by Robert Breaker III

copyright 2010


* The following online book has been designed to be "printer friendly."  However, be advised that there are many pictures.  If you desire to print the entire thing and read it through at your leisure, or read it here online.  I hope to have it soon available in printed book form.


Of all the nations on earth, perhaps Spain holds claim to the richest heritage and most diverse culture. Known as the Iberian Peninsula, Spain borders three seas: The Bay of Biscay on the North, The Atlantic Ocean on the West, and the Mediterranean on the South and East.

Over the years, this costal access led to the influx of many different peoples settling in Spain, including the: Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Iberians, Celts and the Basques, Europe’s oldest surviving group.

After the decline of the Roman Empire, the Visigoths conquered the land from the North, establishing their kingdom in 419, where they governed for several hundred years.

In 711, the armies of the Muslim Moors crossed the Straight of Gibraltar and defeated Roderic, the last Visigoth King, and set up their kingdom in Southern Spain, calling it Al-Andalus.

For the next 700 years independent Muslims states were established throughout central and Southern Spain, while small Catholic kingdoms governed in the North. The history of Muslim Spain is usually divided into three distinct time periods.

1. 711 – 756 A.D. The Emirate rule.

2. 756 – 1031 A.D. The Caliphate kingdom.

3. 1031 – 1492 A.D. The Taifas or many small kingdoms.

Eventually, the Spaniards, through what is now called the Reconquest, took back the entire nation from the Arab Muslims, and in 1492 three notable events took place:

            1. Spain gained complete victory against the Moors with the fall of Granada. (Expulsing them all from their country).

            2. Spain forced Jews to either convert to Catholicism or flee.

            3. Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Historians mark the unification of all of Spain in the year 1469 with the marriage of Queen Isabella of Castile with King Ferdinand II of Aragon. Together they made Catholicism the national religion, and in 1478, they petitioned the Pope in Rome to bring his Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition to their borders, to try for heresy anyone who did not practice Roman Catholicism. This led to the bloody Spanish Inquisition, which took the lives of countless millions, especially those who committed no crime, desiring only to read and study the Bible in their own language.


The Spanish Language has a long history of uniting Spain and even Latin America. According to the I.C.S. Reference Library textbook of Spanish Grammar, copyright 1903, we read:

Among Spanish-speaking people, Spanish grammar is usually called gramática castellana, (Castilian grammar); and the Spanish language itself, lengua castellana, (Castilian language), or simply Castellano, (Castilian). The reason for this being that the language was first spoken in the old kingdom of Castile, the center of Spanish power and influence at the time; but a law was enforced later on by which the dialects spoken in some of the provinces should be totally discarded from the public schools, and in their place, the Castilian language should exclusively be taught and used in all official documents, becoming therefore the national language. Accordingly, the general prevailing tendency is to the call the Castilian language “el idioma español” or simply “el español,” (Spanish).

The entire population of Spanish America speak and write the language of Castile, with only some slight deviations in pronouncing certain letters…

The language spoken in all Spanish America from Mexico down to the Argentine, is the same as spoken in Spain, except with some slight deviations, the most important being the pronunciation of the c before e and i, and the z, which are given the sound of Spanish s instead of that of th, given by the Castilians. This pronunciation is also heard in the Southern part of Spain.”

Not only is Castilian Spanish by law the national language in Spain, but it is also the national language in Central and South America, and mandated by governmental decrees of each country, it must be protected.

Let us read from the Constitution of the country of Honduras as an example:

El idioma oficial de Honduras es el español. El estado protegerá su pureza e incrementará.”

Translated this means:

The official language of Honduras is Spanish. The state will protect its purity and will increment its use.

It is important to realize, that until recently, the Spanish Bible has always been translated into Castilian Spanish. And, any Spanish Bible translation work should always be done in that same style, as that is true Spanish.

Just as in English we praise our King James Bible for its old Elizabethan English, which was the height of the English language, so to, the old Spanish Reina-Valera Bible was given to us in the height of the beauty of the old Castilian Spanish language.

Both of these languages prospered under the Reformation, the height of enlightenment and learning.

Sadly, there are some who would call the King James Bible, archaic, and the language of it out of date.

There are those too who would make the same claim of the Spanish Bible and the Castilian language.

But it must be realized that both English and Castilian Spanish are not archaic and not only understood today, but used on a regular basis.


Above: The modern flag of the nation of Spain.



A Bible translated into the Spanish language had long been the desire of many Spaniards. However, they were three things that greatly hindered this work:

            1.  The Catholic Prohibitions of translating the Bible to vernacular languages.

            2.  The Spanish Inquisition.

            3. The lack of Pure Texts available to translators.

The translation of the entire Bible into the language of the common man to read for himself is something that the Roman Catholic Church strictly prohibited, allowing reading and studying of the word of God only to the priestly class, and then only in Latin.

           In the Council of Tarragona of 1234, in its second canon, we read:

"No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned lest, be he a cleric or a layman, he be suspected until he is cleared of all suspicion."

The Council of Trent (1545-1564) also prohibited the Bible with the following words:

"That if any one shall dare to read or keep in his possession that book, without such a license, he shall not receive absolution [of sins] till he has given it up to his ordinary."

And the Index of 1551 of the Spanish Inquisition expressly prohibited, “The Bible in Castilian Romance or any other vulgar tongue.

Even Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) declared the reading of the Bible as harmful in the following words:

"It is evidence from experience, that the Holy Scriptures, when circulated in the vulgar tongue, have, through the temerity of men, produced more harm than benefit."

With such adamant religious opposition to translating the word of God, many because of fear and intimidation shied away from such a task. Those who took up the project, did so at their own peril.

With the onset of the Spanish Inquisition, those who disobeyed church law in translating the Holy Scriptures to other languages were often quickly apprehended, brought before the Inquisitors, tried, and burned at the stake. Their Bibles often joined them in the fire.

But not all translators and their translations were burned. There were many courageous men who chose to jeopardize their own lives to get the word of God to the common man. In England, we fondly remember men like William Tyndale, and John Wycliffe, for their English translations. It is the hope of this author, that through this book, we will also honor and remember those Spaniards who with the same zealous desire fought valiantly to give the Spanish-speaking people the word of God in their own tongue.

Sadly, when it comes to translating the Spanish Bible, we find the biggest problem is locating and utilizing the pure texts of the original languages. For the Catholic Church had a monopoly on Bible manuscripts, and often times their copies were riddled with many additions and subtractions to the text itself.

Those few translations condoned by the Catholic Church were done only by church theologians, and were diligently checked and revised by them, as the church would only allow translations from the Latin Vulgate of Jerome, a version which contained many errors (as we shall see later).

Thus, we find the translation of the Scriptures into the Spanish language was a slow and tedious process. And, for the Spanish-Speaking world to have a pure Spanish Bible, it took many, many years and a very great sacrifice.




King Alfonso X of Castile (1221-1284) commissioned the earliest known translation of the scriptures into the Spanish tongue, with an entire Old Testament produced in 1240 A.D. This version today is known as La Biblia Alfonsina or The Alfonsine Bible.

As a scholar, poet, and writer, King Alfonso believed in preserving knowledge. Tolerating Christians, Jews, and Muslims in his reign, he translated many of their works into Spanish and Latin. His library consisted of well over 32,000 volumes, most of which he made available in a public library for peoples of all faith.

King Alfonso today is known as “Alfonso the Wise” for his great knowledge, and desire to see it dispersed to others. With his “School of Translators” in Toledo, a group of Christian, Moslem, and Jewish scholars, he made many Arab works available to Europeans in Latin and Spanish translations. His main interests were astronomy, astrology, and of course the Bible.

In his own work, “General e grande Estoria.” King Alfonso ties the history of the modern world of his day into the history given in the Hebrew Bible, showing he believed in the veracity of the Hebrew Old Testament.

Although his Old Testament used Hebrew texts in its translation, it also followed many readings from the corrupt Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate. It also did not see much publication, as Juan I of Aragon, in 1233, prohibited vernacular versions of the Scripture, and ordered any such work to be burned. Thus, the Alfonsine Bible was locked up in the Royal Library for countless centuries, unviewed and unavailable to the common man.



The first Jewish translation of the scriptures into Spanish was commissioned by Luis de Guzman, the grand master of the military-religious Order of Calatrava, and for this reason is known by some as the Guzman Bible.

The work was painstakingly done by rabbi Moses Arragel and carefully revised by Arias de Enzinas. It was first printed in 1430 in a place called Casa de Alba. For this, many call it the Alba Bible.

This version, consisting only of the Old Testament, was made directly from Hebrew into Medieval Castilian.

Luis de Guzman desired a Spanish Old Testament accompanied by commentary from Jewish scholars interpreting the text of their own holy book, hoping such a work would bridge the gap of anti-semitism in Spain.

On April 5, 1422, Luis de Guzmán initiated the project of translation by sending a letter to rabbi Moses Arragel inviting him to compose "vna biblia en romançe, glosada e ystoriada." The rabbi accepted, and completed the work eight years later. It consists of 513 pages and contains many highly decorated artistic illustrations, the work of Franciscan monks in Toledo.

The Bible is also full of commentary by both Jewish and Catholic theologians.

Also contained in the Bible are 25 pages of correspondence between Rabbi Arragel and Luis Guzman.

Facsimiles of this version are available today, but only at a very high price for the delicately detailed art contained therein. In 2011, reprints were selling for $49,950 American dollars each.

Example of some of the amazing artwork in the Alba Bible.



Although this version was not translated into Spanish, it must be mentioned, as it shows the Spanish scholarship of the time. This version was commissioned by the catholic Cardinal Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros, who was archbishop of Toledo and personal confessor to queen Isabella of Spain. After having obtained many various manuscripts and preserving them, he invited many scholars of his day to meet at the notable University of Alcala de Henares in Madrid, in order to compare these codices and produce a complete Bible. They worked for 15 years on the project, translating into three languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

Their New Testament was printed in 1514, and their Old Testament in 1517.

It is interesting to note that the famous Erasmus journeyed to this University and had access to this notable version. There are many who believe this was a good translation but not without error. Today there still exist many questions about its translators, their source texts, and its textual purity.



A Catholic priest named Bonifacio Ferrar produced his own Catalonian or Valencian dialect translation, in 1478. In it he followed the Old Testament version from the French and the Latin by Romeu de Sabruguera. His work was again reprinted in 1480, under the title of “The Catalan Psalter.”

Later, his Gospels and the Epistles were printed in Saragossa in 1485 and Salamanca in 1493.

All copies obtained by the Catholic church of this work were burned before 1500, and only a single leaf of this version exists in the Hispanic Society of America’s Library.


Another who translated parts of the scriptures into Spanish was a man named Montesino, who printed his work in Alcala, Spain in 1502, and again in Toledo in 1512. His work seems to have found favor among Catholics as it was not condemned nor destroyed, but rather printed on Catholic presses.

Some of Montesino’s translation was revised and corrected in the seventeenth century, but saw very little circulation.


Little is known about this version by Quiroga, a Catholic convert from Judaism, and also a cardinal Inquisitor. His version has been called The Bible of Quiroga. Obviously, it was a Catholic translation.


This complete Old Testament, published in 1553, was the work of two Spanish–Speaking Jews: Jeronimo de Vargas and Duarte Pinel. Having been expelled from their native Spain, they worked in Italy translating the Hebrew Bible into their native Spanish.

Their work is called the Ferrara Bible, because they dedicated it to the Duke of Ferrara on March 1st, 1553.

That the Ferrara Bible was allowed by the Catholic church can easily be seen from the title page of that version, in which it states before printing, it was: “examined by the office of the Inquisition.”

Looking at the Title page of the Biblia de Ferrara, we plainly see a ship with a broken mast, most likely signifying the Jewish nation in exile, aimlessly traveling the globe fleeing persecution, as both Jeronimo de Vargas and Duarte Pinel had to do in fleeing from Spain.

As we look at the preface of the Ferrara Bible, we find the translators used not only the Hebrew text of the Jews, but also the Roman Catholic texts. For there we read:

...this our Bible to be in the Castilian tongue the closest to the truth of the Hebrew as possible, making it follow as much as possible the translation of PAGNINO and his thesaurus of the Sacred tongue, following word for word as conforming to the Hebrew letter and is very accepted and esteemed by the Roman priesthood, yet that for this we did not lack all the old and modern Hebrew translations that we could get our hands on...

According to this confession, they used the catholic text of SANTES PAGNINO, but they also compared many other Hebrew texts.

What they produced was a relatively good work, but it was more of a word for word translation, which made for poor syntax. It did prove useful, however, in the translation work of Cassidoro de Reina in his 1569 translation of the entire Bible into Spanish.

An interesting note about the Ferrara Bible is the Jewish men who produced it would not translate the Hebrew name for God as “Jehovah.” Instead they used the word “Adonai” (Adonay in Spanish).

Cassidoro de Reina ridicules them for this stand and calls their reverence in not translating the holy name of God, “supersticious.” For this reason, he used “Jehová ” in his version of the Old Testament, of which we shall speak more later.



On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany in protest to the Roman Catholic doctrine of indulgences, which is nothing short of selling licenses to sin. His actions led to what many now call the “Protestant Reformation,” in which hundreds of thousands of Catholics sought to stamp out the corruption within their church. Some remained Romanists, while others separated themselves completely from the Catholic Church, and became known as Protestants.

The Catholic Church did not like the teachings of the reformation, especially the doctrine of justification by faith without works, and the Inquisition went to work even more vehemently to root out and put to death those who adopted this teaching. They were immediately labeled Lutherans and those who were caught reading, teaching, or even listening to the doctrines of Luther, were tried before Inquisitor priests for heresy, and oftentimes burned at the stake.

In Spain, the light of the scriptures and the doctrine of salvation by faith alone, entered quickly and gained much ground. So much so that Cipriano de Valera tells us:

...There was no city, village, or place in Spain in which there had not been some to whom God by his infinite wisdom had not illuminated the light of the Gospel; and though the adversaries had done everything possible to put out that light, dishonoring with loss of goods, of life, and of honor to many, they did not achieve anything, because, it is said, the more they tried to stop it, the more they whipped them...the more they cast them into stocks and perpetual prisons or burned them, the more they multiplied.”

A Catholic historian of the time named Gonzales de Illescas in his work, Historia Pontifical, even states:

In those days the jails, the stocks, and the bonfires were populated by many illustrious people unsurpassed in letters and virtue, and there were so many as such that it was believed that if [the Inquisitors] had waited two or three months more in remedying the damage done [by the reformation doctrines] all of Spain would have embraced it.

This is some confession! For had the Inquisition done nothing, the whole of Spain most likely would have turned to God and the scriptures instead of a corrupt, religious church which engaged in nothing short of outright murder towards those who didn’t agree with their doctrinal positions.

Among those who were captured by the Spanish Inquisition were many valiant Spaniards who stood up for what they believed in, in spite of the consequences. We shall briefly look at some of these courageous Christians, for their stories intertwine with those who translated the Scriptures into the Castilian language.

Francisco San Roman belonged to a long line of rich business men from Burgos. As he travelled in Flanders on business, he discovered many Fleming shop keepers who closed their doors at set times in order to read prohibited books in secret. He also learned they would meet at sites outside of the city to listen to the preaching of a new doctrine (that of justification by faith). He later witnessed many studying and adopting this teaching.

In the city of Brema, he visited a church and listened to the teaching of Pastor Jacob Spreng. At the end of the service everyone left, but Francisco stayed seated with tears in his eyes. The Pastor took him home with him, where for three days they spoke of nothing but the scriptures and Jesus Christ. It is there that Francisco received Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour.

Francisco later returned to Antwerp where he obtained a copy of the New Testament in Spanish (quite possibly that of Juan Perez de Pineda). He then dedicated his life to evangelizing Spaniards in that city. And, it wasn’t long until he was taken captive by the Inquisition, and all his books and tracts were burned. Miraculously, he escaped imprisonment and made his way to Lovaina where he encountered his friend Francisco de Enzinas (of whom much shall be mentioned later). He was, however, eventually recaptured, judged, and condemned to burn at the stake.

