A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SPANISH BIBLE
by Robert Breaker III
Revised in 2004
* The following online book has been designed to be "printer friendly." So please feel free to print the entire thing and read it through! Or read it here on online.
A printed booklet form of this book is available, and can be ordered through Amazon.com.
Click here to buy the revised and updated printed version of this book.
A translation of the entire Bible into the Spanish language for the common man to read had long been the desire of many Castilian speaking people in the 14th century. However, the Roman Catholic Church was sorely against it, and did everything it could to prevent it. In 1551, they printed their first "Index" (or list of forbidden books) in Toledo, Spain. The index "prohibited the Bible in Castilian romance or in any other vulgar tongue." And, the "Index" of 1559, forbade "the Bible in the vernacular or in any other language, wholly or in part, unless it be in Hebrew, Chaldean, Greek or Latin." So, the job of translating the entire Bible into Castilian Spanish from the Hebrew and Greek rested on the shoulders of the Protestants, and then only those that knew Hebrew and Greek, and had the stamina to undertake such a venture.
Translating the Bible into the Spanish language was not an easy task. And, the long running Spanish Inquisition greatly hindered its development. Copies of the scriptures that were found by the Roman Catholic Inquisitors were quickly burned. Thus, all attempts by Protestants to translate the Bible into Spanish, had to be done in secret. However, this did not keep the dream from dying. Instead, the opposite is true. It strengthened the determination.
This booklet has been written to inform the reader about the history of this endeavor, as well as to show the lives of the two men most responsible for this great work. They are Cassiodoro de Reina and Cipriano de Valera.
It will also inform the reader about different versions of the Bible in Spanish today, and will attempt to show a brief difference between the most popular ones (The 1865 Valera, 1909 Reina Valera, the 1960 Reina Valera). It will also tell the reader about the history of the "popular" 1960 revision, and the fruits of it (which have been nothing but more revisions, each one becoming more and more corrupt with each printing). Plus, it will give the reader information about several revisions of the Spanish Bible in recent years. So, let's start our brief study on the history of the Spanish Bible.
Before Cassiodoro de Reina translated the entire Bible into Spanish, there were many who tried. The first was Bonifacio Ferrera. His Castilian translation was printed in Valencia in 1478. Parts of it were printed again in 1480, with the title "The Catalan Psalter." But, all available copies found by the Catholic Inquisitors were destroyed before 1500. Later, the Gospels and the Epistles were printed in Spanish at Saragossa in 1485 and at Salamanca in 1493.
A Spanish version of the Bible, translated by a man named Montesino, was printed in Alcala, Spain in 1502 and again in Toledo in 1512. Some of this work was revised and corrected, and reprinted in the seventeenth century. However, it was not in high circulation.
A few Spanish Psalters were produced by Protestants in Lisbon in 1529 and 1535. Several more were made in Barcelona in 1538, and Burgos in 1548. Yet, these works were scarce because they took so long to make. They usually only made 40 or 50 at a time, and then they had to be painstakingly copied by hand.
The Roman Catholic Juan de Valdes (alias Valdesso), translated the books of Romans and 1 Corinthians in 1556 and 1557, respectively. These two books were included in the Index of Forbidden books by the Catholics, but the Protestants found his biblical translations useful. His other biblical translations either perished or had to wait until the nineteenth century before they were printed.
Next, came two Spanish New Testaments which were printed before the Inquisitors Index of 1559 declared them to be forbidden. The first of these was the version of Francisco de Enzina. He was a contemporary of Phillip Melancthon, who suggested that he translate the New Testament into the Spanish tongue. Francisco did just that using the Greek text of Erasmus, and was able to see its publication in Antwerp in 1543. But, the Catholic Inquisitors were able to capture and destroy almost every copy of this translation in more than a year of its printing.
The next Spanish New Testament was that of Juan Perez de Pineda, who published his translation in 1556 in Geneva, Switzerland. The following year he published the book of Psalms.
Juan Perez is a name to be remembered in Spanish Bible History, because his determination led to the printing of the entire Bible in Spanish. After his New Testament was printed, Perez raised money for the work of translating the entire Bible into Spanish. But, before he could begin this task, he died in 1566. At his death, this money was put aside in a fund for that specific purpose. Eventually, this money was made available to Cassiodoro de Reina, and he used it to publish the first entire Spanish Bible in 1569.
The entire Old Testament unto that time had not been translated into the Spanish vernacular. However, in 1553 a Jewish press at Ferrara printed a literal translation which was produced by two Spanish speaking Jews, Jeronimo of Vargas, and Duarte Pinel. This version was made word-for-word from the Hebrew, and therefore not easy to read because of its poor syntax. But, it did, prove useful to the work of Cassiodoro de Reina in his translation of the whole Bible.
A HISTORY OF REINA AND VALERA
CASSIODORO DE REINA
The first complete translation of the entire Bible into Spanish was first printed in 1569 in Basil, Switzerland. It was the work of Cassiodoro de Reina, and known as "The Bible of the Bear," because of the drawing of a bear looking for honey printed on the title page. It can be seen below.
Records from the Inquisition tell us that Cassiodoro de Reina was born in Montemolin, Spain in the early 1500's. As he grew older he desired to study for the clergy. Although the dates are unknown, we know that he attended the University of Seville and was ordained a priest.
Cassiodoro was also known to be one of a group of twelve monks (as well as Cipriano de Valera) from the Monastery of San Isiodoro del Campo near Seville, Spain.
From 1550-1557, this monastery was profoundly influenced by the Sevillian evangelistic movement, and exposed to the teachings of Martin Luther, which spread throughout Europe like a wild fire. It was during this time that Cassiodoro saw the corruption in the Catholic church and gladly accepted the views of the reformation. When Cassiodoro and his companions embraced these ideals, they were branded as "Dogmatists," and ridiculed by the Catholic church.
In 1557, being warned by friends, Cassiodoro and his cohorts fled to Geneva, Switzerland to escape persecution and almost certain death from the bloody Inquisition.
While in Geneva, Cassiodoro discovered a small Sevillian community of Spanish speaking Protestants. He began to preach in a small church there and was eventually asked to pastor. Because of his bold preaching, leadership ability, and stand against religious tyranny he became known as "The Moses of the Spaniards."
While a pastor in Geneva, Cassiodoro lifted a voice of protest and censure against John Calvin and the city of Geneva for having condemned Servetus to be burnt at the stake. He declared that Geneva had become "a New Rome" because of Calvin's dictator-like leadership, and he preached openly against it.
It turned out that the Catholic church was not his only enemy. Being bothered by John Calvin, and still threatened by the Inquisitors, Cassiodoro had to abandon his flock of Spanish Protestants and travel to England in September of 1563, to escape persecution. Afterwards, Cassiodoro, with several of his fellow monks, fled to Frankfurt, then to Paris, and finally to Amberes, narrowly escaping the Spanish Catholic Inquisitor Agents each time.
Cassiodoro's life consisted of two main desires. First, to produce a Spanish version of the Bible to inform the common people, and secondly, to be a pastor again.
In 1565, he tried to attain one of those goals. He asked to pastor a congregation of French speakers in Strasburg. But, meddling people in Geneva and Heidelburg disappointed that hope. With that door closed, he continued his dream of translating the entire Bible into Castilian Spanish.
Because he was constantly running from Catholic Inquisitors, Cassiodoro did his translating quickly, fearing that he might be caught and the work would go unfinished. Many times he used the work of others in his translation, in order to complete it sooner. For example, he copied the last six books of Perez's 1556 New Testament word for word. He also included the summaries of the chapters the exact same way that Perez had written them.
Reina also used the Latin Vulgate and other corrupt texts in his work, and for this reason it wasn't perfect. That's why Cipriano de Valera spent over 20 years revising it, and trying to rid it of the corrupt Catholic readings.
