Which Bible in Spanish is the Right One?
*This has been designed as printer friendly, so you can print it and read it, or just read it here online.
WHICH BIBLE IN SPANISH IS THE RIGHT ONE?
There are many today asking "Which Bible in Spanish is the right Bible?" This is a good question, and deserves to be asked. But before we can answer, we must first look at all the different versions of the Bible in Spanish.
Instead of looking at all 200 of them (this includes the many Catholic versions), we will narrow our field by just discussing those Spanish Bibles used by modern Fundamentalists of today. These include the 1960, the 1909, the 1865, the 1602 Purified, and the modern Gomez translation. These five versions are the most used by modern Independent Baptist Missionaries, which claim to only believe in one bible in English—the King James.
So, why do they dogmatically stand for one version in English, but are so divided on the Spanish Bible? Why don't they all use just one version in Spanish? The answer is not a simple one. There are many reasons why they are so divided.
One reason is because they don't READ. That is, they don't take all the versions and go through them verse by verse with the King James, the Textus Receptus, and the original 1569 Reina and 1602 Valera (like I have done, and continually do). For, if they did this, the only conclusion they could come to would be the 1602 Purified Spanish Bible is the only one that's closest to the TR, Textus Receptus, and KJV.
Another reason they use multiple versions in Spanish, while claiming to stand only for one version in English, is because they have become attached to their most-liked version, and reject change, because if it can be proven they are using a perverted version, then they would have to admit they were wrong in using a corrupt bible. Modern Fundamentalists are very slow to ever admit they are wrong in anything!
Probably the greatest reason different Independent Baptists stand fast in the version they use, is because of groupism. That is to say, and I've heard it many times from many of them, they use a specific version in Spanish because that's the bible their group uses.
In the Independent Baptist fold, there are many factions, each one many times barking against the other for not believing exactly the way they do in every minor doctrine. These groups include:
Hyles-Anderson College graduates (School of Jack Hyles)
Pensacola Bible Institute alumni (School of Peter S. Ruckman)
Pensacola Christian College
Tennessee Temple Graduates
Bob Jones University
Bible Baptist Fellowship members
Pacific Coast College
Each of these Independent Baptist Groups contains some good, Bible believing men. However, when it comes to the Spanish Bible Issue, they cannot agree, many refusing to even address the issue, claiming, "I speak English, so I don't care about the Spanish Bible!"
This leaves the issue to the Missionaries to Spanish Speaking countries sent from these organizations and their churches.
Let us now look at the five main different Spanish versions these Missionaries use, and investigate their origin, as well as what they say. We will begin with the 1960 Spanish Bible.
Probably the most widely used Spanish Bible among Independent Baptists (and even all evangelical groups) is the 1960 Reina-Valera revision. It's outsold all Spanish versions, and has become so popular, it's been labeled the "CROWN VERSION" by those who use and support it.
But where did the 1960 come from? And did God wait until just the last 40 or 50 years before the rapture to give Spanish Speaking people the pure word of God?
The answer is no! And as we study the 1960, we find it is not a pure Spanish version, rather a corrupt revision of it.
History tells us the 1960 Spanish Bible was the brain-child of Mr. Eugene Nida, the head of the American Bible Society and adamant attacker of the King James Bible. CLICK HERE TO READ INTERVIEW OF NIDA BY CHRISTIANITY TODAY
Nida invented the theory of DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE, which teaches translation of words is not important, rather the idea. In other words, the translator is given leeway to translate what he thinks the author meant to say, rather than what the actual words declare. This is a satanic teaching, which makes the translator the final authority, instead of the words of God.
Nida, who not only is liberal in his translation ideas, is also very anti-Textus Receptus. As head of the American Bible Society, he excercised his authority, and recommended translators use modern critical text translations in their work.
