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Who ‘Rewrote’ The Bible to Include Purgatory? The Protestants Or The Catholics?

catholic bibleSince the Pope’s words have catapulted Catholicism into the limelight, we have heard many comments from its followers that somehow Luther ‘lured’ people wrongly from the one, true church and that ‘everyone’ had held the Maccabees (the books that speak of Purgatory) to be the Word of God until Luther came and ‘rewrote’ the bible. They claim (though the Pope never made this claim) that when the Pope said someone who didn’t believe in God could still get to heaven with a ‘contrite heart’, he was speaking about their time in Purgatory. I decided to brush up on my history to ensure I remembered it correctly.

Interestingly enough, it was around the time when the Catholic Church decided to sell ‘indulgences’ (that let someone out of Purgatory!) that Luther began writing vehemently against the Catholic Church. Church corruption was at an all time high and the Church had suffered many scandals. The church was quarreling with monarchs over political and economic issues (taxes- how droll). And the industrial revolution was changing everything- from land-based economy to cash based. The church began to be impoverished and decided that they would sell ‘indulgences’ which would allow someone to avoid Purgatory. This became big business- but outraged those among the common people- who couldn’t afford this spiritual luxury.

Also, people were becoming unhappy with their monarchies who were paired up with the Catholic church to control the masses. The printing press put the bible into the hands of regular people- not just the priests. One of those people was Luther. People began to feel that THEY, too, should have direct access to the Word- not just the translations from the priests. And they felt, like Luther, that the Church had lost its way.

One of Luther’s main objections was the spiritual superiority of the priests. Another was the need for priests to intervene between man and God. Another was the idea that good works are necessary for salvation. Another was that ONLY the bible, and not the institution of the Church, is the authoritative word of God. He knew Catholic teachings had gone directly against the bible. All this led to the Protestant Reformation.

Shortly AFTER the Reformation began, the Catholic church decided to canonize (to change them from mere historical documents to the ‘inspired Word of God’) the Apocrypha (the books (ex: the Maccabees) which contain material about Purgatory), which to me signifies their desire to solidify their hold over men’s spiritual destinations- and on their most lucrative income stream. The Catholic Church excommunicated Luther because he dared to read the bible and to see for himself the corruption of the Catholic church at that time. Theologically, he was correct and they were wrong. Yet, even today, some Catholics don’t care about theology or the what the Word has to say on a subject. They simply say that Luther and his followers wrongly split the church! If anything, it seems to me that the followers of Luther were taking the ‘true church’ BACK to it’s roots, not the other way around. It looks as if the Catholics were the ones changing things and going off the track.

To me, the fact that the Protestant reformation happened because the common man was able to read the bible on their own is a most marvelous thing! They didn’t agree with the new and corrupt direction of the Vatican and thus, said, ‘no.’ The canonization of the Apocrypha appears to be the result of poverty on the church’s part rather than the result of deep spiritual conviction. Why, after over 1,000 years of rejecting this body of books did it finally and suddenly decide it was indeed the ‘inspired work of God’? I find it rather interesting that the Catholic church never considered it authoritative until they truly needed to raise funds via ‘indulgences’. Making it ‘authoritative’ seems like a very politic thing to do in that case, doesn’t it? The timing also suggests that it was actually the Catholic Church that ‘rewrote’ the bible and that they did it AFTER they excommunicated Luther!

The reason I am speaking about Purgatory now is because the Catholics coming to defend the pope are bringing up Purgatory as an excuse for his words against the Blood of Christ. They are saying (though the pope never said this) that he MEANT people repenting in Purgatory. So, the discussion must be had about purgatory before we can even discuss the Pope’s words. Also, the accusation from defensive Catholics has been that Luther and everyone else ‘believed’ in the Maccabees until Luther wrongly tore people away from the Catholic Church. However, history shows differently. Not even the Catholics ‘believed’ in Purgatory (as authoritative) until AFTER Luther broke away. History is a marvelous teacher indeed.