After finishing the entire Bible, Cassiodoro de Reina was eventually able to obtain some of the money that Perez had saved for the printing of the Spanish Bible. In 1566, he began talking with a printer in Basil named Oporino, and agreed with him to produce 1000 copies. But, before it could be brought to the press, Oporino died. The job then went to a man named Thomas Guarin, who in turn subcontracted the work to a man named Biener. It was this man who printed the entire Bible in the Spanish tongue in 1569.
An interesting note is that Reina's translation also included these 10 Apocraphyl books:
Prayer of Manasseh, II Ezra, III Ezra, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, I Machabees, and II Machabees.
After his Bible was published, Cassiodoro wrote two Bible commentaries in 1573, one on the book of John, and the other on the book Matthew.
Also, after the completion of the Bible, he had time to work toward his goal of being a Pastor again. He did just that. Eventually he became Pastor of a Lutheran community of French speaking people in Frankfurt, Germany, where he pastored til his death.
On the fifteenth of March in the year 1594, Cassiodoro de Reina died. His wife Ana outlived him by 18 years, and his eldest son Marcos, followed him as the pastor of the church.
Cassiodoro de Reina
CIPRIANO DE VALERA
Cipriano de Valera is best known as the revisor and editor of Reina's 1569 translation of the Bible into Castilian Spanish. Although he printed his own New Testament in 1596, he is best remembered for his revision of the entire Bible of Cassiodoro de Reina that was first printed in 1602.
Cipriano was born in Old Valera close to Seville, Spain. By the preface of his edition of the Bible, we are able to deduce the date of his birth, where he tells us:
"I being 50 years old began this work, and in this year of 1602, it has been pleasing to my God to bring it to light, as I am now 70 years old (this is the age that my strength is weakened, the memory is obstructed, and the eyes are dimmed), having spent 20 years in it.
Thus, if his work was published in 1602, and going back 70 years, it would mean that he was born in 1531 or 1532.
After studying six years of Philosophy, and graduating with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Seville, Cipriano joined the Monastery of San Isidoro de Campo where he met Cassiodoro de Reina.
In October of 1558, while seeking refuge from the Inquisition, Valera arrived in Geneva a few months before his companions. In Geneva, he was not able to satisfy Calvin's "Theocracy," so he quickly went to England where religious freedom had recently been reestablished by Queen Elizabeth I, upon her rising to the throne. By her, many sought asylum in that country and among them were the monks of the Monastery of San Isiodoro de Campo. Once they arrived in London, they congregated at the church of St. Mary Axe, where Cassiodoro de Reina was soon named pastor.
It is in London that Valera's name became affiliated with the translation of the Bible. In a letter dated in 1563, Valera was named a collaborator with Cassiodoro de Reina in the translation of the Bible, as an editor and corrector of proofs.
On February 9, 1559, he joined the University of Cambridge thanks to his academic degree obtained in Seville, and because of his great knowledge. On the 12th of June of 1563 he obtained a degree in the Master of Arts.
After his graduation in 1563, Valera became a tutor to one Nicolas Walsh, an Irish man. Cipriano's desire for the common man to have a Bible in his language is clearly seen by his convincing Mr. Walsh to translate the Bible into his native Gaelic tongue. Walsh agreed to do just that, but met with a violent death in 1589 and was unable to complete his work.
After Walsh died, Cipriano de Valera took the job of Schoolmaster, teaching children in London. It is here that he began to publish tracts. His first tract was published in 1588, and was entitled, "Two tracts: the first of the Pope..., the second of the Mass..." It looked at these two Catholic doctrines from a Bible standpoint and exposed them as heretical and wrong.
Then, in 1594 he published a tract called, "A tract to confirm to the poor captives of Berveria about the Catholic and Old Faith and Christian Religion." In it, he warned about the false doctrines of the Catholic church, and exhorted people to return to true Christianity according to the Bible.
But, when he was 70 years old he published his greatest work: The Bible. Valera did not pretend to have a new Bible translation. On the contrary, he calls it a "Second Edition" in his title page. Valera did not translate the Bible into Spanish. He only revised the 1569 bible. This was a much needed project because Cassiodoro de Reina put his translation together in such a hurried manner that there were many mistakes.
Like Reina's version, Valera's edition contained the Apocrypha also (as it was illegal in those days to print a Bible without it). However, it was inserted in the middle of the Old and New Testaments, as in the King James Version. He explains the historical and dogmatical reasons why they should be in a separate section in his Preface.
Another interesting note, is that Valera's version contained three more Apocryphal books than the 1569 translation. They were: Additions to Daniel, History of Susanna, and Bel the Dragon.
In the center of the Title page of the Valera revision, the text of 1Cor. 3:6 is written which says:
"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
Valera was probably insinuating that the first edition carried through by Cassiodoro, was the seed of the word of God, and the newly revised edition of Valera was the water to the former.
It is certain that the work of Valera is not at all the first Bible translation in the Castilian tongue, but it has come to be the standard Protestant version of Spain and Hispanic America, being the most read and widely distributed Castilian Bible. It is commonly known as the Reina-Valera Version today.
Below is the title page picture of Valera's revision as it looked when it was printed in 1602.
Cipriano de Valera
Note: Cipriano de Valera did not finish his task of correcting Reina's work. In the preface of his revision, he encouraged others to finish what he did not, and to make sure all Critical Texts of men were removed so that it would read entirely with the Textus Receptus. For this reason, there were many revisions that followed. However, most of them could not resist using the Critical Texts of man instead of only the Textus Recetpus. This is why there are so many Spanish Bible Versions today.
After Cipriano de Valera's Bible was printed in 1602, it became the standard Bible for all Spanish speaking people, and was known as the Valera revision of the Bible. But, since 1602 until this present time, there have been many different revisions of Valera's work, as well as several more translations of the Bible into Spanish.
In 1708 Sebastian de Enzina published a New Testament revision of the 1569 text of Reina. It was printed in Amsterdam, Holland.
A Spanish New Testament translated by Anselmo Petite appeared in Valladolid, in 1785. It was condoned by the Index as being acceptable. (Obviously it was a Catholic Bible).
Two more Roman Catholic translations followed. One was made by Father Felipe Scio de San Miguel, who produced the entire Bible in Spanish in ten volumes. It included the Apocrypha, and was printed in Valencia sometime between 1790-93. The other was translated by a Catholic friar named Father Felix de Torres Amat, who produced his version a few years later. It consisted of 8 volumes .
In 1806, the British and Foreign Bible Society made a revision of the New Testament using Valera's 1602 edition. They hired a man named Uzielli. He was a talented interpreter and translator, who resided in London. The Bible Society edited it many times during the following twenty years. They changed the spelling of many words in 1813. And, in 1817, "a new and corrected edition" of the 1813 text was made. Then, a man named Blanco White revised this version in 1820. Later George Borrow printed an edition in Madrid, Spain in 1837 (according to some, this revision was based on Scio's Catholic text).
The Bible Society of Glasgow published their New Testament revision in 1832, although no one knows who did the revising. This New Testament was reprinted in 1845 by the American Bible Society and again in 1849 by the Bible Society of Glasgow.
In 1858, another New Testament was revised under the authority of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and was printed many times. Later they completed the Old Testament, and printed a complete Spanish Bible in 1861.
There were others during this time that attempted a revision. H.W. Rule, a Methodist, translated and printed the Gospels, in Gibraltar in 1841, and other parts of his New Testament were printed later in London.
Some Baptist versions of the New Testament were printed in Edinburgh between 1855 and 1860.
In 1837, Dr. Lorenzo Lucena, prepared a New Testament for an organization named, "The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." This version was printed again in 1862, and contained modernized diction and spelling.
