Difference Between Catholic Bible and Protestant Bible

Christianity, the world’s biggest and fastest-growing religion is further divided into six major ethnic groups: the Church of the East, Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Restorationism.

Though all these groups acquired their root from the same place the discrepancies and differences of opinions and beliefs among themselves lead to the birth of six mainstream groups.

Catholic Bible vs Protestant Bible

The main difference between these two Bibles is how they came into existence.

Roman Catholic Church came into existence and practice with the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the 1 st century CE. Controversies lead to the Reformation in 1517.

Martin Luther, a German monk protested the Catholic Church, which eventually sowed seeds for Reformation, and his followers are called protestants and they followed Protestantism.

Catholic Bible vs Protestant Bible

The most significant factor that differs between both the bibles is the number of books included in the old-testament.

The Catholic Bible comprises 73 books including the ‘Apocrypha’ which signifies the hidden private books that are not meant to be accessed by the public.

‘Apocrypha ‘occurs in the Septuagint, which is a Greek version of the old testament.

The Protestant Bible is the revised and transcripted version of the Christian Bible formulated by the Protestants. It includes and accepts only the scriptures that are strictly in Hebrew.

Protestant Bible contains 66 books in total out of which 39 books are of the old testaments and 27 books from the new testament.

Comparison Table Between Catholic Bible and Protestant Bible

Parameters Of ComparisonCatholic BibleProtestant Bible
Roots and OriginIt comprises the teachings and stories of Jesus Christ.It is a revised version of the Christian Bible produced by Martin Luther and the protestants.
Number of booksThe bible consists of 73 books in the old testament and 27 books belonging to the new testament.The old testament consists of 66 books in the old testament and 27 in the new testament.
PopeThe pope of the Catholic Church is considered to be a Vicar of Christ. He is faithfully believed to be an unerring leader who heads the church and he also heads the Vatican city.The protestants strongly believe human beings cannot be infallible and always faithfully believe Jesus Christ as the head of the Church.
EucharistThey have their doctrine of Transubstantiation which emphasise that the bread and drink used during the mass become the body and blood of Christ himself.They call it the Communion or Lord’s supper. It commemorates the death of Jesus and according to them, the bread and wine are symbols that signify the body and blood of Christ.
Praying to SaintsTheir doctrine of intercessory saints emphasizes praying to holy men who passed away in addition to the worship of Christ. veneration according to them is praying through the saints rather than praying to them.They emphasize the freedom and possibility of humans having direct access and connection with God.

What is Catholic Bible?

It is the Bible containing the teachings, literature, wisdom, and story of Jesus Christ who lived in the province of Judea in the Roman empire during the 1 st century CE.

Containing 27 books of the new testament and 73 books of the old testament inclusive of the ‘Apocrypha’, Greek version.

To be appropriate it is called the Roman Catholic church. During the term of Jesus, both Hebrew and Septuagint were used in the scriptures and so the catholic bible consists of both these scriptures.

The Catholic Bible is officially called ‘THE VULGATE’. The Roman Catholic Bible is published in accordance with the Catholic Canon law.

A revision of Vulgate in Latin is now globally considered the official version of the Bible. The Catholic Bible remained unchanged even after the Reformation carried out by Martin Luther.

In spite of stories from the Roman, Catholic Bible that has been opposed and disagreed with by many, it still remains the same as its original scripture.

Some of the books that the Catholic bible contain are Baruch, Judith, Sirach, stories of Susanna, Tobit, stories of Bel and the Dragon, etc. It was formulated and complied during the late fourth century.

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What is Protestant Bible?

Protestant Bible Strictly accepts only Hebrew scriptures and has 66 books as per the old testament and 27 books as per the new testament.

The opposition of Martin Luther against the catholic church led to the formation of protestants. The Protestant Bible is the modified version produced by the Protestants.

The Protestant Bible usually excluded the canonical ones considered significant.

Though initially, the Protestant Bible did not comprise of the ‘Apocrypha’, since martin Luther did not consider them, many English-speaking Protestants agreed to place them in a separate section of the old testament through the ‘Apocrypha’ is not considered canonical.

The protestant Bibles with ‘Apocrypha’ is gaining popularity in recent times.

The protestants have a differently oriented and comparatively a contradictory approach towards Christianity though they have a lot of similarities.

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Main Differences Between Catholic Bible and Protestant Bible

  1. The Roman Catholic Bible consists of 73 books in the old testaments whereas the Protestant Bible contains only 66 books. The Catholic Bible accepts both Hebrew and Septuagint scriptures. Initially The Protestant Bible strictly prohibited from the non canonical Apocrypha from bein included whereas the modern versions including these are also in existence.
  2. The Catholic Church has a pope, head of the church, and the Vatican city. The protestants don’t believe in human beings being infallible and their only head of the church is Jesus.
  3. The catholic believe that the bread and wine used in the mass form Jesus’s body and blood. On the other hand, the Protestants see the drink and bread as a symbol of the blood and body of Jesus.
  4. The Catholic’s doctrine of intercessory allows them to worship saints in addition to worshipping Jesus. It is similar to asking a member of the church to pray for the well-being of your family. They see it as praying through them rather than praying to the saints. Protestants don’t believe in the veneration of saints but rather emphasize the direct connection between god and humans.
Difference Between Catholic Bible and Protestant Bible


Though these are the few differences between Catholic Bible and Protestant Bible there are further new versions and modifications within these two bibles and yet they root back to the same origin.

From the number of books to their views on pope , eucharist and praying to saints their opinions , beliefs and method of approach differs.

In spite of the differences they fall under Christianity and faithfully believe and worship Jesus Christ.

Though they are different from each other in a few aspects the Protestant Bible originated by modifying and making few changes of the Roman Catholic Bible.

It is not completely different , but a modified and translated version.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304422X17301778
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=vNsQ97AE0zwC&oi=fnd&pg=PP11&dq=difference+between+catholic+and+protestant+bible&ots=Y_g1MacYL0&sig=aSPGEwHIASbRvVEw258euXR95A4
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