Spanish Bible Versions, What you Need to know... in Plain English
by: Missionary Don Rich
Have you wanted to know the differences between the Spanish Bible versions but can’t read Spanish?
This is a study in English that should help anyone understand the Spanish Bible controversy and why the Reina Valera Gómez is growing rapidly in popularity among national pastors and missionaries. If you are a pastor who has placed your trust in the King James Bible as the inerrant, infallible, Word of God in English, you need to know this information when deciding which Bible your missionaries should be using.
When on deputation and on furloughs, most pastors ask if I use the King James Bible and my answer is always yes. But not many pastors seem to know that many missionaries they support are not using the closest to the originals in Spanish, even though it is available.
If you are a missionary going to a Spanish speaking country, you will need to decide which Bible to use. I hope that this information will help you decide even before learning the language. I pray that your decision will be based on fact and not on the opinions of others or the blanket decision of a mission agency’s leadership.
As a Spanish-speaking missionary working in Peru for over 16 years, I believe that the Reina Valera Gómez Bible (RVG) is the closest to the original biblical writings which were in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. For that reason, as a missionary, I have chosen it to be the standard Bible for our ministry. The national pastors that I work with are also in agreement with this decision.
The RVG is what each preacher uses when they preach from our pulpits and it is what we have required each SS teacher to use in their teaching. We do not want any confusion when teaching the Word of God.
But, don’t just take my word for it. Study for yourself, rightly dividing the word of truth. That is the purpose of this study. We want it to be clear that, as missionaries and pastors who use the RVG, we are not in a battle with anyone over which version of the Spanish Bible that others use. We do not defame those who do not use the same as we do. We may not be in agreement, but we are still brothers. As a minister of God’s Word, I have to go by my own convictions after studying the differences between the versions since 2001.
There are some questions that I would like to answer in this study that should help anyone understand
why we chose the RVG
#1 - Why should we be concerned with the version of the Bible that we use? Our study will show that it is because of the importance that God himself put on the Purity of His Word.
#2 - Does it really matter which version we use? I want to state emphatically, YES. I believe that you will see why as we study.
#3 - Aren’t all versions of the Spanish Bible basically the same? Emphatically, NO. We will be discussing the differences.
When I began studying the different versions, I read books written by people on either side of the argument. What I found was that they focused more on destroying each other’s testimony than in comparing scripture. I personally decided that I would pray, do my own scripture comparison, and decide on what I found to be the best.
In this study I want to stay focused on God’s view of His Word instead of anyone’s opinion. To find God’s view we can learn by what was written in His book, the Holy Bible.
Proverbs was written by Solomon, probably the wisest man that ever lived other than Christ. What did this wise man say about God’s Word?
“Every word of God is pure:...” (Proverbs 30:5)
This verse starts out with the word “every”. That word is all-encompassing. It is a very specific word that defines the rest of the sentence. Notice that it says, “every word of God”. One of the first things that you have to realize is that the Bible IS the word of God. It doesn’t “contain” some of his words. Every word in the Bible IS the word of God.
In the Bible are all the words that God wanted us to have, all that He knew that we would need to live the life that He had planned for us. Those words teach us about ourselves, the beginning of the world, plants, animals, mankind, good and evil, and much more.
It is also the Word of God that teaches us about God himself, his attributes (love, mercy, righteousness, patience, purity, wrath, holiness, etc), his power, his work in creation, his plan for us both now and in the future.
It is the Word of God that teaches us that we are lost sinners on our way to torment in Hell and then instructs us that placing our faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved from that very torment of God’s wrath.
“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25)
There is so much to learn from God’s Word, but one book can’t contain everything. God gave us just what we would need while we were on this earth. We won’t and can’t know it all while we are here on this earth. God is the only one who is all-knowing.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
We may not understand it all now, but one day we will have a clear understanding of everything that God has done for us.
There are some who use their lack of understanding to argue over God’s Word. In doing so, they lose focus of what is the most important, a personal relationship with our holy God and his Son who died on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our sins.
“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (twist/pervert God’s Word), as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:16)
Because they choose to argue and try to make God’s Word say what they want it to say, they miss the truth of the Word. For that, they deny the salvation that could be theirs.
Oh, how I wish that everyone would understand just how important God’s Word is. The Word of God is life to those who accept it! It is as important as the air we breathe!
Now look back at Prov. 30:5 – “Every word of God is “pure”. This word speaks of something that can be trusted. God’s word has been tried and tested and it has never been found to contain error, falsehood, or corruption.
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)
God has no reason to lie. He is God! As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that God cannot lie!
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2)
“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie,...” (Hebrews 6:18)
Whatever comes out of God’s mouth is truth! Everything that He has preserved for us in His Word is truth! Now that we understand that God’s Word is pure and true, let’s look at how important it is according to God himself.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Notice the word “all”. The holy scriptures are God’s words. Every word that He gave us was written down by men who received those words from God himself. Each word was God-breathed, meaning that it was God that placed those words in the hearts of those men to write them down for us to have for all eternity.
Those inspired words are vital to teach us doctrine (truths and commands that we are to follow). They are vital to convict us of our wrongdoing. They are vital in restoring us to a right relationship with God, and they are vital in teaching us how to live a Godly life.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The word quick means life. God’s Word is life. The next descriptions we see are that it is powerful, sharp, and discerning. It can clearly reveal our true motives and it has the power to effect change in the eternal lives of those who accept it as truth.
There are many people, even pastors and missionaries, who don’t seem to mind that one Bible version teaches one doctrine and another version teaches a different one. But God has a different opinion on just how important His doctrine is and how it should be taught and obeyed.
God used the word “doctrine” in 50 different verses in His Word. We are going to look at just a few of them to understand God’s view of His doctrine.
“Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” (John 7:16)
Jesus said that the doctrine He taught came from God the Father in Heaven. The doctrine taught in the Bible was not developed by man. It is GOD’s doctrine!
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” (Romans 6:17)
Because they obeyed the “doctrine” of the Bible, they were no more enslaved to sin. Sound doctrine makes the difference!
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)
In this verse, we are instructed to beware of anyone teaching a different doctrine and not have fellowship with them. This only leads to problems in the church and between brothers in Christ.
