Breaker's Broken Booklet
By Donald Heinz
I was recently given a copy of the 1602 Purified Bible along with a copy of Robert Breaker’s attack on the Reina-Valera-Gómez Bible (RVG). It has been interesting to watch how these two groups react toward each other. They both have the same basic goal, the purification of the Spanish Bible. But, do they have the same tactics and spirit? Do they have the same intellectual honesty and discipline? These are great questions. Therefore, I thought it my duty to present Breaker’s thoughts and refute many of them. I have not seen, nor think I will ever see and attack by the RVG people against the 1602 Purified. However, there is no mistaking this article by Breaker as an attack on the RVG. Let’s look at a few of his comments…
Breaker’s Examples of TR Departures in the RVG
This is the area that most interests me. When we talk about synonyms and equivalents we could argue all year long. However, if there is a literal departure from the TR that supports a Critical Text variant, that is extremely serious business. Let’s see how the RVG does, according to Breaker. His comments are in black and mine are in red.
“John 5:33 The original 1602 and the 1602 Purified say “a la verdad” (like the KJV rendering to the truth). The Gomez changes this to “de la verdad” (of the truth, like the 1960). The Greek has ta alatheia, which means TO THE TRUTH. Why the change? Why doesn’t it follow the KJV and TR here?”
Right out of the box Breaker is extremely deceptive here. The Greek word “ta” may appear to be similar to the English word “to” and he may be trying to give the impression that he knows what he is saying. However, he conveniently withholds the truth that “ta” is the article “the” and there is no preposition here. The preposition is placed there based on interpretive translation in both versions. And, good defenses can be made for both “to” and “of” in this case. I would like to see Breaker try to translate the John 8:44 occurrence of “ta alethia” with the preposition “to” or “a”. The 1602P has it as “en la verdad” not “a la verdad.” Again in 1 Co. 13:6, where there is no preposition given, the 1602 translates it “en la verdad.” Will he keep his own rules there as well?
“John 5:34 The 1602 Purified corrects the original 1602 with the KJV reading of “estas cosas,” (these things) which is of course the Greek word tauta. However, the Gomez translates “esto,” (like the 1960), which in English is, “this.” There is a big difference between these and this. One is plural the other is singular.”
There is not really a big difference between “these” and “this” in this context. But, you can judge for yourself. However, Breaker is not telling you that he is supplying in his translation the word “cosas” which is not at all in the Greek, it is “this” and “these,” not “these things” or “this thing.” There is a difference there also that he doesn’t tell you about. Also, check out Matthew 1:20. If “tauta” should always be translated “these things” or “estas cosas,” why doesn’t the 1602P read, “Y pensando él en estas cosas,…” Didn’t they review the 1602P thoroughly with the Textus Receptus? What about Matthew 19:20, 21:23, 21:24, 23:23, Mark 10:20, Luke 6:23? Luke 6:23 is especially interesting. Perhaps Breaker would have us translate the phrase “kata tauta” as “in the same things” or “en estas cosas”?
“John 5:43 Here the Gomez Bible translates the word as “esté (sic),” or this in English. (As I learned in Spanish class in High School, this and these have the “t’s” in Spanish, that and those don’t!) The Greek TR word is ekenon, which means THAT or THAT ONE. The 1602 and 1602 P use aquel (sic), which also means that one! Is it okay to use that and these interchangeably? Or should the Greek word be translated literally?
(Note: This verse has been corrected in the Gomez in a later edition and changed to ese (sic).)”
Breaker shows his ignorance here when he uses a verb “esté” instead of a demonstrative pronoun “éste.” To use his own comment, any graduate of a highschool Spanish class knows the difference! J What is more, the RVG says “ése” now not “éste,” but he insists on mentioning it.
“John 6:21 Gomez omits translating the Greek word eutheos, or immediately, as it’s translated in the King James. Fortunately, the 1602 Purified caught that this was left out of the original 1602, and added the word inmediatamente into the text. But why did the Gomez miss this, if it went verse by verse and claimed to have ADDED words that were missing?