In 1862 a New Testament revision based on the Valera edtion was introducted and printed in Malaga under the patronage of the National Bible Society of Scotland. However, it has been said to be only a reprint of the 1832 edition.
But, 1865 is most noted for the publication of a revision of the Reina Valera Bible by the American Bible Society. The work began in 1861. It was done by Angel H. Mora from Spain, and a Rev. H.B. Pratt, an American Presbyterian missionary in Bogata. Most of his revision consisted of a very small portion of the Old Testament and a lot of the New. They made over 100,000 changes in orthography and calligraphy. And, many changes in the text itself. What they produced was a Spanish Bible that was more in line with both the English King James and the Reina Valera of 1602, however it was mixed with some "Critical Text" readings. (More about this version in the last part of this booklet).
In 1866, The British and Foreign Bible Society printed a version translated by Lucena, which differed only slightly in the New Testament from the 1865 version. And, in 1869, they produced the entire Bible which was a reprint of "The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge" revision of the 1862 with a few variations.
Most revisions in the early to mid 1800's were mainly of the New Testament. But, in 1863, a Spanish Quaker named Louis Usoz translated and published the book of Isaiah. It would later be used in a revision by the Trinitarian Bible Society.
The entire Spanish Bible was corrected under the patronage of the American Bible Society, and was published in 1850. It used as its basis the Scio (Roman Catholic) Version, the Valera of 1602, Hebrew and Greek texts, the American Version, and the French version of Martin Luther. It was printed in a bilingual version with Spanish on one side, and English on the other.
In 1874, the Trinitarian Bible Society printed their version of the complete Bible in Barcelona, Spain. They used the text of the 1862. And, in 1877 the British and Foreign Bible Society printed the same version with revised references.
The Trinitarian Bible Society began another revision in 1876, calling on Jorge Lawerence to be the editor. He used the Psalms of Pratt's revision and Usoz's translation of Isaiah. This version was printed in 1883.
In 1886, The British and Foreign Bible Society printed the Gospel according to Luke, prepared by E. Reeves Palmer. It was based on the Textus Receptus, with reference to Tishendorf, Alford, and the corrupt Greek text underlying the English Revised Version. In 1887, the entire New Testament was completed and published.
Three years later, in 1890 the afore mentioned Bible society produced the entire Bible. They printed the text in paragraphs to make it look more like the English R.V.
1893 marks the year that H.B. Pratt (who worked on the 1865) published a version called "La Versión Moderna" or "The Modern Version." He used the Critical Texts of man, rather than the Textus Receptus in most of his work.
In 1905 yet another translation was made by both Juan B. Cabrera and Cipriano Tornos in Madrid, Spain. But, it was only of the Old Testament.
1909 brought about a version that is still used today. It was printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Their motive for producing it was as they stated, "to correct the numerous corruptions of the 1865 edition of the American Bible Society revision." They claimed their motive was to bring the Bible more in line with the original 1602 version. However, they themselves used corrections made by two men named Cabrara and Tornos to standardized their texts.
This revision was made by the British Foreign Bible Society, and the American Bible Society. They used a group of Spaniards which represented the following Latin American nations which included Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Argentina. The names of the men were: Dr. Victoriano D. Baez, Dr. Carlos W. Dress, Dr. Enrique C. Thomson, Dr. Juan Howland, and Dr. Francisco Diez.
There are some today that defend the 1909 as "The Bible" in Spanish. This is because they say it is very close to the Reina Valera 1602 edition. (Although there many differences). Plus, they claim that it is also more easily attainable (in comparison to those before it), and easier to memorize than the other Spanish translations (1960 and after).
The next major version of the Bible in Spanish came in 1960, by the Bible Society of Latin America, which was supposed to be a revision of the old Reina-Valera Bible. This version is quickly becoming the most circulated Spanish version in the world today, inspite of the fact that it does contain many mistakes, as well as many readings that follow the Critical Greek Text of Westcott and Hort.
Although it claims to be taken from the right manuscripts, the facts prove differently as it follows along with the English Revised Version and the Spanish Catholic Bible on many occasions. (More about this version will be given in the next chapter).
Not long after the 1960 version was printed, several subsequent revisions of it followed in 1966, 1970, and 1977. The last being the more popular of the three, and saw much printing.
Then, in 1979 the first edition of the "Version Popular," also know as "God Speaks Today," was printed. It has been called an equivalent to the English NIV by some. Its second edition was printed in 1983. And, a third edition was distributed in 1994, all under the name of the "Popular Version" of the Spanish Bible.
In 1986, the "Reina Valera Actualizada" or the RVA was published, and then revised in 1987 and 1989. It was translated from corrupt Greek manuscripts, and lacks many verses. For example, Acts 8:37 is completely missing in this version.
To keep up with sales, 1995 brought on another revision of the Reina-Valera Bible, named by The Bible Society of America as "the latest version of the classic Reina Valera text." They also say that it is "much easier to understand," which is usually the standard alibi for making another translation.
1999 brought in yet another translation. It is called the Nueva Version Internacional or the "New International Version." It claims to be a new translation of the Bible that has been translated by "an elaborate group of expert Biblisists," but mostly it just follows the English NIV (however not completely).
The Spanish Nueva Version Internacional or the NVI as it's known was started in 1989 and was translated by a great number of different denominations. It drew on the expertise of 20 renowned "Bible scholars" from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina, and Puerto Rico, as well as several other nations across the Americas. It also used the corrupt Greek texts of Vaticanus and Siniaticus.
The translation was a $1.5 million dollar project undertaken by the International Bible Society. And, it was done to make a version that was as "contemporary as possible." Margaret Ramirez, Religious writer for the New York Times, says that "the NVI seeks to dethrone the venerable Reina-Valera." The excuse is that it's "archaic."
So, these are the "new" translations up to date. Now let's look at the most popular of these versions today among modern evangelicals, the 1960 revision.
THE 1960 REVISION
Probably the two most widely used Spanish Bibles by missionaries and pastors today are the editions of the 1909 Reina Valera, and the 1960 revision of the Reina Valera. Probably the most widely distributed of these today is the 1960. However, it is far from outselling the true 1602 text (and variants from it), which was used more throughout history, and has seen more fruit. But, today the push is on the 1960 revision. It's sold in just about every Christian bookstore in every Spanish speaking country, but is it the purest words of God in the Spanish language? Was the revision made to make the Spanish Bible more in line with the Textus Receptus manuscripts or the Critical text? Was another revision needed at such a late date? To answer these questions, let's look at the history of the 1960 revision, its translators, and its text.
The Origin of the 1960 Revision
The idea of a new revision of the Standard Reina Valera Bible began in 1950. It was the brainchild of both the British and Foreign Bible Society and the American Bible Society. (They are known in Latin America as Los Sociedades Biblicas en America Latina).
These two Bible societies decided that they would find out if there was a need for a new revision of the Reina Valera Bible. They started by cutting pages out of printed Spanish Bibles, and taping them to larger sheets of paper. Then, they sent these out to people of all classes, both highly educated pastors and barely literate laymen, and asked them to write in the margins any and all changes which they felt should be made. They were surprised by how many people responded. They received more than 1,700 marked up pages, and lists of proposed changes. With this information, the Bible Society decided to go ahead with the project.
Some suggestions for the need of a new translation were: (1) the elimination of obsolete accents and the simplification of the spelling of proper names, (2) the correction of awkward grammatical constructions which confused the reader and made for difficulty in public reading of the scriptures, and (3) to bring the Reina Valera text more into line with the contemporary language.
However, there were also many objections to this revision from pastors all over. They argued that the Reina-Valera text was fine the way it was, and no revision was needed because they had God's word in their language already. But, there cries were quickly drowned out, by professors in seminaries and in many Bible schools who urged the Bible Societies to consider a larger scale revision of the Bible.