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
This is important to note. Th is is why we are not ecumenical, why we don’t join ourselves with other denominations or religions for campaigns, singings, fellowships, etc. Notice the end of verse 5, “FROM SUCH WITHDRAW THYSELF.”
God does not want confusion and division in His Word. We need to teach, preach, and live sound Bible doctrine in its purest form and not deviate.
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind
of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Ephesians 4:14)
Here we are warned to be mature Christians, not easily swayed and deceived by new teaching of a so-called Christianity which seems more fun, easier, or less restrictive.
If you look hard enough, you can find a church that will teach whatever you want to hear. But it will not be in line with the Word of God. Many people leave one church to go to another because it is “more fun”, has “more programs to offer” or because the other church is not so “conservative”. They are leaving for the wrong reason, denying the sound doctrine of God’s Word, looking to please themselves and live like they want to.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2 Timothy 4:3)
We are living in that time now, a time when people do not want to hear the true Word of God. I believe that is why our churches are not growing as they used to and many of them are closing.
It is a time when people are searching for what makes them “feel good” about themselves. They don’t want to hear that they are sinners on their way to Hell. They want to hear that they can live as they want and trust a loving God to just overlook their sin. Sound doctrine is the last thing they want to hear.
“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,” (1 Timothy 1:3).
Pastors, teachers, and lay people, we are all warned not to stray from the sound doctrine of the Word of God.
In the next few verses, we are encouraged, admonished, and commanded to adhere to sound doctrine in our lives and in our ministries.
“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.” (1 Timothy 4:6)
Notice that we are to “remind our Christian brothers and sisters”. Sound doctrine is the base of our relationship with God. When we begin to think of it as less important, we begin to fail as ministers of God’s Word. There are even those who have decided not to teach doctrine that could cause division. That was not and is not God’s plan. If we want to please God, we will constantly keep sound doctrine as a priority.
“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:13)
“Till I come”... We should never stop until Christ returns.
“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” (1 Timothy 5:17)
We are even told to give special honor to those who are faithful in following and teaching sound doctrine. The opposite is also true, someone who is not teaching sound doctrine is not worthy of honor.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Tim 4:2)
The basis for all correction and spiritual exhortation is the doctrine found in the Word of God.
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” (Titus 1:9)
It is only by sound doctrine that we will be able to win lost souls and keep them from Hell.
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9)
This is a very strong verse that shows us clearly just how important sound doctrine is to God. His Word says that without it there is no salvation. There is no relationship with God. There is no eternal hope. Throughout history, many men and women have given their lives for the importance of sound doctrine. One day they will be rewarded.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:” (Revelation 6:9)
It is sad to see how far humanity and the church have come. From once being willing to die for sound doctrine, to now not even being faithful to attend a solid Bible preaching church or being concerned about the purity of God’s Word.
“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Luke 4:4)
This verse compares every word of God to the food essential for life. It is to be ingested/taken in by reading and hearing. It is to be digested/broken down, which means that it should not only be read but studied. Only then can it be used for our benefit.
Just like food which we need for our physical health, the Word of God is necessary for our daily spiritual health. If we stop eating, we will become sick and die. If we stop reading and studying the Word of God, we will become spiritually sick and dead to the leading of the Holy Spirit. If we are dead spiritually, we are dead in our sins, which means we are on our way to Hell.
So how important is God’s Word? God’s Word is of eternal importance!
Now, since we know that the Bible is the Word of God, we know that it is pure and true, we know we can depend on every word that is in the Bible, we know that God’s Word is powerful, we know that it contains sound doctrine (God’s truth and commands), and we know that it is of eternal importance... we have an important decision to make.
There are many versions of the Spanish Bible available today, and we know that God has not changed His Word. Therefore, we must determine from the options available just which one is the pure Word of God.
If we are true born-again Christians it is our personal responsibility to find the right version and adhere to its teaching.
We are going to see that not all of the versions say the same thing. We’ll see that some teach different doctrine, and we’ll see that some are guilty of leaving words out or adding words to it.
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
It would be easy to just accept what other people are using, what the majority likes, what seems easiest to read, etc. It takes a person of integrity to find the truth and stick by it no matter what others say or think. I want to encourage each of you to pay close attention and decide wisely as we continue in this study.
I’d like to focus our attention on the History of the printed Word of God.
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalms 12:6-7)
The most important thing to remember is that God himself promised to preserve his Word and has done so in this book we call the Bible. As we’ve said, “the Bible doesn’t just ‘contain’ God’s Word, it IS God’s Word”.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
We have already learned that the scriptures were handwritten by men used of God to write exactly what God put in their hearts. Those handwritten scriptures are called “manuscripts”. Those manuscripts were copied many, many times through many years making sure that they were copied word-for-word with no mistakes.
The scribes had very specific rules to follow to transcribe/copy the old manuscripts which would keep the copies true to the original.
Here are just a few of them:
• They had to say each word out loud before they wrote it.
- Before they wrote the name Jehovah, they had to clean their ink pen (feather quill). God’s name was and is holy.
- They had to count each letter to make sure the copy had the same number of letters as the original.
- The written letters could not touch each other.
- The middle paragraph, middle word, and middle letter of each page was checked to make sure it matched the original document.
- There was a review of each document within 30 days.
- If there were less than three errors found, they were corrected.
- If more than three were found the manuscript was discarded.
There are two lines or families of manuscripts, the Traditional, and the Alexandrian family.
The Traditional text is known as the “Received Text” or “Textus Receptus”.
- In this the Byzantine text was used for the Greek New Testament. The Masoretic text was used for the Hebrew Old Testament.
- At least 5,556 of these manuscripts have been discovered and used for translating the Bible.
- The Received Text has been used faithfully by churches throughout the centuries.
- The manuscripts are in agreement with each other.
- They teach sound doctrine.
- The King James Version in English & the Spanish Reina Valera Gómez were based on this line.
- The Alexandrian family of manuscripts is commonly known as the “Critical Text”.
- Less than 200 manuscripts of this type have been found.
- They were not used in churches until 1881.
- They contradict each other at least 3,000 times.
- They changed the Greek text over 8,000 times. (per British Bible scholar Herman Hoskier)
- They contain corrupt doctrine.
These corrupt manuscripts came from Alexandria Egypt, the home of the Gnostics, a group who claim to be Christians but believed that acquiring divine knowledge would get them to heaven. They also believed that Jesus’ body was not real, but that it only “appeared” real.