As they lit the firewood at his feet, Francisco San Roman looked up with a radiant face of joy and asked the monks whether or not they were jealous of his happiness to die in the service of the Lord.

This great Spanish hero died for the sake of the Gospel in 1545.

Rodrigo de Valer was a resident of Seville, being born in Lebrija. As a youth he lived a wicked, ungodly life. But after a long time of anguish and repentance for his past sins, he came to Christ and chose to serve him zealously.

This consisted of him daily traveling through the streets of Seville disputing and debating with the priests and clergy, blaming them for the cause of all the corruption in the church and rebuking them, calling them, “Scribes” and “Pharisees,” whom he claimed were entirely given over to “superstition” and “idolatry.”

At first the priests ignored him thinking him only to be crazy and a fool. But the more he persisted the more violent they become, demanding of him, just as the religious leaders did of Jesus in his day, “Who gave you the authority to talk about us like that?

Rodrigo answered back, “My authority is from the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit of God!

As can be expected, Rodrigo eventually was called before the Spanish Inquisitors where he courageously spoke of the true Church, justification by faith, and other such things. The priests chose to let him go, but only after taking away all his earthly belongings, leaving him on the street, penniless. Still he persisted, and was later imprisoned in a religious jail, where he died of sickness around the year 1550, the victim of an intolerant religious organization.

Dr. Juan Gil, also known as Egidio, was a priest and celebrated speaker in Seville. Listening to the counsel of the “crazy” Rodrigo de Valer, who suggested he preach the Bible in church services rather than the dry catholic liturgical rites, Egidio began teaching and preaching the word of God in the grand Cathedral and many commoners came to hear him.

But, the Inquisitors would have nothing of it and they locked him up in prison where he died of illness related to the humidity of the dark, dank dungeon. His only crime, allowing the masses to hear God’s word.

Constantine Ponce de la Fuente, was born in the small village of San Clemente de la Mancha, possibly of Jewish ancestry. He studied in the famous University of Alcala, where he was a contemporary of Egidio. Around the year 1535 he began preaching, and common people heard him gladly. Often, his sermons would last over eight hours, as he would begin at eight in the morning and not close until after four in the afternoon!

After accepting the teachings of the Reformation, he was captured by the Inquisition and diligently questioned about what he believed. According to the register of the Inquisition:

He spoke of the true Church and of the principles of the Lutherans, and proved that the [real] Church was not that of the Papists; also he discussed with them many different points in which Lutherans differed from Catholics.

For this heinous crime of daring to believe differently than the doctrines of Catholicism, he was again locked up, where he eventually died after two years with dysentery.

So hated was he by the Papists, that on Dec. 22, 1560, his bones were dug up and burned by the Inquisition leaders.

His religious writings were also added to the list of forbidden books by the Catholic Church.

Cristobal Lozada, was a medical doctor that pastored a small congregation of Reformers that secretly met in the house of Mrs. Isabel de Baena in Seville. When the Inquisition discovered the vast amount of secret Protestants in Seville, a strong persecution arose against them, and the Inquisitors threw 800 people into jail at the famous castle of Triana. After being judged and condemned to death, this great protestant leader Cristobal Lozado was burned at the stake with twenty other of his brothers in the faith.

Mary Bohorques, was a genius and somewhat of a child prodigy. She was a disciple of Dr. Juan Gil (Egidio), and at the age of 11, she began studying Greek, which allowed her to quickly read the early writings of the apostles in their own language. She also studied the word of God diligently and found the dogmas of popery to be very much against the Bible.

According to historical accounts she was always busy learning and speaking about the things of God. Dr. Juan Gil said of her, “I feel very elevated each time I speak with her.

For her faith, she was arrested and submitted to cruel interrogations. One Adolfo de Fort tells us: “She disputed with various Jesuits and Dominicans, who tried to make her recant her beliefs in vain, which they upon seeing were confused that a maiden of such a young age should know so much theology and have such a thorough knowledge of the divine Scripture.

She died at the tender age of 15 under the barbarous torture of her Spanish Inquisitors.

Juan Diaz, a Spaniard who, after becoming converted through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fled Spain and joined himself with the Reformers in Strasburg. It is from here he said the famous words, “I declare to believe in the Redeemer, the only head of the Church, the only mediator between God and men, and I separate myself forever from the Roman Church in which the pure doctrine of Christ is not found, nor the faithful administration of the sacraments nor of the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

Juan had a papist brother, who diligently sought to change his mind. When he saw he could not, he had him assassinated, which lead to the Reformer Melanchthon’s famous comment, “Cain has once again killed his brother!

Dr. Blanco Garcia Arias was the superior of the monastery of San Isidro del Campo in Seville, Spain. (Where both Reina and Valera resided as monks). He was influenced by the Old Latin Bible of the Waldenses and their preaching. After becoming a Believer, he embraced the teachings of the Reformers and began to spread them with his colleagues in his monastery. When the Inquisition General heard of this, he immediately dispatched soldiers to arrest all of the monks. Many of them fled for their lives, while some were captured. Dr. Arias was among those apprehended. He died in prison after many years of incarceration.

Juan Valdez was born with his twin brother Alfonso in the city of Cuenca. Both studied in the famous University of Alcala, and through correspondence with Erasmus, they realized the great need for profound reformation in the Catholic church.

Both wrote works which spoke against the papacy and the corruption among the clerics. Because of this they were labeled by the Inquisitors as “dangerous and infected with heresy.”

Living in Germany, they found it prudent not to return to Spain, for they would have most certainly fallen into the hands of the Inquisition.

Juan died in Naples, Italy in May of 1541, having left behind part of the Psalms translated into Spanish, (specifically chapters 1-41).

Antonio del Corro was born in 1526.  Although he is not well known today, his name is very important in the history of the Spanish Bible, for he had a great impact in the printing of the first entire Spanish Bible.  His character is also indicative of those valiant Spaniards of his time.

Antonio was one of twelve monks in the monastery of San Isidro del Campo en Seville that left Spain in 1557, fleeing the persecution of the Romanists, staying for a short time in Geneva, Switzerland with the noted Spaniard Juan Peréz de Pineda. 

Back in Spain, a close family member of Antonio was an Inquisitor in Seville, and in this profession, he obtained many pieces of Protestant literature.  Even though he was a Inquisitor priest, he was not in favor of the senseless slaughter of the “heretics” by the Catholic Church, and he spoke with Antonio about this on many occasions, even stating of the martyred Dr. Juan Gil, “I esteem him to be a Christian of better life than any one of his adversaries that stood against him.”  Further he said of Dr. Juan Gil, “If he is, as it is stated, a heretic, then I am too!”  (This statement caused a great scandal among his fellow Inquisitors.)  

Having access to the confiscated Protestant works of his close family member, Antonio read the books of Luther, as well as other protestant books from Germany.  And in 1574, he wrote a letter to Zurich, proclaiming to a certain Protestant author: “I am one of those that with the help of your writings, most wise sir, I have acquired a more pure knowledge of the Christian doctrine.  For, more than twenty years ago, by the divine providence of God, I obtained an opportunity to study your books, that the Spanish Inquisitors had obtained.  From them I was able to derive abundant fruit, and gratitude obliges me to give thanks, since I am not able to return the favor…I pray you, most vigilant Pastor, that you might consider me in the number of those who for your labor and vigilance you have brought me to the knowledge of Christ.”

The Inquisitors were very surprised when Antonio left Spain, and cordially asked him to return in order to go on trail for heresy, but when he turned down their petition, they became enraged, labeling him a heretic, and a fugitive Lutheran from Papal justice.  In the 26th of April 1562, the papists burned him in effigy.

Antonio was not well received by John Calvin, who denied him many opportunities to preach.  It’s recorded that one time Antonio arrived in a certain city to preach the Gospel, but Calvin put his soldiers in front of the main gates to keep him from entering.  Perceiving that he would never be able to enter the city, Antonio told others to enter and tell the inhabitants that he would be without the walls ready with his Bible.  Many people gladly left the city and came into the country to hear his sermon, as he preached to them in the forest.  For this reason, Antonio said that even the Spanish Inquisitors were nicer to him than John Calvin!

Fearing both Catholic and Protestant persecution, Antonio wrote a letter to both and to all those who named themselves “Christians,” that they should not fight, nor mistreat one another.  He exhorted them in the following words:

It would be against the common feeling to leave the Papal tyrrany to experiment itself against another tyrrany which is almost equal to it …We have not been baptized in the name of Martin, nor Zwingli, nor Calvin, but in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and for such we detest and call it an abomination all these names of such sects such as “Martinistas,” “Zwinglians,” Calvinists,” and more.  If those learned men that have taught up until now, and today preach the Gospel, were more wise and more strictly dedicated to look to the glory of God and not at themselves, then the people would have more liberty of conscience, and be devoted to the one and only God, and not to men who are mortal, ignorant, and blind, who desire to lift themselves up as idols to be followed and held in admiration.  We need to be diligent to make our preaching point people to Jesus Christ, our sovereign doctor, and not to follow the Augsburg Confession, nor the catechism of Martin, nor the interpretations of John or Peter.  In the issue of the Romanists, in exposing their abuses, we should do so with modesty, sobriety, and gravity, that they might understand that we are not excited by hatred of their person, rather for a spiritual zeal for the glory of God… Being they are hungry wolves, yet they call themselves pastors of the multitude of God…in conclusion, we should try to live in peace one with another, being we Romanists or the Reformed Religion.  We should love all, help all, and support the ignorance and infirmities of all.  For it is preferable to err on that side, if that indeed be in error, than to put ourselves above others like Judges of conscience and pass judgment of condemnation against those that are not in agreement with us.  For the knowledge of our ignorance we are desirous to learn, and not to be Inquisitors and Censors of the beliefs of others.  (His epistle dated the 2nd of January 1567).

             From Geneva, Antonio went to Lausanne, where he became friends with the great Scholar Theodore Beza, remembered today for his edition of the Greek New Testament (Textus Receptus).

            Antonio then traveled around often, and in 1563, he wrote to his friend Cassidoro de Reina, who had recently questioned him about the printing of the Spanish Bible, informing him that he had made arrangements with the queen of Navarre who would permit the printing of the Bible in her castle.   We know very little of what happened next.  Some say a New Testament was printed in Bern in 1563.  (Until today no one has seen a copy of this.  Could it have been the N.T. of Juan Perez de Pineda?  Or could it have been the N.T. of Reina's translation?).  

In 1556, Antonio went to Paris to visit Juan Peréz de Pineda, who was sick nigh unto death.  Antonio arrived to speak with him just before he died.  They spoke about making arrangement to sell all that Juan Peréz de Pineda had and to use that money for the printing of de Pineda’s N.T.

Antonio stood by his bedside when Juan Perez de Pineda passed away, promising him that he would do all possible to use the sale of his possessions that he left behind for the printing of the Spanish Bible.  

But Antonio was unable to so.  For at Juan Peréz de Pineda’s death, the state authorities confiscated everything.  Antonio fought valiantly in court, and gave testimony of Juan's desire to see his worldly goods sold and used to print the Bible.  From this, the state finally ruled turned over the money from the sales of Juan's goods to Cassidoro de Reina for the printing of the entire Bible in Castilian Spanish, which was eventually accomplished in 1569.

Julianillo Hernandez is one of the important Spaniards of his time. Although he is little remembered today, he had probably the greatest impact of all Protestants in getting the word of God into Spain.

Born in Villaverde, he moved to Germany at an early age with his parents where he learned the office of a printer’s apprentice. Working with moveable type, Julianillo eventually came in contact with many of the Reformation works, and it didn’t take long until he read them and embraced salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

With a burden for his native land and his own countrymen, he traveled to see other Spanish believers. In Geneva, he encountered Juan Perez de Pineda, who had recently translated the entire New Testament.

Julianillo was very short in stature, and for this he was called by the French Le Pettit. Yet, he was very long on courage, as he chose to serve the Lord in a risky manner.

Julianillo is best known for his method of distribution of the scriptures. With no fear for his own life, he smuggled Bibles and Reformation literature into Spain (it is believed he took with him the recently printed N.T. of Juan Perez de Pineda), by hiding them in the bottom of barrels. He reached all classes on his journeys, reaching even the nobility, the laity, and the clergy.

He frequented the monastery of San Isidro del Campo in Seville, where many of his “forbidden books” by Luther, and his New Testaments were readily received.

Sadly, as Christ had his Judas, so did Julianillo. As a man who claimed to be his friend turned him over to the Inquisitors, who then condemned him to be burned at the stake, labeling him a “heretic, apostate, stubborn, and dogmatic.”

Julianillo died triumphantly full of peace, and it is said he exhorted those who burned at the stake with him with the following words: “Be firm in your resolution, my companions. This is the hour when it most becomes us to show ourselves valiant soldiers of Jesus Christ. Let us render, in the sight of men, a faithful testimony to Him, and to His truth; then, after a few short hours, in like faithfulness to us, we shall receive of Him the prize of his approval and triumph, everlastingly with Him in heaven.

Alfonso de Castro says of Julianillo Hernandez:

He was one of the most notable Protestantes in Spain, not only for the service that he did for the cause, but also for the sharpness of his ingenuity, for his scholarship in the sacred letters, and for his valiant death.



The Spanish Inquisition killed countless thousands of Spaniards who were guilty of no crime other than desiring to study the scriptures to decide for themselves what to believe.

Yet, even with the cruel hatred and persecution from the Papists, we find those with a great love for the Bible who were willing to hazard their own lives to translate the Bible into Spanish so that their fellow Spaniards might be able to read the word of God in their own language. Let us look at these valiant men.


The first complete New Testament translation of the Holy Scriptures into Spanish was the work of Francisco de Enzinas, published in 1543.

Enzinas was born in Burgos in 1520. He studied with his brother Jaime at the University of Alcala where the noted scholar Pedro de Leemes taught them in the studies of the Holy Scriptures.

In 1540 he moved to the university of Lovaina, where he ended his studies, and where it appears he was influenced by the ideas of the Reformers. His Protestant brother Jaime moved to Paris in 1541 and then to Rome in 1546 where he was arrested by the Inquisition and burned at the stake as one of the first martyrs of the Reformation in Italy.

Not in agreement with the doctrines of Roman Catholicism, and fearing for his life, Francisco de Enzinas moved to Wittemberg, Germany, and enrolled in the University there on October 27, 1541.

Theodore Vitus, a preacher in Nuremburg said of Enzinas, “a Spaniard...a wise man, serious and gifted with a rare virtue, who shows a philosophical zeal in every task…

In Wittenburg, Enzinas stayed in the home of the famous Melanchton, who encouraged him to translate the New Testament into Castilian. Enzinas agreed to undertake the job, and using Greek manuscripts for his project, he finished after just 18 months of tedious work.

Having completed his goal, he went to Lovaina, where he presented his work to the theologians of the city. They counseled him not to publish the work, stating, “...From the Bible has been born all the heresies in Germany and the Low Countries [of Spanish domain] being a pretext for the simple and idiotic people to give themselves to vain interpretations and dreams, rejecting the canons and decrees of the [Catholic] Church.

Unswayed by their warning, Enzinas traveled to Antwerp to print his version. On the title page, he desired it should read: “El Nuevo Testamento, o La Nueva Alianza de Nuestro Redemptor y solo Salvador Jesucristo.” (Translation: “The New Testament, or the New Alliance of our Redeemer and only Saviour Jesus Christ.”).

However, a Dominican priest, who wasn’t against the translation of the scriptures into Spanish, warned him that the words “alianza” and “solo Salvador” sounded too Lutheran and would make his version suspect to the Inquisition. For this reason he changed it to read only: “El Nuevo Testamento de nuestro Redemptor y Salvador Jesu Christo.

