There are many today who say that old Castilian Spanish is archaic and outdated, and that is why we need new, modern, updated Spanish translations. But is this so?
According to the I.C.S. Reference Library textbook of Spanish Grammar, copyright 1903, we read:
“Among Spanish-speaking people, Spanish grammar is usually called gramática castellana, Castillian grammar; and the Spanish language itself, lengua castellana, Castilian language, or simply Castellano, Castilian. The reason for this being that the language was first spoken in the old kingdom of Castile, the center of Spanish power and influence at the time; but a law was enforced later on by which the dialects spoken in some of the provinces should be totally discarded from the public schools, and in their place, the Castilian language should exclusively be taught and used in all official documents, becoming therefore the national language. Accordingly, the general prevailing tendency is to the call the Castilian language “el idioma español” or simply “el español.”
The entire population of Spanish America speak and write the langue of Castile, with only some slight deviations in pronouncing certain letters…
The language spoken in all Spanish America from Mexico down to the Argentine, is the same as spoken in Spain, except with some slight deviations, the most important being the pronunciation of the c before e and i, and the z, which are given the sound of Spanish s instead of that of th, given by the Castilians. This pronunciation is also heard in the Southern part of Spain.”
Not only is Castilian Spanish by law the national language in Spain, but it is also the national language in Central and South America, and mandated by governmental decrees of each country, it must be protected.
Let us read from the Constitution of the country of Honduras as an example:
“El idioma oficial de Honduras es el español. El estado protegerá su pureza e incrementará.”
Translated this means:
“The official language of Honduras is Spanish. The state will protect its purity and will increment its use.”
This is important to realize, as any translation of the Spanish Bible should always been translated into Castilian Spanish, for that is true Spanish. (Note: Sadly, the 1960 Spanish Bible is an updated version of the Bible in Spanish. The Gomez too follows the 1960 in many places, and with its many synonyms, it too is an updated Spanish Bible, deviating much from the beautiful Castilian tongue of the Old Reina-Valera from the Protestant Reformation.)
Just as in English we praise our King James Bible for its old Elizabethan English, which was the height of the English language, so to, the Spanish Reina-Valera Bible was given to us in the height of the beauty of the old Castilian Spanish language.
Both of these languages prospered under the Reformation, the height of enlightenment and learning.
Sadly, there are some who would call the King James Bible, archaic, and the language of it out of date.
There are those too who would make the same claim of the Spanish Bible and the Castilian language.
But it must be realized that both English and Castilian Spanish are not archaic and not only understood today, but used on a regular basis.
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