Of the Critical Text manuscripts, one was found in a trash can in an Egyptian monastery. It had been thrown away as trash by the monks. This was known as the Sinaiticas manuscript. The man who found it was told that two other trash cans containing parts of this manuscript had already been used as kindling to start fires.
Another of the critical texts, called the Vaticanus, was found on a shelf in the “Pope’s” library. In 1881 two men, Westcott & Hort, published a Greek New Testament based on these critical texts. These two men were influenced by men who denied the deity of Christ and the Gnostics. From what I have read of Westcott & Hort, they denied the Bible as the final authority.
- They denied that the Bible was infallible. They believed that Satan does not exist.
- They believed that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was not sufficient for the salvation of the world.
- They even said that the Received Text was “vile”.
Sadly, it is their corrupt Greek New Testament that is used in most, if not all, modern translations.
Some want to say that the 200 are older manuscripts and for that, we should trust them more. The reason that they have lasted longer is that the climate in Egypt is better for preserving paper and animal hides.
So, if it is a better place for preservation, why are there only 200? Why were they in a trash can and being burned? I would say it is because they were corrupt manuscripts that were not used, as we have just studied.
Now let me ask you...which should we believe...200 manuscripts that were found in Egypt and not trusted or used by churches or scholars for over 1800 years...or over 5,500 manuscripts found in the very region where Christ was born, lived, ministered, died, and rose again?
I personally place my belief in the 5,500 that have stood the test of time. That is the Received Text. For that reason, I stand by the King James Bible in English and the Reina Valera Gómez Bible in Spanish. Both were based on the Received Text only.
History of the Spanish Bible
We can’t talk about the Spanish Bible without talking about Reina and Valera. Here is a brief history of them and the work they accomplished.
Casiodoro de Reina was born about 1520. From his youth onward, he studied the Bible. In 1557, he became a monk (Monasterio Jerónimo de San Isidoro del Campo de Sevilla). He fled with about a dozen other monks when they came under suspicion by the Spanish Inquisition of being Protestant.
Reina served as a pastor in London in 1559 to Spanish Protestant refugees. He was in exile, in hiding, and running for his life to several different countries while he worked on the first Spanish translation of the Bible. Reina’s Bible was published in Switzerland in 1569.
After translating the Bible, Casiodoro de Reina wrote that he felt his work should be revised. He was concerned that he did not do a good enough job in translating while running for his life because of the Inquisition. There was a price put on his head by King Phillip (Felipe) II of Spain.
Cipriano de Valera, born in 1531, was one of the monks who fled with Casiodoro de Reina because of the Inquisition. He edited the first major revision of Casiodoro de Reina’s Spanish Bible, which has become known as the Reina-Valera version of 1602. There were other versions of the Spanish Bible printed in 1862, 1865 and beyond.
As we have learned in this study, the corrupt texts of Westcott and Hort were made popular in 1881. The Spanish Bibles that have been printed since that time have been affected by the introduction of those corrupt texts through the years.
Many Spanish speaking pastors, missionaries, and lay people began to notice that their Bible contained “problems”. One of those was a Mexican missionary named Humberto Gómez. He is the director of the revision that we know as the Reina Valera Gómez Bible.
Many pastors and missionaries were complaining about the problems, but no one wanted to do the arduous work to correct them. After much prayer, brother Gómez started the work to revise the Spanish Bible. The 1960 was under copyright. For this reason, Gómez started the revision work with the 1909 version.
In 2004, after several years of working to correct the problems that he and others had noticed in the 1960 and other modern versions, he published the RVG 2004 edition. As he distributed them, he asked that pastors, missionaries, and others review the work and let him know of any other problems that he had not corrected.
In 2010, there was an update to correct several other problems that had been reported by the collaborators. In my opinion and that of many others, through all of this work the RVG Bible has become the best revision of the Spanish Bible available today. It is faithful to the Received Text.
I would like to use the remainder of our study to compare scripture with scripture to demonstrate some of the differences between the 1960 version of the Spanish Bible and the Bible that we have chosen to use in our ministries, the Reina Valera Gómez.
Since the 1960 is the most popular version in use today, I chose it to show how the Critical Text was used to allow problems to enter the Spanish Bible. These same problems are also in other modern versions. This is not an attack on a version but a teaching on what affect the Critical Text has had since entering the Spanish Bible.
If there is any doubt as to if the 1960 was influenced by Westcott & Hort’s corrupt text, here is a quote from the revision committee:
A principle added to the first list of the Reina-Valera Review Committee was that:
“Wherever the Reina-Valera version has departed from the Receptus Text to follow another better text, we will not return to the Receptus ... In cases of doubt about the correct translation of the original, we will preferably consult the English Revised Version of 1885, The American Standard Version of 1901, the Revised Standard Version of 1946 and the International Critical Commentary.”
All of the Bibles listed in the quote and the commentary noted follow the Critical Text.
What is interesting is that several of those who reject the RVG because it is compared to an English version, the King James Bible, don’t seem to have a problem that their Bible was compared to several English Bible versions. There are some basic biblical guidelines that I would like for us to review before continuing the study.
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” (Isaiah 28:10)
#1. The Word of God is full of precepts/commands that do not change.
The “line” is a measure that connects one truth to another. We should compare scripture with scripture instead of trusting someone else’s opinion.
#2. God’s Word does not contradict itself. Therefore, all scripture should be read in context to understand its true meaning.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18)
#3. As we have already learned, every word of God is important and not one word should be changed, added to, or taken away.
Revelation 22 warns us of the punishment for tampering with the Word of God.
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:18-20)
There are some who would say that these words were only written concerning the book of Revelation. Therefore, we will compare scripture with scripture to find the truth.
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2)
So, it is very clear that we shouldn’t take even one word out nor add one word to God’s Holy Bible. To do so will have eternal consequences.
For those who do not speak or read Spanish, I have translated both versions noted so that you can easily see the differences. (The English translation will be in italics.)
We are going to start in the Old Testament. We can’t cover all of the changes. But I would like to show several so that we can see the affect that textual changes have made in the Word of God.
RVG - Y habló Caín con su hermano Abel. Y aconteció que estando ellos en el campo, Caín se levantó contra su hermano Abel, y le mató.