After publication, the count of Antwerp received an order from Emperor Carlos V to put a stop to the circulation of all Protestant printed materials, including Enzinas’ New Testament.

Enzinas in his zeal then went directly before the Emperor in Brussels to defend his work, and asked if he could distribute it if he included a dedication in the work to the Emperor himself. Intrigued the Emperor asked, “What book do you want to dedicate to me?

Enzinas responded, “Lord, a part of the Sacred Scriptures we call the New Testament, faithfully translated by me into Castilian: in which is contained the principal of the Gospel history and the writings of the apostles. I desire your majesty as defender of religion, to judge and carefully examine my work, and I humbly entreat that the work, approved by your Majesty, would be recommended to the Christian people by your Imperial Authority.

The Emperor retorted, “Are you the author of this work?

Enzinas replied, “The Holy Spirit is the author: inspired by Him, some holy men wrote with common intelligence these oracles of salvation and redemption in the Greek language; I am only a faithful servant and weak organ, that has translated this work into the Castilian tongue.”

The Emperor questioned, In Castilian?”

To the which Enzinas answered, “In our Castilian tongue, and I again entreat you that you be its patron and defender, according to your clemency. Be it as you please, that nothing suspicious [be found] in this book. Nothing that proceeds from the word of God should be suspicious to Christians. May your will be done, if the work is such as you and the Bishop affirm.

The Emperor didn’t seem too interested in the work, as he gave it to his confessor Pedro de Soto for examination, who demanded Enzinas to abandon the project and cut off all ties to the Lutheran “heretics” in Germany.

Enzinas was then immediately led in chains directly to jail where he passed fourteen months in the company of other accused Lutherans.

In February of 1545 Enzinas escaped, and fled to Antwerp, where he lodged with Melanchton once again.

In 1546, he traveled to Strasburg, Zurich, and then Basel, where he settled down and published his History of the Death of Juan Diaz, and a critique of the Council of Trent.

Enzinas later married in Strasburg to Margaret Elter, and together they moved to England, where he was well received by archbishop Cranmer, who put him to work at the University of Cambridge as a Greek professor. His alias there was Francisco Dryander.

In 1552, he went to Geneva to meet with John Calvin, with whom he corresponded for many years. On his journey back to England, he died from the plague on the 30th of December of the same year.

An interesting note about the Enzinas version is that it does not read “Verbo” in John 1:1, rather “Palabra” as all Protestant versions do. This will be important to note later on.





Juan Perez de Pineda is the translator of the second complete Spanish New Testament. He was born in the city of Montilla, in Andalusia around the year 1500, and little is known of his childhood.

Juan worked for Emperor Carlos V in Rome (circa the years 1527-1530), and eventually quit to go back to his homeland of Spain.

In Seville, Juan acted as the director of el Colegio de la Doctrina, (School of Doctrine), in which he educated the rich and noble young people of the city.

While there he fellowshipped regularly with notable Spaniards like Egidio (Dr. Juan Gil), Constantine Ponce de la Fuente, Reina and Valera, and more, adopting the teachings of the Reformation.

Fearing the Inquisition, he fled to Geneva, where he finished translating the entire New Testament to the Castilian tongue, and saw its publication in 1556 (a culmination of five years work). The next year he printed the book of Psalms. (In which he translates the name of God as “Señor” instead of “Jehová.” An important note which will be mentioned later.)

Juan had a great desire to see his native Spaniards saved. In the preface of his Bible we read:

I feel very much obliged to do service to those of my nation, according to the vocation that the Lord hath called me to the annunciation of the Gospel, it seemed to me there was no other means to complete this [task] if not in all, at least in part, with my desire and obligation to give [the New Testament] in my own language.

Juan felt the scriptures were necessary in order to make one wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15), and viewed the scriptures as completely essential to finding absolute truth.

His translation work was not for fame, nor fortune, but only to please his Lord and Saviour. He did not dedicate his work to an earthly king, rather to the King of Kings, for in his preface we read:

My intention of translating your Testament, King of Glory, has been to serve you and help those that are redeemed by your precious Blood, as you, Lord, well know, are the author of it! And may they help others of the power of the greatness to give security of your books, for this to be yours, I have wanted, Lord, to devote myself in dedicating it to you, for you only are the Great and Powerful one, for those that you redeemed might rejoice and receive the fruit of your labour. For this being as it is, all yours, and your own thing to know and glorify your name, may it go out and be published under the title and care of your Majesty, for you are the beginning, the growth, and perfection of all that is good … For this, Lord, I have run to thee, taking you as Patron, so that in this (according to your commandment) might be found glory. For as you are the author of this work that you love so, you might also be the tutor.”

Still fearing the deadly Inquisition, Juan did not dare put his name on the title page of his work, nor did he state where it was printed. Instead he listed the location and publisher as: “In Venice, in the house of John Philadelpho.”

Many scholars agree that no such man and no such house existed in Venice, and that this was simply a pseudonym for Juan Perez de Pineda himself. The word Phildephia, of course means brotherly love, and it’s been theorized that Juan Philadelpho, was Juan’s way of saying he loved his Spanish brethren greatly, enough to give them the word of God anonymously.

The truth is his version was printed by Jean Crispin in Geneva. On the title page of Juan Perez de Pineda’s N.T., we see a “Y” which represents the two paths a sinner can take, one to eternal perdition, and the other to everlasting, celestial glory.

Matthew 7:13 is also given, showing the damned taking the broad way, while the righteous take the narrow. And interestingly enough, the arms on the “Y” are purposely made with one wide and one narrow.

Further symbolism is seen in the sinner on the left falling into the fires of hell, while the redeemed looks to receive a crown of glory in heaven, probably insinuating that he thought to receive a crown for his service to Christ in getting Castilian-speaking people the word of God in their own language.

The entire New Testament was not Juan’s only work. He also reprinted Commentaries by Juan Valdes on the book of Romans and the book of First Corinthians, in 1556 and 1557 respectfully.

In 1558 Juan organized a church in Geneva consisting of fugitive Spaniards, which elected him as Pastor. (The same church in which Cassidoro de Reina served as pastor later).

Juan wrote many wonderful and evangelical works in his lifetime, many of which were doctrinal in nature and having to do with the vicarious sacrificial blood atonement of Jesus Christ.

He died in 1567.

It is important to note that it is his New Testament that Julianillo Hernandez smuggled into Spain to distribute, and it was this version that both Cassidoro de Reina and Cipriano de Valera read in their own language which led to their salvation.

Some claim that Juan Perez de Pineda didn’t do much of the translation work himself, instead copying greatly from the work of Francisco de Enzinas and his 1543 New Testament. But we know this is not the case, as his title page even tells us his version was “Newly and faithfully translated from the original Greek into romance Castilian.

However, it is known that Juan would have had access to the Enzinas, and he most likely would have referenced it in his work. Both Cassidoro de Reina and Cipriano de Valera also used Juan Perez de Pineda’s N.T. in their translation work.

Thus, it’s important to note that the history of the Spanish Bible is tightly interconnected among the many Reformer Spaniards who jeopardized their lives for the goal of getting their own people a Castilian Bible in their own language.





Although the Old Testament and New Testament had been translated into Spanish on several occasions by various different Spaniards, no one had undertaken the task to do both at the same time in order to print them in one volume.

The first to do this was Cassidoro de Reina, who published his entire version of the Bible in Basil, Switzerland in 1569.

Born in 1520 in the South of Spain, Reina attended the university of Seville, where he was ordained a priest, and eventually joined the Monastery of San Isidoro del Campo as a monk of the Hieronymite order, a group of hermits that followed the rules of St. Augustine, and the writings of St. Jerome.

During the years 1550 to 1557 this monastery was profoundly influenced by the Reformation doctrines and the teachings of Martin Luther. It is to this monastery that Julianillo Hernandez smuggled in Reformation literature, as well as New Testaments of Juan Perez de Pineda, and the entire monastery accepted these gladly, immersing themselves in the study of the scriptures.

Once the Catholic church learned of this, they quickly branded these studious disciples as “dogmatists,” worthy of judgment and execution. Thus, being warned by friends, Cassiodro de Reina, along with a dozen of his fellow monks, fled Spain to escape the dreaded Spanish Inquisition.

Reina arrived first in Geneva, where he served as pastor to a small group of Spaniards, once pastored by Juan Perez de Pineda. For his leadership abilities Reina was quickly given the title of “MOSES of the Spaniards.”

But, seeing the critical spirit of John Calvin, and greatly loathing his condemnation and burning of Servetus at the stake, Reina became disillusioned with Calvin’s brand of Protestantism, going so far as to call Geneva, “A New Rome.”

In secret, Reina even wrote a book against Calvin, entitled: “Concerning Heretics, Should they be Persecuted,” in which he condemned all religious executions for any reason.

Scared, not only of harassment from the Spanish Inquisition, but also persecution from those who called themselves “Protestants,” Reina moved to Frankfurt in 1558, and then on to England in 1559, where the Queen gladly harbored and protected him, giving him the church of St. Mary’s Axe, and allowing him to serve as Pastor to a group of Spanish-Speaking refugees. It was here he wrote his Confession of the Christian Faith, in which he begins:

This declaration, or confession of faith of certain faithful Spaniards, who fleeing the abuses of the Roman Church and the cruelty of the Spanish Inquisition, do constitute a church of the faithful to be received in her as brothers in Christ…congregated in London in the name of the same Lord, the Spanish brethren, fleeing the abominations of the Papacy, rejoice in grace and peace through our only Redeemer.

Spanish Inquisition agents in England harassed Reina, and falsely accused him of: “deceit, heresy, adultery, and sodomy.” (Interestingly enough, Catholics too falsely accused King James of England of homosexuality).

Fleeing from Catholic agents became a common occurrence for Reina who traveled frequently, and narrowly missed being captured by the Spanish Inquisitors time and again. During his travels he worked on his translation of the Old and New Testament, translating quickly, fearing he would be caught and his work would go unfinished.

In 1563 he went in Antwerp, and in 1564 he settled down with his family in Frankfurt, where he wrote a book against the Inquisition entitled, “Sanctae Inquisitionis hispanicae artes aliquot detectae, ac palam traductae.” It was published in 1567 in Heidelberg.

In 1565, Reina pastored a congregation of French-speaking people in Strasburg for a short time, but meddling papists led to that door being closed, and him having to move once more.

He eventually landed in Switzerland again, and it was there in 1569 he completed his twelve years of translation work, of which he confesses to have taken advantage of the works of the Ferrara Bible, the Enzinas, and others, copying from them word for word in some places.

Reina used many different texts in his translation. In his preface we read:

First, we declare that we have not followed completely or in all the old Latin translation, that is in common use: for although its ancient authority is mighty, neither one or the other should excuse the many ERRORS that it has, departing so many innumerable times from the truth of the Hebrew text; others adding; others transposing from one place to another, all of which though could well be prevented, it cannot be denied.

According to this confession, Reina says he did follow the Latin Vulgate (the official Bible of the Catholic church), but not in all, for according to him, it was full of errors and deviations, and not faithful to the pure Hebrew Masoretic text.

That Cassidoro could not follow the Hebrew text completely, we know because he further states in his preface:

...we came as close as we could to the fountain of the Hebrew Text whenever it was possible, (though without any controversy it is the very first authority) which we did commonly following the translation of Santes Pagnino, who of the vote of all the wise men [learned] in the Hebrew tongue, is taken as the most purest up to date.”

Here, Cassidoro mentions the Santes Pagnino text, a pro-catholic Old Testament, which many priests of that time period viewed as a faithful Old Testament translation.

Because of this, Reina’s Bible was not perfect, as it contained many corrupt, pro-catholic readings, and therefore it needed revision.

Reina’s version today is known as La Biblia del Oso or The Bear Bible, for its drawing of a bear on the title page. There is much symbolism contained therein.

The hammer and the honey represents the word of God, and the bees are those faithful men who worked diligently to translate it to the words of the common man. The bear or beast represents the Catholic Church which sought to destroy the work, and the birds symbolize those Inquisitor agents who sought to catch the translators so they could not finish their work.



Above: Title Page of the 1569 Bear Bible by Reina


The money for the printing of Reina’s Bear Bible came from Juan Perez de Pineda who upon his death left all he had to go towards a fund for printing Spanish Bibles. But, this money was tied up in probate court, and not easy to obtain. After a long wait, it was eventually given to Cassiodoro de Reina for use in publishing his version, of which only 2,600 were ever printed.

It is no secret that Reina’s Bible was not perfect. Although it was very good, it did need revision.

Reina tells us in his preface what he thought should have been done:

...there should be an order to make a version not the work of a few, but of ten or eleven of the most learned and pious men chosen from the Universities and Churches of the kingdom, who will diligently consult the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament with the Greek of the New, and all version that they have, and of these make a Latin version for the schools and a vulgar version that will serve for the common people, of which by a public council of the nation, and with the favor of the supreme public Magistrate be the supreme authority...of the Scripture canon…

Interestingly enough, the King James version in English of 1611 does exactly that, being the commandment of the King of England to give the common people not only a pure Bible, but an authorized translation in their own language, done by the most scholarly men of their time.

Would to God the King of England would have also mandated an “authorized” Spanish Version! But Spain and England were not friends.

Thus, this led to the sad history of the Spanish Bible, that of many revisions being done later, each one often making it worse instead of better.



Cipriano de Valera was born near Seville, Spain. During his lifetime he would have known many of those Spaniards who were captured and condemned by the Inquisition, men like Ponce de la Fuente, Dr. Juan Gil, Julianillo Hernandez, and others. In his schooling, he was personally taught by Arias Montano, a well-known Catholic scholar, known for producing his own Polyglot Bible, later printed in Antwerp.

Valera later joined the monastery of San Isidro del Campo, in which Cassiodoro de Reina also resided.

By divine providence Valera escaped the bloody Inquisition and in 1557 fled to Geneva for safety. After his departure, the Inquisition burned him in effigy, branding him a “Lutheran heretic.”

In 1558 he journeyed to England and later joined the University of Cambridge in 1559, obtaining a Master of Arts there in 1563.

That same year he became tutor to an Irish man named Nicholas Walsh. Valera’s desire to see the common man have a Bible to read in their own language can plainly be seen in his encouraging his student to translate the Bible into his native tongue of Gaelic. Mr. Walsh started the project, but suffered a violent death before completion.

This led to Valera being out of a job. Eventually, he became a Schoolmaster, teaching children in London, and during this time, he thought to do something about the Spanish Bible.

Since only 2,600 copies of Reina’s Bear Bible were printed in 1569, and none were published thereafter for at least another 400 years, these versions quickly became hard to find.

For this reason, Valera decided to undertake the job of revising Reina’s Bible before reprinting it for his Spanish-Speaking countrymen to read.

Valera started his work in 1582, (thirteen years after the publication of Reina’s Bear Bible), and worked twenty years, right up until the date of its publication in 1602, (also the year of his death).

From the preface of Valera’s work, we read: “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 my eyes are dimmed), having spent 20 years in [revising] it.


Valera did not claim to have translated another Bible version all by himself. (He did not call it “Valera’s Bible.”). Rather, he looked at himself as nothing more than a Reviser, and his revision he called a “Second Edition,” on the title page.

The artwork he chose for his version contained profound symbolism, which also showed his humility. Two men are shown planting and watering a tree. It is supposed this scene illustrates 1 Cor. 3:6, in which Paul says, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” In Valera’s mind, the planter of the seed was Reina, while he was simply the one who watered that version through revision.

Valera gives us his reason for revising the 1569 Bear Bible in the preface of his 1602 revision:

So that our nation of Spain will not lack so great a treasure, as the Bible in its own tongue, we have taken pains to read and reread it and many times we have enriched it with new notes, and even sometimes we have altered the text. Which we have done with mature counsel and deliberation, and not confiding in ourselves, (for our conscience’s testify of how small we are), we have conferred with many pious and learned men, and diverse translations, that by the mercy of God there are diverse translations [available] in our day. As to the rest, this version according to my judgment…is excellent, as thus we have followed as much as we were able, word for word.

