A Pastor Asks About the 1865 Valera
Dear Bro. ****,
Bro. **** as you know I have been involved with Spanish Bibles since 1999 back when God first led me to start a Spanish ministry in my home church in Beaufort, SC. (In fact you’ve preached in our Spanish ministry before and helped me go visiting a few times.) The first Spanish Bible I used was the 1960. But it wasn’t long before I realized that the 1960 was corrupted. So then began the long search for a completely reliable Spanish Bible. I considered them all. I HAD to because I had Hispanic people to preach to and I needed a Bible in their language. My search was one of necessity rather than mere interest or curiosity. I had no bias going into this (well, other than the bias that the KJB is the inspired, infallible, perfect word of God in English and so I therefore wanted something in Spanish similar to it). So I looked into the 1865, the 1909 Antigua, the McVey project, the Enzinas project, the 1602 Purificada project of Monterrey, Mexico, the RVG, etc.
When I investigated the 1865 I found that it too had faults. That the 1865 has its problems is proven by the fact that the same Valera Bible Society (that Bro. ***** runs with) that prints and promotes it did THEIR OWN revision of it in 2005. Why else would they make changes in the 1865 if there weren’t errors and a recognized need for improvement? (I’ll list a few examples of problems in the 1865 more towards the end of my comments.)
Bro. ***** says Bro. Gomez’s revision work (2004-2010) was unnecessary since God had already given the Spanish world the 1865 version. If that’s so, why did Bro. *****’s buddies do a revision of the 1865 version in 2005? I have copies of this 2005 revised edition of the 1865 being put out by the Valera Bible Society with their list of changes in the back (a total of 50 changes).
Bro. ***** and the VBS has this theory that since the 1865 Valera was made in the Philadelphian period and we are living in the Laodicean period than all of us Laodiceans are all apostate by default that therefore we do not have the ability to revise or improve upon Bibles made in the Philadelphian period like the 1865 Valera. First off, that’s false doctrine and private interpretation. The Bible doesn’t say anything like that. Secondly, that’s ridiculous because there are over 3000 languages today that have NO Bible whatsoever. There are missionaries today working hard to get the word of God translated into these foreign languages of peoples who have never had it. If this theory is true than these missionaries might as well quit and not waste their time since they can only produce something apostate. (I happen to believe that the same God that worked in the Philadelphian period is the same God that works with us in the Laodicean period, but anyways...) Thirdly, if modern day efforts to produce accurate foreign Bibles are a waste of time and we are to simply accept the best Philadelphian age Reformation era Spanish Bible available than why did the Valera Bible Society make corrections to the 1865 Valera text in 2005? Why is it wrong if Bro. Humberto Gomez does it but its ok when the Laodicean gringos of the VBS do it?
Bro. ***** said:
“ Since 2004, the RVG has gone through at least seven major revisions, many of them prompted by criticisms raised by the Valera Bible Society.”
This is not true. I know Bro. Gomez personally and talk to him frequently. The VBS had no bearing upon the RVG whatsoever. The VBS is living in a dream world. They just want to make themselves feel more important than what they really are. They’re legends in their own minds.
Bro. ***** said:
“The RVG is based on the CT-tainted 1909, instead of the pure 1865. Also, and sadly, I might add, many doctrinal problems were created by "updating" the language from the pure Castilian of the old Valera Bibles into the newer, street-lingo variety employed in modern versions, including the Gomez.”
Bro. ***** misses the point to revision. The whole point to revision is to correct errors and improve things. OF COURSE the base text being revised is going to have taints. If it didn’t there wouldn’t be any need for revision now would there. The 1865 was a revision of tainted Reina-Valera texts as well. If it wasn’t they would have never produced a revision in 1865. Even the original 1602 text of Cipriano de Valera was tainted (and based on the tainted 1569 text of Casiodoro de Reina), which is why Valera HIMSELF called for further revision of his text in the preface of his revision. If we should reject the RVG because it was a revision of a tainted text, then we must also reject the 1865 since it was a revision of a tainted text which was a revision of another tainted text, and so on and so forth.