  1. I wasn’t born Christian
    My parents were 90% Atheists and 10% admired Buddhists. I came to the US, I read and witnessed, there’s too much Hatred from non Catholics toward Catholics. If they have so much hate, when can they find times to serve their God? Jesus created His Church for 2000 ‘ s years, why still stand in Rome, and Roman Empire no longer exists? To me I believe Catholic Church will stand until the end, no matter what those hates have tried to attack. Because it’s Jésus ‘ s Church. About thé Popes ring. Why not kiss his ring, if thé ring has cross? Without the Universel Church (Catholic), there wouldn’t be the Churches of Martin Luther and Henry VIII (Wives’ beheader)… and too many churches eirher. No wonder Atheism keep growing, because they have too much hatred.

    • Hi Imelda, I don’t hate the Catholic Church. But I am telling the truth about the Catholic church adding those books to the Bible. Is it hate to tell the truth? Would you rather that I lie about it? Would that be love? To lie? No. It’s not true that if the Catholic church didn’t exist, then no church would have existed. The Catholic church is only how Europeans practiced Christianity during that time period. There were many other locals in the world who were practicing Christianity outside of Europe. Catholicism was probably the largest, true, but not the only. Further, I am quite certain that God would never let his Word die in this world. If the Catholic church failed early in their creation, then God would have put another church or churches in their stead.

      However, they were the largest church and Christianity does owe them a debt for many reasons. Not only did they the Word alive, but they also kept a lot of real knowledge alive during the Dark Ages. That being said, they were also one of the most corrupt nation states in the world at this time. The papacy was engaged in every kind of sin as it ruled and made war upon Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France, etc. It plotted and committed treason in the highest order. The priests at the time had no interest in God but were, themselves, involved in every kind of sexual perversion, drugs, alcohol, over eating, greed, lying, hypocrisy, pride, and all the worst of the sins. It is when I read the history of the Catholic Church that I become CERTAIN that God builds his church, not mankind. If one but observes the Catholic Church during those days (even today, actually), one must wonder how Christianity ever survived through that era at all. In fact, one must conclude that it survive DESPITE the Catholic Church, it’s horrid leadership and rotten lack of morality. It survived because God desired that it survive.

      Personally, I am quite convinced that Protestantism was the best thing that ever happened for Christianity except for Christ himself! The Catholic Church would have imploded upon itself had people not stood against it and all its ugliness at the time. Since then, these challenges have improved the Catholic church, I think. I think the Catholic church became a better church because of the direct challenge. Yet, human sin has quickly inserted itself into the protestant movement as well. That is for sure. Therefore, I will assert again that I don’t hate Catholicism. Nor do I exhort Protestantism. Rather, I vehemently call upon every Believer to read their Bibles and to live according to IT and to no other authority on earth.

      As to kissing any rings, bowing down to any man, or calling anyone Father, it is forbidden by the Bible. The Pope should not allow any of these things because the Bible expressly forbids it. That is why I wrote this article. I wrote it to say that the Catholic church added books that changed the Bible. They added these books because these books allowed PRIESTS and they allowed Indulgences. Priests are forbidden in the New Testament. And there is no purgatory in the Bible. But these new books say that priests and purgatory both exist. Indulgences allow people to PAY for salvation- ie, pay for the ‘get out of jail free’ pass for loved ones. Guess who profits? The priests and the Catholic Church. How else to you think they build all those luxurious buildings? And who lives in those luxurious buildings? Yes, priests do. In other words, the addition of these new books to the Bible were SELF SERVING to the human beings who added them. Kind of suspicious, no?