According to this statement, Valera did the best he could, and he truly believed his revision was an excellent translation of the scriptures. However, he must not have had access to the pure texts, or else he didn’t do a thorough revision, as his version still contained many corrupt Latin Vulgate readings. (A brief list will be given later).

Valera’s edition was not widely printed, and instead of it becoming the standard Spanish version, like our authorized King James in English, sadly it was later revised many times by many different Bible Societies, who either mixed it with the catholic or the critical texts.

It should be noted, the original 1569 Bear Bible also had the apocrypha intermingled in its texts, which all versions of the Bible by law in those days had to have in order to be printed. Wisely, Valera took the apocrypha out of the Old Testament text, and put it by itself in the middle of his revision, (as did the King James Translators who did not believe it to be inspired), discussing in his preface the reasons why he refused to view it as part of the scriptural canon.

Cipriano de Valera is certainly worthy of further mention, as he was an amazing Spaniard, full of courage and dogmatic zeal, writing many books, tracts, and doctrinal works against the corruption and false teachings of the Catholic church, often times using strong language to make his point.

In 1588, he published his now famous tract, “Del Papa i de la Misa,” a work of over 600 pages, in which he gives the entire history of the Catholic Church, and the lives of the Popes, including: the Murderer Pope, the Woman Pope, the Homosexual Pope, the Pope that had a harem, the Pope that spoke to demons, and more.

In that work, we see how much he loved his countrymen and how much of a burden he had to see them loosed from the spiritual darkness, idolatry, religious slavery, and deception:

It pains me so much that my nation, of which the Lord God hath given so much genius, ability, and understanding for the things of the world, (of which the other nations are not able to deny), in the things of God, in the things of the salvation of souls, or of going to heaven or to hell, should be so stupid and letting themselves be governed, knocked down, and tyrannized by the Pope, the man of sin, the son of perdition, the Anti-Christ, that sitting in the temple of God as God, makes himself appear to be God...They believe the Pope to be the successor of St. Peter, to be the Vicar of Christ...but this tract will serve to undeceive you, it will show very palpably that the Pope is not the successor of St. Peter, but of Judas, not the Vicar of Christ, but of Satan (of which the Scriptures call Prince of this world and god of this age)...And if the Pope should fall, then at that moment would fall the Mass, and all of the idolatry, that the Pope has invented.

Valera’s righteous indignation against the Romanist Church showed through in his writing, and as expected, the Catholic Church quickly added his books to their list of forbidden books.

But this did not stop Valera from writing other works against what he viewed as anti-biblical practices of Roman Catholicism. In 1594, he wrote another tract with the rather lengthy title of: “Tract to confirm the poor captives in Bavaria, in the universal and ancient faith and Christian religion to comfort them with the word of God in the affliction that they suffer for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He also spent time translating Calvin’s Institutes into Spanish.

For his vehement defense of Protestant teachings, and his scholarly exposition of the embarrassing details of the history of Catholicism, he was branded “The Spanish Heretic” by the Catholic Church.

Valera also published his own version of the New Testament in London, England in 1596. There is symbolism on its title page as well. There we see a double-edged sword and an anchor, representing the sword of the scripture, the anchor of man’s soul.


But today, perhaps, Valera is best known for his revision of the 1569 Bear Bible published in 1602.

In the preface of his revision of 1602, it’s easy to see that he, like Reina, truly believed in the importance of the common people having the word of God in their own language, for we read:

Our good God and Father, that so much desires our salvation, that none of us be lost through ignorance, but that all come to the knowledge of the truth, and that thus we be saved, commands us very explicitly, and not in only one place, but in many places that we should read the Holy Scriptures, meditate in them, study them, mull them over, and thus in Deut. 6:6-7, speaking to the people in general, and to all of them in particular, says: ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up, and etc.’”

Both Valera and Reina believed in the importance of the reading the scriptures, for it is only through them that man may find salvation, and freedom from spiritual darkness.

Cassidoro de Reina said it well in the preface of his 1569 Bear Bible:

It is an intolerable thing to Satan the father of lies and darkness that the truth of God and his light be made manifest in the world, because it is only through this that deceit can be undone, darkness can be dispelled, and all vanity on which his kingdom is founded may be discovered, of where then will his ruin be certain, and the miserable men that he has tied in prisons of death and ignorance, taught with the divine light break free from their prisons to eternal life and liberty as Sons of God.

Both Reina and Valera wanted their own people to have a PURE version of the scriptures, and not a corrupt one like the Latin Vulgate. Valera sums it up nicely in the last sentence of his 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.”

Clearly both Reina and Valera were evangelistic, like many others of their Spanish protestant brethren, and had a great desire to see people saved.

Sadly, they did not have access to all the pure texts underlying the King James Bible, and for this reason their versions still contained corrupted Latin Vulgate readings. Just a few examples are as follows.



Mt. 24:2 Omits the word Jesus

Luke 9:43 Removes the word Jesus

John 14:28 Changes “mi padre” to “el padre.”

Acts 8:16 Omits “Señor.”

Acts 8:25 Changes “Señor” (Lord) to “Dios” (God).

Acts 16:10 Changes “Señor” to “Dios.”

Acts 17:27 Changes “Señor” to Dios.

Acts 22:16 Removes the words “El Señor.”

2 Cor. 10:18 Changes “Señor” to “Dios.”

1 Tim. 6:1 Changes “Dios” to “Señor.”

2 Tim. 4:14 Changes “Señor” to “Dios.”

James 1:12 Changes “Señor” to “Dios.”

An interesting note which must be commented on is the Spanish word “Jehová” used in both the 1569 and 1602 Bibles. As briefly stated before, Reina decided to use that word in his version calling the Jews “superstitious” for reverently not wanting to pronounce the sacred name of God in their own language. Yet, he was not altogether against using the word Señor (Lord), stating in his preface of the 1569 Bible, “We are not determined to take into question here with anyone this business, nor force anyone to pronounce this name, if the superstition of the Jews seems may pass over this word when you read it, or in place of it pronounce Lord, as the Jews do.

It must be remembered that both Reina and Valera were Catholics before their conversion to Jesus Christ, and Catholics, especially Spanish ones, were very Anti-Semitic. It is possible for this reason that both Reina and Valera chose to use the word “Jehovah” in their version instead of the word “SEÑOR,” or LORD as our King James Bible does. (Note: Even Juan Valdes and Juan Perez de Pineda chose “Señor” in their Spanish translations of the Psalms).

Valera had much to say about “Jehová” in the preface of his 1602 revision:

Touching the holy name of Jehovah...we have retained for the learned and pious reasons of the first Translator...I will only add here two reasons, refute the superstitious obstinance of the Jews, in pronouncing the name Jehovah… The first reason is because the idolatrous Gentiles that had commercial business and traded with the Hebrew people pronounced the name of Jehovah...The Second reason is Deut. 6:13, 10 and 20, in which it says, ‘Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.’ The form of swearing, and the conditions of it are in Jer. 4:2, ‘And thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness...’ The Jews then deceive themselves in not swearing by the Holy name of Jehovah, nor even pronouncing it.”

Yet, later in his preface Valera ridicules others who pronounce the name Jehovah too much:

The name of Jehovah is (as Ps. 111:9 says) ‘holy’ and ‘terrible.’ If it is holy, why do you, miserable sinner, profane it taking it without any reverence in every third word in your mouth...why do you miserable worm, dust, and ash, not tremble when you take it in your filthy mouth? Remember, God will not hold the innocent that take his name in vain (Exod. 20)…Forgive me Christian Lector if I have gone on too long in this: the superstition of the Jews and doubt of some Christians have made me made me be so exhaustive.

In one part of his preface, Valera casts doubt all together on whether or not men even pronounce the name of God correctly at all when they pronounce the word Jehova:

But of the Hebrew name Jehovah, that has been heard to be the name of the God of the Hebrews, our Sevillian Benito Arias, very learned in many languages, speaking of the names of God makes particular mention of the essential name of Jehovah, and thus says these words: ‘It is important to show the reason of similar names and pronunciations such as J E H V E H. And this is how I think that the fathers pronounced it, the Israelites, like other men of other nations, that had news of this name.’ The same Benito Arias after having said this, promised to try to find in another place the true pronunciation of Jehova. If he has found it, I do not know.

With this hefty confession it’s impossible to know exactly how to pronounce the name of God. The Hebrew word contains no vowel points, so we really don’t know how it’s supposed to be pronounced. So, how do we know we are even pronouncing it right when we say Jehovah?

This is an important point, and is still hotly debated today, as all modern Reina-Valera Bibles, which claim to be in agreement with the King James in English, use Jehovah instead of the KJV rendering of LORD (SEÑOR in Spanish). Because of this, the Jehovah Witness movement has gained much ground among Spanish-Speaking people, taking advantage of the use of “Jehová,” in the Spanish Old Testament.

(Note: The only Spanish Bible today that follows the King James in using “Señor” is the Valera 1602 Purified, which reads SEÑOR (all caps) in all but six places, where it reads either “Jah” or “Jehová.” But we will get to this later.)

Valera’s original 1602 Spanish Bible revision of Reina’s work saw little publication in the 1600s and 1700s, being reprinted only about four times and then only in very small quantities.

In 1773, the Catholics printed their own whole Bible in Spanish in Valencia, Spain, the work of Felipe Scio de San Miguel, a Segovian Bishop. It consisted of ten volumes and was translated directly from the Latin Vulgate. It was again reprinted in Madrid in 1793 or 1794. Obviously it was a pro-catholic Bible, as it was allowed by the Inquisition.

And, as we shall shortly see, this Catholic Scio version was largely printed by Protestant Bible Societies, and even used by them to revise Valera’s Protestant revision of 1602.



The Spanish Inquisition did not take place only in Spain. It also came to the New World as Spain colonized the Americas. With it persecution, torture, and executions continued on another continent towards those of other faiths and beliefs. Catholic burnings of Protestant Bibles also took place on such a large scale that Protestant Bible Societies in the 1800’s felt they had to do something in order to keep the Bibles they distributed throughout Central and South American from being burned to ashes.

Thus, Protestant Bible Societies printed only the Catholic *Scio Bible and distributed it in Latin America in hopes it would be accepted.

The “Cambridge History of the Bible” confirms this with these words: “...early Protestant versions printed for circulation in Spain and Latin America consisted of the Scio text.”

Another source reads, “In 1819, the Protestant Bible Societies reproduced the Scio version without the Apocrypha, by the hundreds of thousands.

And, Bill Kincaid supports this with, “...The Foreign Bible Society (British) began distributing Catholic Spanish Bibles adapted (Apocrypha and notes removed) from the Felipe Scio (1790’s)...with hopes it would be allowed [by the Catholic church] to circulate [among the Spanish-Speaking people].

Had Reina and Valera learned of such news, no doubt they both would have turned over in their graves, for they as Protestants devoted their lives to trying to reach lost Spanish-Speakers with a pure Spanish Bible, not a version based completely on the corrupt Catholic Latin Vulgate, which they viewed as full of “errors.” But it seems Protestant Bible Societies didn’t have the same desire or courage as those Spaniards of old, who were willing to suffer persecution and even die for the truth.

The Bible Societies felt that any Bible in the hands of the commoner was better than no Bible at all, so they compromised in printing Catholic versions to distribute to the masses.

* The Scio Bible was produced in the late 1700’s, the work of a Catholic Priest Miguel Scio, who translated directly from the corrupt Latin Vulgate. It was he who translated John 1:1 as Verbo instead of Palabra in reference to Jesus Christ, from the Latin word Verbum. Something which, sadly, all Spanish revision thereafter followed suit in doing, except the 1602 Purified.

But not all Bible Societies printed the Catholic Scio text exclusively. Others took Valera’s 1602 revision as their basis, but then revised it again in many key places with the Scio Vulgate text, making it look to the Catholics like it was a Catholic version. What they produced was a Valera-Scio Vulgate hybrid Bible, which was part Protestant and part Roman Catholic.

And yet other Protestant Bible Societies took the new Catallan Bible printed in Barcelona, Spain, the work of Catholic Bishop Felix Torres Amat, who also translated from the Latin Vulgate, and printed it. One famous author informs us that between 1837-1856, many Bible Societies also put out a revised text of the Torres Amat Catholic Version, and sold it at a very modest price. This is an example of a Valera-Amat Vulgate hybrid Bible.

A good way to tell if a Spanish Bible version is a Catholic translation, or a hybrid Protestant-Catholic Hybrid Bible is to turn to John 1:1. All Catholic versions say, “Verbo,” in reference to Jesus from the Latin word “Verbum.” But as we’ve seen, all Protestant versions from the Reformation read “Palabra.” Thus, it’s easy to tell those versions that are either completely Catholic, or have revised the Reina-Valera with Catholic Vulgate translations.

Below are examples of various hybrid-Spanish Bible versions from the 1800s that were printed by Protestant Bible societies, which revised the Reina-Valera with the Latin Vulgate, making it read more in line with the Catholic texts:

1831 Bible Society of Glascow New Testament

1850 American Bible Society Spanish Bible

1862 Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge

1865 American Bible Society entire Spanish Bible



Protestant Bible Societies not only printed Catholic Bibles, they also printed revised versions of the Reina-Valera which either added or retained corrupt Latin Vulgate readings.

A prime example of this is the 1865 American Bible Society translation, a version that has recently been resurrected in the early 2000s, and reprinted for distribution. Those behind its publication and defense have started a new organization called The Valera Bible Society. Their seal is given below.

This group claims to be King James only in English, yet they dogmatically defend the 1865 American Bible Society Spanish Bible version, calling it an “outstanding representative” of the original 1602 Valera revision.

They further dogmatically claim “every attempt should be made to defend this version,” preaching that they believe it to be the very word of God in Spanish.

However, it’s hard to defend the 1865 and the English KJV, as they don’t read the same. Although the revisors of the 1865 did use the KJV some in their translation work, they left a lot of verses unchanged. Thus, the 1865 still reads with the corrupt Vulgate on many occasions.


The 1865 ABS translation came about in the following manner. In 1860, the American Bible Society chose three men to work on a new translation of the scriptures into Spanish. They were: Angel de Mora, Mr. H. B. Pratt, and Mr. Brigham. Both Mr. Pratt and Mr. de Mora were given a salary of $1,200 dollars a year for the task. However, because of eye trouble and the Civil War in America, Mr. Pratt dropped out of the work. (Yet, we shall see later, however, that he did have an impact on the work). They used in their work the King James Bible, the old Valera of 1602, and the new “critical texts.”

In 1862, the Old Testament was completed, and Mr. de Mora continued his work on the New Testament, with the same salary of $1,200 per year.

In May of 1865, Dr. Holdich (an ABS member) states the following about this version:

Although they may not dare to hope that the work is absolutely perfect, for that would be to claim for it what belongs to nothing human; yet they have strong persuasion that it will be found a very decided improvement on Valera’s generally excellent version.

Even Mr. Holdich did not think the version was perfect. However, he did think it is an improvement upon the original version of Valera of 1602. Why would he say this?

The answer is because in those days the critical texts, (i.e. corrupt texts made by men who inserted Catholic readings into their own published texts), were all the rage, and many who translated the Bible into another languages in that time were taught in Bible Colleges to use the critical texts. The following quote by the famous missionary Adoniram Judson, should suffice to prove that critical text translations were done even in the early and mid 1800s:

In my first attempts at translating portions of the New Testament, above 20 years ago, I followed Griesbach, as all the world then did; and though, from year to year I have found reason to distrust his authority, still, not wishing to be ever changing, I deviated by little from his text, in subsequent editions, until the last.

Adoniram Judson died in 1850. So even before that date translations of the scriptures into other languages were being mixed and mingled with the critical text.