In fact, we should reject ALL editions of the Textus Receptus since they were all revisions of Erasmus and ALL Protestant Reformation revisions based upon the TR. That means we should even reject the King James Bible since IT too was a revision of the tainted Bishop’s Bible. Contrary to popular belief, the KJB was not a brand new translation started from scratch. Technically, it was a revision of the Bishops Bible according to the working principles of the King James translators. And though the Bishops Bible is in that line of good, respectable English translations before 1611, it too was tainted (see 1 Peter 2:2 for an example, the Bishops adds the words “unto salvation”) which is why God raised up the KJB translators to give us what would eventually be a perfected text. But the point is that the King James translators used as their English base a tainted text. According to *****’s logic we should reject it for that.
Bro. ***** said:
“What's more, the Gomez has made a huge mistake in capitalizing *most of* the pronouns referring to the deity, a move made by the NKJV. By doing this, the Gomez group has demonstrated their willingness to depart radically from the methodology of the KJB they claim to be following, and instead line up with modern English corruptions, at least as far as technique goes. “
The 1865 Valera capitalized the entire word “virgin” (in reference to Mary) Isaiah 7:14 just like the Catholic bibles do. The Valera Bible Society should do something about that if they are so concerned about the modern technique of capitalizing words in reference to deity.
Bro. ***** said:
“Sadder still is the fact that the RVG often departs from both the long-standing wording of the Reina-Valera Bibles, and even the KJB, and follows the wording of the corrupt 1960. These errors and many others are catalogued at length at www.valera1865.org.”
The 1865 has plenty of readings that are identical with the corrupt 1960. The NIV has readings that are identical with the KJB. A reading is not corrupt just because that same reading can also be located in a corrupted text. The words “God”, “Jehovah”, “Jesus”, and “Christ” are all located in corrupt bibles. That doesn’t all of a sudden make those words corrupt.
Bro. ***** said:
“I could go on about their compromising with D.A. Waite and pandering to gringoes (leading me to call it the Reona-Valera-Gringo) in translation, screwing up key doctrines in the process, but I won't belabor the point.”
I don’t agree with Dr. Waite’s view on inspiration. He and I have communicated on this and we both respectfully disagree (I believe the KJB is the inspired word of God in English and so does Bro. Humberto Gomez and the majority of his collaborators who assisted in the RVG revision). ****ver, if I should reject the RVG because I have a doctrinal disagreement with some of the folks that participated in that revision than I must also reject the KJB because some of those guys were Calvinists. I believe Limited Atonement is a heresy and so I don’t know if I’d let some of the KJB translators preach in my pulpit but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate their work on the King James Version.
Besides, if ***** has a problem with Waite’s involvement than he needs to throw his 1865 away because one of the men involved in that version, H.B. Pratt, was a CRITICAL TEXT man. After the 1865 Valera was done, Pratt produced another Spanish Bible completely based upon the Critical Text. I think I’d have more of a problem with the involvement of a Critical Text man in my Spanish Bible than a Textus Receptus man. Also, the main individual involved in the 1865 revision was Angel Mora, an Episcopalian. I wonder what kind of disagreements Bro. ***** would have with an Episcopalian.
You see, these 1865 guys are hypocritical when they argue about Waite’s involvement because they also argue against Bro. Gomez doing a revision without formal Hebrew and Greek credentials. The VBS’s president, Jeff McArdle, boasts all the time about all the Greek he supposedly knows. Yet when Bro. Gomez consults the Greek expertise of a man who has probably forgotten more Greek than McArdle knows English and ***** knows Spanish, they cry out, “Wrong guy!” With these guys you can’t win no matter what you do.
(Here’s some food for thought. Dr. Waite was brought on the RVG project at the recommendation of a KJV-only, RVG supporter who has some training under Dr. Ruckman. I wonder what THAT guy believes about inspiration and the KJB.)
You see, all types of brethren were in one way or another involved with the RVG, the same can be said for the KJB and the 1865. We can point fingers all day long about the things we doctrinally disagree about with various Bible translators and revisers. And I’m not saying that some of those things may not have some bearing on their work but at the end of the day what matters most is the quality of the text they produce.
Also, Bro. ***** falsely accuses Bro. Gomez of “pandering to Gringos”. This is a lie. First off, again ***** is hypocritical in his criticism of Gomez because one of the people that helped to produce the 1865 Valera he supports was a gringo named H.B. Pratt. The President of the Bible society that revised that 1865 text was a gringo named Jeff McArdle.