By leaving this out, we have a DOCTRINAL ERROR? For if the word in Greek is immediately, then this would be another miracle that Jesus did. As soon as he entered the boat, he IMMEDIATELY was on the shore with his men. See the importance of knowing Hebrew and Greek, so you can translate every word?”
First, Breaker states that the RVG omits translating this. This is false. The RVG in fact does translate it as “luego.” However, the question to ask it is… is it always translated “immediately” or “inmediatamente” in the 1602P? How about 3 John 14? All I see is that it is really Breaker who doesn’t have his Spanish or Greek down. Word Study Dictionary - εὐθέως euthéōs; adv. from euthús (G2117), straight, immediate. Immediately, instantly, straightway, forthwith (Mat_8:3; Mat_13:5; Mar_1:31; Act_12:10). By implication, meaning shortly (3Jo_1:14). Strong’s Lexicon - yoo-theh’-oce Adverb from G2117; directly, that is, at once or soon: - anon, as soon as, forthwith, immediately, shortly, straightway. The definition of “luego” depends on the context and can vary from “instantly” to “shortly.”
“John 6:22 The Greek word omitted (sic) in the original 1602 and the Gomez is estakos, which means standing, as it’s translated in the King James. The 1602 Purified, caught that this word was not translated in the 1602 original and added the words de pie in their version. How come the Gomez Bible missed this? And why does it miss it again in John 11:56 also?”
Breaker’s lack of attention to details not only shows in his English, but in his Spanish and Greek. Breaker offers his own definitions of a Greek words without proper documentation as to the real definition, expecting people to just believe him. This works nicely when you decide to put forth your own definition and ignore the actual definition. Strong’s - G2476 ἵστηµι histēmi his’-tay-mee; A prolonged form of a primary word στάω staō (of the same meaning, and used for it in certain tenses); to stand (transitively or intransitively), used in various applications (literally or figuratively): - abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up). Compare G5087. This gives ample room to question Breaker’s interpretation here, and in the many other verses that he criticizes in the RVG regarding this same topic. To insist that this word always be translated a certain way is impractical and disingenuous.
“John 6:63 The Gomez Bible has the wrong verb tense when it says os he hablado (I have spoken to you). The KJV says “I speak” (present tense). 1602 and 1602 P say “hablo” (I speak). In the Gomez, truth is what Jesus SPOKE, not what he SPEAKS today! The greek word is lalo, and of course is in present tense. Interestingly enough, the Gomez Bible here follows the 1960 and NIV in translating it in past tense.”
This criticism is true. The verb tense is definitely a clear difference between the TR and the WH or UBS GNT. The difference is between “lalo” and “lelalāka”. It should read like the KJV present tense “speak”, not “have spoken.” The problem is that the 1602P makes the same “mistake” in John 8:25. Weren’t they careful to check the Textus Receptus? And in that case there is no difference between the texts, they simply translated differently. So is it just a “mistranslation” on the part of both? Or, is there a reason to translate it that way? There is. The time frame is given by the Lord as past, but a present tense verb is used. This could be done in Greek, but it is very strange in English and Spanish, making it impossible to use the present tense “speak.” So, this raises the question, is there some liberty when dealing with verbal tenses? The truth is there are verbal constructions in Greek that cannot be translated with absolute satisfaction in Spanish or English or Russian. This is the most difficult task in translating. “
John 7:44 The Gomez has “mano” (singular). The Greek words are tas xeiras, which are plural. The KJV translates it hands, and so do the 1602 original and the 1602 Purified. Why doesn’t the Gomez follow the TR and the KJV here, as it’s supposed to?”
Good question. Many times changes like this are made to make a translation more readable or understandable. The normal phraseology of a language demands that a plural be made singular due to common usage. If this is not true, why did the 1602P miss the same change in Mat. 26:50? And why did the 1602P translate “manos” correctly in Mark 14:46 but mistranslated the preposition “epi” with “en.” Since when do people lay their hands “in” someone? Do we have a new doctrine here? Or are these men surgeons? And what about Luke 20:19? Why didn’t they lay their “hands” “in” him? Isn’t the 1602P omitting a word there? I am just asking this to prove that if Breakers standards are applied to the same Bible he is trying to defend, it also comes up short.