Mr. Jose Flores, a consultant on the 1960 Translation had these words to say:
"ONE PRINCIPLE ADDED TO THE FIRST LIST OF THE REINA-VALERA 1960 REVISION COMMITTEE WAS THAT WHEREVER THE REINA-VALERA (1909) VERSION HAS DEPARTED FROM THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS TO FOLLOW A BETTER TEXT [what they think is the critical text], WE DID NOT RETURN TO THE RECEPTUS. POINT #12 OF THE WORKING PRINCIPLES STATES: IN CASES WHERE THERE IS A DOUBT OVER THE CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THE ORIGINAL, WE CONSULTED PREFERENTIALLY THE ENGLISH REVISED VERSION OF 1885, THE AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION OF 1901, THE REVISED STANDARD VERSION OF 1946 AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRITICAL COMMENTARY."
"El Texto del Nuevo Testamento," published by CLIE, 1977 page 232,
Truly, the 1960 Spanish Bible is a corrupt translation, which made many critical text changes in the Spanish Bible. These changes lead to many doctrinal errors and false readings. CLICK HERE TO SEE PROBLEMS IN THE 1960.
THE 1909 SPANISH REVISION
With the proof that the 1960 Spanish Bible is corrupt, and not based on the same texts as the King James, rather reading closer to the English RSV perversion, let us now look at the 1909 Spanish Bible.
For years the 1909 has been called LA ANTIGUA, or THE OLD VERSION.
It was the work of many evangelical leaders in the Spanish Speaking world, many of whom translated our blessed English Hymns into Spanish. Sadly, the majority of them had already accepted the theory of textual criticism, and they inserted many critical text readings in their translation.
Missionary Carlos Donate tells us, "The 1909 retains some of the Vulgate, with influences from Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, and Wordsworth, who were translators and revisers with corrupt tendencies in past centuries; some of the LXX was also maintained in the 1909."
Although it contained critical text readings, it quickly became the standard Spanish Bible (surpassing even the 1865, of which we'll speak next), that is until the 1960 came out. Many Spanish Speaking people really thought the 1909 was the pure Spanish Bible. However, they did not study and compare it with the original 1602 and the King James. For if they had, they would have seen it does not line up with them or the Textus Receptus.
Thus, the 1909 Spanish Bible, however good it might have been, and however accepted, was not perfect. It had problems, errors, and critical text readings. CLICK HERE TO SEE PROBLEMS IN THE 1909
Before the 1909, there were many, many different Spanish Bible translations. In fact, from what I've studied, the original 1569 Reina Bible was only printed in a few thousand copies. The 1602 Revision was only printed in 1602, and then reprinted in 1625. After that it was only printed four more times, and that was it. All other Spanish Bibles claiming to be Reina-Valera Bibles, were nothing more than Cathlolic revisions of them.
Early Protestant Bible Societies rejected the Valera Spanish revision altogether, instead giving away Catholic Bibles, as all Protestant versions were outlawed by the Catholic Church.
This is confirmed by The "Cambridge History of the Bible," edited by S.L. Greenslade, when it says: "early Protestant versions printed for circulation in Spain and Latin America consisted of the Scio [Catholic] text."
Another source reads: "In 1819, the Protestant Bible Societies reproduced the Scio version without the Apocrypha, by the hundreds of thousands."
With all of Central and South American still under the Spanish Inquisition, those Protestant Bible Societies that didn't give away only CATHOLIC VERSIONS, decided they'd give away half-breed Bibles. They then did a sneaky thing. They produced HYBRID SPANISH BIBLES, which read with both the original 1602 Valera and the Scio-Miguel Catholic texts. This way the Catholics thought it was a Catholic Bible, while the Protestant Bible Societies thought they were giving them as much of a Protestant Bible as they could.
Bill Kincaid supports this with these words, "With the end of the Inquisition (in the 1820's) the Foreign Bible Society (British) began distributing Catholic Spanish Bibles adapted (Apocrypha and notes removed) from the Felipe Scio (1790's). Scio was a Roman Catholic priest whose translation was reprinted presumably with hopes it would be allowed to circulate."