And Cain talked with his brother Abel. And it came to pass that when they were in the field, Cain stood/rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.
1960 – Y dijo Caín a su hermano Abel: Salgamos al campo. ...
And Cain said to his brother Abel: Let’s go out to the field...
The 1960 changed the phrase and added the words “Let’s go out to the field.” Remember that Rev. 22:18 says that we are not to add to the Word of God.
RVG - Y se fue y se sentó enfrente, alejándose como a un tiro de arco; porque decía: No veré cuando el muchacho morirá: y se sentó enfrente, y alzó su voz y lloró.
And she went and sat opposite, distancing herself about an arrow’s shot; because she said: I will not see when the boy dies: and she sat opposite, and raised her voice and wept.
1960 - ...No veré cuando el muchacho muera. Y cuando ella se sentó enfrente, el muchacho alzó su voz y lloró.
I will not see when the boy dies. And when she sat opposite, the boy raised his voice and cried.
Here the words “the boy” were added. Because of the addition, it changes the verse.
This was the story of when Abraham ordered his wife Hagar and her son out of the city because of her making fun of Sara and her son Isaac. They were hungry and thirsty and had nothing to eat or drink. v. 15 says “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the boy under one of the shrubs.” She then separated herself and put distance between her and her baby boy. The mother was suffering so much emotional pain.
The text followed by the RVG shows that Hagar cried through her emotional pain. The 1960 text changes the sense of the verse by saying that it was the boy who cried. The boy may have been moaning or crying also but that is not what the original Hebrew states in this verse. The boy was apparently so weak that he could not move. His mother placed him under a shrub and left him there.
RVG –Y los hijos de Dan se levantaron la imagen de talla; y Jonatán, hijo de Gersón, hijo de Manasés, él y sus hijos fueron sacerdotes en la tribu de Dan, hasta el día del cautiverio de la tierra.
And the children of Dan raised up the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests in the tribe of Dan, until the day of the captivity of the land.
1960 – y Jonatán, hijo de Gersón, hijo de Moisés...
and Jonathan, son of Gershom, son of Moses...
The genealogy has been changed by the Critical Text. 1 Chronicles 6:71 lists the family of Gershom and Manasseh.
2 Samuel 15:7
RVG – Y al cabo de cuarenta años aconteció que Absalón dijo al rey: Yo te ruego me permitas que vaya a Hebrón, a pagar mi voto que he prometido a Jehová:
And at the end of forty years Absalom said to the king: I pray thee that you allow me to go to Hebron, to pay my vow that I promised to Jehovah.
1960 – Al cabo de cuatro años,
At the end of four years,
The 40 years were the end of King David’s reign. Absalom had been hidden from the king for killing his brother. Absalom returned and now wanted to take his father King David’s kingdom. The 40 years were correct.
2 Samuel 21:19
Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath.
RVG – Y hubo guerra otra vez en Gob contra los filisteos, en la cual Elhanán, hijo de Jaare-oregim de Belén, mató al hermano de Goliat geteo,
And there was again a war in Gob against the Philistines, in which Elhanan, son of Jaareoregim of Bethlehem, killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite.
1960 – ...mató a Goliat geteo,
... killed Goliath the Gittite.
The 1960 text says that Elhanan killed Goliath. But we know that Elhanan killed the ‘brother’ of Goliath. Read 1 Samuel 17:48–50
“And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose,
and came and drew nigh to meet David, that
David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.”
Goliath was not killed twice. Elhanan killed the ‘brother’ of Goliath after David killed Goliath. The NIV reads the same as the 1960 in this verse and others.
Now we will see various differences in the New Testament Matthew 5:22
RVG - Mas yo os digo que cualquiera que sin razón se enojare contra su hermano, estará en peligro del juicio; ...
But I say unto you that whosoever without a cause is angry against his brother, he is in danger of judgement; ...
1960 – Pero yo os digo que cualquiera que se enoje contra su hermano, será culpable de juicio; ...
But I say unto you that whosoever is angry against his brother, will be guilty of judgement; ...
The Textus Receptus included the words “without a cause”. This is very important because to remove these words causes it to appear that our Lord Jesus Christ sinned. Look at Mark 3:5
“And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”
Jesus looked on the pharisees with anger.
“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” (John 2:13-17)
Sounds to me that Jesus was angry. According to the 1960 and other modern versions, our Savior was in sin at least twice. This changes the doctrine of Christ.
RVG - Y Jesús les dijo: Por vuestra incredulidad; porque de cierto os digo, que si tuviereis fe como un grano de mostaza, diréis a este monte: Pásate de aquí allá, y se pasará; y nada os será imposible.
And Jesus said unto them: For your unbelief; for of a certainty I say unto you, that if you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain: Go from here to there, and it will pass; and nothing will be impossible for you.
1960 – Jesús les dijo: Por vuestra poca fe; ...
Jesus said unto them: For your little faith; ...
There is a great difference between “little faith” and “unbelief”. The same verse states that if they had “faith as a grain of mustard seed” they could do the incredible. But, v.19 says that they “could not cast out” the demon. This was because of their “unbelief ”.
The Greek word that was in the original was “apistia” which means “without faith”. So, using the Word “unbelief ” not only makes sense. It also is what was written in the original Greek. As we can easily see, the 1960 Critical Text reading changes the meaning of the verse.
RVG - y trajeron el asna y el pollino, y pusieron sobre ellos sus mantos, y le sentaron encima.
and they brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their cloaks on them, and sat him on top.
1960 – y trajeron el asna y el pollino, y pusieron sobre ellos sus mantos; y el se sentó encima.
and they brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their mantles on them; and he sat on it.
There is a difference between Jesus mounting a donkey and the people placing Him on the donkey. If it is the people who sat him on the donkey, it shows that they were giving honor to someone of utmost importance. The Critical Text reading in the 1960 changes the point of emphasis in the verse.
RVG - Y oyéndolo Jesús, les dijo: Los sanos no tienen necesidad de médico, sino los enfermos: No he venido a llamar a justos, sino a pecadores al arrepentimiento.
And hearing it Jesus said to them: The healthy have no need of a doctor, but the sick: I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
1960 – ... No he venido a llamar a justos, sino a pecadores.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
Christ came to call sinners, but to what? There are churches that teach a false doctrine of salvation that does not require repentance. Christ came not only to call sinners, but to call them to repentance of their sin so that they can be saved. This is an attack on the doctrine of salvation.