You see, these guys have this conspiracy theory that a bunch of behind-the-scene gringos secretly pressured and dictated to Bro. Gomez in his work. These folks don’t know Bro. Gomez. Also, I happen to personally know a lot of Bro. Gomez’s collaborators (I’ve preached for some of them) many of which were nationals who know Spanish at a level that the gringos at the Valera Bible Society will probably never know. I’m talking about Hispanic men are men like Vicente Delgado and Antoni Miralles (Spain), Nelson Gimenez and Daniel Leiva (Paraguay), Carlos Donate (Puerto Rico), Alfredo Cortez, Ruben de la Rosa, and Joe Louis Nunez (Mexico), Juan Riquelme (Chile), Ricardo Monteagudo (Argentia), and I can go on and on.
And then yes, there are some “gringos” that had a hand in the project. “Gringos” like Dr. Waite, who has 5 earned doctorates degrees in linguistics, 2 licenses in 2 states to teach linguistics at the university level, and experience in teaching Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, and English since 1945. He also happens to speak spanish having pastored a Spanish-speaking church for 2 years earlier in his ministry. Another “gringo” was Dr. Rex Cobb, President of the Baptist Bible Translators Institute in Bowie, TX where he trains missionaries in Greek and advanced linguistics for the purpose of translating foreign Bibles. Dr. Cobb is KJV-only, an experienced Bible translator having translated the entire NT into the language of the Zapoteca Indians in Mexico, and a former missionary in Mexico for over 20 years. No man has done more extensive research and collation of Spanish Bibles than Dr. Cobb. Time would fail me to talk about other “gringos” like Dr. Louis Tyler, a fluent Spanish-speaker, who preaches in Spanish, and is the Professor of Greek and Hebrew and head of the language department in a Bible seminary in Edinburg, TX where missionaries go to get language training before going to the field. Time would fail me to mention all the bilingual veteran missionaries that participated. So yeah there were some “gringos” involved. Gringos with a command of the language, who are almost all KJV-only (only a handful being just TR guys) who have made full proof of their ministries and have accomplished in their respective fields what Bro. ***** aspires to accomplish in Chile.
But the majority of Bro. Gomez’s collaborators were Hispanic nationals. To say that Bro. Gomez “pandered” to gringos is a lie that Bro. ***** couldn’t back up in a million years. If he could I challenge him to produce proof. I know he can’t because I know the collaborators. And if he can’t he should quit falsely accusing a brother in Christ.
Now for a few examples of problems in the 1865 Valera.
You don’t have to go any further than the first verse of the Bible to see that the 1865 Valera has issues. The 1865 Valera has “heavens” (plural) instead of “heaven” (singular) in Gen. 1:1. All corrupt modern English bibles have “heavens” (plural). This has doctrinal implications. The RVG and KJV have “heaven” (singular).
Dan. 7:13 diminishes the deity of Christ by referring to Christ as “a” Son of man instead of “the” Son of man like the RVG and KJB does.
In Psalms 104:4 the 1865 says that the God’s angels are going to the flaming fire (as if they are going to hell) rather than saying His ministers (angels) ARE a flaming fire like it reads in the KJB and RVG.
In Psalms 16:10 the 1865 takes away the truth that Christ went to hell by changing the word “hell” to “grave”. (All the corrupt modern bibles in English do the same thing.) And yes I know that sometimes hell is referring to the grave but in this instance Jesus literally went to hell (1 Pet. 3:19) and if anyone has a problem with that thought they need to remember Jesus has the ability to be in fire and not be burned (Dan. 3:25). So the 1865 should have followed the example of the KJV (like the RVG did) in this instance and stuck with the word “hell”. By not doing so, doctrine is affected in this verse.
(Note: Hell is mentioned in the KJB 54 times. The RVG has the word for “hell”, which is “infierno”, in all the same 54 places it is mentioned in the KJB. The 1865 does not. It mentions “hell” only 40 times.)
In Numbers 31:39 the 1865 says the Lord’s tribute was 71, yet the KJB (and RVG) says it was 61.
I could go on and on...
There are also translational issues that I believe make the 1865 inferior to the RVG in my opinion.
For example, in Psalms 75:2 where the KJV says “When I shall receive the congregation”, the 1865 says “when I shall have time”, which is something totally different. The RVG reads word for word like the KJV in this instance.
Instead of saying “is there not a cause” in 1 Sam. 17:29 the 1865 says “are these not words”, which makes no sense. So forget about preaching that message with the 1865. The RVG reads like the KJV in this instance.
