Why is the Apocrypha so hard to find?

Its my understanding that the Catholic Church essentially put the Bible together, so

First: why would they even set the Apocryphal books in their own section apart if they consider them canon?

Second: why does it seem so hard to actually find them in print? I own 5 copies of the Bible as of right now, and none of them contain the Apocrypha. Two of them are KJ too. If the Apocrypha we’re originally in the KJV, why would they purposefully take them out of future versions? Wouldn’t that by definition be a new version?

Third: I have heard before that the Catholic Church consideres the Apocrypha canon…but not really canon. Like they are divinely inspired, but shouldn’t be used to make doctrine, or something. Can someone clear that up for me?

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Answering your point #1:
At the USCCB website (among many others) you can see the 46 books of the Old Testament listed in their (Catholic) canonical order:

Only Protestant Bibles place the deuterocanonical books (the correct Catholic term for these seven books) in a segregated middle section which they call the “Apocrypha” – though, as you say, they commonly omit these books altogether.

The KJV was never a Catholic Bible. It was the translation commissioned for use by the Church of England.


Oh I thought the KJV originally had the Apocrypha in there. My mistake.

The original issues did, but have been removed in later printings… To reflect good protestant tradition.


It still seems strange that without trying, all 5 Bibles I’ve acquired over the years have been Protestant ones …but I guess seeing that I live in the United States and have never bought a Bible specifically from my local church…it’s possible for that to happen.

If you live in the US it’s not unusual that you have all Protestant bibles. They’re the most common and they’re cheaper to print thanks to fewer books. If you want a good complete bible get a douay rheims Bible.

The Holy Bible: Douay-Rheims Version https://www.amazon.com/dp/1935302051/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_t8YRDb7BBT7W1


from wikipedia

Catholic English versions

The following are English versions of the Bible that correspond to this description:

Abbreviation Name Date
DRB Douay-Rheims Bible 1582, 1609, 16101
DRC Douay-Rheims Bible Challoner Revision 1749-1752
WVSS Westminster Version of the Sacred Scripture[8] 1913–19352
SPC Spencer New Testament[9] 1941
CCD Confraternity Bible 19413
Knox Knox Bible 1950
KLNT KleistLilly New Testament 19564
RSV–CE Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 1965–66
JB Jerusalem Bible 1966
NAB New American Bible 1970
TLB–CE The Living Bible Catholic Edition 1971
NJB New Jerusalem Bible 1985
CCB Christian Community Bible 1988
NRSV–CE New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 1991
GNT–CE Good News Translation Catholic Edition5 1993
RSV–2CE Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition 2006
CTS–NCB CTS New Catholic Bible 20076
NABRE New American Bible Revised Edition 2011/1986 (OT/NT)
NLT-CE New Living Translation Catholic Edition[10] 2017
ESV-CE English Standard Version Catholic Edition[11] 2018
RNJB Revised New Jerusalem Bible[12] 2018

If you prefer a Catholic Bible in modern English, the Ignatius Bible is generally considered one of the best:


I’d add the CPDV (Catholic Public Domain Version), it’s a modern translation of the Vulgate and could be seen as a modern Douay-Rheims equivalent.


I’ll second this.

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The good news is that used Catholic bibles (often unread :disappointed:) are dirt cheap on the web at Amazon, eBay and ThriftBooks.

From my experience: The New living Translation - Catholic Edition (by Tyndale!?!) is not a bad bible as a daily reader. It is not as dumbed down as some modern translations.

Tyndale’s Catholic Living Bible has good translations of the Deuterocanonical books, as Our Sunday Visitor provided them to Tyndale. The rest of it is pretty much like talking to your neighbor over the back fence. IOW, meh.

The classic Douay-Rheims is getting pretty dated. An excellent compromise/alternative is any of the 1941-1969 Confraternity bibles. They began with the pure Douay Old Testament, introducing newer translations as time passed. These were combined with the simply excellent 1941 Confraternity New Testament, which IMHO vies with the Knox as the best English language New Testament translation.

If you do a little searching on the web, you can read at least a few pages of many Catholic bibles. If one “fits” your style, I’d buy it.

BTW, the Catholic Church holds that there are apocryphal books as well. They have been preserved “lest they perish completely” but are not included in Catholic bibles.

Well, I think saving money on paper costs probably had something to do with it also.

