Why do protestants believe this?

Why do Protestants believe that Catholics added books to the Bible, when it is in “their church history” that they have removed books from the Bible?

I have also heard Protestants say that Catholics are missing books in the Bible… where do they get this idea?

Because mostly. Protestants do not know our church history much less their own. I was a member of the Presbytarian Church for some time and there was never any real discussion about history.

Most allege that we didn’t add the Deuterocanonical books until the Council of Trent, but they are wrong because the Council only spoke up to affirm what the church had already believed and preached for all its history. They get messed up because they come from communities that generally put out “statements of faith” telling what they believe instead of doing as we have always done and not affirming something until the need arises and it is under attack, which was the case at the time of Trent.
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[/size][/FONT]5 Myths about 7 Books

I have also heard Protestants say that Catholics are missing books in the Bible… where do they get this idea?

I’ve never heard that one and I can’t imagine what they might mean, so they’d have to clarify that allegation before I could address it. I can think of nothing that we have left out that they might rationally base that on. :shrug:

I think that they are honestly confused… that they heard rumors in the past and just repeat them without having done any of their own research. If someone close to you has such misconceptions i would find a short article online about the formation of the bible and give it to them. The source should be something neutral so that they do not accuse you of using an unreliable source.

Frankly, most likely have no clue about that. I’m 60 and was a born and brought up Methodist. I became Catholic at the age of 44 and up until then I had no idea the Protestant and Catholic Bibles were different.

Well realize that not everyone is a history major and people often take things, even things rightly taught and then change them and condense them. Or frankly, people seem to have an astounding ability to explain things by just making things up to fit what they know or believe they know.

As far as Catholics adding books, that’s either in the made up folk religion category, or they are reacting to what Catholics tell them about Trent. Maybe not with great understanding.

As far as missing books, if you simply take the Orthodox canon, then Catholics are missing books, for that matter you could take the Protestant Apocrypha which has all the books contained in the Bible at the time of the Reformation with the exception of the oft included Paul’s letter to the Laodecians that was well known not to be original. But the Apocrypha includes the three books in the appendix of the Vulgate that Catholics did not declare scripture so if you search a Catholic Bible, and compare it to either an Orthodox or a Protestant that includes the Apocrypha, you find books missing.

Instead of working through this, it seems like the normal reaction is to hammer ingnorance with ingnorance, the oft mentioned and very good selling books that are used to defend the supposed Catholic position are full of errors too.

I’m in the middle of doing some personal research on this topic. I’m curious to know exactly what is in the books, and why the protestants removed them. I assume there are Catholic teachings that come from specifically from those books and the teachings didn’t agree with protestant teaching so the protestants removed them. If I had to guess.

As I recall, in the first Protestants needed an authority for the composition of the Bible. Rejecting the Catholic Church they turned to the Jewish authorities for an official Old Testament. They may not have realized that the Jews did not have a single official canon of Scripture until late in the 1st century.

Of course they did accept the New Testament which the Jews rejected.

Well there’s really a couple of things I think you need to distinguish there to understand.

First, the reformers like Luther and Calvin didn’t remove them, though they moved them, though they weren’t the first to do so.

Luther labelled them for instance as not scripture but good to read. He continued to read from them after his bible came out.

The separate section was useful if you were going to put bibles in a lot of people’s hands that didn’t have a lot of education. Those in the Catholic Church with a lot of education distinguished them quite easily.

For instance in Luther’s Glossa ordiaria which he received from his Bishop, a book used for hundreds of years by the Catholic Church to help in interpretation, it made the clear statement, at the beginning of each such book that it was not authoritative scripture.

The Vulgate called the apocryphal books.

The Latin translations that came out at the time of Luther varied in their treatment, either putting them in a separate section, or labelling them as the glossa ordinaria did as not scripture. One Italian translation went so far as to exclude them entirely.

So anyway, the reformers kept them, but put them in a separate section to help distinguish them.

The removal came years later, the groups that seemed really opposed to them were the Puritans and the Baptists. But in any case, most bibles included them until in the 1800’s the Bible societies with the excuse of needing to keep the cost low in printing bibles took them out.

Marketing today is probably still a big reason they are usually left out. It’s difficult to print a good bible of solid construction in a study bible format and include them and get it to fit inside the popular size and price ranges.

So anyway, it’s hard to cut through the rhetoric and the motivated history sometimes. But the source of the reformers treatment of the deuteros really was the Catholic Church. One may argue they were wrong, but it actually was the dominant position among the learned of the time. A small group of bishops, many who got their bishophrics by simony, supposedly overruled the learned at Trent.