Eugene A. Nida, the representative of the American Bible Society for the 1960 revision said, "The better educated people naturally tended to desire more radical changes, while the lesser educated were basically suspicious of alterations."
Inspite of the opposition, they went ahead with the project, and formed a committee of six men to undertake the work. Once the committee was formed, they had full authority. The Bible Society representatives were only advisors to them, and had no vote on decisions.
The work began with 140 "consultants" (80 for the New Testament, and 60 for the Old Testament). They were chosen on the basis of their personal competence in Bible studies, their geographical distribution, and their denominational affiliation. These consultants were asked for their comments and suggestions for revision. Almost seventy five percent of the consultants responded with over 10,000 changes. All of these were carefully classified and considered by the committee. During the work by the committee, these consultants were regularly contacted for advice. In addition there were two special consultants who read the Bible from the stand point of style, and made corrections respectively.
The men on the committee did there work seven hours a day. After work was completed, they held meetings which consisted of four sessions of six weeks each. They were held during the months of January and February in 1950-1953. In each session, they met in different places (San Jose, Costa Rica; Lima, Peru; and Mexico City, Mexico twice).
At each of the meetings, representatives from both Bible Societies were present. They were John H. Twentyman, of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and Eugene A. Nida, of the American Bible Society.
Beginning with the third session, there was a regular secretary (Percy C. Denyer), who recorded the decisions of the committee. He was also responsible for making mechanical changes, proof reading, and preparing the copy for the printer. Later he made an exhaustive concordance to go along with the text.
Once the version was complete, it had to be edited, and proofread. The job of editing was three fold: (1) Orthographic Alterations (which included punctuation, proper names, and accents. (2) Consistent use of Terms (or making parallel verses match), and (3) Consistency of Application of Principle (or the spacing between words for type setting).
The proofreading was done by five different persons in addition to the printer. All of these proofs were then sent to the Secretary who looked over them, and then to the printer.
The text was then published in 1960, under the name of the Reina-Valera revision of 1960.
The Translators of the 1960 Revision
The men who did the translating of the 1960 revision consisted of two Methodists, three Presbyterians, and one Baptist. But, the men were not only chosen because of their denominational affiliation, but because of their academic knowledge in Biblical studies. Three of the men were seminary presidents, three were distinguished preachers and orators, and one was a well known poet in evangelical circles.
The basic work of the revision was done by: Juan Diaz (of Mexico), Honorio Espinoza (of Chile), Francisco Estrello (of Mexico), Alfonso Lloreda (of Venezuela), Henry Parra (of Columbia), and Alfonso Rodriquez (of Cuba). But, Honorio Espinozo and Francisco Estrello died before the publication of the edition.
Each of these men on the committee were paid for their work and compensated for their time spent in the sessions.
The Text of the 1960
The 1960 Revision Committee used all different texts, as well as other sources to do their work. According to Jose Flores (one of the consultants on the project) the Textus Receptus was not always followed in the translation of this version. I quote from a source that translated the following from his book "El Texto del Nuevo Testamento," published by CLIE, 1977 page 232,
"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, 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."
According to Flores, the translators used the American "RSV," "ASV," "RV," and more. These translations were done from the critical Greek Texts of Westcott and Hort (the corrupt Greek Texts), and the 1960 revisor's dependence upon them can be seen in the translation itself. Just two examples are as follows.
In Revelation 22:14, the Spanish 1960 reads,
Bienaventurados los que lavan sus ropas, para tener derecho ál arbol de la vida, y para entrar por las puertas en la ciudad.
In English this reads, "Blessed are they that wash their robes..." This is exactly how the English RV reads, and it reads so because it came from the Critical Westcott and Hort Text. The correct reading (according to the Textus Receptus or Received Text) is "Blessed are they that do his commandments..." as the King James Bible has it. This is also how the Spanish 1909, 1865, and 1602 TR read (they follow the Textus Receptus in this verse).
Another example would be Revelation chapter 14 and verse 1. We read,
"Despúes miré, y he aquí el Cordero estaba en pie sobre el monte de Sion, y con él ciento cuarenta y cuatro mil, que tenían el nombre de él y el de su Padre escrito en la frente."
This verse says in English "...the name of him and his father written on his forehead." We have two names on their forehead in this verse in the 1960. But according to the King James and the Received Text (Textus Receptus), the verse reads "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads." There is only one name, and not two like the 1960 Spanish version has. So where this extra name come from? It comes from the corrupt Greek manuscripts of course, and if you'll check the English RSV, RV, ASV, etc, you'll see that they too have two names rather than one.
Thus, it is undeniable that the 1960 Spanish revision was influenced by the English RV, RSV, ASV, etc. And, that it did have access to, and did use the Critical texts of Westcott and Hort in its translation. Many more examples could be listed, and in the back of this booklet one will find a more thorough list.
Although the 1909 is not perfect (as it too follows the Critical Text in a few places as well), it is not as bad as the 1960. And although the 1865, in a general sense, is better than them both, it too has a few problems, as it followed the corrupt texts of Tischendorf, Lachmann, and others in some readings. For this reason, many Pastors, Missionaries, and Churches as of late, have come to the conclusion that there is a need to revise yet again the Spanish Bible. Their goal is not to use the "critical texts" that modern scholarship is most fond of. But, to return to the Majority Texts (Textus Receptus) that the King James Bible came from.
Many have undertaken the task themselves to try to "clean up" the Spanish Bible and make it read more in line with the blessed King James Bible in English. A few years back, a man by the name of McVey tried to give us a perfect Spanish New Testament by translating it entirely from the King James Bible. But, when he printed his New Testament, many ridiculed him as he translated words like "suffer," which mean "allow" in old English, as "sufrir" in Spanish (which means to suffer physical pain), and "Holy Ghost" from English to "Fantasma Santa" in Spanish (which literally means a "holy spook").
Although his translation wasn't perfect in the eyes of some, many applauded his efforts and his motive for trying to get the pure words of God in the Spanish Language. And, many more tried to do the same.
In Broken Arrow, Arizona, a group led by Pastor Clyde Thacker proclaimed the need for a perfect Spanish Bible. They stood behind the New Testament of Enzinas and began printing it. They also printed a Spanish-English parallel edition of John and Romans to distribute.
Missionary John Sawyer, editor of the Martyrs Bible Series, also desired a pure Spanish Bible, but stressed that we should return not only to the 1602 revision of Valera himself, but also the 1865, the King James, and the Textus Receptus.
A group in the state of Maryland, entitled The Global Bible Society, got on the band wagon as well, and with Pastor J. Paul Reno they tried to revise the Valera. (I have no information if they ever did).
Then around the turn of the millenium, the Trinitarian Bible Society in England not only worked on, but published an entire Spanish Bible revision that was "based upon the Greek Textus Receptus" in the New Testament. (Although they did not do a very thorough job of revision).
Finally, another group in Monterrey, Mexico published a New Testament under the name of the 1602 TR after working on it for more than nine years. (They now have the entire Bible available and it's called the Valera 1602 Purified Spanish Bible). They not only used the Textus Receptus and the King James for their revision, but they went back to Valera's 1602. They also diligently checked Enzinas, Ferrera, Reina and more (all Spanish versions before 1602). Their goal was to give the pure words of God to the common Spanish speaking people, and they did their best to do just that. They also stressed the importance of the church protecting and keeping God's words as opposed to giving them away to "liberal" scholars or "Bible Societies" to change and corrupt them.
Their edition in my opinion is the best and purest word of God in the Spanish language today as it corrected those little errors in the 1865, as well as brought the Spanish Bible not only more in line with the King James Bible in English, but the Textus Receptus as well.
