Difference Between Catholic Bible and King James Bible

Catholic Bible vs King James Bible

The difference between Catholic Bible and King James Bible is one interesting, as well as important, topic one comes across when looking at bibles. The Holy Word every Christian should know about is found in the Bible. Because of this, every individual who follows the Christian faith should have access to the Bible. This is not hard since there are a lot of bibles that are easily accessible for everybody today. However, the large number of variations of the Bible makes it quite confusing for most people as to which one to choose and read. Two of the most popular ones are the Catholic Bible and the King James Bible.

What is Catholic Bible?

The Catholic Bible stands out in the crowd of the Holy Scriptures variations because it is the only bible that has added books from the Old Testament. These books are not found in other translations of the Bible.

In the Catholic Bible, one can find the books called Apocrypha, also referred to as the Deutercanonicals, which include Tobit, Maccabees I and II, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch. Although the Jews did not preserve these books, the Christians did as they recognize the books’ spiritual value. While the Jews and the Protestants do not consider the books as a part of the Holy Scripture, the Catholics value them as such and, in the 16th century, have made the books an official part of the Scripture at the Council of Trent.

Even Jerome and Augustine, two of the most popular Catholic writers before the fall of the Roman Empire, debated over the value of the Apocrypha. Augustine believed in the spiritual value of the books while Jerome did not. Jerome did much of the translation of the Old and New Testaments from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. His side was favored at that time.

What is King James Bible?

The Authorized King James Version, on the other hand, is the Christian Bible translation penned by the Church of England in 1611. This is the third official English translation of the Bible and was conceived due to issues against the two earlier translations. King James I of England summoned the Hampton Court Conference to create this version of the Bible.

At first, the King James Version included all of the books from the Old and New Testament as well as the Apocrypha. Over time, however, the books of Apocrypha were eliminated from the King James Bible. The most modern King James Version does not have the Apocrypha in it.

Difference Between Catholic Bible and King James Bible

Title page and dedication from a 1612-1613 King James Bible

Also, the King James Bible is written in Old English. In this Bible, there is also the obvious distinction between the second person singular and the second person plural. Knowing the difference between thou and you as well as thou and thee is important when using this version of the Holy Scripture. This makes it hard for someone who has been brought up without knowledge of Old English to understand the King James Bible.

What is the difference between Catholic Bible and King James Bible?

• Catholic Bible is the book followed by the Catholics, or accepted as the Holy Scripture by the Catholics. King James Bible is the Protestant bible.

• One remarkable difference between Catholic Bible and King James Bible is the content. Originally, the King James Bible as well as Catholic Bible had the books from Old Testaments, which are known as the Apocrypha or the Deutercanonicals. However, later versions of the King James Bible do not have these books as the bible publishers considered them less important. As a result, Catholic Bible has Apocrypha while King James Bible does not.

• The biggest difference between Catholic Bible and King James Bible lies largely on the printed words themselves. The King James Version has been known for centuries all throughout the world as the one that makes use of what is considered as the Old English language. On the contrary, the Catholic Bible is written in the modern day English.

Knowing about what the two versions of the Holy Scripture have to offer is a great help in determining which one to get a hold of. It also helps to ask other people who share one’s faith and beliefs in choosing the one among the different variations of the Bible.


Images Courtesy: Title page and dedication from a 1612-1613 King James Bible via Wikicommons (Public Domain)

  • Ellensewall

    As any examination of history will show very clearly, the deuterocanonical books were part of the Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew Scriptures at the time of Jesus, which was considered by the ancient world a superb translation from the original Hebrew. From the beginning, the Septuagint was the version of the Hebrew Scriptures used by the Church in the Greek-speaking world, because it was the version used by Jews in the Greek speaking world. Fagments of several Deuterocanonical books in Hebrew and Aramaic were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran. In AD 90-100 a Jewish council which rejected the Christian New Testament Scriptures declared that the Deuteroanonical books were not part of their canonical Scriptures. Among the things that weighed in favor of the Church embracing the Deuterocanonicals at the time that the canon of Scripture both Old and New Testaments was settled (Synod of Hippo, 393), is that the New Testament draws heavily from the Deuterocanonical books (see: http://www.scripturecatholic.com/deuterocanon.html). When Martin Luther split away from the Catholic Church, he not only questioned the Deuterocanonical books (on the basis of their having been defined by Jews in AD 100 as not part of their Scriptures), but at one point Luther even relegated the Epistle of St James, which disagreed with his “sola fide” theology, to “apocryphal” status (see James 2:18). Others in the Reformation movement put it back where it belonged! To sum up, the Deuterocanonicals are actually an integral part of the Christian Bible.

    • George White

      even though I am not a catholic your information is historically accurate. most protestants reject these books just because of their disdain for catholics. the jewish council of jamnia in A.D.90 removed these books and rejected the Septuagint because they were attempting to discredit the Christian movement as a cult. Jesus and the disciples quoted from the Septuagint and for 200 years it had been used and accepted by the jews.

  • Lynda Wikoff Beckham Bisseger

    One big difference is Exodus Chapter 11 and the 10 Commandments. The Catholic Bible has changed and deleted parts of the the 4th Commandment. The Cathoolic Bible 10 Commandments ar different from not only the King James English translation, but also the original Aramic, Hebrew, and Greek. The King James is a 16th Century English translation of the Hebrew and Greek Bible.