      I have to call it like I see it, Imelda. I will never bow down or kiss any human being’s ring- cross or no. Specifically because my Lord told me that I am only to bow down to HIM. I will call no one ‘Father’, “Priest’, or even ‘Teacher’ because Jesus Christ commanded me not to. You can keep disobeying God if you want to, but it is wrong. You are basically worshiping the Pope- as if he is a god. That’s a big no no and God will hold you to account for this deep, deep sin. Please just think about everything I am saying to you. If you need Bible verses from me to prove my words, just ask. I will be happy to give them to you. Susan

  2. Martha
    Please do some more research, as your Eternity depends on it. Born and raised catholic, came to know Jesus in 2000, praise the Lord! I recall my first impending divorce (not my choice), my poor Mom contacting the bishop regarding an “annulment”, though my first wife (also a catholic) had definitely consummated our marriage. She never told me how much it would cost, but I know it wasn’t cheap. Recall also my Portuguese grandmother stuffing her coins and bills into her underwear drawer to put in the envelopes every month for the priests’ heat, food, etc, etc, etc, though she could ill afford it. The priests lived like kings, rather than as Jesus did. The catholic church is nothing more than a money grubbing den of thieves, much like our politicians of today. Padding their own lairs while the rest of their minions starve. Compare catholic doctrine to Scripture, see how it holds up. Try a great resource for Bible study, if you choose to open your mind to the truth- There are very similar lies and deceit in mormonism, sda, jw, among many others. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and doesn’t need your money. Tithes are a test of obedience, not to provide gold, art and treasure for the vatican treasury. Don’t take MY word for it, or that of anyone else. He wants you to know Him, as He knows you. God bless you and guide you on your quest.

  3. Thank you for that commentary on purgatory. Luther was an amazing man. I was raised Lutheran, but never knew much about him until I did a paper on him in college. He did have his flaws, but he was a brave man of faith.

  4. who exactly first wrote about purgatory and where did he get the thought from. dream vision, scriptural basis for it …..what exactly was said. why was it introduced, aside from financial… what was the thought before hand about if you sinned and died without repentance beforehand…..

    • I believe the idea came from some writings called the Macabees. They are books that were written and never considered to be authoritative or inspired by anyone. They are included in a series of writings called the Apocrypha (author unknown). They were not officially made part of the bible until the mid 1500’s.

  5. Last, but not least!,

    Was the Bible locked up in Latin so that the “common man” could not read it? Nope.

    Prior to the Reformation there were several editions of German and English and other vernacular Bibles in existence. The Bible was not hidden away in Latin. Yet the vast majority of the entire world was **illiterate** so even if vernacular Bibles were available for free, almost everyone on the planet would be unable to read them. One of the English versions of Scripture goes back to the 700’s, written by a man named Caedmon.

    After the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, when an old form of English became the language of these regions, we have Bibles in that version of the English tongue, with surviving manuscripts dating at 1150 and the Salus Animae manuscript dating at 1250.

    Etc, etc, etc. Later the glorious **printing press** was invented by a Catholic, Johannes Gutenberg, and the first thing he printed was A BIBLE.

    Sadly the printing press proved to be a formidable weapon for Satan because people such as Martin Luther later came along and used it to spew out erroneous lies and slander in a quick and inexpensive manner, thus poisoning the minds of the common man. (You should really research this guy, he was a total crackpot!) Luther COULD have used the printing press to help teach LITERACY to the masses so they could then read the existing GERMAN Bibles, but instead he invented his own loony religion. And hey, HE got an entire denomination named after *him* (and not Christ) who continue to exalt him to this day. Oh, and the Lutherans continue to use that pesky Palestinian cannon as well… (Refer to my previous comment.)

    Anyway, I’m done. I need to get some housework finished. As I’ve stated in my previous 2 comments ALL of the real information is available instantly on the Internet, not to mention within 500 years of books answering, again and again and again and again these **exact same** falsehoods against the Catholic Church. I don’t even have a college degree, I am as dumb as a post, and even **I** could manage to do the research and get the answers. So what gives?? Fellow Christians: do your homework before you settle for anything that you are told. God bless.

  6. “Shortly AFTER the Reformation began, the Catholic church decided to canonize (to change them from mere historical documents to the ‘inspired Word of God’) the Apocrypha (the books (ex: the Maccabees) which contain material about Purgatory)”

    False. If anyone wants to know dates and tables of contents, I invite you to read on:

    The cannon (table of contents) of the Catholic Bible of today are backed up by the earliest fragments of the Scriptures, and they also match exactly the oldest complete Bibles in existence: the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vatincanus. (They are named for their locations, not their creators.) These complete bibles, all written in Greek, were written in the mid-300’s. This exact same cannon (table of contents) was made absolutely unchangeable at the Council of Carthage in 397 A.D.

