Catholic and Protestant Bibles

What is the problem with using a Protestant Bible if everything is a Bible?

There are several Bible translations available today. According to a communiqué from the Union of Biblical Societies, released by Vatican Radio, there are 451 languages ​​into which the Bible has been fully translated, while those into which it has been partially translated are 2,479. This confirms Sacred Scripture as the most translated book in the world and, thus, 95% of the world population is now able to read it in a known language.

In Brazil, for example, there are many Bible translations available. I own several of them myself, such as the Jerusalem Bible, TEB, Pilgrim, Ave Maria and CNBB. In addition to these, there are other very good ones as well.

Illustrative Photo: Wesley Almeida /

I have quoted some of the Catholic translations, but I want to draw your attention to those of Protestant orientation , which are of the most varied denominations. Who has never won a Protestant-oriented Bible or New Testament? It is common to find Catholics who receive this material as a gift and end up making use of it, even without knowing or without information as to why they should use a Catholic Bible. At this point, you may ask yourself: what is the problem with using a Protestant Bible if everything is a Bible?

Basically for two reasons:

First, because for Protestantism the books: Tobias, Judite, Wisdom, Baruch, Ecclesiastical (or Siracida), 1 and 2 Maccabees, in addition to Esther 10: 4-16 and Daniel: 3.24-20; 13-14 are not part of the Bible. Therefore, Protestant Bibles, for us Catholics, are incomplete compared to our translations.

The second reason is that, being Protestant in orientation, these Bibles will bring extra information, such as introductions to biblical books and footnotes, biblical dictionaries among other possible comments, guided by their own doctrine, which is different from Catholic doctrine . This information is very important for understanding the text; and if these are Protestant-oriented, they will be in accordance with Protestant doctrine and not Catholic.

Read more:
.: Why read the Bible?
.: How to read the Bible
.: The difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bible

This advice, for the Catholic to use a Catholic Bible, is not a prejudice against Protestantism. It is more a matter of consistency with the professed faith. A Catholic, when using a Protestant Bible, can mix contents, interpretations, causing confusion for himself and for others, since the way of understanding the Holy Scriptures and constructing the doctrine is different between Catholics and Protestants. That is why I also always advise a Protestant to use a Bible that goes according to his profession of faith, to avoid the same confusions.

How do I know if the Bible I use is Catholic-oriented?

To do this, just check if your Bible has the imprimatur  that, in general, comes in one of the first pages of the Bible and it is an authorization from a bishop with your signature or from the CNBB itself, that is, an ecclesiastical approval allowing that printing / translation and stating that it conforms to what corresponds to a Bible of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church. In this way, in addition to the guarantee of all the books of the Catholic Canon, you will be able to be sure about the other information brought by your Bible, that they are arranged according to the doctrine we profess.

What to do with the Protestant Bible that I won?

Do as I do and give it to a Protestant as a gift. I have Protestant friends with whom I have a deal: when I get a Protestant-oriented Bible, I give it to them; in turn, when they win a Catholic Bible, I am presented with them. Thus, in addition to avoiding confusion regarding the use of these sacred books, and consequently different doctrines, by exchanging these gifts, we strengthen our friendship and the Christian bonds that unite us.


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