriac, Old Slavonic, Ethiopic, and Armenian translations.[2]

The Prayer of Manasseh is chanted during the Orthodox Christian service of Great Compline. It is also used as a canticle in the Daily Office of the 1979 U.S. Book of Common Prayer.

Some books such as the Didache aren’t in the Bible but are still used by our Church.


I am sorry you are missing the point on my desire to discuss the book, rather than individual opinions. Have you read the book? To refresh your memory, my above post was a quick summary of Chapter Four.

I am aware of the debate on whether certain books were considered inspired. As a Catholic I believe the Holy Spirit created the inspired books of the Bible and that the Catholic Church, using its divine authority from Christ, formally confirmed and dogmattically established the list of inspired books.

If you disagree, that is fine. Please start a new thread and we can discuss this. As for deficiencies in the Protestant Bible, I will be happy to discuss this when discussing Chapter Fiive.




Fair enough. Why don’t we start with the Introduction then:

The author writes: 'The common and received opinion about the matter (the Catholic Church in her treatment of Holy Scripture) among non-Catholics in Britain, for the most part, has been that Rome hates the Bible-that she has done all she could to destroy it"

He goes on to claim that: “The Protestant account of pre-reformation Catholicism has been largely a falsification of history. All the faults and sins that could possibly be raked up or invented against Rome, or against particular bishops or priests, were presented to the people of this unhappy land, and all her best acts misconstrued, misjudged, misrepresented, and nothing of good told in her favour.”

Then goes on to say: “But nowadays many are enquiring—Is it really so? Are we sure of our facts? Are we not building up mountains of abuse and calumny on a false suppositon?”

And Finally goes on to tell us what he plans to convince us of: “they will be driven by sheer force of honesty to the conclusion that the Catholic Church, so far from being the monster of iniquity that she is painted, has in very truth been the parent, the author and maker under God, of the Bible; that she has guarded it and defended it all through the ages, and preserved it from error or destruction; that she has ever held it in highest veneration and esteem, and has grounded her doctrines upon it; that she alone has the right to call it her book; that she alone possesses the true Bible and the whole Bible, and that copies of the Scriptures existing outside of her pale, are partly incorrect and partly defective, and that whatever in them is true, is true because derived from her who alone possesses the Book in its fulness and its truth”

I question whether or not his assumption that most non-Christians believe that the Pope and Rome hates the Bible. Not sure where he got that from as he provides no facts to support his claim.


Yes, I read this book about six months ago. It’s pretty good. One thing that I wish is that it had been written by a professional historian (Graham was a Calvinist preacher turned Catholic priest). I’m always pointing out to our Protestant friends that their version of Catholic history comes from people trained as preachers, not historians. The same criticism can be made of Graham’s book. It’s useful as a starting point, but I wish I had about five like it written by professional historians.

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