That the 1865 American Bible Society Spanish Bible did the same is easy to see, especially when we look at “The ABS History Text and Translation Essay,” by the ABS, printed in 1966. It is there we read on page 27 that Mr. Pratt’s role in the work of the 1865 was to make sure of it’s critical accuracy, for Mr. Pratt states in his own words:

My good friend Mora, as my long and intimate acquaintance with him qualified me to know, was more than an ordinary master of Spanish, but had not nor could he have a clear notion of CRITICAL ACCURACY [emphasis mine] so far as the sense was concerned. In our own division of labor, he was responsible for the language, and I for the CRITICAL ACCURACY of the revision. He used to pass on over many things that greatly needed mending, without perceiving the need, till I followed after and called his attention to them. It is, I assure you, one of the few great disappointments of my life, that I could not go on with him till the work was done; and the more so as two men never wrought together in greater harmony than did we.

So Mr. Pratt did do some work on the 1865. And by his own admission, his job was to assure the critical accuracy of the text, or to make sure that it read more in line with the critical texts. (i.e. Vulgate readings)

That Mr. Pratt loved the Critical Texts is no secret. For in 1893 he published through the same American Bible Society a Spanish version based entirely upon the critical texts of Westcott and Hort, entitled “La Version Moderna.”

The 1865 was not only the work of the three men mentioned above, but also that of Dr. Holdich, a member of the American Bible Society, who tells us his role in the 1865 edition:

I must say in justification that Mr. Mora had no part of the Bible which I had reviewed except the New Testament… or that we had made but a partial revision of it, having determined to leave many things unsettled, till we came to revise it again before publication, our intention was to revise the Old Testament once, but the New Test. twice, as its CRITICAL ACCURACY was most important.”

According to his confession, the 1865 was revised for critical accuracy yet again. And Dr. Holdich continues by saying that Mr. de Mora had no “critical knowledge” of the scriptures.

Although it cannot be denied that the 1865 used the King James in it’s translation process, and for this reason some verses read much closer to the King James Bible, the fact is the 1865 is not a perfect translation, as it did not take out the many corrupt Latin Vulgate readings in the original 1602. Thus, the 1865 reads with the Catholic Vulgate, and the modern critical texts on many occasions, against the King James Bible.


Mark 2:17 Adds the missing word “arrepentimiento” (repentance)

Mark 9:24 Adds “Señor

Acts 20:28 Adds “la iglesia de Dios, la cual el gano con su propia sangre.

Rom. 1:16 Adds "de Cristo" just like the KJV.

1 Cor. 1:18 Adds “predicacción” (preaching).

2 Cor. 4:10 Adds “Señor Jesus

While the 1865 improved the Spanish Bible in some places, by making it read closer to the infallible King James, it made it worse in others, by causing doctrinal errors, and by still following the catholic and critical texts.


Levi. 17:11 Says the life of the flesh is in the soul, not the blood.

Jonah 1:6 Changes “Dios” to “dios.”

Ps. 12:6,7 Changes from God’s word being preserved to only God’s people being preserved.

Ps. 138:2 Takes out the fact that God’s word is magnified above his very name.

Mt. 14:36 Says people were “saved” by simply touching Christ’s garments.

Matt. 24:2 Omits the word “Jesus” following the Latin Vulgate.

Luke 9:43 Removes the word “Jesus” as do Aleph, B, and the Vulgate.

John 10:11 Says Jesus gave his “soul” (alma) instead of his “life” (vida) for his sheep.

2 Peter 1:21 Says the “men” were inspired, not the words.

Heb. 4:8 Changes “Jesus” to “Josue” (Joshua) when every text says “Jesus.”

Acts 16:10 Changes Señor to Dios following the Vulgate, Aleph, and B.

Acts 17:27 Changes Señor to Dios following the Vulgate, Aleph, and B.

Acts 22:16 Removes the words “El Señor reading with the Vulgate and the critical texts.

James 1:12 Changes Señor to Dios following the Latin Vulgate reading.

The 1865 also follows the original 1602 in oftentimes changing Lord to God and vice versa for no reason. Some examples are:

Acts 8:25 Changes Señor to Dios.

2 Cor. 10:18 Changes Señor to Dios.

1 Tim. 6:1 Changes Dios to Señor.

2 Tim. 4:14 Changes Señor to Dios.

And finally, the 1865 is guilty of changing some words with no textual basis whatsoever. Below are a few examples of this:

Matt. 8:1 Adds Jesus when there is no textual basis to do so!

Mark 6:44 Omits the word como.

Mark 8:25 Adds the words de lejos.

Another interesting note about the 1865 being printed today is that too reads “Verbo” in John 1:1, as do all Catholic Bibles and Valera-Catholic Hybrid translations. This is interesting, for in the ABS History Text and Translation, page 27, we read these words:

A point of interest in this connection is committee action in 1868 by which the word ‘Palabra’ was ordered changed to ‘Verbo,’ by Dr. Schmidt to make a list of the places where this was to be done. At the next meeting he reported changes to be made in John 1:1, 14, 1 John 1:1, 5:7 and Rev. 19:13.

This took place at a committee meeting in 1868, three years after the 1865 was first printed. This means the 1865 printed today by the Valera Bible Society quite possibly isn’t the original 1865, but a later revision of it, as the original 1865 had “Palabra!”

That the 1865 Spanish Bible was not readily accepted by the Spanish-Speaking world is no secret. In fact, the ABS’s own history admits the following about what transpired after its printing and distribution. I quote:

Dr. Holdich said he was at a loss to know what to do about a Spanish Bible. The ABS edition [of 1865] was better than the Valera [1602 original] but what were they to do? All the criticisms came from Mexico and South America. ‘We do not know how far to rely on them!’ He would like a comparison of the BFBS and ABS editions. There should be one as near perfect as possible and both Societies use it. ‘How can this be secured?’”

This doubt about the 1865 and Spanish-Speaker’s rejection of it is what eventually led to the 1909 Spanish Bible translation project.

One final note about the 1865 is that it was revised yet again in 2005 by the Valera Bible Society, which made 50 changes in that version, this after claiming in a famous publication entitled, “The Bible Baptist Bulletin” that Spanish-Speakers should “attempt to defend every word of the original 1865.”

After these 50 changes were made, others began to point out: “It can no longer be called an 1865, because it’s been revised again. So it needs to be called a 2005 revision.

Rather than change the date of revision, the Valera Bible Society chose to undo those changes it made and has now gone back to printing the same 1865 (or 1868?) edition just as they did before. This is a shame, as the changes were for the better, often going against the Vulgate and the critical texts, and in favor of the pure texts underlying the King James Bible.



Dr. Floyd Dallis said the following about the 1865 and why the 1909 was produced:

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 [the 1865] had more changes in the text based on Westcott and Hort corruption. About 100,000 changes were 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 corruption of the 1865 edition of the ABS!

There is one thing wrong with this statement. Westcott and Hort had not come out yet with their critical text New Testament revision (they did not come out with it until 1881). However, the rest of it is very accurate, for as we have seen, the 1865 committee was very interested in the “critical accuracy.”

With the overall rejection by Spanish-speakers of the 1865, the American Bible Society wrote to the British and Foreign Bible Society, asking them how they could make a standard Spanish Bible. The answer was for both of them to work together on a new translation, and this is exactly what they did.

The BFBS of London and the ABS in New York, began their work in 1890 to produce a standardized Spanish text. They called on noted Christian leaders and Scholars in Central and South America for the task. They named the following men to do the work: Dr. Victorian D. Baez, Dr. Carlos W. Dress, Dr. Enrique C. Thompson, Dr. Juan Howland, and Dr. Francisco Diaz, representing Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Argentina.

Others who helped with the work are a Who’s Who of Spanish evangelicals of the time. Below are a few of the most notable ones who helped on the 1909 project.

William Douglas the first Director of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and a Missionary to Spain.

Richard Payne a Plymouth Brethren Missionary to Spain, who with his son sold Bibles in Spain.

Franklyn G. Smith a Missionary to Spain, who translated a version into Catalan. Sadly, he was heavily influenced by Erwin Nestle, a German textual critical.

Cipriano Tornos, an ex-catholic Priest, and Pastor in Madrid, who fought for the unification of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance in both Spain and Latin America.

John Jameson, a representative of the Bible Society of Scotland, who with William Knapp, a Baptist, and William Moore, a Presbyterian, organized the first Presbyterian Church in Spain in 1870.

Juan Bautista Cabrera (1837-1916), a well-known Hymn writer and member of the Reformed Episcopal church of Spain and director of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Together with Tornos, he produced a Spanish Old Testament printed in 1905, based on the corrupt English Revised version of 1886.

         Cipriano Tornos       and    Juan Bautista Cabrera

Although many of these translators favored the critical texts, they did use the Textus Receptus in their work, oftentimes making the original 1602 read more in line with it in many places. Yet, they could not resist inserting critical text readings in others, as we shall soon see.

Some applauded them for using the TR, while others thought they didn’t use the critical texts enough. Because of this, another more critical text translation was eventually made in 1916 entitled “La Biblia Hispanoamericana,” in which even more critical texts readings were added. This version, however, was not readily accepted by Spanish Speaking people, who tended to want less critical text readings.

Even though the 1909 was not perfect, it gained overwhelming acceptance among Spanish-Speakers, and it eventually became the standard Spanish Bible among Evangelical Fundamentalists. Today it is known as “La Version Antigua” or “The Old Version.”

There is still a movement alive today which seeks to defend this version as the authoritative word of God. But modern Bible Societies have since turned away from this Bible in favor of a new one, the translation of 1960, a version which shall be mentioned shortly.


Although the 1909 was widely accepted, it did have some problems. These consisted not only of critical text insertions into the text itself, but also in the lack of consistently translating from Greek to Spanish. Below are a few examples of textual problems, doctrinal errors, translation inconsistencies, and pro-catholic words in the 1909 Spanish Bible.

Mt. 16:18 Calls Jesus only a “stone” (piedra) instead of a “Rock (Roca).

Mt. 2:26 Uses the catholic word “sumo pontífice” (High Pontiff).

Mark 1:2 Changes the TR/KJV reading of “the prophets” to “Isaias el profeta” (Isaiah the prophet). This makes a lie, for what follows is a quote of two different prophets, not just one!

Mark 2:17 Takes out the word “repentance.”

Mark 9:43,45,47 It transliterates the Greek word as “gehenna” instead of translating the word as “hell.”

Mark 11:19 Changes the word “he” for “Jesus” in the text.

Luke 4:41 Follows critical texts by ommitting “Christ,” downgrading the deity of Jesus.

Luke 9:43 Follows critical texts by omitting “Jesus,” and therefore undermining his authority and power.

Luke 21:1 Leaves the Greek word untranslated when it reads “gazofilacio.”

Acts 7:45 Changes “Jesus” to “Josué” (Joshua) even though every Greek text says Jesus.

Acts 20:28 Changes “Señor” to “Cristo,” which is an attack on the deity of Christ.

Acts 24:24 Adds “Jesus” following the Alexandrian and Siniaticus text.

Romans 1:16 Omits “of Christ” in speaking of the Gospel.

Romans 16:1 Says “diaconisa” (woman deacon) instead of “hermana” (sister). Note: This has led to a rather high number of churches choosing women deacons in Latin America.

1 Cor. 1:18 Changes “are saved” (somos salvos) to those that “save themselves” (se salven).

1 Cor. 7:5 Takes out “fasting” (ayuno).

Ephesians 3:9 Omits “by Jesus Christ” (por Jesucristo), which is attack on the deity of Jesus as the Creator.

This is just a small sampling of the problems in the New Testament of the 1909 Spanish Bible. Even though that version contains critical text readings, many of which have caused doctrinal errors and attacks on the deity of Christ, it has also fixed many problems in the original 1602 and the 1865. And, it’s not as bad as the newer, more popular, Reina-Valera revision of 1960, which has added even more critical text readings in its revision.

Above: John 1:1 in the 1909 Spanish Bible. It also retains the Catholic word “Verbo.”

Below: Title Page of the 1909 Spanish Bible.

(Note: The 1909 text has been printed often in the last 100 years by many different publishers and Bible Societies. Many of these were not careful to state that their version was the 1909, oftentimes printing in their title page: “Old Version of Reina (1569) and Valera (1602).” This has caused much confusion, as many have erroneously thought that the version they used was the original 1602, instead of the revision of it in 1909. If you have a Spanish Bible and it gives no other date than that of 1569 and 1602, then it’s probably a 1909 revision. An easy way to see is to check if it reads “Verbo” or not in John 1:1. If it says “Verbo” then it is most likely a 1909 Spanish Bible.

As we’ve seen, Protestant Bible Societies maliciously mixed in either catholic or critical text readings in their translations. They did not seek to rid the Spanish Bible of these readings (which was Reina and Valera’s desire), but rather to make versions of the scriptures which contained even more of them. With their hybrid-Bibles they mixed the Catholic Scio and Amat Torres Vulgate versions with the Valera. Later, they mixed Valera with the critical texts of Greisbach, Lachmann, Westcott and Hort, and Nestle-Aland. Now, we look at how they mixed in the liberal corrupt English texts into the Valera, as they joined textual criticism with ecumenicalism.


The idea for the 1960 Spanish translation started in 1950, from both the ABS and BFBS. To see if there was a need for another version of the scriptures in Spanish, they cut out pages from the 1909 and mailed it out to various people, asking them to write in the margin any changes they thought should be made to the text.

They received over 1,700 responses from people suggesting changes. Based upon this feedback, they decided to go ahead with the project of making an entirely new Spanish Bible version. Their goal was threefold:

1.  Eliminate the use of obsolete accents and the simplification of Proper names.

2.  The correction of awkward grammatical constructions which confused the reader and made for difficulty in public readings.

3.  To bring the Reina-Valera text more into line with the contemporary language of modern Spanish.

Not everyone liked the idea of a new Spanish revision. They argued that the Reina-Valera 1909 was the standard text and any further revision would only instill confusion. They wanted no further revision. But they were ignored and the work began.

Eugene Nida, founder of the diabolical dynamic equivalence theory of Bible translation and head of the American Bible Society at the time, stated it best, when he confessed, “The better educated people naturally tended to desire more radical changes, while the lesser educated were basically suspicious of alterations.

The translation committee chose six men to do the work. They were: Juan Diaz (of Mexico), Honorio Espinoza (of Chile), Francisco Estrello (of Mexico), Alfonso Lloreda (of Venezuela), Henry Parra (of Columbia), and Alfonso Rodriguez (of Cuba).

140 Consultants were also chosen, (80 for the New Testament and 60 for the Old Testament.) One of those consultants was Jose Flores, who tells us in his book “The Text of the New Testament” the tools used by the translators:

One principle added to the first list of the Reina-Valera 1960 revision committee was that whenever the Reina-Valera version has departed from the Textus Receptus to follow a better text, WE DID NOT RETURN TO THE RECEPTUS [emphasis mine]. 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 1946, and the International Critical Commentary.

Notice what this confession entails. They not only went against the venerable Textus Receptus, but they used preferentially several English editions based upon the corrupt critical texts!

Not only were critical texts inserted, but according to Mr. Nida, they were done so in a manner in which they would be hard to find. Mr. Nida confesses subtly: “Nevertheless in some instances where the critical text is so much preferred over the traditional Textus Receptus, the committee did make some slight changes, particularly if such changes were not in well-known verses.

How many changes were made to the 1960? One author states: “It is affirmed that the revisions before 1909 introduced 60,000 changes in vocabulary and more than 100,000 orthographic changes. The 1960 includes another 10,000 changes.

If we add 60,000 to 10,000, that means there are at least 70,000 changes in the 1960 translation from the original 1602 of Valera!

When the 1960 was first printed, very few Fundamentalist Evangelicals gave it the time of day, still desiring to cling on to their 1909. t wasn’t until publishers inserted the Scofield notes that evangelicals began to buy it in droves.

