Why did King James remove those books?

I work next to a Baptist and she read something to me the other day that she was reading that Catholics ADDED books to their bible. I explained that the books were there originally and King James of England had them removed. She said, “I wonder why?”. Well…I had no idea! So we sat there, stumped, looking at each other. I told her I would try to find out. Can someone help me out please?



See the following tract from Catholic Answers.


The books of the Bible were not taken out by the King James translators. In fact, the original King James translations included the “extra” seven books. Martin Luther was the person who removed books from the Bible. He did so mostly because the books contradicted his personal view of faith. For example Maccabees (can’t remember 1st or 2nd) included pretty strong language for purgatory. Luther didn’t agree with purgatory, so he took those two books out.

So Luther AND King James removed books from different bibles? I’m so confused! Maybe Luther just decided to use the King James version?? Sorry, I’m a life-long Catholic, but I obviously have a lot to learn.

Please see the following article from Envoy Magazine on the 7 books:


No the original King James Bible included the 7 books in the OT. Luther removed them.

From a Catholic Answers tract:

Would you be surprised to learn that the 1611 version of the King James Bible (a Protestant Bible) contained all the books of the Septuagint, even those seven later deleted from Protestant Bibles? In fact, there was an ordinance at that time that anyone who printed the King James Bible without those seven books should be imprisoned for a year (E. Goodspeed, The Story of the Apocrypha, University of Chicago Press, 136).

See the entire article Here

No, King James did not remove anything from the Bible (that I know of). The people who translated the King James Bible did not remove books from the Bible either (though the originals that they translated from were flawed, leading to some less than perfect translations). It was later reformers who removed books from the King James translation.

Luther, if I am correct here, was around before the 1611 translation of the King James Bible, and had his own version of the Bible in which he had removed the seven books.

Don’t worry about the lot to learn thing, we’re all in the same boat! Just keep asking the questions and seeking the TRUE answers!

So…if King James was NOT the culprit, then why is it now known as The King James Version?

King James commissioned a group of scholars to translate this version of the Bible which was originally published in 1611. The reason it is called the King James version is because he commissioned the group that translated it. The version of the Bible has nothing to do the number of books or who took the books from where. You can buy King James Bibles both with the “apocrypha” (the seven books) and without. The original King James Bible came in complete form with ALL of the books of the Bible. The seven books were later taken out, probably by the publisher to meet the needs of growing Prostestantism (though I can’t say for sure).

Wow…I had no idea that Luther was the one who removed the books. But he started the Reformation, right? Makes sense now. Thank you so much for your help! I’m going to bring it up to my Baptist co-worker this afternoon and start the conversation again! :blessyou:

The removal of the seven books happened at the Council of Trent in the 1500s. The King James Bible is significant because it was the first bible written in the English language, the Catholic Bible that followed was the Douey-Rheims version.

All of the Catholic books were in the King James version until the early 20th Century. I have a 1918 version circa WWI that has all of the books in it. I suspect that as they got farther and farther from the Truth, they had less and less compunction about fiddling around with Holy Scripture. That’s my best guess.

God be with you.

Recommendation: Read the History of the Bible thread. I’ll bump it up for you.

Short answer:
Martin Luther removed ELEVEN books from the Bible, plus parts of Esther and Daniel, in his German translation (1522 - 34) – 7 from the OT (Tobit, Judith, Baruch, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus [Sirach], 1 and 2 Maccabees), and 4 from the NT (Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation). His followers later restored the NT books, but the OT writings are still missing from the Protestant Bible.

Luther’s tactic was to put the writings in an appendix at the back of his Bible, separated from those he regarded as “scripture,” and he left the pages unnumbered so no one could make the mistake of thinking they were accepted as part of the Bible. He also wrote prefaces for them explaining his reasons for not considering them scripture. The original King James used the same technique – the OT books were separated at the back as an appendix. Later editions left the books out altogether.

Why did Luther do this? Because these books were in opposition to his new doctrines, especially Maccabees and James. The complete explanation is much longer than this.


The KJV was not the first English Language Bible. Given time I can list the several others, some were only the New Testament. Bibles appeared in the English language several hundred years before the KJV.
PROT.Bible? Such is the Catholic Church in relation to her own book, the New Testament. It is hers because she wrote it by her first Apostles, and preserved it and guarded it all down the ages by her Popes and Bishops; nobody else has any right to it whatsoever, any more than a stranger has the right to come into your house and break open your desk, and pilfer your private documents. Therefore, I say that for people to step in 1500 years after the Catholic Church had had possession of the Bible, and to pretend that it is theirs, and that they alone know what the meaning of it is, and that the Scriptures alone, without the voice of the Catholic Church explaining them, are intended by God to be the guide and rule of faith – this is an absurd and groundless claim. Only those who are ignorant of the true history of the Sacred Scriptures – their origin and authorship and preservation – could pretend that there is any logic or commonsense in such a mode of acting. And the absurdity is magnified when it is remembered that the Protestants did not appropriate the whole of the Catholic books, but actually cast out some from the collection, and took what remained, and elevated these into a new ‘Canon’, or volume of Sacred Scripture, such as had never been seen or heard of before, from the first to the sixteenth century, in any Church, either in Heaven above or on earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth! Let us make good this charge.

