Unicorns or Buffaloes?

 

            The translators of the 1960 version of the Bible in Spanish did an interesting thing.  Every  time they saw the word "unicorn," they changed it to "búfalo."  What was their motive for this?  Nobody knows.  (Although we think it has something to do with Nida's "Dynamic Equivalence" translation method).

            Let's look first of all at the definition of the word "unicorn."  According to the 1828 Webster's dictionary, we find the following:

 Unicorn, An animal with one horn; the monoceros.  This name is often applied to the rhinoceros.  [Also] the sea unicorn is a fish of the whale kind, called narwal, remarkable for a horn growning out at his nose.

 So obviously, a unicorn is an animal with one horn.  But, how can anyone who has ever seen a buffalo think that it would be a unicorn?  It has two horns, not one! 

             Now, let's compare the verses in the King James Bible that say "unicorn" with that of the 1909 Spanish Bible and the 1960 Spanish version, and see what we can find.

 

Ref. in the KJV The 1909 The 1960
Numbers 23:22 "unicornio"  "búfalo"
Numbers 24:8 "unicornio" "búfalo"
Job 39:9 "unicornio" "búfalo"
Job 39:10 "unicornio" "búfalo"
Psalm 29:6 "unicornio" "búfalo"
Psalm 92:10 "unicornio" "búfalo"

 

                 Maybe the 1960 Spanish version should change its name to "THE BUFFALO BIBLE!"