RVG - Y al instante el padre del muchacho, clamando con lágrimas, dijo: Señor, creo, ayuda mi incredulidad.
And instantly the boy’s father, crying out with tears, said: Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.
1960 – E inmediatamente el padre del muchacho clamó y dijo: Creo; ayuda mi incredulidad.
And immediately the father of the child cried out and said: I believe, help my unbelief.
Use of the Critical Text in the 1960 has minimized the impact and importance of this verse. This was the story of the father who brought his son to Jesus when the disciples could not cast out the evil spirit in him. Look at the passion with which the father cried out when Jesus healed his son. Not only did he cry out, but he cried out with tears, exhibiting a heart that was broken for Christ.
But this illustration of passion was missing because of the introduction of the Critical Text. This demonstration of power led the father of the child to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. Therefore, he cried out to Jesus with the appropriate title... “Lord”.
RVG - ¡Bendito el reino de nuestro padre David, que viene en el nombre del Señor! ¡Hosanna en las alturas!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David, which comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!
1960 - ¡Bendito el reino de nuestro padre David, que viene!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David, that comes!
The 1960 revision, following the Critical Text, took out the important phrase, “in the name of the Lord”. This phrase signifies that the kingdom of David came in the power, majesty, and representation of the divine authority of our Lord.
Jesus was entering Jerusalem a few days before His crucifixion, seated on a donkey. The people covered his path with their garments so that the feet of the donkey didn’t touch the dirty ground. It was a way of showing that there was someone of great importance on the donkey.
RVG - Y la multitud, gritando, comenzó a pedir que hiciera como siempre les había hecho.
And the multitude, shouting, began to ask that he do what he had always done.
1960 – Y viniendo la multitud, comenzó a pedir que hiciese como siempre les había hecho.
And when the crowd came, they began to ask that he do what he had always done.
The word “shouting” was taken out in the Critical Text reading of the 1960. One word makes a big difference in the meaning. Look at v. 6 & 7.
“Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.”
This is the story of how badly they mistreated Jesus. This shows us just how much they hated Jesus. The crowd was not passively asking that they turn just any prisoner loose. They were shouting with strong voices and asking that a murderer be set free instead of Christ who came to save them.
It was a very sad time, but the Critical Text minimized the emotions that were present in this historic incident that had such a profound impact on our eternal lives.
RVG - Y cuando se cumplieron los días de la purificación de ella, conforme a la ley de Moisés, le trajeron a Jerusalén para presentarle al Señor.
And when the days of her purification were completed, according to the law of Moses, they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
1960 – Y cuando se cumplieron los días de la purificación de ellos,...
And when the days of their purification were completed, ...
This shows the necessity of Mary, mother of Jesus, to be purified according to the law after giving birth to a baby boy. To say that she did not need to be purified is to follow the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
RVG - Y también salían demonios de muchos, dando voces y diciendo: Tú eres Cristo, el Hijo de Dios. Pero Él les reprendía y no les dejaba hablar; porque sabían que Él era el Cristo.
And many demons also came out, shouting and saying: You are Christ, the Son of God. But He rebuked them and did not let them speak; because they knew that He was the Christ.
1960 – También salían demonios de muchos, dando voces y diciendo: Tú eres el Hijo de Dios....
Also many demons came out, shouting and saying: You are the Son of God...
The Critical Text used in the 1960 and other modern versions left out the title “Christ” from the verse. The demons knew that He was the Christ, which signifies “the Anointed One, the Messiah that comes”. For this reason, they called him by his divine title.
This title was taken out by the Critical Text several times. You can also find it in Romans 1:16, I Corinthians 9:1, and others. Not one word should be taken out of the Word of God, especially the divine title of our Lord and Savior.
RVG - Y todos estaban maravillados de la grandeza de Dios. Y admirándose todos de todas las cosas que Jesús hacía, dijo a sus discípulos:
And everyone was amazed at the greatness of God. And admiring all of all the things that Jesus did, he said to his disciples:
1960 – ...Y maravillándose todos de todas las cosas que hacía, ...
... And being amazed at all of the things that he did,
Taking out the name of Jesus changes the meaning of the verse. It appears that it was referring to God the Father.
The Greek word that they left out is the name that means “Jehovah is salvation” (Thayer Concordance). This is something very precious and should never be taken out of the Word of God.
This is an attack on the deity of Christ. This is just one of several times that the name of Jesus was taken out. See also Matthew. 24:2, Acts 3:26, Acts 9:29, and 2 Corinthians 5:18.
RVG - Y dijo a Jesús: Señor, acuérdate de mí cuando vengas en tu reino.
And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
1960 – Y dijo a Jesús: Acuérdate de mí cuando vengas en tu reino.
And he said to Jesus: Remember me when you come into your kingdom.
They took out the divine title “Lord”. Jesus was hung on that cross. There were a multitude who were blaspheming and mocking Him. There were many people there that came for nothing more than to see Christ suffer and die.
Something that Bro. Humberto Gómez said once about that event stuck with me, “The thief that was hung at Christ’s side was saying the first friendly word that Jesus heard while on the cross... ‘Lord’.”
In the midst of all of that was going on, this thief recognized his sins and the only One who could forgive him. This day, he placed his faith and his eternity in the nail-scarred hands of the “LORD” Jesus Christ. No one can take the word Lord out of the mouth of that thief.
RVG - Y dijo: Por eso os he dicho que ninguno puede venir a mí, si no le es dado de mi Padre.
And he said: That is why I have told you that no one can come to me, unless it is given by my Father.
1960 - ... si no le fuere dado del Padre.
... if not given to him by the Father.
The words “my Father” were changed to “the Father”. Jesus Christ is the true son of God. He said, “I and my Father are one”. The Greek work should be translated “my”. It should not be taken out.
RVG - Y si alguno oye mis palabras, y no cree, yo no le juzgo; porque no vine para juzgar al mundo, sino para salvar al mundo.
And if anyone hears my words, and does not believe, I do not judge him; because I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
1960 – Al que oye mis palabras, y no las guarda, ...
To the one that hears my words, and does not keep them, ...
The Critical Text changed the verb from “believe” to “keep”.
