This question raises the issue of the biblical canon. Originally, a canon
(from the Greek kanon) meant a rod or stick that one used to measure
length, and hence a criterion or standard.
Catholics and Protestants accept the same 27 inspired books as making up the
New Testament. But when we turn to the Old Testament, some significant differences
The decision finally determining the exact number of books accepted as inspired
Scripture for Catholics was not made until the Council of Trent in 1546. The
Council fathers accepted 46 Old Testament books, following what appeared to
them as a firm tradition of the Church from ancient times. The leaders of the
Protestant Reformation, on the other hand, rejected some books agreed upon at
The seven disputed books are: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch and 1 and
2 Maccabees. There are also some sections of Esther and Daniel not considered
inspired Scriptures by Protestants. Protestants call these seven books the "apocryphal"
books. Catholics, however, call these same disputed books "deuterocanonical."
Fortunately, today, modern translations of the Bible are published in Catholic
editions. These translations will include the seven