Difference Between the Hebrew Bible and the Catholic Bible

The Hebrew Bible ("Tanakh" in Hebrew) and the Catholic Bible have broad similarities, sharing thirty-nine books with slight variations in text and sequence. The Catholic Bible, however, adds an additional twenty-seven smaller books known as the New Testament.

  1. The Old Testament

    • The majority of pages in the Catholic Bible are taken up by a version of the Hebrew Bible known to Christians as the "Old Testament." This includes the first five books of Moses (the Torah), most of the prophets (Hebrew: Nevi'im), and several less easily categorized books such as Psalms and Proberbs (Hebrew: Ketuvim). Jews refer to this as the Tanakh, the Hebrew word for these three sections.

    The New Testament

    • The Catholic Bible, like all Christian Bibles, adds a New Testament that is dedicated to the life of Jesus and his followers (the Gospels, Epistles, etc.). These books are not included in the Jewish canon, and therefore Judaism does not recognize the terms "old" versus "new" testaments.

    Other Differences

    • Within the Old Testament section, the Catholic Bible also has some minor differences in text and especially sequence from the Tanakh. The Catholic Bible includes the books of Judith, Tobit, Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach and Baruch, and several books like Ruth are placed in a different sequence.

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