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Why do Catholics have a longer Bible?

Were there really 400 “Silent Years” between the Old and New Testament, as many Protestants claim?

Have you noticed that the Catholic Bible has more books than the Protestant version?

It’s true. We do have a longer Bible, with seven more books, because we use a different translation. While our Protestant brothers and sisters’ Bible is based on the Hebrew translation, we use the Greek translation, known as the Septuagint, which includes more books.

Many Protestants say that their version is the correct one and is not “missing books.” They have several arguments for this. One of the arguments claims that there were “400 Silent Years” between the time of Malachi (their last book) and the time of Jesus. In other words, they say that there were no divinely-inspired prophetic utterances during this period.

In his book, The Bible Is A Catholic Book, Catholic Answers apologist Jimmy Akin explains what’s wrong with this argument. First, he says, there’s no evidence that all of the books of the Old Testament were written before 400 B.C. Jimmy also says that, while each book of the Bible is divinely inspired, a writer did not have to be an official prophet to pen a divinely-inspired book:

While all of the biblical authors were divinely inspired, this didn’t mean that they functioned in society as prophets. Psalms and Proverbs attribute many passages to David and Solomon, but they were kings, not prophets. The truth is, we don’t know who wrote many Old Testament books, including all the historical ones (Joshua to 2 Chronicles), and it’s just supposition to claim that they were written by prophets. We also have no evidence that New Testament authors like Mark and Luke ever received prophetic revelations.

While there may not have been any prophets between the time of Malachi and Jesus, that doesn’t mean that God didn’t give any revelations to the writers of the remaining books in the Old Testament, which is just one of the reasons why the Catholic Church recognizes that these additional books are also divinely inspired.

To learn more about why the Church includes these seven books—and to expand your knowledge of the Bible through a Catholic perspective—check out Jimmy Akin’s The Bible is a Catholic Book, sold here.

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