To receive a copy of the New Testament of this 1602 TR, or for more information about it, write to to me at the following email address:
or write to:
Pastor Raul Reyes
Iglesia Bautista Biblica de La Gracia Email:
Apartado Postal 209 firstname.lastname@example.org
Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
So, what will become of the Spanish Bible? Will men keep on messing with it? Do we have a perfect Bible in Spanish already? Did we? Or will we finally get a perfect word of God in the Spanish language like we have in the English King James? These questions must be asked. And, more importantly, they must be answered. But, all I can do is give you a brief history of the Spanish Bible Versions, and pray that God will open your eyes to the issue.
As a Missionary to Honduras (Spanish speaking people), it is my desire to find the purest words of God in the Spanish language to preach and teach to the people. This would of course come from the Textus Receptus, and agree with the infallible King James in English, while still honoring the heritage of the 1602 Valera.
The Bible is the Spanish language has a long history of being revised, tampered with, and changed. Many have taken the task of revision upon themselves, and many have changed the texts over the years. What started out as a desire to get the Bible into the hands of the common man, has turned into a money making industry with "scholars" claiming that "Newer and Better" Greek manuscripts are being found everyday, and you can't have God's word unless you get their "Newest version." But, do we need yet more Spanish Bible versions? I say, "No!" All we need is one standard. We need a pure Spanish Bible that comes from the Textus Receptus, the King James Bible, and is based on the 1602 Reformation text, and not the corrupt, Catholic, "Critical Texts" of unsaved men.
The dream of first printing the entire Bible into Spanish became a reality in 1569 when Cassiodoro de Reina published his Bible in Spanish. But, his translation was done quickly, and sloppily, and had many mistakes in it. It was revised however, over a 20 year period and printed in 1602 by Cipriano de Valera. This revision is known as the Valera Bible and became known as the standard Protestant Spanish Bible for the next 400 years.
The only problem was that it was printed in Old English style print. Where an "s" is an "f", and a "u" is a "v", etc. This is hard for a Spanish speaking person to read today. So, in the early 1800's, the spelling was changed to the modern style. Only those that did the revising, could not be happy with just changing the spelling only. They could not resist changing many words as well. Because of this, many different versions followed with many more different changes.
In 1865 a version was produced by Mora and Pratt. Their translation was from the 1602 edition, and the English King James. Their desire was to make the Spanish Bible more in line with the standard English Protestant Standard text (the KJV).
Their version saw the printing of 452,000 copies and was distributed by the American Bible Society. It is much closer to the King James Bible than both the 1909 and 1960 versions, as it reads along with the English King James in many places. The only problem is that it is not readily available today. Plus, it too is not completely perfect as it follows some Critical Text readings (like taking out "Lord" in Acts 8:16), and has a few "problem texts" (for example using the the word "Lucero" or Lucifer when speaking of Jesus Christ in 2 Peter 1:19). However, lately a movement has resurged to print and distribute this version again as "The word of God in Spanish." But how readily available it becomes is yet to be seen.
In 1909, a new version was then published by the British and Foriegn Bible Society. It took the 1865 edition, and made even more changes. They also used corrections made by Cabrara and Tornos. And, in the end they made a version that is still used today, and is known by the name of the "Antigua Versión" in many Spanish speaking countries. It does not read exactly like the English King James, but the text is closer to the 1602 and Textus Receptus than the 1960 revision which followed it. Also, it is much easier to attain than the 1865 edition. But, is it the purest words of God in the Spanish tongue? What about where it to reads with the Critical text in many places? And what about the fact that many Christian bookstores are not selling it anymore?
In 1960 yet another revision was printed. It was made by men that claimed it was the Reina-Valera text, however, they changed many words and word order. (According to Jose Flores who helped in the translation, they introduced over 10,000 textual changes into the text itself.) What they produced was a version of the Bible that was yet farther removed from the Textus Receptus, than the 1909, and the 1865, as it inserted many "Critical Text" readings.
Not only that, there are three main problems with the 1960 revision. First, it omits words that are in the Majority Greek Texts. Second, it adds words that are not in the Majority of Greek Texts, and third it changes words so that the true meaning is changed all under the vice of a technique called "dynamic equivalence," which teaches that the actual words themselves aren't important, but only the "message" that the author was trying to convey. (I don't have time to go into detail about every one of these, because this is brief history of the Spanish Bible. But, at the end of this booklet, you'll find a brief list of some major errors in the 1960 version).
Also, the motive of the 1960 was different. The translators of the King James, and the Reina Valera of 1569 and 1602 wanted a bible that the comman man could read in his language. They didn't copyright their Bible, and they gave glory to God and not to man. Their motive was pure. They desired for people to have God's word that they could read and copy.
But the motive of the 1960 revision was to change the Bible in order to make it read the way people wanted it too. They used all denominations to achieve this task. The 1960 revision is an ecumenical Bible that gives glory to man instead of God. As a result, it reads along with Catholic Bibles in many key places. And, because it's copyrighted, one must pay to print it (not so with the 1865, 1909, or 1602 TR).
The 1960 revision not only used corrupt Greek texts in its translation, but also started a string of new versions that followed after it, whose fruit was to cause division in the body of Christ, and to cast doubt on God's ability to preserve his word! It also makes man and his "opinions" the final authority instead of God.
As you probably know, the King James Bible is God's word in English. It was first printed in 1611. Let's look at that date again: 1611. What's interesting to note is that 1+6+1+1= 9, and 9 is the number of fruit in the Bible. There are 9 fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22,23.
So, would it be to far fetched to try to find a Spanish Bible whose text came from one whose date of publishing added up to 9. There is only one: the 1602, for 1+6+0+2 = 9.
In English, the Bible that God has used to bring forth fruit is the King James Bible of 1611. (Where the word of a king is, there is power... Ecc. 8:4). In Spanish the Bible that God used for 400 years came from the Reina Valera of 1602 (in various revisions).
Both the King James Bible, and the Reina-Valera Bible of 1602 have a similar history. They are both Protestant Bibles, they both come from the right texts, they both have more fruit produced from them than do the newer versions, and they both are attacked as being "archaic and out of date."
Although it is true that the Reina Valera Bible is not a King James Bible in Spanish, it is the text from which all Spanish speaking people recieved the Bible in their language.
Thus, would it not be important to look to the 1602 as the root from which the true Spanish text came? Would it not be the starting place in order to find where the fountain sprang up? If it is true that there is no perfect Bible in the Spanish Language, then wouldn't you go to the 1602, the King James, and the Textus Receptus in order to get one?
As we have seen, the Reina Valera edition of 1602 is the starting point, and the main text that God has blessed in the Spanish tongue. Inspite of the fact that it's not perfect, it did come from the right manuscripts as a whole, and was the work of a man that had and believed the truth. Not only that, it has been the most widely distributed Bible text in history (with some changes to its text). All "revisions" of it had to retain the name Valera before the Spanish speaking people would even consider it to be a Bible.
But, where is the original 1602 text today? It has been dissected, changed, corrected, and messed with many times. So, how do we know which revision of it is the right one to use?
Most people, who are Pro King James and Textus Receptus, know that the only two versions that are left today that are close to the original 1602 Spanish Bible and that are available are the 1909 and the 1865. Both the 1909 and 1865 read along with the original 1602 Valera. However, the 1865 translation reads closer to the 1602, the King James, and the Textus Receptus. But both the 1865 and the 1909 Spanish Bibles have some problems in them as well. They are not perfect, and contain some Critical Text readings.
So, what should the Spanish speaking pastor, missionary, or church member do who are honestly seeking for the pure words of God in his language?
As a Missionary to Honduras, all I know to do is the best I can, by using the best available Bible I can get my hands on in the Spanish Language, that I can distribute and give to others.
