Monday, September 29, 2008

Protestant and Catholic Bibles

What's the difference between Protestant and Catholic Bibles? Here is the historical answer to the question that lead to many interesting conversations in my life. It also denies the false notion that Catholics added seven books to the Bible.

After you have read this article, (Which I found on, please visit the amazon link and provide yourself with the Original King James Version released in 1611 for further clarification.


The First Christian Bible
At the time the Christian Bible was being formed, a Greek translation of Jewish Scripture, the Septuagint, was in common use and Christians adopted it as the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. However, around 100 A.D., Jewish rabbis revised their Scripture and established an official canon of Judaism which excluded some portions of the Greek Septuagint. The material excluded was a group of 15 late Jewish books, written during the period 170 B.C. to 70 A.D., that were not found in Hebrew versions of the Jewish Scripture. Christians did not follow the revisions of Judaism and continued to use the text of the Septuagint as the Old Testament.

Protestant Bibles
In the 1500s, Protestant leaders decided to organize the Old Testament material according to the official canon of Judaism rather than the Septuagint. They moved the Old Testament material which was not in the Jewish canon into a separate section of the Bible called the Apocrypha. So, Protestant Bibles then included all the same material as the earlier Bible, but it was divided into two sections: the Old Testament and the Apocrypha. Protestant Bibles included the Apocrypha until the mid 1800s, and the King James Version was originally published with the Apocrypha. However, the books of the Apocrypha were considered less important, and the Apocrypha was eventually dropped from most Protestant editions.

Catholic and Orthodox Bibles
The Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches did not follow the Protestant revisions, and they continue to base their Old Testament on the Septuagint. The result is that these versions of the the Bible have more Old Testament books than most Protestant versions. Catholic Old Testaments include 1st and 2nd Maccabees, Baruch, Tobit, Judith, The Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), additions to Esther, and the stories of Susanna and Bel and the Dragon which are included in Daniel. Orthodox Old Testaments include these plus 1st and 2nd Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalm 151 and 3rd Maccabees.



[2] - Original King James Version of the Bible. 1611 Edition

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saint Augustine On Sins Against Nature

"Sins against nature, such as those of Sodom, are always and everywhere to be abominated and punished. Even if all nations committed them, the law of God would hold them all alike guilty of the same crime; for that law did not make them so that they could use themselves thus; inasmuch as the bond of fellowship which ought to exist between us and God is violated when that nature of which he is the Maker is defiled by lust and perversion. . "

[1] The Confessions. Augustine. Everyman's Library. Book III. 3.8.15