The RVG is the only Spanish Bible that refers to the preservation of God’s words in Psalms 12:6-7. The 1865 doesn’t.
In 2 Tim. 2:15 we have the greatest command in the Bible to “study” and “rightly divide”. Yet in the 1865 it says “procure” (to try or strive) instead of “study” and “to distribute good” instead “rightly divide”. *****’s friends try to make believe that these readings are really the same. Sorry but they’re not. To distribute and to divide are just as different in Spanish as they are in English I don’t care how they try to explain otherwise. The RVG says to study (estudia) and the RVG is the ONLY Bible in Spanish that says to “rightly divide” (traza bien). Interesting that ***** wants to compare the RVG to the New King James yet his Spanish Bible reads EXACTLY like the New King James in the Bible’s greatest and most important command to study and how to do it. His Bible takes out both the command and how to do it.
I could go on and on but I need to start wrapping this up. At any rate, the information is out there. Anyone that really cares about this issue can do the research and be fully persuaded in their own minds if they want to.
Let me close this up by explaining the fundamental difference between the 1865 Valera and the Reina-Valera Gomez. If errors are found and proven in the RVG, Dr. Gomez will correct them. Considering how young the RVG revision is, there could be a chance that something was missed and overlooked. It happens. One thing that none of the RVG critics can deny is that Bro. Gomez is not afraid to make the corrections IF the alleged error can be proven to be a real error. Many times the so-called errors are just an American brother approaching the text with an English-speaking mindset, albeit sincere, and thus fail to see the proper correlation between the reading in Spanish and English. In other words, it turns out to be a non-issue. (If I wanted to waste my time to do so I can easily demonstrate this with the so-called “documented” errors that the Valera Bible Society claims to have unearthed in the link that ***** provided.) But if something in the RVG text can indeed be demonstrated to be wrong, Bro Gomez has proven over and over again that he and his collaborators will fix it. That’s called HONESTY. That’s what revision is all about. Yet his critics use this as some sort of knock against him.
On the other hand, when errors are shown in the 1865 Valera, the Valera Bible Society and their buddies claim that it’s not an error but really an “advanced revelation” indicating that all Bibles done in the Philadephian period, specifically during the Reformation era, were all perfect and therefore should never be touched. Of course, this is not reality. It’s a false theory at best and a private interpretation at worst.
So because they have this ridiculous, twisted, unbiblical, and wierd position they are forced to explain away real problems that exist in their Bible such as 2 Sam. 21:19 where the KJV says that the giant that Elhanan killed was “the brother of” Goliath. The 1865 doesn’t have the words “the brother of” and therefore contains a contradiction in the Bible since we all know that David killed Goliath. My 4 year old daughter knows that much! Perhaps my daughter is more advanced in her revelations than they are. But the geniuses at the Valera Bible Society would beg to differ. This was one of the errors that they fixed in 2005. But now they say they have “repented” of changing the Bible and their official position now is that they wish to produce the 1865 Valera “as is” with the good 50 changes they made undone, thus leaving it with all its flaws and insisting that everyone accepts those flaws as “advanced revelations”. (Of course the society is still selling the Bibles with these changes that they “repented” of. $$$ I guess their repentance only goes so far when there’s a buck to be made.) Well, thanks, but no thanks. Elhanan didn’t kill Goliath. According to THE BIBLE that matter was cleared up for you by the Holy Spirit in 2 Chron. 20:5 (scripture with scripture, line upon line, etc) when it reveals that the giant that Elhanan killed was named Lahmi, one of Goliaths other brothers. But instead of believing the Bible, the 1865 guys resort to all these private interpretations to sweep under the rug real problems that exist in their Bible. In so doing, the RVG is the ONLY Spanish Bible on earth that has 2 Sam. 21:19 correct with no intentions of un-correcting it.
This is one of many reasons why the RVG is superior to the 1865. Honesty. If you can demonstrate a flaw in the RVG text, it will be fixed. But when it comes to the 1865 crowd, like the Italians say, “forget about it”. Don’t think so. Just listen to ***** explanation of 2 Sam. 21:19. It’ll be coming in 5-4-3-2... It is very enlightening and entertaining.
Well, that’s it. Bro. **** I hope this gives you all plenty of food for thought.