For me, that is the 1602 TR. However, it is difficult for many people to obtain this revision of the 1602. Others have claimed the 1865 is not as bad as the 1909, but this too is difficult to obtain. Thus, I would recommend that if you can't obtain anything else, then buy a 1909 as it is much better than the corrupt 1960 Spanish version, that has saturated the Spanish Bible market.
Below are some addresses of places where you can obtain the 1909 "Antigua" revision.
La Liga Biblica (The Bible League)
P.O. Box 28000
Chicago, IL 60628
1 800 334-7017 Bible Order # B110-0009
American Bible Society
P.O. Box 2854
Tulsa, OK 74101
1 (800) 32-Bible Bible Order # 103314
Lifeway Christian Store
960 Chelsea St.
El Paso, TX 79903
Sociedad Biblica (Have the original 1602 reprints)
Santa Engracia, 133
28003 Madrid, Spain
Trinitarian Bible Society
217 Kingston Road
London, Sw 19 3NN, England
The 1865 Spanish Bible of Mora and Pratt is now available at the time of this writing, and can be ordered from the following address if you are interested in obtaining a copy:
North Avenue Baptist Church
711 North Ave
Whitesboro, Texas 76273
or go to:
Both the 1865 and 1909 Spanish Bibles are not perfect, and contains some Critical Text readings. Thus, the 1602 TR (also known as the 1602 Purified) is better than them both as it follows only the Textus Receptus and Hebrew Masoretic. This is the version that I use as it is the purest words of God in the Spanish language that I have found, and it reads with the King James and the Textus Receptus, while still honoring the work of Valera and his Bible of 1602.
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this revision, write to me at the following address:
Robert Breaker III
740 Mike Gibson Lane
Milton, Florida 32583
Or write to my Pastor in Mexico at the following address:
Pastor Raul Reyes
Iglesia Bautista Biblica de La Gracia
Apartado Postal 209
Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
MAJOR ERRORS IN THE 1960 SPANISH VERSION
Some Doctrinal Attacks in the 1960:
1 Peter 2:2 Says one must grow up in salvation (Teaches works for salvation!)
1 Peter 3:21 Removes the fact that water baptism is only a figure of salvation.
1 Cor. 9:27 Uses the word "eliminado" instead of "reprobado" thus teaching that one can lose their salvation.
Luke 2:22 Says that a sacrifice was offered for "ellos" (them). Teaches that Christ was a sinner and needed a sacrifice. But this sacrifice was for Mary (See Leviticus 12:1-8).
Matthew 5:22 Omits "locamente" o "sin razón." Thus making Christ a sinner when he became angry in Mark 3:5.
Galatians 5:4 Says someone can be "loosed from Christ" (os desligasteís). In other words, loose their salvation.
Romans 10:9 Says that you are saved when you confess "Jesus is the Lord." Satan will do this too, but he is not saved (Phil. 2:9-11; Rom. 14:11). KJV says "confess the Lord Jesus."
Revelation 19:8 Says "las acciones justas de los santos." Infers works for salvation.
Some Examples of Where the 1960 Reads With the English RSV:
Revelation 14:1 Changes "the name of him" to "the name of him and his father."
Rev. 22:14 Inserts "lavan sus ropas" (wash their robes) in place of "guardan sus mandamientos" (keep his commandments).
Job 21:13 Changes "in a moment" to "in peace" (en paz).
Hebrews 3:16 Questions if all the Israelites went out of the wilderness or not.
Blatant Lies in the 1960:
Mark 1:2 Says "Isaiah" said what is quoted when it is the quote of two prophets and not Isaiah only. (Malachi is quoted in vs 3).
2 Samuel 21:19 The 1960 Says that "Elhanán" killed Goliath. But we know it was David according to 1 Samuel 21:8,9.
Some Examples of "Dynamic Equivalence" in the 1960:
1 Samuel 5:6 "Hemorroids" is changed to "tumor."
Luke 2:26 "Christ" changed to "Ungido del Señor" (annointed of the Lord).
Titus 3:10 "Heretic" changed to "a man who causes division."
Ezra 2:58 "Nethinims" changed to "servants of the temple."
Genesis 49:1 "Dias postereros" changed to "dias venideros."
Num. 23:22; Deut. 33:17; Job 39:9,10; Ps. 92:10, etc. Everytime the Bible says "unicorn," the 1960 changes it to "búfalo" (buffalo).
2 Peter 1:13,14 "Tabernacle" is changed to "cuerpo" (body).
Some Strange Readings in the 1960 Spanish Bible:
Job 11:12 Says a man is born of a donkey!
1 Thes. 4:4 Tells a man to discipline his wife (esposa) rather than himself (vaso).
2 Kings 10:25 Calls the altar of the pagan god Baal (Beelzebub) "Holy." Baal is not holy!!!
Jeremiah 5:17 In this verse in the 1960, God commands Israel to eat their children.
Galatians 5:12 Pauls wishes someone to be mutilated in this verse.
Some Pro-Catholic Readings in the 1960:
Acts 19:27 The word "venerar" (venerate) is used. This is a Catholic word.
Luke 21:5 Changes "dones" (gifts) to "ofrendas votivas" (another Catholic term).
John 1:42 Peter is called "Pedro" (a rock). While the 1909 calles him "Piedra" a stone.
Some Omissions in the 1960:
Isaiah 9:3 Removes the word "No."
Romans 10:15 Subtracts the words "gospel of peace."
1 Corinthians 10:9 Subtracts "Christ."
Genesis 4:8 Removes "they were in the field."
Genesis 18:19 Omits "I know him."
Jude 15 Takes out "among them."
Matthew 22:13 Removes "take him away" (tomadle).
John 18:36 Subtracts the oh so important word "now."
1 Peter 3:21 Omits "The like figure." (Teaches Baptism is essential for salvation).
Various Changes in the 1960 Version:
1 Chronicles 11:20 Changes "three" to "thirty."
Lamentations 1:7 Changes "Sabbaths" to "downfall" (su caida).
Phil. 3:21 Changes "vile body" to "body of hmiliation."
1 Corinthians 3:21 "Caridad" (Charity) is changed to "amor" (love).
2 Corintians 2:10 "In the person of Christ" is changed to "in the presence of Christ."
Acts 21:20 Changes "The Lord" to "God."
Acts 15:18 The 1960 changes "God" to the Lord (el Senor).
Acts 22:16 "Name of the Lord" is changed to only "his name."
Acts 16:31 Moves a comma. 1909 reads, "serás salvo tú, y tu casa." 1960 says, "serás salvo, tu y tu casa."
Leviticus 17:14 Changes "alma" (soul) to "vida" (life).
Revelation 22:6 "Santos profetas" is changed to "espíritu de los profetas."
James 4:4 Changes "Adúlteros y adúlteras" to "almas adúlteras."
John 3:3,7 Changes "born again" (otra vez) to "born a new" (de nuevo).
Some Additions in the 1960 Spanish Version:
Genesis 21:9 Adds "hijo Isaac."
Genesis 44:4 Inserts "silver cup."
Luke 24:12 Adds "to his house" (a casa) just like the catholic reading
Genesis 4:8 Adds "salgamos al campo" (Pro Septuagint reading).
Philemon 2 Adds "hermana."
Mark 14:20 Adds "a la de ellos."
1 Peter 3:20 Inserts "aspiración."
2 Corint. 1:15 Adds "de la Sefela."
Judges 16:13 Adds "y las asegurares con la estaca."
Genesis 4:1 Adds "por volutad de."
Ephesians 2:10 Inserts "de antemano."