But when the 1960 came out, it did gain much notice from Catholics. Jose Flores again, in his other book, “The History of the Bible in Spain,” admits the following about the 1960:

The ecumenical groups of Mr. Taize and Father Robert Giscard appeared in the Spanish Television in 1965 giving money to the Roman Catholic publisher Herder to print 1 million ecumenical New Testaments. Simultaneously, several priests also purchased the recently published 1960 protestant Reina-Valera Bible, admitting that it is better, and that they will use it to teach children during catechism, due to the recent ambiance of Catholic aperture.

He further continues, almost bragging: “The U.B.S. has taken a turn towards the Ecumenical movement, and that Catholic and Protestant editors have finally found common ground for the commercialization of the scriptures.

Ecumenicalism had brought the Spanish Bible more in line with the catholic, critical (Vulgate) texts, and because of this, the same Catholic church which once persecuted and burned at the stake those who sought to translate the Bible into Spanish, were now working with and helping Protestant Bible societies print corrupt Spanish Bibles.!

Even Eugene Nida stated in 1978 the reason he was motivated to produce the 1960 was because of the following three reasons:

1.  The ecumenical movement’s ever increasing popularity, led by the Roman Catholic Church.

2.  The Roman Catholic Church’s leadership in resolving cultural and social differences.

3.  The renewal of Biblical Scholarship in transmitting mainly the message of the Bible, and the proclamation of the Good News among Catholics.

Once again, a so-called Protestant Bible Society was guilty of printing a Bible mixed with Catholic texts (which is really what the critical texts are, as in the New Testament they come from the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus Catholic texts, which come from the corrupt Latin Vulgate)

Thus, Ecumenicalism led to a new translation based not on the texts that both Reina and Valera wanted their work revised with, but with the texts they both viewed as corrupt.


Although the 1960 Spanish Bible is used extensively today throughout the Spanish-Speaking world, it is full of errors and problems. Below are just a few of the many strange readings in the 1960, many of which do indeed affect doctrine.

2 Sam. 21:19 Says that Elhanan, not David, killed Goliath.

2 Kings 10:25 The word “holy” (santo) is added to the temple of Baal, making Baal’s temple a holy place.

2 Kings 23:7 The word “sodomitas” (Sodomites) is changed to “prostitución idolátrica” (idolatrous prostitution).

Job 11:12 Says a man is born of a donkey.

Job 21:7-13 Says the wicked go “in peace” (en paz) to Sheol, or Hell. Right texts say they go “in a moment” (en un momento).

Daniel 3:25 Changes the reference to Jesus from “son of God” (hijo de Dios) to “hijo de los dioses” (a son of the gods).

Jeremiah 5:17 God commands Israel to eat their own children according to this verse.

Matt. 5:22 The words “without a cause” (In Spanish, locamente, or sin causa), are removed, making Jesus in danger of hell fire for getting angry with his brother in Mark 3:5.

Luke 2:22 Changes the word “her” (ella) to “them” (ellos) which makes it apply to Jesus also. Context is of a sacrifice of purification from sin. Jesus needed no sacrifice, for he never sinned!

2 Cor. 2:10 In speaking of forgiveness, it changes “in the person of Christ” to “in the presence of Christ,” which means you don’t have to forgive anyone until the Judgment.

2 Cor. 4:14 Says Christians will raise “with” (con) Jesus, not “by” (por) Jesus. This makes Jesus still in the grave because if we are to raise “with” him, then he must not have risen yet.

1 Peter 3:21 Takes out the words “al a figura de la cual” (The like figure whereunto even). By doing so, this verse teaches salvation by water baptism.

Rev. 14:1 The words “name of their father” is changed to “name of them and their father,” following the English RSV. Context is that of what’s written on their foreheads. The 1960 has two names on their foreheads instead of one.

Rev. 22:14 Changes “keep his commandments” to “wash their robes,” again following the RSV corrupt English version based on the critical texts.


If this sampling of verses aren’t bad enough to show the liberal scholarship of the 1960 translators, which didn’t reverence the word of God enough to make sure each verse read correctly, it must be added that the 1960 Spanish Bible also does the following.

Completely removes the doctrine of “Imputation.”

Completely takes out the word “Hell” from the entire Old Testament and the book of Revelation, instead leaving the words un-translated, as sheol, gehenna, or hades.

Updates to modern Spanish instead of following the old Castilian Spanish.

Unnecesarily changes many old Castilian words for modern synonyms. (When the old words were just as understandable).

Follows the critical texts and the catholic texts over the original Reina-Valera and Textus Receptus time and again.

Follows the modern translation method of “Dynamic Equivalence” instead of “Formal Equivalence.”

Yet for all these shortcomings, it is probably the most popular version among Spanish-Speakers today. It is so well-used and sold that is today known as “The Crown Version” in Latin-America, often being printed with a crown on the cover.

Top Left: Title Page from the Fundamentalist Baptist 1960 edition. Notice the New Age symbol, also used on the cover of the NKJV.

Top Right: Modern 1960 Spanish Bible with the “Crown” on the cover.

Bottom Left and Right: Front Pages of a 1953 ABS Bilingual New Testament in which they print the Spanish Latinoamericana Version with the modernistic English RSV, showing they were already in favor of corrupt, pro-critical text versions even before 1960.



Although the King James Bible had been translated into many different languages in the great Missionary movements during the 1800’s, it was never translated word for word into Spanish.

It’s true the 1865 revision used the King James in it’s translation work, but it did not follow it completely, often times choosing to follow Reina and Valera’s Latin Vulgate readings against the KJV.

Using the Textus Receptus in the New Testament, the 1909 corrected many of these Vulgate readings, to bring the Reina-Valera more in line with the King James, however, the translators could not resist inserting other critical text readings in their version, as did those behind the popular 1960 revision. Thus, a pure Spanish Bible like our English KJV has never been done in the Castilian language.

Not even a word for word KJV translation into Spanish has ever been done, that is until the 1990’s when a Missionary to Central America named McVey undertook the task. He took only the New Testament of the King James Bible and translated it word for word as exactly as possible, and his work was printed by Pilgrim Baptist Church in Abingdon, Virginia, under the title of “EL NUEVO TESTAMENTO de Nuestro Señor y Salvador Jesu Cristo BIBLIA AUTORIZADA DEL REY JAIME 1611.

Although his version does read word for word with the King James Bible, it is not a great translation, as the translator tried to make it read too closely to the KJV. By so doing, he departed greatly from the beautiful old Castilian Spanish, thus producing a version that is hard for Spanish-Speakers to read. Some examples will suffice to show how this edition changed the Spanish language so much that it made it almost impossible for Spanish-Speakers to understand.


In English we are blessed to have two ways to speak about the third member of the trinity, calling him either the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit. But in Spanish there is only one way to refer to the third member of the Godhead, and that is “Espiritu Santo,” literally Holy Spirit.

McVey in his New Testament tried to invent a Spanish word to show the difference, and he tried to literally translate Holy Ghost into Spanish as “Espíritu Fantasma.” This conjurs up a rather scary image to Spanish speakers, as fantasma is only used in describing scary ghosts. This makes it hard for Spanish-Speakers to understand how this could reverently apply to the Holy Spirit of God.


In Spanish “justicia” has always been the word used in speaking of “righteousness.” But McVey chose to translate righteousness as “rectitud” (perhaps wanting to use a word that started with an “r” in order to make it appear as close to the KJV as possible). The word rectitud is very hard for Spanish-speakers to understand in speaking of righteousness, as it’s not often used, especially in the context of one being righteous in Christ Jesus. Translating back to English, one would translate rectitud as straightness, rather than righteousness, so the choice of this word is confusing.


In English, the first word Jesus says in the New Testament is “Suffer.” (The reference is Matthew 3:15). In Castilian Spanish this is translated as “Deje” or Let. And if we look at the context, Jesus is using the word suffer not in context of physical pain, but rather in that of tolerating, or allowing.

McVey, however, translates the word in Spanish as “Sufre” or suffer, which most Spanish-Speakers would immediately take as meaning to “suffer physical pain.”


All Spanish Castilian Bibles in speaking of Jesus as the “only begotten” translate it as “unigénito.” In English, it’s two words, in Spanish it’s only one. McVey wanted to get so close to the English KJV, that he changed this, making it two words in Spanish, “único engendrado.” Although this is not wrong per se, it is rather strange to most Spanish speakers who are used to reading the passage and having only one word instead of two.

The McVey Bible did not see much circulation, as only several thousand copies were ever printed. Many people have never even seen a copy of this version.

But a redeeming factor of this version, is that it is indeed a true word-for-word edition in Spanish of the English King James Bible. And although it might be poor syntax grammatically, it is not all together useless, as it is a great tool for Spanish-Speakers who desire to learn English and read the King James Bible. As a reference tool, the McVey would do well to help them understand words in Spanish that they might not understand in English in the King James.

Finally, the McVey, as a direct translation of the KJV, does a great job in John 1:1 of showing us what the word for Jesus should be, as McVey does not translate the word as the Catholic Vulgate reading of “Verbo” but rather the true Spanish and Protestant word “Palabra.”

(Note: There is still a big debate about translating the entire Bible into Spanish directly from the King James Bible among many Fundamentalists. But many don’t understand to do so would be to dishonor and take away from the beautiful Castilian Spanish of the Reina and Valera Bibles. What’s needed in the Spanish language is an old Castilian Spanish Bible that reads with the right texts underlying the King James Bible).


Above: John 1:1 in the McVey New Testament.

Below Right: Front cover of the paperback McVey New Testament.

Below Left: Preface of the McVey New Testament, and where it says it is the 1611 Version, Authorized by the King of England. This is not exactly true as King James only authorized an English translation, not a Spanish one.


For the last 50 years, the majority of Spanish-Speaking Evangelicals and Fundamentalists world-wide used the popular 1960 Spanish Bible. But in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s some began to wake up to the fact that Bible Societies were messing with the Spanish Bible, adding more critical text readings. Because of this, some Fundamentalists (mostly those who are KJV only in English) tried to do something about it, desiring a pure Spanish Bible to take to the Hispanic people.

One group in Arizona, (an Independent Baptist church) chose to resurrect the old Enzinas New Testament of 1543, printing a thousand copies of it. However, it had no verse numbers, making it hard to find specific verses.

Another IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptist) church in Monterrey, Mexico decided they would do something about this problem, by going back to all the old Protestant Spanish Bibles, and producing a pure Spanish Bible based as closely on the original 1602 as possible, purifying it with texts underlying the King James Bible. Their version will be mentioned later.

But let us look now at the modern Gomez Spanish Bible revision.


The new Gomez Bible is the work of Humberto Gomez, a Fundamentalist Independent Baptist Missionary to his native country of Mexico. Seeing the errors in the 1960 Spanish Bible, Mr. Gomez decided to do his own revision of the Reina-Valera Spanish Bible. As his basis, he took the 1909, as well as the 1960, and with the King James Bible, he made his own revision of the Spanish Bible.

From his web site, in his own words, Mr. Gomez says, “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 and the KJV we have immediately corrected.

Mr. Gomez started his work in 2002, and finished his New Testament just two years later, publishing his first edition in 2004. For this, his version became known as The Reina-Valera Gomez 2004 or simply The RVG ‘04.

Because his work was done in such a short a quick time, his first edition contained many errors and mistakes. What follows are three examples of tremendous errors from his first edition, which have been scanned directly from that text.


JOHN 2:10

In this passage, Jesus turns water into wine, but we know that wine was just grape juice in the context. However, the word "hartos" or "full" (the old 1602 says "bien bebidos" or "well druken") has been changed to the horrific word "borrachos" which means drunk on hard liquor. This means Jesus turned the water into alcohol for them to drink!

1 COR. 7:36


Here the word “hija” (which means daughter) has been added to this verse, making the verse condone the sin of INCEST, or of that of a man marrying his daughter. Again in verse 38, the word “hija” is added, but it’s in italics, which shows the translator knew it wasn't part of the original text, or any text for that matter.

MATT. 1:22

In this verse we see the words “por el Señor” (by the Lord) changed only to “del Señor” (of the Lord). This is very important, as words spoken by the Lord are those spoken by God himself, while those spoken of the Lord are words spoken by someone else about Him.

In context, the prophet in this verse is speaking God’s words, thus it is the Lord speaking through the prophet. But this edition of the Gomez Bible changes this and has the prophet not speaking God’s words, rather he’s speaking his own words about the Lord.

When faced with the many errors in his first version, Mr. Gomez quickly made changes, revising his Bible time and again. (It’s been through at least 5 revisions to date). Thankfully, many errors have been changed, including these examples given above. But we still are left to ask, “How do errors like these get into a Bible?

As Mr. Gomez continued his work of revision, he sought help from others within his own denominational background, who emailed him thousands of suggestions of places they felt should be changed.

Having no proper training in the Hebrew and Greek languages, Mr. Gomez also sought the help of notable Hebrew and Greek Scholar D. A. Waite to help him in his work.

Together they tried to make the 1909 and 1960 read more in line with the pure texts underlying the King James Bible. Eventually, Chick Publications adopted their version and began publishing it in 2010 under the name of The RVG 2010.

And even on the front cover, they defend it as “The preserved words of God in the Spanish language.”

However, the RVG 2010 still retains the Vulgate reading of “Verbo” in John 1:1. And because it was based on modern Bible Society versions, it reads more with modern Spanish than with the beautiful old Castilian Spanish of the old Reina-Valera.


JOHN 1:1 in the RVG 2010. It still retains “Verbo.”


Even though the RVG has corrected some verses with the pure texts underlying the King James Bible it still has some problems. Again, Mr. claims to 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 with the TR or the KJV we have immediately corrected.

However there is much controversy over this statement, as taking the Textus Receptus with the King James and comparing them verse by verse with the Gomez one can plainly see that the Gomez Bible isn’t a thorough revision, as it still contains some critical text readings. Just looking at the book of John in the RVG 2010, we find the following examples:

John 5:33 The Textus Receptus translated is “al la verdad” (to the truth, like the KJV). But Gomez reads with the 1960 reading of "de la verdad" (or of the truth.)

John 5:34 The Greek word in the TR is plural and is translated “these things” in the KJV. The Gomez has only "esto" or this (singular).

John 6:22 The Greek word is “estakos” meaning "standing" (as the KJV translates it). The Gomez misses translating this word here and in John 11:56.

John 6:63 The Gomez here follows the corrupt 1960 reading of “os he hablado” (I have spoken), which is the wrong verb tense. The KJV correctly says, “I speak,” which is present tense, the literal translation of the Greek word lalo. In the Gomez, truth is what Jesus SPOKE, while in the KJV it is what Jesus SPEAKS still today.

John 7:44 The Gomez has "mano" (hand) in the singular form. The Greek words are tas xeiras, which of course are plural, and that's why the KJV translates it as "hands."

John 7:49 The Gomez reads as the singular "es" (interestingly enough just like the 1960 reading), while the KJV says “are (plural). The Greek word is eisi, which is plural.

John 8:6,8 The Gomez says, "inclinando al suelo" (bending down to the FLOOR or GROUND). The Greek words are kato kufas, meaning only bending down as the KJV says. There is no mention of the word FLOOR or GROUND. This is an addition to the Gomez, and interestingly enough it reads just like the 1960 revision.

John 11:27 The Gomez translates like the 1960 with "dijo," the past tense, which means "he or she spake or “he or she said.” The KJV, gets this right with “she saith,” (dice in Spanish). This happens time and again in the Gomez. Some other places are John. 11:39 and 44. But shouldn't the Greek word be translated EXACTLY AS POSSIBLE, especially to agree with the KJV?

This is just a small sampling of anti-Textus Receptus readings in the Gomez. (Incidentally, these verses read correctly in the 1602 Purified, of which we shall speak shortly).

Some people would not be bothered by these few examples, claiming it’s no big deal, and there are no doctrinal blunders. But does not the word of God say that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God? And shouldn’t we want every word translated correctly, especially when the translator has assured us that “every word that didn’t line up with the TR and the KJV has been “immediately corrected?”


