When discussing the differences between Catholics and Protestants, the focus is on superficial aspects. Catholic churches offer confession booths, while Protestant churches don’t. Catholic priests can’t marry, but Protestant ministers are allowed to marry. Catholic crosses feature Jesus, but Protestant crosses don’t.
All these differences exist, but they lack foundation. The first step is to understand how differently they perceive the Bible. Catholics and Protestants have their viewpoints on the various versions of Bibles. They worship the same Lord, but the fundamentals of their faith differ. Their understanding of the Bible and their perception makes Catholics and Protestants different.
Understanding of the Bible
Catholics and Protestants have different opinions on the authority and meaning of the Bible. Catholics perceive that Tradition and Scripture have equivalent authority. It indicates that Catholics don’t establish their faith and belief in the Bible.
Along with the Holy Scripture, Catholics comply with the customs of the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestants consider the Bible as the only supreme authority. It is God’s exclusive book, allowing people to enter into a holy communion. Both groups worship the same God but have distinct perceptions of the Bible.
Number of Books
The Roman Catholic considers the Catholic Bible as a part of its tradition. The Bible consists of 73 books and includes the Apocrypha (private books not meant for public access). The Protestant Bible is the holy book that consists of 66 books. It consists of 39 books from the Old Testament and 27 books from the New Testament. The Protestant Bible consists of strict Hebrew scriptures and is the revised edition of the Christian Bible.
Perceiving the Sacraments or Solemn Rites
In the Roman Catholic Bible, followers believe in seven solemn rites known as sacraments. The seven sacraments are:
6. Holy Orders
7. Extreme Unction
Catholics believe that Jesus established the seven sacraments or solemn rites, and they bestow God’s blessings.
The Protestant Bible practices two solemn sites or sacraments:
2. Eucharist or Lord’s Supper
Protestants consider the two sacraments as symbolic rituals. It is through the rituals that God presents the Gospel.
The bibles from both groups believe in solemn rites, but the practice in the number of sacraments differs.
Views on the Marian Dogmas and the Worships of the Saints
The Catholic Bible believes Mother Mary is the Queen of Heaven. Very few biblical references support Roman Catholic Marian dogmas, like the Pure Conception, her Eternal Virginity, and her Suppositio into Heaven. The Protestants believe that Mary was Jesus’s mother but don’t idolize or regard her as the Queen of Heaven.
Catholics also practice the idolization of multiple saints as holy relics. The Protestant Bible doesn’t consider the idolizing of saints as biblical. Protestants consider their faith reformatory and stress that every individual should directly pray to Gold.
Understanding of the Church
The Catholics’ and Protestants’ Bibles have distinct views on understanding the Church. Catholics consider the Church as an all-encompassing and true church under the authority of the Pope.
Reformation has given rise to the Protestant Church, also known as Evangelical. Protestants don’t believe in the concept of one Church under the authority of a Pope. Their Bible claims the presence of multiple religious congregations across the world. All the churches or denominations are equal in the eyes of Protestants.
Understanding of the Pope and the Office
The Roman Catholics believe in an all-encompassing Christ under the domination and authority of the Pope. They consider the Pope the successor to the Church’s first head (Apostle Peter) because Jesus nominated him. Protestants consider assigning the Pope contradictory to the dogmas of the Bible.
There is a practice of continuous succession in different spiritual offices of the Catholic churches. Under the solemn rites, the priests, deacons, and bishops have authority over Catholic people. Protestants don’t appoint specific individuals to the church. They accept the succession of priesthood to every believer, including women.
Catholic and Protestant Bibles appear the same as basic books together in a single volume. With a closer look, the Protestant Bible misses out on books included in the Catholic Bible. It is the number of Old Testament books that influence the differences between Catholic and Protestant Bibles.