(3) Open a Protestant Bible, and you will find there are seven complete Books awanting – that is, seven books fewer than there are in the Catholic Bible, and seven fewer than there were in every collection and catalogue of Holy Scripture from the fourth to the sixteenth century. Their names are Tobias, Baruch, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, I Machabees, II Machabees, together with seven chapters of the Book of Esther and 66 verses of the 3rd chapter of Daniel, commonly called ‘the Song of the Three Children’, (Daniel iii., 24-90, Douai Version). These were deliberately cut out, and the Bible bound up without them. The criticisms and remarks of Luther, Calvin, and the Swiss and German Reformers about these seven books of the Old Testament show to what depths of impiety those unhappy men had allowed themselves to fall when they broke away from the true Church. Even in regard to the New Testament in required all the powers of resistance on the part of the more conservative Reformers to prevent Luther from flinging out the Epistle of St. James as unworthy to remain within the volume of Holy Scripture – ‘an Epistle of straw’ he called it, ‘with no character of the Gospel in it’. In the same way, and almost to the same degree, he dishonored the Epistle of St. Jude and the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the beautiful Apocalypse of St. John, declaring they were not on the same footing as the rest of the books, and did not contain the same amount of Gospel (i.e., his Gospel). The presumptuous way, indeed, in which Luther, among others, poured contempt, and doubt upon some of the inspired writing which had been acknowledged and cherished and venerated for 1000 or 1200 years would be scarcely credible were it not hat we have his very words in cold print, which cannot lie, and may be read in his Biography, or be seen quoted in such books as Dr. Westcott’s The Bible in The Church. And why did he impugn such books as we have mentioned? Because they did not suit his new doctrines and opinions. He had arrived at the principle of private judgment – of picking and choosing religious doctrines; and whenever any book, such as the Book of Machabees, taught a doctrine that was repugnant to his individual taste – as, for example, that ‘it is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins’, 2 Mach. xii., 46 – well, so much the worse for the book; ‘throw it overboard’, was his sentence, and overboard it went. And it was the same with passages and texts in those books which Luther allowed to remain, and pronounced to be worthy to find a place within the boards of the new Reformed Bible. In short, he not only cast out certain books, but he mutilated some that were left. For example, not pleased with St. Paul’s doctrine, ‘we are justified by faith’, and fearing lest good works (a Popish superstition) might creep in, he added the word ‘only’ after St. Paul’s words, making the sentence run: ‘We are justified by Faith only’, and so it reads in Lutheran Bibles to this day. An action such as that must surely be reprobated by all Bible Christians. What surprises us is the audacity of the man that could coolly change by a stroke of the pen a fundamental doctrine of the Apostle of God, St. Paul, who wrote, as all admitted, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Bu this was the outcome of the Protestant standpoint, individual judgment: no authority outside of oneself. However ignorant, however stupid, however unlettered, you may, indeed you are bound to cut and carve out a Bible and a Religion for yourself. No Pope, no Council, no Church shall enlighten you or dictate or hand down the doctrines of Christ. And the result we have seen in the corruption of God’s Holy Word.

There at least ten English language Bibles preceding the King James Bible. They are listed.

  1. Wycliff Bible …1384
  2. William Tyndale Bible…1540
    3.Coverdales Bible…1535
    4.Matthew’s Bible…1537
  3. Taverner’s Bible…1539
  4. The Great Bible…1539
  5. The Geneva Bible…1557
  6. The Bishop’s Bible…1568
  7. The Douay-Rheims Bible…1582 &1609
  8. King James Version…1611


Didn’t know some of this stuff. I knew Luther had taken 7, and heard that he wanted to take other out, but that he was convinced to leave them in. I know he called the book of James an “epistle of straw”.

No The Council of Trent was a Catholic Council that confirmed the seven books as being a full part of the Old testament canon. Some Protestants allege that the Council of Trent inserted the seven books into the Bible, but this is untrue. The full 73 book bible (as opposed to the protestant 66 book version) was laid down by the Councils of Rome and Carthage in 382 and 397 AD.

The King James Bible is significant because it was the first bible written in the English language, the Catholic Bible that followed was the Douey-Rheims version.

The King James Bible was quite a latecomer in 1611. There were even attempts translate the bible into Anglo Saxon as early as the 9th century. As has been said the King james bible originally contained all the books. Only as late as the 1820s did most protestants decide to eliminate the seven books entirely. You can still get KJVs with the seven books. And the books are still used in the Anglican lectionary.

I would highly recommend to you (and your friend) the classic book on this subject “Where We Got The Bible” by Henry Graham. It is available for purchase on this Catholic Answers website at shop.catholic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/p-CB027.html?L+scstore+jzny3698ff910791+1107535920

or online at angelfire.com/ms/seanie/deuteros/graham_contents.html

The KJV was actually a revision of the “Bishop’s Bible.”