But why didn't Bible Societies just reprint the original 1602? Or why didn't they make a revision of it with only the pure texts on which the King James was based?
In 1865, there were four Spanish Bible revisions done by various Bible Societies. The most famous was the American Bible Society 1865 revision, the work done by Angel H. Mora, a Spaniard, and H.B. Pratt, a Presbyterian missionary to Colombia.
Although Pratt did use the King James in revision (as there are many changes he made to bring this version more in line with the KJV), he did not do a through job of translation. He also left many changes from the Scio text, leaving his translation far from the original 1602. Further he made many changes which do not appear in any version in any language, many times substituting God for Lord, and vice versa, according to his own whim. CLICK HERE FOR ERRORS IN THE 1865
Of this version, Floyd Dallis said years ago, "Dr. Pratt made the most of his textual changes because of the then recent discoveries of Dr. Tishendorf. Thus, of all the revision to this date, this one had more changes in the text based on Westcott and Hort corruptions. About 100,000 changes we made in wording. Dr. Pratt and Dr. Mora began their work in 1861. Because of the numerous corruptions of this edition, the 1909 was published! Note, the 1909 was therefore published to correct the corruptions of the 1865 edition of the ABS!"
Those who use the 1865 today refute this quote, and claim it null and void, claiming Tischendorf's discoveries were not published until much later. It is interesting to know, however, that Mr. Pratt was fond of the critical texts (of which there were several available in 1865), for we find him producing a translation in Spanish based entirely on the critical texts in 1895, known as LA VERSION MODERNA.
The story goes the 1865 was lost, until the year 2001, when some Bible students in Pensacola, Florida found it, and declared it to be the pure words of God in Spanish. They then began printing it, and distributing it. However, later, there were discoveries made that the 1865 does read along with the Critical Texts in many places.
Fifty places were revised in their reprint, but then those who published it undid the changes, making it read along with the original 1865. This undoing of the better changes made this version lose much credibility with many, and the 1865 has since lost much popularity.
Further, the second edition of their 1865 reprint had a great spelling error on the spine, as it said, "Edicieón" instead of the correct "Edición" in Spanish.
Whether the 1865 will gain popularity once more is unknown. But what is known, is those that distribute the 1865 will never change their mind, based on their fanatical teaching that God can never give the world a pure Spanish Bible in the Laodicean church age, which they claim began in 1881. Thus, any version after 1881, they will dogmatically reject, calling it a modernistic version.
THE MODERN GOMEZ VERSION
Seeing the errors in each the 1960, 1909, and 1865, a man named Humberto Gomez decided he'd go about translating his own Spanish Bible translation, which he named THE GOMEZ BIBLE.
Mr. Gomez started his work in 2002, and distributed his first version in 2004. It has become to be known as the RVG '04.
But this version was anything but pure. I was appalled as I read his first edition! Just a few examples of errors are below.
Matt. 1:22 The Gomez steals prophecy out of Jesus' mouth by changing por to del.
John 2:10 The Gomez said Jesus went to an alcoholic drinking party using the word borrachos.
Rom. 6:4 Gomez steals God's glory by changing por to para.
1 Cor. 7:36 The Gomez tells a father to marry his daughter with the added word hija.
Thankfully these errors are changed in the newer editions of the Gomez, but one must ask, "How do these kinds of errors get into a bible version to begin with?"
Mr. Gomez claims to have done his revision work in the following way, taken from his website: ""To accomplish this work...we have gone verse by verse making sure first of the purity of the text and then comparing the 1909 with the Authorized KJV. Every single verse that did not line up the TR or the KJV we have immediately corrected..."
This sounded wonderful, until I personally contacted Mr. Gomez, and he told me he knew neither Hebrew nor Greek. How then could he make sure each verse lined up with the Greek TR (Textus Receptus)?
And who are the we? For when I contacted Mr. Gomez, he told me he was the final authority on the project, and he made all the changes himself.
As I studied the Gomez, I realized it is not what it claims to be, failing to translate many Textus Receptus words. It also didn't read along with the 1909, as it claimed, but many times changed hundreds of thousands of words to read more in line with the 1960.