    Here’s the reason for 2 different Old Testaments:

    The Old Testament cannon (table of contents) used by Christ and the Apostles was the “Alexandrian Cannon” ~ which matches the Catholic Bible of today.

    There was another OT cannon (table of contents) used by a different, smaller, sect of Jews, known as the Palestinian Cannon. The books of the Palestinian Cannon were not finalized until A.D. 90 at the *Jewish* Council of Jamina. At this Council this particular sect of Jews **also rejected the New Testament**. At this Council the Jews also cut out certain sections of psalms etc that **proved Christianity** via the prophecies that had since come true 90 years prior. (They corrupted the Sacred Scriptures in order to deny Christ. Think about that.)

    The glorious Reformers, Martin Luther being one of them, were trying to add and take away from the Bible. They also adopted this corrupted Jewish cannon that was used especially to *disprove Christianity. So think carefully about THAT the next time you pick up your Jewish Palestinian Cannon Old Testament non-Catholic Bible…

    (Re: Adding to the Bible: Luther, a deeply mentally disturbed individual that wrote of such things as his farting contests with the Devil, wanted to adopt this false cannon (table of contents) specifically because the *real* Bible conflicted with his demented man-made version of Christianity. (For example, he added the word “alone” to Romans 3:28, he also removed several NT books, such as Hebrews, and most notably, the Book of James which he states was “too Catholic”… and when his followers objected, he wrote a haughty letter proudly declaring that yes indeed, he had added the word “alone” so DEAL with it…his followers later removed “alone” and returned the enormous portion of the NT that their depraved leader had disposed of during his fits of delusion.))

    At the Councils of Florence (1422) and Trent (1546) the Catholic Church was not adding anything to the Bible, it was re-affirming that the cannon of the Bible had to match the most ancient manuscripts etc, and that Christians were to reject this false Jewish cannon that the “Reformers” were flogging as the “true” Bible.

    These 7 books missing from the non-Catholic Bible are **incorrectly** called the “Apocrypha.” There is an Apocrypha but this list contains the books *rejected* by the Church in 397 A.D. and that even the non-Catholics of today refuse to accept as the Word of God.

    So yeah, THIS Christian is going to stick with the exact same Old Testament and New Testament that was used by Jesus Himself and the 12 Apostles. You non-Catholics do what you want, I don’t judge non-Catholics for using a false Jewish cannon because how many of you actually KNOW that this is the case?? God is merciful, amen.

    • Saint1martha!

      you said, “THIS Christian is going to stick with the exact same Old Testament and New Testament that was used by Jesus Himself and the 12 Apostles. ”

      Need I say more? The New Testament DIDN’T exist during Jesus’ life! And the books, the Maccabees were NEVER canonized until over a thousand years after these people died! Which you admit. It was NOT a ‘mere’
      affirmation. Becoming part of the canon is a BIG DEAL. And the Maccabees were rejected by the church (even) for 500 years after Christ. And they were only ‘tradition’ – which the Church encouraged even though they didn’t consider them to be the ‘inspired word of God’. If they canonized it in the 1500’s, honey, that is WHEN THEY CANONIZED IT! You can’t just make stuff up to suit your comfort zone. And the Catholics DID sell indulgences- and the Pope STILL gives out ‘indulgences’ to people for such stupid things as LIKING him on facebook. You are making a fool of yourself. I am done with your lengthy, twisted lies. Thanks for commenting. But now you are done.

  7. I have abbreviated this windbag of a comment (short little rebel):

    “The Catholic Church never sold indulgences. If you care for the actual information, I invite you to keep reading and to then *decide for yourself*:”
    —-SLR: Blatant LIE.

    “To say that the Catholic Church sold indulgences is false and is the continuation of untrue slander cooked up during the Reformation, the mainstream churches of which most conservative American Christians refuse to join. So why anyone would heed misinformation from false churches that most conservative Christians won’t even join or attend is beyond me. ”

    —-SLR: Blatant LIE. What are the ‘mainstream churches’ which we won’t join? You are babbling.