But even that is actually in dispute. If you get ahold of Jedin’s History of the Council of Trent, you will find that early in Trent’s proceedings they voted not to decide the authority of the deuterocanoncals. Later they decided what to include in the canon. So you end up with the books decided, but with the authority of them still an open question.

If you think being included automatically means same authority, I would direct you to examine Orthodoxy where even though they are insistent they are in the canon of scripture, they are not used for doctrine. So you see for instance Orthodoxy repeatedly condemn Catholicism for some of their doctrines like purgatory.

In any case, the idea that the books were removed because they back up Catholic doctrines really doesn’t hold much water. Catholicism only gets some support for a couple of doctrines from them. Most of what they teach are still ignored for doctrine even in Catholicism.

Luther didn’t want these books included because they contradicted his personal doctrines. Any book that showed he was arrogant and wrong he wanted out or at the very least he tried to rubbish and tell people to ignore as uninspired. He thought he was the only person who should interpret scripture.

Do you have any way to back up anything you have stated above or is this just another angry Catholic rant that seems so common on CAF?

I don’t know if that is an angry rant as just popular opinion on Martin Luther.

Many people do attribute his motives against the books as being based on his rejection of Catholic belief.

I think it is inaccurate to think that Martin Luther thought that he was the only person who could interpret Scripture, but it is commonly held that he did not hold certain books in high regard and I have not seen any reason to not believe that he rejected those books because they supported Catholic belief.

I do not think he is angy, he just is saying what is commonly held. I do not think anyone can actually think that Martin Luther was in any way Saintly as his writings show him to be quite the opposite. He did write a moving song though and was quite passionate.


Luther was a very arrogant, and unfortunately, sick man. He suffered from OCD. I believe this led him to adopt OSAS, as an easy out to his sickness induced loop of repeated confessions. In doing this to suit his need, he wanted to get rid of James, and called it an epistle of straw, because it clearly and explicitly taught that faith alone was a false doctrine.

Luther never taught OSAS do you just make things up or what?

Luther is indefensible but we do need to be as accurate as possible and it is not worthwhile to bash him, we can just refer people to read his work in its originals… and maybe get back to the topic of the original poster.

Luther coined the belief in Salvation by Faith alone, as opposed to a false premise of Catholicism somehow promoting Salvation by works. It is brilliant in that it attacks and dodges at the same time. By saying that faith includes works so that Faith Alone is what the Bible means you affirm a portion of the Faith at the same time implying that those Papists believe in Salvation by works. (which I can only believe is angelic wisdom)

In Christ

Yes, it’s not worthwhile to bash him. I didn’t see an example of such that you would cause you to bring that up? I think people understand that. It’s relevant to discuss accurately. It’s bashing when one attributes something irrelevant to the conversation, or excessively inappropriate for the sake of defaming one’s character. So, we don’t do that. However, it’s very relevant to discuss roots of Protestantism when discussing why Protestants believe something.

I think they mainly believe it out of ignorance. They are ignorant of church history and ignorant of Protestant history as well. This is quite sad. I know that when I was a Protestant, I believed that the Protestant church dated back to the time of Jesus up until they taught me about the “Reformation” in history class. I put the word “Reformation” in quotes because it wasn’t really a reformation that happened. Instead, it was schism and heresy that happened.

I saw we came close to bashing him and I just wanted to keep the subject on topic. Since any criticism of Luther ends up with non-catholics usually ignoring the relevent points and just seeing Luther being put in a bad light.
I find it much more effective to just recommend them to read Luthers works for themselves and if they have an open heart they will see the how there is nothing saintly about his writings.

So back to the topic. I would like to see why do they not burn the Bibles (recycle might be better these days) with 66 books and now produce proper Bibles as we all know that the reason the books were removed was to deny truth and save money.

In Christ

The idea with this thread and others is to ask Protestants to look at the truth, as we all must do. Since Protestants tend either not to know, or to ignore the truth, I don’t see how avoiding truth to accommodate them really solves the issue. I don’t see anything close to bashing Luther here. As you imply, the truth about Luther puts him in a bad light. I don’t see it at all healthy to avoid the truth, because others don’t want to hear or see it.

The reason why Protestants claim this is that they really buy into the claims of their Protestant teachers without investigating them. Protestantism was founded on distortions of true doctrine, and remains so today. It cannot be justified. One cannot seek the truth, and forever remain Protestant.

You’d be right. Look at the end of 2nd Maccabees 12

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