Hebrews 5:7 Adds "Christ" (follows the Catholic Bible)
A Mistranslation in the 1960 Version:
1 Thess. 1:10 The 1960 has the wrong verb tense. It says "nos libra." The 1909 has it right with " nos libró."
Some Interesting Things About the 1960 Version:
It takes the word "Hell" out of the entire Old Testament and the entire book of Revelation in the New Testament.
It does not contain the doctrine of Imputation. It completely removes the words "imputation," "impute," or "imputed."
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).
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).
THE 1865 AND 1602 TR VERSION
The 1865 and 1602 TR against the other versions:
Daniel 3:25 Both say "Hijo de Dios" (Son of God)
Mark 1:2 Both say "en los profetas" in the prophets.
Mark 2:17 Both say "Repent."
Acts 10:6 Both say "oughtest" (debes)
Acts 23:9 Both say "to fight" (pelear)
Romans 1:16 Both have "de Cristo."
1 Cor. 1:18 Both say "preaching of the cross" (predicacción de la cruz)
Eph. 3:9 Both have "Por Cristo" No other Spanish version has this except the original 1602, but it's in brackets.
Acts 20:28 Both have "con su propia sangre." (By his own blood).
1 John 4:9 Only Spanish Bibles to say "amor."
The 1865, the Original 1602, and the 1602 TR against the 1909 and 1960:
Matt. 15:8 Have "Este pueblo con su boca se acerca a mi."
Mark 9:24 Read "Señor."
Mark 11:10 Say "Que viene en el nombre del Senor."
Luke 4:41 Have "Cristo."
Luke 11:29 Have "propheta."
Luke 23:42 Say "Señor."
Acts 7:30 Have "angel of the Lord" (angel del Senor).
1 Cor. 7:5 Have "ayuno" (fasting).
2 Cor. 4:10 Say "Señor Jesus."
2 Cor. 5:18 Read "Jesus."
Also about the 1865 and 1602 Spanish Bibles:
The 1865 and the 1602 have the name "Actos" for the book of Acts instead of "Hechos." (Just like it was in the 1569 and 1602).
The 1865 has the name "Revelacion" for the book of Revelation instead of "Apocalipsis." (The 1569 says "The Apocalypse or Revelation of St. John").
Some Problems in the 1865:
Psalm 12:6,7 Says the people of Israel are preserved, not God's words
Juan 1:1 Uses the Catholic word "Verbo" in place of "Palabra" (Word). (Comes from the Catholic Latin Vulgate). 1602 says "Palabra."
Phil. 2:5;4:2 Changes "mente" (mind) to "sentimientos" (sentiments).
Acts 22:16 Takes out "el Señor" (the Lord).
Juan 1:1 Adds the word "ya" (already). (Is in italics in the original 1602)
Juan 3:5 Says "renaciere" (reborn) instead of "born" (naciere).
Juan 3:11 Lacks the word "vosotros" (ye).
Juan 10:11 Says Christ gave his "alma" (soul) instead of "vida" (life).
Isa. 14:12 & 2 Pet. 1:19 Still uses "Lucero" (Lucifer) for Jesus Christ.
Ezekiel 28:15 Says that Satan is "finished" (acabado)
Romans 3:25 Uses "aplacimento" instead of the theological term "propiciación" which is always used in the sense of an atonement.
Acts 7:59 Changes "Dios" (God) to "Señor."
Revelation 1:10 Changes "Lord's day" to "Domingo" (Sunday).
1 Juan 2:23 Italicize the last part of the verse, showing they didn't think it was in the original.
Hebrews 4:8 Still says "Josue" like the 1909 & 1960 instead of "Jesus." (Original 1602 and the KJV say "Jesus")
Lev. 17:11,14 Uses "alma" instead of "life." But the life of the flesh is in the blood, not in the soul.
Acts 19:20 Still says "Señor" instead of "Dios" (God) like the KJV.
1 Peter 1:5 Says a person can alcanzar (attain) salvation. Sounds like works.
2 Peter 1:21 Says the men were inspired instead of God's words
The 1602 Textus Receptus Revision or 1602 TR
*The 1602 TR reads along with the 1865 in many places, but following are where it reads with the Textus Receptus and King James as well:
2 Timothy 2:15 Only Spanish Bible ever to say "Estudia." (Study)
2 Peter 1:19 Only Spanish Bible that calls Jesus Christ "la estrella de la manana" (the day star) all others call him "lucero" (the same word for "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14).
John 1:1 Only Spanish Bible that has "Palabra" rather than Verbo. The 1865, 1909, and1960 don't but the original 1602 Valera does.
Philippians 4:2 Only Spanish Bible to say "la misma mente" the same mind. Reads with the King James and Textus Receptus.
2 Cor. 2:17 Only Spanish Bible to say "corrumpen" (corrupt the word of God)
Proverbs 30:5 Only Spanish Bible to say that God's words are pure (pura)
Acts 9:5 Has "Y el Señor dijo" (Follows the old 1602 and KJV)
Acts 21:20 Has "al Señor" (Follows the old 1602 and KJV)
Acts 22:16 Only Spanish Bible to say "invocando el nombre del Señor" All others say "su nombre" (his name).
Luke 2:40 Only Spanish Bible to say "del Espiritu" (like old 1602)
Luke 4:41 Has "Cristo" like the KJV, TR, and 1865
Psalm 138:2 Only Spanish Bible to say "tu palabra sobre todo tu nombre" (your word above your name)
Some have said that in writing a booklet such as this, my motive was only to "bash" the popular 1960 Spanish revision. This is simply not so. I am aware that most "Fundamentalist" Spanish speaking pastors, and missionaries use the 1960, and in writing this booklet I am going against the majority. But my motive was not to bash anyone or anything. I simply wish to present to the reader the facts about the different Spanish Bibles, and to do so as briefly as possible. It is now up to you to study this ever growing issue for yourself, and make up your own mind which Bible is the best in the Spanish language and why.
I am also aware that most Pastors in the United States don't speak Spanish, and thus either turn a blind eye to the whole thing or refuse to address it. And, that leaves the Missionaries they send to Spanish speaking countries with the job of figuring out for themselves which version is the best. Most of them end up using the 1960 just because everyone else does, and they don't study the issue for themselves. But what if this version is not the best in the Spanish tongue? Should we use it just because others do, or should we not study the issue ourselves to find the best text in the Spanish language? Shouldn't it be the missionary's job to give people God's pure words?
The apostle Paul said, "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." If this be the case, I want to stand before my Saviour in good conscience knowing that I studied the issue (2 Tim. 2:15), and tried to find the purest words of God that I could get my hands on to give to the Spanish speaking people. But, I can't understand why so many others get angry, apathetic or downright rude when you seek to do so and try to give honor and glory to God by trying to keep his words.
I learned about the difference between the 1960 and the 1909 Spanish revisions when I went to Honduras for three months in the summer of 1998, to help another Missionary there. During that time, I did what most Missionaries do, and bought a 1960 as that's what everyone else had. During my time there, I read the entire New Testament of this 1960 Spanish revision in these three months and used it in preaching and teaching. I had one of the bilingual English-Spanish editions, and as I read the Spanish text I continually noticed that it didn't match with my King James. Several words from some verses were cut and put in the verse above or below it. Some words were changed, and yet others were omitted or removed. This made me angry! What was going on?
At a Christian bookstore, I found a copy of a 1909 Spanish Bible, and a facisimile of an original 1602 de Valera. In my Bible reading, when I came to a place in the 1960 that didn't read according to the King James, I'd look it up in the 1909. Most of the time it read correctly. If it didn't match, then most of the time it was right in the 1602. This infuriated me even more. Why didn't the 1960 read more like the King James as my elder "brethren" told me that it did. The more I read it, the more I found that they were mistaken. Thus, I studied the issue myself looking for all the material I could get my hands on.