As I read through it with the KJV, original 1602, original 1569, the 1909, the Textus Receptus, and even the NIV, I found many times the 1960 read closer to the NIV than the original Reina-Valera Spanish Bible!
Although the Gomez does correct many doctrinal errors, it is anything but perfect. And it claims to be a work in progress. CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRUTH ABOUT THE GOMEZ BIBLE
But it should not be called a Reina-Valera Bible, as it changes many old Castellan words to the modernistic 1960 Spanish revision word. What's wrong with the old 1602? And why won't anyone go back to it, and give us a revision based upon it? Someone did, and that's what the 1602 Purifed is!
THE 1602 PURIFIED SPANISH BIBLE
Cipriano de Valera wrote the following words in the preface of his 1602 revision:
"Because it is not right to conform the certain with the uncertain, the word of God with the word of men...I again plead to our good merciful God and Father that He give you grace to hear Him and to know His will and that knowing it you will conform to it. And so be saved through the blood of the Lamb without blemish that sacrificed himself on the altar of the cross to forgive our sins before God. Amen. So be it."
These words are just as powerful today as they were back then. It is a wicked and heinous crime to mix man's words with God's words. What we should want is a Spanish Bible that says exactly what God said, with no critical text readings, no doctrinal errors, and no omissions or additions.
Sadly, the history of the Spanish Bible has been nothing but taking either catholic or critical texts and mixing them with the pure word of God, leading to confusion. But God is not the author of confusion!
So what's needed to find a pure Spanish Bible?
Valera gave us the answer to that question in his preface, when he wrote:
"Would to God that by his infinite mercy [he would] inspire the heart of the King to command pious men throughout his coasts, learned in Hebrew and Greek to look into and revise this translation of the Bible, who excitedly with a pious and sincere desire to serve God and do well to their nation, would compare it and confront the Hebrew text, that God dictated to his holy Prophets before the coming of Christ, and with the Greek Text, that the same dictated to his holy Apostles and Evangelists after the coming of Christ in the flesh."
Valera didn't claim to have produced a pure and perfect Spanish Bible, neither did Reina. Both of them claimed their work needed to be revised with the right texts (TR and Hebrew Masoretic). Sadly, no one revised the Spanish Bible according to Valera's desire with the right texts, that is until now.
An Independent, Fundamental, Baptist church in Monterrey, Mexico took it upon themselves to fulfil Valera's desire. Believing the work of translation belongs to the priesthood of believers (the local church), they undertook the painstaking process of taking the original 1602 Spanish Bible, and purifying it, as they compared the Greek Textus Receptus and the Hebrew Masoretic texts with the King James. They didn't stop there, rather they also used all of the following in their work:
15th and 16th Hebrew Translation of the Masoretic text into Spanish; Escorial; Contantinople – Salonica; Ferrara; Ms 87; Ms 10.208 and others.
1537 Juan de Valdés Spanish version (Mateo, Romanos, and 1 Corintios. Also Salmos 1-41)
1543 Fransico de Enzinas Spanish New Testament
1556 Juan Perez de Pineda Spanish New Testament and book of Psalms
1553 Ferrara Spanish Old Testament
1611 The King James in English
1813, 1817, 1831, 1862, and 1869 Valera Spanish Revisions
1865 American Bible Society Spanish Revisión
1909 Antigua Spanish Bible
1917 Jewish TANAKH edition which is the Masoretic text of the Jacob Ben Chayim published by the Jewish Publication Society
McVey Spanish Bible translation directly translated from the King James 1611
1960 corrupt Spanish modern Bible put out by Eugene Nida
The Alameida Portugese Trinitarian revision
and many more
Under the leadership of Pastor Raul Reyes, the church learned Hebrew and Greek. As they compared all versions, they continually fasted and prayed. Where they original 1602 Valera revision read correctly, they left it. Where it read against the critical texts, they changed it. Where it needed revision, with much care, attention, prayer, and fasting, they changed it, making sure they used a reading as close as possible to either the original 1602 or an older Protestant version, such as the Valdes, Perez, or Enzinas.