You can obey/keep what someone says without believing what they say. Therefore, the Critical Text teaches a salvation by works. This changes the doctrine of salvation. The NIV also contains the same changes.
RVG - Así que, los que con gozo recibieron su palabra, fueron bautizados; y aquel día fueron añadidas a ellos como tres mil almas.
So, those who joyfully/with joy received his word were baptized; and that day there were added to them three thousand souls.
1960 – Así que, los que recibieron su palabra fueron bautizados; ...
So, those who received his word were baptized; ...
The words “with joy” were taken out. These two words display the condition of their hearts when they heard and accepted the truth of the Word of God. What joy there is to receive the good news that Jesus Christ died for us and that we don’t need to go to hell!
But the Critical Text was left without joy.
RVG - Y pasados cuarenta años, el Ángel del Señor le apareció en el desierto del monte Sinaí, en una llama de fuego en una zarza.
And after forty years, the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in the desert of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.
1960 – Pasados cuarenta años, un ángel se le apareció...
After forty years, an angel appeared to him...
The Critical Text changed “the Angel of the Lord” to “an angel”. This was no ordinary angel that talked directly with Moses.
Look at v.32
Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. (dared not look)
This was a manifestation of God himself.
RVG - Y él dijo: ¿Quién eres, Señor? Y el Señor dijo: Yo soy Jesús a quien tú persigues; dura cosa te es dar coces contra los aguijones.
And he said: Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said: I am Jesus whom you persecute; hard thing is to kick against the pricks.
1960 – El dijo: ¿Quién eres, Señor? Y le dijo; yo soy Jesús...
He said: Who are you, Lord? And he said: I am Jesus
Here they took out the divine title of Jesus. God placed the title twice here in the Greek. The first time was in Paul’s question. The second time was to declare who was talking. “And the Lord said: I am Jesus ...” Jesus the Lord. We should not take out the word that declares his deity.
The title “Lord” was left out of other verses also; Mark 9:24, Mark 11:10, Luke 23:42, 2 Cor. 4:10
RVG - Porque no me avergüenzo del evangelio de Cristo; porque es el poder de Dios para salvación a todo aquel que cree; al judío primeramente, y también al griego.
Because I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1960 – Porque no me avergüenzo del evangelio, porque es el poder de Dios...
Because I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God...
The Critical Text left out the words “of Christ” which identify which gospel he was talking about. Both II Corinthians 11 and Galatians 1 strongly warn us that we should not accept or preach just any gospel. It is only the gospel of Christ that has the power to save us.
RVG - Y os encomiendo a nuestra hermana Febe, la cual es sierva de la iglesia que está en Cencrea;
I commend you to our sister Phebe, which is a servant of the church in Cenchrea.
1960 – ...la cual es diaconisa de la iglesia...
... which is a female deacon of the church...
The Critical Text changed the word servant to a female deacon. This office does not exist in the Bible. The Bible is very clear that the deacons are men. (1 Tim. 3) The use of the word “diaconisa” opens the door for problems in the churches.
1 Corinthians 7:5
RVG - No os defraudéis el uno al otro, a no ser
por algún tiempo de mutuo consentimiento, para ocuparos en ayuno y oración; y volved a juntaros en uno, para que no os tiente Satanás a causa de vuestra incontinencia.
Defraud you not one to the other, except it be for a time by mutual consent, to be occupied in fasting and prayer; and come together as one, so that Satan does not tempt you because of your incontinency.
1960 - ...para ocuparos sosegadamente en la oración; ...
... to be occupied calmly in prayer; ...
The Critical Text took out the word “fasting” which is very important in this instruction. We should not stop having sexual relations with our spouse for a time just to pray. Remember that the Bible teaches us that we are to pray without ceasing. To say “for a time” is not talking about our daily prayers. The time of fasting is a special longer period of time separated for God to put aside the pleasures of this life and concentrate ourselves in prayer.
1 Corinthians 10:9
RVG - Ni tentemos a Cristo, como también algunos de ellos le tentaron, y perecieron por las serpientes.
Let us not tempt Christ, as also some of them tempted Him, and they perished by the serpents.
1960 – Ni tentemos al Señor...
Let us not tempt the Lord...
The original word in the Greek is “Christós”. This comes from the word “anointed” and signifies the “Messiah”. There is no reason to translate it to “Lord”.
RVG - y de aclarar a todos cuál es la comunión del misterio escondido desde el principio del mundo en Dios, que creó todas las cosas por Jesucristo;
And to clarify to all what is that fellowship of the mystery hidden from the beginning of the world in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.
1960 - ...que creó todas las cosas;
... who created all things;
The Critical Text removed the words “by Jesus Christ”. This verse is an affirmation that Jesus Christ was active in creation. It is a very important doctrine.
Jesus Christ always existed, even before coming to this world in human form. He is God incarnate! To take these words out of this verse is against the deity of Christ.
1 Peter 2:2
RVG - desead, como niños recién nacidos, la leche no adulterada de la palabra, para que por ella crezcáis;
desire, as newborn babies, the unadulterated milk of the word, so that through it you may grow;
1960 - ...para que por ella crezcáis para salvación.
... so that through it you may grow unto salvation.
By the Word of God, we grow spiritually but we can’t learn enough to obtain salvation. Salvation is given once at the moment of our repentance. The Critical Text is once again teaching salvation by works.
1 Peter 3:21
RVG - A la figura de lo cual el bautismo que ahora corresponde nos salva (no quitando las inmundicias de la carne, sino como testimonio de una buena conciencia delante de Dios) por la resurrección de Jesucristo,
To the figure of which baptism now corresponds saves us (not putting away the filth of the flesh, but as testimony of a good conscience before God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
1960 – El bautismo que corresponde a esto ahora nos salva...
Baptism that corresponds to this now saves us...
The 1960 and other modern versions teach that baptism is what saves us. This is a false doctrine that entered the Spanish Bible through the Critical Text.
RVG - y nos hizo reyes y sacerdotes para Dios y su Padre; a Él sea la gloria y el poder por siempre jamás. Amén.
and has made us kings and priests for God and his Father; to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
1960 – y nos hizo reyes y sacerdotes para Dios, su Padre;
and made us kings and priests for God, his Father;
The 1960 removed a small word that changes the meaning of the verse. To say “God, his Father” demonstrates that Jesus is not God. The RVG says it correctly when it says, “God and his Father”, because Jesus IS God. Once again, the Critical Text in the 1960 attacks the doctrine of the deity of Christ.