    “The simplistic explanation: It was established by Christ Himself *in the Bible* that some sins would be retained. To overcome these sins, the Christian would need further counsel and also some actual spiritual practice in rebuilding self control. This is what makes up “penance”: spiritual exercises that re-builds a person’s lost self control. ”

    —SLR: HUH? What a crock. please provide Jesus’ words that ‘some’ sins will be ‘retained’. What nonsense.

    “If this strikes you as “bad” then that is your decision. But the BIBLE spells it out: certain men, descendents of the Apostles, (Christ only breathed on the Apostles) were given the authority to retain a person’s sins. Of course God would not keep you trapped in those sins, you would have the chance to change your ways, to grow up and “knock it off” by re-building your self discipline. (This is taken further with such verses as Matthew 18:16-17, 1 Peter 5:1-3, Acts 6:2, 3, 5.) As you can see, if you read those verses, the *ultimate* authority in matters of sin is the Church. The Bible says so. ”

    —-SLR: Look, Martha, you are so deep into this falsehood that you believe it. But that isn’t the worst part. You BELIEVE IT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO. Facts are things you dislike- like selling indulgences. EVERY HISTORY BOOK but yours, apparently, tell us this. Dates are things you don’t like- the Catholic Church made the Apocrypha ‘the Word of God’ in the mid 1500’s- AFTER Luther had been excommunicated and AFTER they began selling indulgences. So all your descriptions of what ‘indulgences’ ARE have nothing to do with the fact that they are something FAKE created by the institution of Catholics because they needed the MONEY. For you to say that corruption was limited to a few priests is just so breathtakingly stupid. I can’t stand to read your tripe. You simply can’t stand giving up your Mary and your pope. Like so many Catholics, you are attracted to the wrong things in church. And you will defend it to your death. Well, go ahead. But not one more time on my page.

    The idea of autonomous churches, with no hierarchy of authority does not fit with what the Bible says, time and again. If a person is going to uphold the Bible they have to uphold the *entire* Bible.

    I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion. Then again, this information is available, and has been available, for 500 years. No non-Catholic has any excuse for repeating the misinformation, especially now with everything available instantly on the Internet. Truly, are we the Body of Christ or the Body of Sheeple that follow whatever is waved in our faces?

    • If I may enter into this discussion and add a comment, which is coming too late anyway, I would suggest thinking about the passage in John 20:23. Here it says: If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
      Does this not maybe suggest, that we all have a huge responsibility towards our brothers and sisters? And to Jesus? If we forgive, as believers, their sins are forgiven. I understood and was explained this when I gave my life over to Jesus, that I am sealed by the Holy Spirit and a saint belonging to Jesus. Should we not forgive 70 times 70 therefore°? Why must we forgive? Because God asks us this, it is what He loves, and we are informed of it in the Lord´s Prayer. Please do let´s keep calm – we all are imperfect in the flesh. Only God will make us perfect. Peace and love of God to you.

      • Tasa, my heart goes out to you. And YES we should forgive. But remember, the condition was that the person ASKED for forgiveness. If they don’t ask, how can they be forgiven? As for the Pope, there is something very wrong with him. I don’t have a beef with the Catholic denomination. But I do have a problem with this pope.

    • Short little Rebel, I foregot to add, to me also Jesus is the only authority and God. I am very much in doubt about the infallability of a human being, which is exactly what I think the pope is. I have seen simply too many priests indulging in luxury – just now we are having a case here in Germany where a Catholic bishop has been found out to have lied about finances.. They also need to be forgiven, by Christ.

  8. I’ve not researched this personally, but a close friend in ministry, a former Catholic himself, pointed out to me that (Romans 3:2) to the Hebrews were the oracles of God committed. The decision of the Hebrews on what is canonical (scripture), of Old Testament writings, is also accepted as OT scripture by the protestant church. All apocryphal books are historically relevant to Israel, but not considered to be inspired by the LORD.

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