While still in Honduras, I continued using the 1960 in preaching and teaching (as that was what everyone else used and I didn't want to cause confusion), but I felt hindered in teaching as many words and cross references that I had in my English King James didn't line up in the 1960. However when I checked, they seemed to be found in the 1909. The more I studied, the more I came to the conclusion that what I had was a watered down version of the truth in the 1960 Spanish Bible. (I found out later that this version read closer to the corrupt English Revised Standard version which was based on the "Critical Texts" of man).
After leaving Honduras and starting deputation to return there, I spent much time in study trying to find all I could about this 1960 revision. And, after much prayer and consideration, I published this booklet to show what I had found.
And from that time on, I began using the 1909 as it was much closer to the original 1602 Valera and the English King James. Although I learned later that the 1865 was supposedly even better, I couldn't get very many of them, so I continued using the 1909 as it was more readily available.
My use of the 1909 didn't come without a price, however. Since then I have been ridiculed continually, and accused of trying to cause division among the brethren. They look down on me because I don't use the "popular" 1960 like they do. In fact, in one Missions Conference, a Missionary to Peru began yelling at me and backed me into a corner as I began to speak to him about the subject. "How many churches have you started with your 1909?" he yelled. "None" I replied, "as I'm just on deputation trying to go to the field." "Then shut up!" he said, "and don't talk to me anymore until you've started 4 churches like I have!"
This has been the typical response I've encountered over the last several years. Rather than listen and study the subject, many have become angry and hostile to any possiblity that their 1960 Spanish Bible could not be the best Bible in Spanish. They have taken the word of other "godly men," and refuse to believe that they could have misled them.
So very few were interested, and even fewer still wanted to deal with the issue. I slowy learned that many were not only ignorant of the subject, but were willingly so, as they didn't even want to think, much less hear, that their Bible came from "liberal" scholars and read more closely to the Critical text than the 1909 before it.
I realized that many Missionaries are just not concerned with God's words. They care more about Building Churches and starting Programs and having Baptisms than they do about the pure words of God. There is nothing wrong with those things, but the foundation of those is the words of God. So, why don't they seek the purest words of God to do so? And why are they so hostile against those that do?
Mr. Calvin George (a militant pro 1960 advocate) attacks without pity all those who bring up the question of whether or not the 1960 Spanish Bible is the best in the Spanish language. He writes many articles under the banner of "The Battle for the Spanish Bible." If there is indeed a battle, then who is it against?
Certainly Satan is involved, as it was he who first attacked the words of God in Genesis chapter three, so he is enemy number one. Secondly, in this day and age in which we live, we see that "Modern Scholarship" has become an enemy of God's words as they seek to overthrown the Textus Receptus "Received Text" with the Catholic corrupt Vaticanus and Siniaticus. They also value the wisdom of man (Westcott and Hort, Tischendorf, Aland, Nestle, etc.) with their "Critical Text," more than the pure words of God. So, aren't they enemy number two?
But sadly, the longer I view this issue, the more I see that the battle is not only against them, but against other Christians as well. This ever growing battle rages on today among many "Fundamentalists" who are now fighting ruthlessly against one another. One side stands for the 1960 (because the majority does), and other side for the 1909 (or a purer version of the Spanish Bible). But, shouldn't there be unity in the body of Christ over this issue? Shouldn't we strive together to try and find and then take the purest words of God to the Spanish speaking people? I believe we should. So, why aren't we?
For this reason I but this booklet together. I hope that not only will the truth prevail (it always does), but that it will go out even faster as more and more people learn about the issue, and the facts behind it. My prayer is that more people will study this issue to find the purest words of God in the Spanish language, then use it!
I believe that I have them in the 1602 TR edition, and that's what I use to teach and preach in Spanish in the New Testament. But more importantly, I don't only use it, I believe it to be the purest words of God in the Spanish tongue to date. So, what will happen next? Should Spanish Speaking people continue using a version of the Bible just because the majority of people do? (If this be the case, then in English you need to throw your King James in the waste basket and pick of the ever popular NIV, as so many are using it nowadays).
No! I believe they should look at the words! So often the "battle" rages on among "Fundamentalists" and they attack one another personally. They attack the translators of other versions, and the credibility of one another, and so on. But what about the words? Wasn't Reina and Valera's desire to give the Spanish speaking world the pure words of God? Shouldn't that be our goal today? This issue will only be resolved by studying the words. This is a long and tedious process, and because of this, many don't want to do it. But, this is the only way to find the facts, and know for sure which version reads more like the KJV and the TR, and which version reads closer to the corrupt Critical Texts.
The key is to diligently study the issue at hand by studying the words in each version. If the words are pro King James and pro Textus Receptus, then they are right. If they read more with the Critical Texts, then they are wrong.
For what it is worth, from my studies the 1960 is farther from the right manuscripts, and thus farther away from the purer words of God in the 1909. However, they both are much farther from the pure words of God in the 1602 TR edition. But, that is my opinion that I have formed after studying the issue, or more specifically, studying the words!
So what should you do? You have two options. You can say, "Well, this doesn't apply to me," and forget about it. Or you can study yourself and pass the information on to others. I suggest you study! We should quit looking at each other, and look at the words. We should not use a version because the majority does (remember the majority is not always right), but because it bears witness to Christ and brings him glory.
We should diligently search each version to find out what it says about the blood, the virgin birth, the blessed hope, salvation, etc. We should ask ourselves "Are there contradictions in it?" "Does it downgrade the deity of Christ?" "Does it water down sound doctrine?" etc. These are the questions we need to answer. If it is right, keep it. If it's not, throw it out! If it's closer to the pure words of God, and readily available, then promote it. If it reads closer to the Critical Texts, then preach against it! This is what the Body of Christ must do if they ever hope to be united with only one pure Bible in the Spanish tongue. And, that's what we need. We need to have a Standard in the Spanish language like the "Authorized" King James in English. But, until people begin to look into the issue themselves, this will never happen.
Some will say, "I know for sure this will never happen because...!" If this be the case, and there can be no perfect word of God in Spanish tongue based on the TR, the King James in English, and the 1602, then why don't you at least find the closest that you can get your hands on and use it. Wouldn't that honor God? Why do you just follow the majority without studying the issue? Didn't God command you to study?
Ignorance is no excuse. And, if you don't know which Bible is the best Bible in the Spanish language, it is your own fault. We need to stand for God's words and shun the "Yea hath God said" societies. We need to join forces and get back to fighting satan and his scholars rather than fighting amongst ourselves. We need to study the issue and find the best available Bible in the Spanish language, and believe it, preach from it and teach others why it is the best. And we need to take a stand against the corrupt versions. If we have a perfect version in English (KJV) don't the Spanish speaking people deserve the same in Spanish?
As for me, I want to be able to stand before my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ knowing that I diligently studied the issue, and did my best to stand for the best available Bible that I could get my hands on and take to the Spanish speaking people, and against all others that read closer to the corrupt texts. Would you dear reader do the same? Can you stand before the Lord and say that you diligently studied the issue at hand? Will you be "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" at the Judgment seat of Christ?
...Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.Luke 11:28
The author of this booklet has been an Independent Baptist Missionary in Honduras for over seven years, and is now a Missionary Evangelist to the Spanish Speaking people of the Americas.
He also is a King James Bible Believer and makes no apologies for it.
When it comes to the Spanish Bible, the author preaches from the Monterrey 1602 Spanish Bible revision, diligently revised and restored using the Textus Receptus, the King James, and older Protestant Castilian versions of the scripture and known as the 1602 Purificada (1602 Purified).
The author hopes this booklet will inform the reader about the ever growing Spanish Bible Issue, and that he too will take a stand for the pure words of God in the Spanish tongue.