Even though Mr. Gomez claims to have based his revision on the 1909 and “immediately” corrected “every verse” in his Spanish text with the King James, making it more in line with English Authorized version, the facts prove that’s not always the case, as the Gomez Bible not only deviates from the KJV, but also from the true Reina-Valera text as well, choosing instead words that read closer to the modern 1960 ecumenical version, rather than the old Protestant readings from the 1500 and 1600’s. For this reason, some have titled the RVG ’04 the: RVG ’60, as it reads so often with the 1960 Spanish Bible in choosing modern synonyms over the perfectly good Protestant Reina-Valera Spanish words. A few examples of this in the New Testament are as follows:


Old Reina-Valera Word

Gomez/1960 Word

Psalm 1:3



Matt. 1:1



Matt. 4:12

estaba preso

sido encarcelado

Matt. 5:24



Matt. 10:27



John 1:27



John 2:2



John 5:38



John 6:12



John 6:17



John 8:37



John 16:6



John 20:9


era necesario

Rom. 4:15



1 Cor. 5:13



1 Cor. 9:23



1 Cor. 11:34



2 Cor. 3:9



2 Cor. 6:14



2 Cor. 10:9



2 Cor. 11:14

se transfiguran

se disfraza

Gal. 4:9

volver a servir

volver a esclavizar

Eph. 4:18




Old Reina-Valera Word

Gomez/1960 Word

Eph. 4:19



Eph. 4:29



Eph. 5:18



Phil. 1:10

sin ofensa


Phil. 2:12



Phil. 2:24



Phil. 4:11



1 Thes. 2:3



1 Thes. 5:7

estan borrachos

se embriagen

1 Thes. 5:13

mayor estima

mucha estima

1 Thes. 5:26

beso santo

ósculo santo

2 Thes. 3:14



Titus 1:6



1 Peter 1:1



1 Peter 3:14



1 Peter 4:12



1 Peter 4:13



All of these changes, and many more that there is just not space to list here, were in favor of the 1960 Spanish Bible, and are all unnecessary, because the old Protestant Castilian word has been the long standing word for almost 400 years.

Because of such changing of the old Castilian word for a modern synonym, some have labeled the Gomez Bible, “The Synonym Bible.”

Why Mr. Gomez changed the old Reina-Valera words that have stood for almost 400 years for modern synonyms which come from a modern corrupt Spanish Bible put out by ecumenical Bible Societies is a mystery. However, Gomez gives the answer in his own words on his website:

There are many changes more that little by little we are going to annex. Not all are changes for the cause of the purity of the text, many of them are because we think it is a better translation.

Time and again on message boards, emails, and online chats, Mr. Gomez, in talking about why he changed words in his version, says things like:

"Magos is correct, but..."

"Salud is correct, but..."

"La Paz de su siervo is not bad, but I think our [version] is a little better"

"It is not incorrect to say 'por su gloria,' but..."

"We changed the word 'mujer' to 'esposa' not because mujer was wrong, but because in many cases it sounded better..."

Thus, even though the old Reina-Valera words were “correct” in Mr. Gomez’ opinion, he chose to reject them in favor of words he felt “sounded better.”

Therefore, the name of “Gomez” in the title of Mr. Gomez’s version is rightly deserved, as his version is exactly that, HIS version of what he thinks the Spanish Bible should say, oftentimes changing long-standing Reina-Valera words for synonyms from the corrupt 1960 revision.


That Gomez used the 1960 Spanish Bible in his translation work is no secret. Although at first he was reluctant to admit it, claiming he only used the 1909, he’s lately come out and confessed that he did use that ecumenical version in his work. But why did he try to hide that fact?

Some believe it was in order to get those who use the 1960 to come over to his side and change to his version. Whether this is the case or not, it cannot be denied that the Gomez reads with the 1960 time and again, often against the KJV, which he claims he to have used to “immediately correct” the text and the Reina-Valera Protestant Text.

By the Gomez Bible reading so closely with the corrupt 1960, we can clearly see fingerprints of those liberal scholars who put out that version in the Gomez. Below is a brief sampling of verses retained by Gomez in his 2010 version which come directly from the 1960.

1 Cor. 3:10 The RVG reads "perito arquitecto." This sounds a little like Freemasonry. The KJV says "wise master builder." The original 1602 and 1602 P both say "sabio maestro."

1 Cor. 5:2 The words “Tal obra” (the 1602 and 1602P readings) are changed to "tal acción" just like the 1960 reading. But the context in this verse is speaking of fornication, a wicked work (obra), which the Bible calls sin. It is not just an action (acción), as that makes it sound like it’s not sin, rather just something people do.

2 Cor. 12:4 The word “decir” (saying, the 1602 and 1602P reading) is changed to the 1960 word “expresar” (expressing.) But you can express something without saying it!

Eph. 4:19 The Gomez follows the 1960 reading of "toda clase de impureza" (English: all classes of impurity). This leaves us asking, "How many types or classes of impurity are there???"

Phil. 4:19 The RVG does not correct this verse with the KJV, instead leaving the strange 1909 and 1960 reading of “Mi Dios, pues, suplirá todo lo que os falte…” (Translated, My God will supply all that you lack.). This is this good doctrine. In fact, this sounds like the modern prosperity gospel!

1 Thes. 5:4 The word "sobrecoja" is changed to "soprenda" (surprise) which only the 1960 and Spanish NIV use. Sobrecoja means to take up or grab or over take. The original 1602 uses "os tome" (take you). The 1602P uses "os agarre" (take you). The King James says, "overtake." So why does the Gomez change it to surprise (soprenda)? The context of the verse is that of the rapture. Will the rapture take you or just surprise you?

2 Thes. 2:4 The Gomez follows the '60 with "haciendose pasar por Dios," (Making himself pass for God). The original 1602 says haciendo parecer Dios. And, the KJV reads showing himself that he is God. (The 1602P reads the same with mostrándose a sí mismo que él es Dios). This could easily be construed as a DOCTRINAL ERROR in the Gomez, as the antichrist does not just a pass himself off as God (as Mr. Gomez has it), rather he declares himself to be god in the tribulation, and that's why people follow him.

2 Peter 2:5 Gomez here follows the 1960 in calling Noah only a “Pregonero,” or town crier instead of the KJV reading of “Predicador” or “Preacher.” Why change the only verse in the Bible that tells us Noah was a PREACHER of righteousness?

These are just some places in which following the corrupt 1960 has led to questionable readings in the Gomez Bible; readings which are not true Reina-Valera renderings, rather modernistic changes to the original Reina-Valera.

Although Mr. Gomez had the courage to do something about the Spanish Bible, and he tried to make it better by doing his own translation to rid it of the critical texts, his version is far from perfect.

However, Mr. Gomez feels differently, claiming his version is the best. In his own words, he states the following about his revision:

We had to produce: a good solid translation or revision of our Spanish Bible, one that will rise to the challenge; that has to be better than all the revision we now have; a Bible pure to the text, and also, perfect in our language. One that will make us stand tall and proud, one that will allow us to say without an apology: ‘These are the words of God in Spanish,’ an accurate Spanish translation of the inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved, and perfect Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words that underlie it. A revision that will unite us. By the Grace of God we believe we have produced one.

It’s interesting that he should hope his version will unite the brethren, when it relied so heavily on the modernistic 1960 A.B.S. Spanish Bible, a version produced by liberals with the motive of ecumenicalism, or uniting Evangelicals with Catholics.

(Note:  The Gomez is gaining much popularity with the Adventist church which greatly desires his version.  Click here for the Gomez Adventist Study Bible).

As one studies the history of the Gomez and the actual text itself, it’s hard to believe that version is what it claims to be, the “very preserved words of God” in Spanish. For to believe this would mean one would have to believe that God himself chose Gomez exclusively to give Spanish-Speakers a Spanish Bible in which God rejected the old Reina-Valera Protestant words in favor of the many synonyms Mr. Gomez substituted, most of which he copied from the corrupt, ecumenical 1960 modernist version.

A revision like the Gomez which took the corrupt Bible Society versions of the 1909 and 1960 as its basis is not the answer to fix the Spanish Bible problem. Instead, the answer is to go clear back to the original 1602 and those older Spanish Protestant Bibles, and make a revision based upon them. What’s needed is a true old Castilian Bible, correcting it with the pure texts underlying the King James Bible, while remaining faithful to the old Protestant, long-standing Spanish words, which God has given to the Spanish-speaking world for over 400 years.

Only one Bible today does just that: The Valera 1602 Purified.




Of all the Evangelical Spanish-Speaking denominations, only the Independent Baptists seem to be the ones pointing out the problems in the Spanish Bibles, and then only a very small number of them desire to fix it, as all other denominations appear to be happy with their liberal, corrupt, and ecumenical 1960 revision.

But not all Independent Baptists want a purer Bible. There still remains a large group of those who are adamant in defending the 1960 text, even printing their own 1960 version, calling it the “Edición Bautista Fundamental,” (or in English, The Fundamental Baptist Edition).

Bitter infighting within the Fundamental Baptist ranks has raged for years over “Which Bible in Spanish?” As many Fundamentalists dogmatically defend their versions against others.

But faced with the mountain of evidence that the 1960 is pro-catholic, pro-critical text, and pro-ecumenical, many Fundamentalists and Evangelicals are starting to wake up and ask questions. But they don’t know where to turn. Some have turned towards the 1865, others toward the 1909, and still others to the modern Gomez. But they are finding these are not perfect, nor have they done a thorough revision. Thus, they are asking, “Where is the right Spanish Bible, one that completely takes out all critical text readings, but at the same times retains the true beauty of the Reina-Valera, without being a hybrid Spanish Bible mixed with catholic words like Verbo?

There is only one Spanish Bible that goes back to the original source—the Reina-Valera—following it as closely as possible, while seeking to retain it’s beauty of the Castilian language, while making sure to preserve the Protestant readings of old. That version is La Valera 1602 Purificada, or in English, The Valera 1602 Purified, or just the 1602 P for short.


The Valera 1602 Purified Spanish Bible is the work of an Independent Baptist Local Church and not just a single person or a liberal Bible Society. The church is “Iglesia Bautista Bíblica de la Gracia” (Grace Bible Baptist Church), in Monterrey, Mexico. Under the authority of Pastor Raul Reyes, the church began the work in 1994, after much prayer and fasting over what to do about the Spanish Bible. Having studied the 1960, the 1909, and the 1865, and seeing the many errors in those versions, they wanted a pure Spanish Bible, just like English Speakers have in the King James.

Yet, they were careful to seek the right way to go about purifying the Spanish Bible with the right texts. They saw the wrong way to do it was to give it to liberal Bible Societies, as they had never been interested in getting a pure Bible out in Spanish, rather only revising already existing versions with more critical texts.

They also saw the problems with one man doing the work by himself, like Valera, McVey, and Gomez did, and the importance of like-minded, spiritual believers working together.

After much prayer and study, they came to the conclusion that keeping the word of God in it’s pure form was the work of the priesthood of Believers, toiling together in unison to read and re-read the word of God over and over.

As a church, they gathered together as many old Spanish Protestant Bibles that they could get their hands on. They further learned Hebrew and Greek, and worked together going verse by verse through these with many different Spanish translations.

The following is a list of just some of the many different texts, Bibles, and versions that they used in their work, comparing them verse by verse:

Masoretic Hebrew text of Jacob Ben Chayim published by the Jewish Publication Society

The Greek Textus Receptus

1537 Juan de Valdés scripture portion translation (includes: Matthew, Romans, and 1 Corinthians. Also Psalms 1-41)

1543 Fransico de Enzinas New Testament

1556 Juan Perez de Pineda New Testament and Psalms

1553 Ferrara Spanish Old Testament

1569 Reina Bible

1602 Valera Revision

1814 Valera Revision

1817 Valera Revision

1831 Valera Revision

1862 Valera Revision

1865 American Bible Society Revisión

1869 Valera Revisión

1909 Antigua Spanish Bible

McVey Spanish Bible translation directly translated from the King James

The King James in English

The Alameida Portugese Trinitarian revision

Armed with these versions, they compared them verse by verse with the King James and the original 1569 and 1602. Their goal was to stay as close as possible to the old Valera 1602 revision, while making sure it read in line with the old Protestant Castilian Spanish texts, changing it only when it had to be changed, in order to rid it of catholic Vulgate text readings, doctrinal errors, and non-understandable Spanish archaisms.

Their desire was a pure Spanish Bible free of all Critical and Catholic text readings, that read with the old Valera of 1602 as much as possible.

Their main focus was also on using the Hebrew and Greek texts underlying the King James Bible, and making sure all words in Spanish were translated correctly.

Their first New Testament was printed in Guatemala in 1999, but had many spelling mistakes, and had to be printed again in a second edition with corrections in 2002, exactly 400 years after the Valera’s 1602 revision.

When it first appeared, some called it the 1602 Restaurada (or 1602 Restored). Others called it the 1602 TR (for Textus Receptus), while critics labeled it the “1602 Monterrey” or the “Reyes Bible.”

The whole Bible was first printed in 2007, and became known as the Valera 1602 Purificada.



Top Left and Top Right: First Edition of the 1602 Purified New Testament, which was quickly called the 1602 TR or 1602 Textus Receptus.

Lower Right: Pastor Raul Reyes and his wife.

Lower Left: Cover of the 1602 Purified whole Bible.



When the church started their work on the 1602 Purified in 1994, the majority of those within their own denomination (Independent Baptists) used either the 1960 or the 1909 Spanish Bible. And, rather than face the honest truth that those versions were corrupt translations filled with critical texts, most of them chose to debase rather than debate with those who pointed out errors in those versions. They had been using and defending those Bibles for so long, they were resistant to change, and would not face the facts.

Because of this, when they caught wind that the church in Monterrey, was working on revising the Valera Bible, they chose to attack rather than support. And their attacks were fierce. 1960 defenders in their pulpits would lamblast Bro. Reyes and his church, even going so far as to slander his good name. One Pastor even called Pastor Raul a “homosexual,” (something that both King James and Cassidoro de Reina were also called by their enemies).

The attacks became so fierce and so many that Pastor Raul and his church choose to ignore them in favor of simply spending the necessary time to do the work.

As Pastor Raul put it, “We had to make a choice, either respond to our critics, which would have been a full-time job, or forget about them and do the work. We chose to do the work.”

Even though the majority of Fundamentalists were 1960 users, and not in favor of changing to any version for any reason, there were some who saw the truth about the Spanish Bible, and they chose to work with the church in Monterrey. Sadly, they were few and far between, but they did exist and did all they could to help in the work, either financially or with prayer.

In spite of cruel opposition from his own denomination, Pastor Raul courageously led his church as they worked with much prayer and fasting, meeting at certain times to discuss their work and voting as a church on what things needed to be changed, and what needed to be left alone.

When their whole Bible came out in 2007 it was the best Spanish version available. But it didn’t gain much ground and very few people knew about it. The reason being that most Fuendamentalists and Evangelicals were so into “groupism” that they had divided into different groups and were unwilling to change their Bible version for any other. The existing groups were:

The 1960 crowd

The 1909 crowd

The 1865 crowd

The Gomez ’04 crowd

Each of these groups had one thing in common. They did not want to talk about the 1602 Purified, for if it was what it claimed to be, then it would make their versions look bad. So, very few within these groups even mentioned the 1602 Purified, thinking if they didn’t give it any coverage, then maybe it would go away. But it did not go away, and it’s still here today, being the best Spanish Bible available today, as the comparison chart at the end of this work will prove.

Before ending this chapter, we must discuss a few things about the 1602 Purified that make it superior to any other Spanish Bible.


As before mentioned, the Valera 1602 Purified is not based on a modern Bible put out by liberal Bible Societies. Nor is it a critical text Bible, like the 1909 and 1960. Nor is it a version that is in favor of retaining the old, corrupt Latin Vulgate readings.

