The 1909 Spanish Translation

copyright 2010 Robert Breaker

There has never been an authorized Spanish Bible like our blessed Authorized King James Bible, which became the standard for the Spanish-Speaking People.  The closest to it would be the 1909 Spanish Bible, which since it's translation became accepted by almost the entire evangelical world as the word of God in Spanish (although it inserted many critical text readings in its translation work).  This version was used on a massive scale, and is still being used today by some who still seek to defend it as the word of God in Spanish.  It is now reverently referred to by many as "La Version Antigua" or "The Old Version."  (The "New Version" replacing it being the corrupt 1960 A.B.S. Spanish Bible).

The 1909 was the work of both the American Bible Society and the British and Foreign Bible Society, (B.F.B.S. for short).  The work of translation started in the late 1800's, and was done by notable Hispanics such as Juan Bautista Cabrera (who wrote many hymns and translated many others from English to Spanish), Cipriano Tornos (ex-catholic priest), Franklyn G. Smith (Missionary to Spain), William Douglas (director of B.F.B.S), Enrique Payne, (Plymouth Brethren Missionary to Spain), John Jameson (representative of both the B.F.B.S. and the Scottish Bible Society), Ricky Lund (Baptist Missionary), and more.  Sadly, the majority of these translators (but not all) were in favor of the Critical texts, and used them in their translation work, inserting many critical text readings into their versions.  (However, not as much as the 1960 Bible translators did!)

It's easy to see these critical text readings by simply taking a 1909 and reading through it.  Below I give a list of many of them.  You are encouraged to take your King James Bible and compare it with this version, so you'll see the problems in the 1909.  You'll also find that many times the 1909 reads with the 1960 against the older Spanish versions like the original 1602, the 1865, and the Valera 1602 Purified.

Some examples of Errors in both the 1909 and 1960

Doctrinal Errors in Both the 1909 and 1960 versions:

2 Cor. 4:14        Say we will raise with Jesus. But, we will raise by Jesus (KJV reading). We can't raise with him, as he already rose almost 2000 years ago!

Mark 1:2           Say Isaiah," but the passage is a quote of two different prophets (Isaiah and Malachi). "Los profetas" is correct (like the original 1602 has it, and the KJV).

2 Thess. 2:2       Change "Day of Christ" to "Day of the Lord."

Acts 7:45            Change "Jesus" to "Josué" (Joshua) when every Greek text says "Jesus."

Acts 1:3              Change "infallible proofs" to "pruebas indubitables" (undoutable proofs).

Mark 14:24        Change "testament" to "pacto" (pact).

Isaiah 14:12 with 2 Peter 1:19        Give the name of Lucifer (Lucero) to Jesus Christ.


Some Changes by both the 1909 and 1960 versions:

Luke 2:40            Change "spirit" to "wisdom."

Acts 22:16            Change "the Lord" to "him."

Acts 20:28            Change "God" to "El Señor" (the Lord). Attack on the Diety of Christ!!!

Ephesians 5:29    Change "El Señor" to "Cristo" (Christ).

1 Corinth. 1:18    Change "predicacción" (preaching) to "la palabra" (the word).

Acts 6:8               Change "faith" to "grace."

Ephesians 3:9      "By Jesus Christ" is omitted. (An attack on the Diety of Christ as Creator).


Some Subtractions in Both the 1909 and 1960 versions:

Acts 21:20           "The Lord" is taken out.

Romans 1:16       Subtract "of Christ" (de Cristo).

2 Corinth. 4:10    Remove "the Lord" (El Señor).

Mark 11:10         Subtract "the name of the Lord."

2 Corinth. 5:18    Subtract "Jesus."

Acts 15:11           Omit "Christ."

John 8:6               Omit "as though he heard them not." (In italics in the KJV).

Luke 23:42          Remove "Señor."

Acts 9:5                Omit "Lord" (Señor).

1 Peter 1:18         Subtract "por tradicción" (by tradition).

Mark 9:24           Omit "Lord."

Mark 2:17           Lack "Repentance" (arrepentimiento)

Luke 4:41            Omit "Cristo" (Christ).

Luke 11:29          Omit "the prophet."

1 Corinthians 7:5 Take out "fasting" (ayuno)

Mark 3:5              Remove "como la otra."

Mark 10:51          Omit "Señor" (Lord).


A Few Additions by both the 1909 and 1960:

Mark 11:19            Add "Jesus" for "he."

Acts 24:24            Add "Jesus."


A Few Places where the 1909 reads worse than the 1960:


Deut. 17:18            Add's "del original."

Mark 9:43,45,47    Says "Gehenna." 1960 says "Infierno" (Hell).

Matthew 7:24,25 and Luke 6:48            Says "peña." The 1960 says "roca."

Mark 2:26; 14:47 and John 11:49, 51    Says "sumo pontífice." A catholic word. 1960 says "sumo sacerdote" (high priest).

Romans 16:1         Says "diaconisa" in place of "hermana" (sister).  This is a WOMAN DEACON, something which is now greatly practiced in Latin America because of this.

Luke 21:1             Says "gazofilacio" which is a transliteration from Greek, and not a translation.

Matthew 16:18     Calls Jesus a "stone" (piedra) rather than a rock (roca).


Yet even with its shortcomings, the 1909 became the most used and beloved Spanish Bible in Central and South American among Conservatives, Evangelicals, and Fundamentalists.  When the 1960 came out, they would not change.  It wasn't until those behind the corrupt 1960 inserted the Scofield notes into the text that many turned to that version instead of the old 1909.

The 1909 is now very hard to obtain, and is very seldom printed.  Instead, the 1960 corrupt version has taken its place and gained a great foothold throughout the Americas and even in Spain.