RVG - Bienaventurados los que guardan sus mandamientos, para tener derecho al árbol de la vida, y poder entrar por las puertas en la ciudad.
Blessed are those who keep his commandments, to have the right to the tree of life, and power to enter at the gates of the city.
1960 – Bienaventurados los que lavan sus ropas, para tener derecho...
Blessed are those who wash their clothes, to have the right...
The Critical Text in the 1960 changed the words. Instead of keeping the commandments of God, it is teaching that they should wash their clothes. The RVG follows the Received Text.
There is another topic that we need to cover
The word “Hell” has been changed or removed by the Critical Text.
The word hell appears:
- 43 times in the 1865 version
- 30 times in the 1909
- Only 13 times in the 1960 and other modern versions.
- 54 times in the RVG (same as the KJV)
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is “Seol”, meaning – sepulcher, depth, abyss, hell. The word is Hebrew, not Spanish. Therefore, it should not be in the Spanish Bible. It should be translated according to the context of the verse.
But a modern translation practice has placed this Hebrew word instead of translating it correctly to “hell” when the context required it. This is known as ‘transliteration’. Let’s look at an example:
RVG - Que la muerte los sorprenda; desciendan vivos al infierno; porque maldad hay en sus moradas, en medio de ellos.
May death surprise them; they descend alive into hell; for there is evil in their dwellings, in the midst of them.
1960 – Que la muerte les sorprenda; Desciendan vivos al Seol...
May death surprise them; they descend alive into Seol...
Who is going to fear and respond if we preach, ‘if you don’t repent, you will go to Seol’? ... only those who understand Hebrew.
The Bible was translated into Spanish so that they didn’t need to learn another language to understand it. Therefore, it makes no sense to change it to Hebrew.
This opens the door for wrong interpretation. One pastor could preach translating it to sepulcher while another translates it to abyss, and another translates it to hell. Only one is correct. Satan is the author of confusion. Therefore, the Bible should be correctly translated so that we have the accurate word according to the context.
The entire Old Testament of the 1960 does not contain the word Hell. It was changed to the Hebrew word ‘Seol’. In the New Testament there are three words that are translated from the Greek for the word Hell.
- Hades – which means Hell (mostly translated this way) or sepulcher (only once)
- Gehenna – always translated “Hell”
(This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals were cast out of the city and burned.)
- Tartaro – used only one time – 2 Peter 2:4 “Hell”
Two examples of the transliteration of the word Hades:
RVG - Y yo también te digo que tú eres Pedro, y sobre esta roca edificaré mi iglesia, y las puertas del infierno no prevalecerán contra ella.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the doors of hell will not prevail against it.
1960 – ...y las puertas del Hades no prevalecerán contra ella.
... and the doors of Hades will not prevail against her.
Are we ministering to help souls avoid “hades”? (No) Are we ministering so that they will avoid the sepulcher or Hell? (Hell)
Ephesians 6:12 tells us
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
And some of them are trying to corrupt the very Word of God!
RVG - Y en el infierno alzó sus ojos, estando en tormentos, y vio a Abraham de lejos, y a Lázaro en su seno.
And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
1960 – Y en el Hades alzó sus ojos...
And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, ...
The rich man is in Hell, in torment, awaiting the day when he will be judged publicly for his unrepented sinful life To say “hades” opens the door to the Catholics who then can teach that this is purgatory.
For their false teaching of purgatory, they think they can suffer for a time and later be released from the torment. This is not biblical. To avoid false teaching, the Bible should be translated correctly to say “Hell”.
When we take out the word Hell from the Bible, a word that for centuries made people tremble to think about the torment they would suffer, we then change the Word of God to be what the people want to hear... a God of love, a God of compassion—and He is— but He is also a just God and evil will be eternally punished. We should not soften the topic of Hell by changing the words. We should preach, teach, and share with others that Hell is a real place so that they will want to avoid it.
How many changes, omissions, and/or additions should be made in the Word of God? None! We have seen just a few of the many changes that have entered because of the Critical Text. Among these, we have seen removed and changed the words Lord, Christ, and Jesus. We have seen doctrines that have been changed and distorted.
So, after hearing all of this we should ask, “Why are there so many versions of the Bible available?”.
The simplest response is that the Bible is the largest selling and most widely distributed book of all time. Around 5 billion have been sold. McDonalds is the largest restaurant chain in terms of sales. Each time they add a new item to their menu, most customers want to try it. Because of that, they sell many quickly and make lots of money. They have the “Happy Meal” which comes with a kid’s toy. When they want to sell more Happy Meals, they change to a new toy.
People who want to make money take advantage of the fact that everyone likes something new, the newest fashion, the newest toy, the newest model car, etc.
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Ephesians 4:14)
The majority of so-called Christians have not grown spiritually and have no conviction of the purity of God’s Word. So, if you make a new version of the Bible, one that is easier to read, one that is softened to their liking, it will sell.
Another reason is that some groups want to create a Bible that says what they want it to say. They change the words to create a false doctrine they like or delete a doctrine they don’t agree with. I believe this is what is happening with the verses about Hell, those that deny the deity of Christ, etc. Those who don’t believe in Hell do not want to read about it in their Bible. If Hell is real, they know they will suffer for eternity for their unrepented sin. They can’t live like they want to. But to erase it from the Bible does not erase the truth.
There are also different ways of translating. One is word-forword (formal equivalence). Another is to just translate the meaning (dynamic equivalence). The dynamic equivalence method is used for ease of reading and it is another way to sell more books. But God did not say that “the meanings of my words are pure”. He said, “every word of God is pure”.
We are warned not to add to or take away from His Word. Diminishing the Word of God into just thoughts or what someone thinks it means and calling it the Bible, God’s holy Word, is a terrible sin. There are so many who do not fear our Holy God but want to make money on the popularity of His book.
Then, there are those who want to make sure that the Word of God remains pure. That is the reason for the revision RVG. It was done to remove the errors that have entered into the Spanish Bible over the years and bring it back in line with the original writings. There have been other attempts, but we have found the RVG to be the best.
So, what are some reasons people use who do not want to change to the RVG?
Some of the excuses I have heard
- “I’ve always used this version. I was saved using this version.”