Their goal was to give the Spanish-speaking world a pure Castellan Spanish Bible that honoured the pure Spanish language, and the old Valera words. They did not want a NEW VERSION, rather to defend the OLD VERSION as much as possible. (As opposed to the GOMEZ, which chose to read along with the modernistic 1960 on many occasions).
Their work (of over 15 years) by far is the most exhaustive Spanish Bible work in history since 1602. And, what they produced is the purest Spanish Bible in History.
Their first edition New Testament was printed in small quantity in 2001. Then in 2002, their second edition N.T. saw large printing. (Note the date, exactly 400 years after the original 1602!)
Their fourth edition is now available, and it is not only the New Testament, but also the Old as well.
Their whole Spanish bible is the purest Spanish Bible to date, and completely fulfilled the desire of Cipriano de Valera in his preface.
It was the work of a local church (true believers) instead of liberal bible societies (like the 1960). It was the work of pious men, and not just one guy (like the Gomez). It was exhaustive in comparing verse by verse the Hebrew Masoretic and the Greek Textus Receptus!
I've heard the following question many times, "So if the 1602 Purified is so good, why haven't I heard about it?" This is a good question.
The answer is modern Fundamentalist Independent Baptists have either, failed to seek out the best translation, studying the issue, or they are so busy arguing among themselves about why the 1960, 1909, 1865, or the Gomez is the best, that they are unwilling to look at anything new.
Those that do know about the 1602 Purified, usually don't want to discuss it, as they stand so dogmatically on their own version, they don't desire to change.
Probably the greatest hindrance is "groupism." Or the tendency to only do, and defend what one's group does.
If you are an Independent Baptist, or you know any of them, you know they do not do anything without first checking to see what their own group is doing, or in this case, what version their own group is using.
But should a Christian defend a bible because their group does? Or shouldn't he read, study, and find the purest word of God for himself, and defend it because it's his conviction, and not just that of his denominational affiliation.
Clearly, the King James Bible is the right version in English, because it's been around for almost 400 years, and it's based entirely upon the Greek Textus Receptus, and Hebrew Masoretic Text. So shouldn't we seek out a Spanish Bible that does the same and dogmatically defend it? If so, the 1960, 1909, and 1865, should be thrown out the window, cause they contain critical text readings. We should also reject the Gomez, as it reads closer to the 1960 in its word choice than the old Valera of 1602. All that's left is the 1602 Purified!
The 1602 Purified is out there, and available. But the church in Monterrey is small, and unable to print as many copies as they'd like. Instead of finding acceptance and encouragement for their work, they've continually been attacked by the 1960 and 1865 crowd, which refuse to leave off using their corrupt Bibles.
With so many attacks, the Monterrey church went underground, shielding itself to finish its work. Now that its done, it is out in the open again. But instead of finding people looking for a pure Spanish Bible, they've found modern Christianity in complete apostasy, with no love for the true word of God.
As a member of the church in Monterrey myself, I sometimes feel like the voice of one crying in the wilderness, trying to tell people about the 1602 Purified. The common response I get is, "Well, if that's what our group chooses to use, that's what we'll use."
Purity has been substitute for politics, as Christian polity abounds in Fundamentalist circles. One missionary even admitted to me, "The Spanish Bible Issue is not about truth, rather about politics!"
This ought not so to be! That's why I'm doing all I can to tell people about the right bible in Spanish. It's not my opinion, it's my conviction, after having studied the issue. I pray you will study as well, for if you do, you can come to no other conclusion than the fact that the 1602 Purified is the best!
This website has been set up for you, to give you a head start about the Spanish Bible Issue. We encourage you to read and tell others about the 1602 Purified Spanish Bible.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO OBTAIN A 1602 PURIFIED
BACK TO SPANISH BIBLE ISSUE PAGE