Instead, it is a true Reina-Valera translation, as it’s translators went clear back to the original 1569 and 1602 examining them word for word, while comparing them with the older Spanish Protestant versions of Enzinas, Juan Perez de Pineda, Juan Valdes, and others, and further, checking the King James version verse by verse, with the Greek Textus Receptus and the Hebrew Masoretic text.

What they have produced is the most scholarly version of the Spanish Bible to date, one which did what no other Spanish Bible revision has ever done, in going back to the right Protestant Spanish Bibles and the right texts for their basis of revision, instead of going forward to textual criticism and modern Spanish revisions.

Reina, in the preface of his Bear Bible stated what he wished would be done with his version:

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.

Notice, Reina wanted “pious MEN” to do the revision, not just one man, like Pratt, McVey, Gomez, etc. He also wanted the King to authorize the work. Sadly, this never happened in Spanish, but it did in English, and that’s where we got our King James Bible.

But even though the KING of England never authorized a pure Spanish Bible, some 400 years later, God did lead a man named Raul REYES (Rey means King in Spanish) to follow Reina’s desire, as he led his church to learn Hebrew and Greek and to work on translating a pure Castilian Spanish Bible, from the right texts.


The great thing about the Valera 1602 Purified is that it is the ONLY SPANISH BIBLE TO RETAIN the Protestant word “Palabra,” following the old Protestant Bibles.

All Spanish Bibles since the late 1700’s used the corrupt Vulgate word “Verbo” in their translations, something which ALL Protestant Bibles did not do. The Valera 1602 Purified chose to go back to those old Protestant Bibles, and instead uses “Palabra” in speaking of Jesus Christ in John 1:1.


John 1:1 in the Valera 1602 Purified Spanish Bible.


Some modern critics of this, mostly English Speakers who don’t understand Spanish, claim that Verbo is better as it is a Masculine word, while Palabra is a feminine word. Although this might be true grammatically, it has nothing to do with the gender of Jesus himself. In fact, there are many times in which Jesus is spoken of as something that is a feminine word, but it does not make him feminine himself. Some examples are below:






According to their argument, we should change all verses in which Jesus is referred to using a feminine Spanish word to a masucline word. But once again we have a problem, as we would be changing the old Castilian Reina-Valera word which has stood for over 400 years to a modern Synonym.

This is an important issue to point out, as the Spanish Bible Controversy is much spoken of by English-Speaking Pastors who have no knowledge of Spanish, and they are often deceived into thinking things like this by those who use perverted bibles.

The word Palabra for Jesus is important, because it’s the same word used of the Bible, la palabra de Dios (the word of God).

Thus, the Valera 1602 Purified reads just like the KJV, and it’s use of “Word(notice capital “W” in speaking of Jesus”) and “word (notice the lower case “w” in speaking of the Bible.) This is important for there are many references in which Jesus—the Word—is likened unto his word—the Bible. Below are some examples:

Bible calls them both: Word (Jesus) word (Bible)

PERFECT Matt. 5:48 Ps. 19

ETERNAL Heb. 1 Ps. 119:18

SPIRIT John 4:24 John 6:63

TRUTH Jn. 14:6 Jn. 17:17

HOLY Heb. 7:26 Rom. 1:2

INCORRUPTIBLE Acts 2:27 1 Peter 1:23

EVERLASTING Rev. 1:18 1 Peter 1:23

To change the Spanish word from Palabra to Verbo loses this important cross reference, that Jesus and his word have much in common. They further both SAVE (Heb. 7:25, James 1:21), SANCTIFY (Heb. 10:10, Jn. 17:17), and JUDGE mankind (Jn. 5:26-27, Jn. 12:48-49).



As mentioned earlier, both Reina and Valera chose to use the word “Jehova” in their translations, as they disdained the Jews for not wanting to pronounce that word. However, if you go farther back than them to the Psalms of both Juan Perez de Pineda and of Juan Valdez, you find that both of them translated the word as “Señor” instead of “Jehová.”

Because of Reina’s anti-semetic desire to use Jehová, the Jehovah Witnesses have gained much ground in Spanish-Speaking countries with Bibles that use that word.

In English we don’t have that problem, as the KJV uses LORD, and in following this, the Valera 1602 Purified does the same in using “SEÑOR” in all capitals in all but six places. (Note: Even the Psalms of Juan de Valdez uses “SEÑOR” in all caps).

This is superior to any Spanish Bible that uses Jehová, as Jesus Christ is the same LORD of the New Testament as of the Old Testament, and only the Valera 1602 Purified in Spanish references that fact.

Still, there are some critics of the use of the word SEÑOR instead of Jehová, and oddly enough they claim to be KJV only. The question is, how can they be for LORD in English, but against it in Spanish?


Above: An excerpt of Psalm chapter one from the 1537 translation of Juan Valdes. Notice he used and capitalized the word LORD (SEÑOR) just like the KJV. This is an example of a Protestant pre-Reina-Valera Castilian version of the scriptures that reads closer to the KJV. The Valera 1602 Purified decided to follow this honorable Spanish text as well as the KJV in using SEÑOR instead of Jehová, and capitalizing it just like the KJV.




The 1602 Purified changes the name of several books of the Bible, in order to go back to the older Protestant names of the books, rather than the Catholic names.

For the book of ACTS, the 1602 P uses “Actos,” instead of “Hechos” in favor of older Spanish Bibles that do so, for it is the book of the “ACTS” of the Apostles. “Hecho,” is the Spanish word for “Done.” Thus, the 1602 P is closer to the KJV in doing this.

Juan Perez de Pineda’s version also reads ACTOS, while Enzinas’ says “hechos.” One must wonder if the Catholics when they revised the Enzinas didn’t change the name of the book.


The book of James in many Spanish Bibles is called the book of “Santiago” in the title. But almost all Spanish Bibles give the name of Jacobo in the text itself. There is a reason for this. “Jacobo” is the correct translation of “James” into Spanish. However, “Santiago” is the Catholic word for James,” which comes from an old Catholic text. Catholics always use the word “San” or “Saint” in front of the names of the books of the Bible, for example, “San Mateo,” (Saint Matthew), “San Marcos” (Saint Mark), “San Lucas” (Saint Luke), “San Juan” (Saint John), etc.

The story goes that in one old Catholic manuscript, the word “San Jacobo” was written so poorly that later copyists could not read it. Thinking it said, “San Tiago” they chose to use that word for the book, instead of the proper “Jacobo.” For this, modern Spanish Bibles use “Santiago” instead of “Jacobo,” the corrupt 1865, going so far as to change the text of the book of James in Spanish by taking out the word “Jacobo” completely and changing it to the catholic “Santiago” in all places.

Interestingly enough, the Juan Perez de Pineda says Santiago, while the Enzinas says JACOBO.


Many Spanish Bibles use the word “Apocalipsis” in speaking of the book of Revelation. This of course is the Catholic reading from the Latin Vulgate.

But as you look at the text itself, the first verse tells you it is the REVELATION of Jesus Christ. The King James even chose to use that word in English, and not the more Catholic Apocalypse.

The original 1602 titles the book of Revelation as: “The Apolocalypsis, o Revelacion de S. Ioan El Theologo” (The Apocalypse or the Revelation of Saint John the Theologian.)

Seeking to read more like the Protestant KJV, and less like the Catholic texts, those behind the Valera 1602 Purified chose to label the book “REVELATION” instead of the catholic “Apocalypse.”

Juan Perez de Pineda’s New Testament reads “Apocalipsis o Revelacion” (Apocalypse OR Revelation), giving us a choice.

The Enzinas goes so far as to translate the word “apocalipsis” when it reads: “El Apocalipsis, que quiere decir, la revelacion de San Juan…” (The Apocalypse, WHICH MEANS the Revelation of Saint John).

Once again the Valera 1602 Purified wisely chose to follow the KJV, and by so doing it reads against the Catholic texts and Vulgate word “Apocalypse.”

The Valera 1602 Purified is available today, but is hard to find, as it’s not widely published. Those who know about it, know it’s the best, and there are many small publishers printing either the entire text, or simply the New Testament, or just a John and Romans.

However, more are starting to discover the Valera 1602 P, and are excited that there is a Spanish Bible that not only reads with the pure texts underlying the King James Version, but it is also a true Castilian Bible which reads closer to the old Protestant Spanish versions, instead of the newer corrupt Bible Society Vulgate catholic-critical text editions.

Word about the Valera 1602 Purified needs to be gotten out, so that Spanish-speakers might obtain a copy and avail themselves of an error free, catholic free Spanish Bible.

Sadly, many Independent Baptists look at it as the new kid on the block, and just the latest version to come on the scene. However, the 1602 P was really the first IFB Spanish Bible revision, being started in 1994, and finally published in its entirety in 2007, Meaning it is the longest work of revision and the most scholarly work to date. And, it is the only Spanish Bible that reverts back to the old Protestant Bibles instead of taking modern, corrupt, pro-critical text liberal Bible Society versions, and revising them.



The Spanish Bible has gone through many different revisions, most of which have been hindered by the Catholic Church. The first Spanish scriptures were done in the Middle Ages by men who honored God and his word, but who also didn’t give the masses a Bible they could read, instead only making highly detailed hand written Bibles with much graphic art, and then only producing Vulgate versions.

Under the Protestant Reformation, many valiant Spaniards gave their lives for the truth of the Gospel, and jeopardized their own lives in order to translate the Scriptures into Castilian. Some died, others were imprisoned, some fled Spain in search of religious freedom, while still others were burned at the stake.

Men like Juan Valdes, Juan Perez de Pineda, Francisco de Enzinas, Cassidoro de Reina, and Cipriano de Valera will forever be remembered for their contribution to the Spanish-Speaking world for their honorable translations. However, Reina and Valera didn’t have access to the pure texts, rather they used catholic texts, and their versions were in much need of revision.

Instead of being courageous, as the Spanish reformers of old, so-called Protestant Bible Societies took the work of Reina and Valera and perverted it with even more Catholic text readings (the critical texts), and made their work more in line with the Latin Vulgate, each revision they made becoming more and more corrupt.

It wasn’t until the 1980’s that some began to wake up to this fact, and tried to do something about it, wanting a pure Spanish Bible that agrees with our infallible King James in English.

But instead of finding others with the same desire of a pure Spanish Bible, they found much ridicule within their own ranks, as many defended their corrupt 1960 even the more.

But God raised up a few courageous men who undertook the work that Bible Societies wouldn’t do, in going back to the Protestant Spanish texts, and comparing them with the KJV and those Greek and Hebrew texts underlying it, purifying the Reina-Valera Bible, and making sure it was free of Vulgate and Critical text readings and doctrinal errors. Their work was done meekly, and quietly, but they did not escape persecution, as their forefathers of old. This time hostility did not come from the Catholic Church, but from their own denomination, from Pastors and Missionaries who were duped into using Catholic Bible Society versions full of errors.

Once again, persecution for the sake of the pure word of God arose, and even until today debate still rages among many about the Spanish Bible Controversy.

Because of the many “camps” in modern Fundamentalism, we find Missionaries using various versions of the Bible not because they’ve studied all versions and chosen the version which is the best, but because it’s the one recommended by their own group.

Some retain the 1960. Some have gone back to the old 1909. And some have claimed the 1865 is the best of them all, wanting to defend that version above all others. While some have adopted the new modern Gomez version, which is a revised text of the 1909 and 1960.

But they all seem to ignore the Valera 1602 Purified. Because it didn’t come from their group, they don’t want it. Yet only that version opposes modern liberal Bible Societies, and their pro-Catholic readings, as it is the only Spanish Bible to be a collation of all the old Protestant Spanish Bibles, and is indeed a true Reformation text (like our beloved KJV).

What’s needed to quell the Spanish Bible Debate is not the recommendation of men on which Bible they think is best, but the scholarly studying by pious men to find which Bible indeed is the best Spanish version, and which is the closest to our KJV, while still retaining the old Protestant Castilian favor, without following pro-Catholic words like the pro-Vulgate word “Verbo.”

What follows is a comparison chart of over 200 verses in the many Spanish Bibles used today.

It is the hope of this author that this chart will be only the beginning of further investigation by studious individuals desiring to find a pure Spanish Bible, for the facts speak for themselves.






The Spanish Reformers: Their Memories and Dwelling Places, by John Stoughton, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1883.

Spanish Reformers of Two Centuries, by Edward Boehmer, Strassburg, Germany, 1904.

Biblotheca Wiffeniana: Spanish Reformers of Two Centuries, Vol. 2, by Edward Boehmer, Strassburg, London, 1883.

Constantino Ponce de la Fuente [1505-1559], by Salvador Fernandez Cava, printed by Lozando Artes Graficas, Spain, 2007.

Epistola Consolatoria: With Notice of the Author, by Benjamin B. Wiffen, London, 1871.

Life and Writings of Juan de Valdes, otherwise Valdess, Spanish Reformer in the Sixteenth Century, by Benjamin B. Wiffen, London, 1865.

La Verdadera historia de la muerte del santo varon Juan Diaz, by Francisco de Enzinas, reprint by Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Cuena, Spain, 2008

Breve Tratado de Doctrina, util para Todo Cristiano, por Juan Perez en 1560, reprint of 1852,

Erasmo y Espana, por Marcel Bataillon, Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico, 1950.

Luces Bajo el Almud, por Justo L. Gonzalez, editorial caribe, Miami, FL, 1977

Casiodoro de Reina: Spanish Reformer of the Sixteenth Century, England, by A. Gordon Kinder, Tamesis Books Limited, London, 1975.

Casiodoro de Reina: Sus Tiempos y la Biblia del Oso, por Jose Luis Montecillos Chipres, editorial el Camino de la Vida, mexico, 200?

Valera’s Method for Revising the Old Testament in the Spanish Bible of 1602, disseration for Emory University by Jorge Augusto Gonzalez, Emory University, copyright 1967.

A Brief Look at the History of the Spanish Bible, by Robert Breaker, Breaker Publications, Florida 1999, 11th edition of 2009.

The Spanish Bible: Still Bearing Precious Seed, Charity Publications, Dayton, OH, 199?

La Historia de la Biblia en España, por Jose Flores, CLIE, Spain, 1978.

The History and the Truth about the Spanish Bible Controversy, by Robert Breaker, Breaker Publications, Florida, copyright 2007, second edition.

The Cambridge History of the Bible, by S.L. Greenslade, Cambridge University Press, 1963.

The Bible in Spain, by George Borrow, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York and London, 1908.

ABS Historical Essay #16, IV, Text and Translation, 1860-1900, by Margaret T. Hills, Jan. 1966.

The Elephant in the Living Room, by Dr. Mickey Carter, 2001.

La Restauración y Purificación de la Antigua Biblia de Valera 1602: Basada en el Texto Recebido, by Carlos A. Donate Alvira, Stringer Publications, Florida, 2004.

The 1909 “Recycled” Tex: Reina-Valera Gomez: The Truth every Christian needs to Know about the Reina-Valera Gomez, by Luis Vega, Local Church Bible Publishers, 200?.

A Brief Look at the Reina-Valera Gomez Spanish Bible, by Robert Breaker, Breaker Publications, Florida, 2008.

While Latinos Slept…, by Gary E. La More, xulon press, Unite States, 2005.

El Texto del Nuevo Textamento, por Jose Flores, Editorial CLIE, Spain, 1977.

La transmision del texto del Nuevo Testamento y nuestras Biblias de hoy: La variantes texuales del Nuevo Testamento, por Rudolf Ebertshauser, Edicions Cristianes Bibliques, Spain, 2000.

Conspiracion contra las Sagradas Escrituras, por Domingo Fernandez y Cesar Vidal Manzanares, producciones Peniel, Honduras, 1997.

The History of the Reina-Valera 1960, by Calvin George, Morris Publishing, Kearney, NE, 2004.