That is nice, and I understand. But your salvation hasn’t changed and won’t be affected. Keep that Bible as a keepsake and start reading the pure Word of God.
- “Change will cause division.”
The Word of God causes division. Jesus Christ caused division. The TRUTH causes division. Sometimes division is necessary for growth. A human cell divides many times before it is a human body. God even allowed and used division because of religious persecution to advance his kingdom.
If Casiodoro de Reina was worried about division, we would not have the Bible in Spanish! We do not want division in or between churches. But if there is division because a pastor wants what his convictions dictate for his church...If he wants to change something for the betterment of his church, and for that there is division, I believe it is right.
The truth is that I have not yet been told of even one church that has divided because of the RVG here in S. America.
In August of 2019 we completed delivery of our latest shipment from Victory Baptist Press. We have now distributed over 100,000 RVG whole Bibles in our ministry to all nine Spanish speaking countries in S. America and the number of requests continue to grow.
I have always said that the RVG will stand or fall on its own merit. It seems to be standing tall as more are educated on the topic of the purity of God’s Word and are shown the truth of the original manuscripts.
I recently taught a class to a group of pastors in an area that had been negatively influenced against the RVG by a well-known national pastor and lay seminary professor. After teaching this same information to them we have received many requests for the RVG in that area. We understand that change takes time and education.
In the year 1960, the version Reina Valera 1960 was published. Before that, there was the 1909. It was around for 51years. Before that, there was the 1865. That version was used for 44 years. Before that, other versions were used, back to the 1602.
Each time that a new version came out, I am sure that there was division between those who wanted to “change” and those who didn’t. But with time, pastors, missionaries, and church people accepted them.
Sadly, each new version multiplied the problems that were in the one before it.
It takes a man of honor, courage, and integrity, with a love for the pure Word of God to study the differences and stand by his decision, even if it is not what others are doing.
Other excuses I have heard for not using the RVG:
- “I don’t want a Bible translated from an English Bible, the King James.”
It wasn’t. When there were questions about how to translate a word or phrase, it was compared to what is considered the closest English Bible to the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. This only makes sense, right?
The 1960 was compared to THREE Bibles in English and one English commentary. The English Revised Version of 1885, American Standard Version of 1901, and the Revised Standard Version of 1946.
At least the RVG noted what it was compared to in the front pages.
- I have heard that some do not want to use the RVG because those who love the King James in English are using it.
If we believe that the King James Bible is the purest, the closest to the original words of God, what should we want? What should we use? It is the same reason that we want the RVG!
- There are those who believe that the Received Text, the text trusted for centuries by the church fathers, is not the correct text.
There is nothing that we can say or show to a person like this. Their basic beliefs are different from ours. Although they may be our brothers, we are not in agreement with the basics. It is like trying to show from the Bible that Hell is real when the person with whom we are talking does not believe that the Bible is the Word of God.
- Some believe that it doesn’t matter which text is used to translate the Bible. They think that either is ok.
But how can we trust in the Received Text AND the Critical Text when they contradict each other?
We can’t mix the text to our liking. It is like mixing clean water and dirty water. The result is not healthy.
What they are really saying is that they are not concerned with the purity of the Word of God. It is not important to them.
Some have said:
- “I don’t like that the Bible has Gómez’ name on it”.
The name is just a way to distinguish the difference between new revisions and versions. Bro. Gómez himself did not want it placed on there but was convinced that it would help in differentiating between versions and revisions.
How many people think about who they are referring to when they call their Bible the “Reina Valera”? It is only a reference. If you don’t like the name you can cover it with a permanent marker. It is what is on the inside that matters.
Other reasons for rejecting the RVG:
- Laziness – Some don’t want to go through the hassle of studying it themselves and instead trust what someone else has said.
The majority of the persons whom I have spoken to directly who were against the RVG, including a seminary director, have admitted that they have not personally compared it or studied it out but are just trusting the opinion of others.
- Pride – Some have been using another version for a long time and saying it was the best when in reality it had faults. They are too proud to admit their error.
- Arrogance – I have known people who would not change because they knew someone involved in the work and didn’t like them.
That is arrogance that says that “my feelings” come before the purity of the Word of God. If they had known Reina or Valera, they might not have liked them either.
- Fear – of losing friends, losing financial support, losing popularity/standing, etc.
What we should be afraid of is standing before our Holy God one day and giving an account of our decisions. It is God that supplies all our needs.
- Peer pressure – There are pastors who are concerned of what others will think of them. Some belong to groups or associations of pastors who may pressure them.
Missionaries may be pressured by their mission agency to stay with a certain version.
But the #1 reason I believe that someone doesn’t change once they see the truth and are convinced – Lack of integrity and conviction.
It takes a person with backbone to stand for their beliefs in spite of what anyone around them says or thinks. A person of integrity will not allow any excuse to stand in the way of the purity of the Word of God.
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)
We studied v. 5 earlier. Now let’s put it together with v. 6. From v. 5 we see that if we put our trust in Him, we will put our trust in every word that He spoke. Verse 6 is another warning not to add to the Word of God. What does God call a person who changes His Word? “a liar”
This is not an exhaustive study. It is only done to show examples of why we have chosen the RVG for our ministry and why we believe it is the best Spanish Bible available today.
I believe that our Spanish-speaking Christian brothers and sisters deserve a pure Bible just as much as any English-speaking Christian. Cipriano de Valera felt that the purity of the Word of God was of great importance. Here are two of his quotes.
1597 - “Therefore, open your eyes, O Spaniards, and forsaking those who deceive you, obey Christ and His Word which alone is firm and unchangeable forever. Establish and found your faith on the true foundation of the Prophets and Apostles and sole Head of His Church”
Introduction to the Reina-Valera Bible, 1602
“The reason for my motivation in making this edition, was the same that motivated Casiodoro de Reina, who had been motivated by that hallowed Person, the Lord Himself. He desired to proclaim the glory of God and to make a clear service to his nation. Therefore, he began to translate the Holy Bible (into Spanish).”
I would like to leave you with these two verses:
“For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:17)
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
If we want the pure words of life eternal, we should want a version of the Bible that is pure and free from the Critical Text.
Thank you for your effort in reading this lengthy study. I pray that this will allow you to see and understand why we stand with the Reina Valera Gómez revision of the Spanish Bible.