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So far as I am aware, the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament (what Protestants and others commonly call “the Apocrypha”) are divinely inspired and are on an absolutely equal footing with any other book in the Bible. They may be used as fruitfully for doctrine and spirituality as anything else in the Bible. Put together, they are approximately the thickness of the entire New Testament. Catholics view Protestants and others as having “incomplete Bibles”, and this is what I teach my son in homeschool religion class.

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NOTE: APOCRYPHA: Catholic’s and Protestant’s Differ.

Pick up a Catholic Bible…

Two recommended books deemed Apocrypha by Protestants

  • Wisdom

  • Ecclesiasticus (also known as Sirach)

It certainly did. The disappearance of the deuterocanonical books from Protestant Bibles was an event that happened in two stages. First, they were displaced from their canonical order and sandwiched in between Malachi and Matthew, which was a Protestant doctrinal decision. That made it easier for them to be dropped altogether, which was the second stage. That was a marketing and cost-cutting decision. The same publisher would issue the same Bible translation in the same format, printed on the same paper and in the same binding, with or without the Apocrypha in the middle. Naturally the “without” edition cost a few pennies less to produce, and was consequently sold for a few pennies less, passing the cost savings on to the consumer. Each customer was free to buy the Bible of his choice.

The split in Britain between the British & Foreign Bible Society and the Trinitarian Bible Society had to do with doctrinal issues about the so-called Apocrypha. The Trinitarian Bible Society was formed as a breakaway faction from the BFBS because (among other reasons) they were doctrinally opposed to publishing Bibles that included the Apocrypha, while the BFBS went on publishing both kinds.

Although various councils over the past two millennia have Biblical lists, none of them contained the exact same books in Catholic OTs until the Ecumenical Council of Florence in 1441 (even though Sirach was still questioned as being canonical even after Florence), and then finally “defined” at the Ecumenical Council of Trent in 1546.

While the KJV originally included them, the translators did not consider them inspired, which is why they were in their own separate uninspired addendum, and then eventually removed as to not confuse later Protestants.

The TOC of the New Catholic Version & the New American Bible include them, but not in the same order in their respective OTs. The term “Deuterocanon” (or Second Canon) was coined by a Jewish convert to Catholicism, to differentiate them from the “Protocanon” (or First Canon), because the Protocanon was never in dispute unlike some of the Deuterocanonical books, right up to the time of the Reformation - and even afterwards. This Jewish convert to Catholicism used three “tiers” to differentiate these different “levels” of Scripture: the Protocanon was the first tier; the Deuterocanon was the second tier; and the Apocrypha was the third tier.

Jerome was the one who stated the Church in his time considered the Deuterocanon “edifying,” but the Church did not base doctrine on them back then, even though he included most of the Deuterocanon in his Latin Vulgate (he omitted Baruch & the epistle of Jeremiah, which did not get added until 400 years later. For example, the 8th Century Codex Amiatinus did not include Baruch).

I have a New Catholic Version that was written around 1940 to 1960. Anyone ever hear of it or have a copy?

Are you in the US? Protestant nation by its founding.

BTW, there are indeed apocryphal writings. There were hundreds of letters either claiming to be or vying for the title of scripture. For this reason, the Church took centuries wading through all of them before declaring, with finality, what the canon consisted of.

Why all of this trouble? Because Christ founded His Church on Apostolic teaching and preaching, not on reading. There were many false writings, some of them Gnostic - which was declared to be an early heresy.

How about this? A compact book which describes how we came to have the bible in the first place. Is is not as easy as many believe. Excellent book and clears up many misconceptions.

That would be the (1941-1969) Confraternity Edition. Excellent bibles. IMO, the New Testament parallels the Knox translation as being the best English language translation. The book and letter introductions and footnotes are solid and confidence-inspiring.


Dunno where you got this. Jerome, brilliant as he was and is, was not Pope or Council. Each of the Deuterocanonical books was in use by pious Jews long before the Incarnation. They were copied and re-copied over centuries in a painstaking labor of love. Honestly, I do not think false writings would have survived this test.

In any event, the Church, always and everywhere, acts slowly and with great deliberation, unlike the much later, competing denominations. And, the Church acts mostly in response to heresy. Thus, Trent gave the final word on the heresy known as the “Reformation.” Of note here is that the Eastern Orthodox had the same opinion!

No one seems to notice this.

Oh, and the Orthodox have all of the Deuterocanonical books. The inclusion of those books was not a Catholic innovation, as that 500 year old European canard alleges.

Also, the Hebrew world was not unified, as we see even in the Lord’s time. Opinions varied greatly. In our age, as with “junk science” there is a lot of “junk history” floating around.

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