“John 7:49 The Gomez has “es” (interestingly enough just like the 1960 reading) instead of “son” like the KJV reading (are). The Greek word is eisi, which is plural. The word should be son just like the original 1602 and the 1602 Purified have it. Even a first year Greek Student would not make such a mistake!”
Breaker is ignorant of common Spanish. This is just another example. When translating, the translator cannot force his foreign understanding of verb conjugation on another language. In today’s Spanish they do not conjugate this collective noun with a plural verb. It is conjugated as singular. Apparently in the past it was translated as plural. But today it is not. You can verify this by doing a Google search of Spanish grammar sites that use the word “gente” and see that it is used in a singular sense.
“John 8:6,8 The Gomez says, “inclinando al suelo” (bending down to the ground). The Greek words are kato kufas, meaning bending down, as the KJV says. There is no mention of the word suelo (floor). This is an addition in the Gomez but not taken from the Greek. The 1602 and 1602 Purified match the KJV with inclinando hacia abajo. Interestingly enough, the 1960 reads like the Gomez here."
Actually “katos kufas” is “down bending.” The Purified does not match the KJV either as it adds the word “hacia.” “Hacia” is not in the Greek. The Greek doesn’t say “toward down bending.” It says “down bending.” The KJV is a two word functional translation “bending down,” and the most accurate. The RVG has a functional translation “inclinando al suelo,” which is very accurate. And, the 1602P has a functional translation that adds a word for understanding, “inclinando hacia abajo,” and is also very accurate. Both the Spanish versions are equal and legitimate translations of the Greek. We can additionally note that this phrase is exclusively found in John 8:6 y 8, and nowhere else in the Greek New Testament. Additionally, the translation of “kato” in the 1602P in Matthew 27:51 reveals that “abajo” was at one time a combination of a preposition and a nominative just like “al suelo” - “a bajo.” In the 1602P in Mark 15:38 has a different translation of the word “kato.” It is translated “a abajo,” adding an extra preposition. Where will this type of criticism stop?
“John 11:27 Here the Greek word is legei, which means he says (in present tense). Sadly, the Gomez translates it “dijo” (past tense as he said). The 1602, and 1602 Purified get it right with the present tense dice, like the KJV. This happens time and again in the Gomez Bible, where it follows the 1960, and changes the present tense he says to he said. Just a few other places are John 11:39 and 44. But shouldn’t the Greek word be translated EXACTLY AS POSSIBLE? And shouldn’t the tense be important?”
Yes, and in verse 25 “eipen” is an active second aorist indicative, which is normally translated as a simple past tense, which is how the KJV has it, but the 1602P “mistranslates” it as a present tense. Shouldn’t these Greek words be translated as EXACTLY AS POSSIBLE? Yes, but they should not sacrifice the understanding by breaking the narrative tense. Normally the narrative should be in a single tense. In Greek the tense jumps back and forth; however, in Spanish the tense should be maintained. The RVG does this, and so does the 1602P. They are simply different, but synonymous. “
John 11:56 Gomez leaves off translating the Greek word estakotes, which means standing. The 1602 P has it! It’s translated as de pie. The Gomez omits translating this word in John 12:29, John 18:5,16,18,22, John 19:25, John 20:26, and many more times in the book of John. But I thought it went VERSE BY VERSE and ADDED omitted words?”
The RVG did not omit any words here. “Estakotes” is translated “estando.” Which, as you notice is extremely similar. It is the 1602P that adds words to the Scriptures here. The KJV has “stood,” but it does not have “on feet” as added in the 1602P. We covered the Greek definition earlier. “
"John 12:22 The Gomez Bible changes “dicen” (1602, 1602P and KJV), the present tense word from the present tense Greek word legosi, to the past tense word “dijeron.” Why? The Gomez Bible does this all too often, just a few more places are John 13:21, 14:6, 18:26,38,”
This is really the height of hypocrisy! In the very same verse Breaker complains that the RVG changed the tense of “legousin” while making the error of writing “legosi,” which is not even in the verse; then he misses the fact that the 1602P translates the present active indicative “leyei” as past tense “dijo.” This is really ridiculous! If you make a rule you would think you could stick to it at least in the same verse.
“John 13:21 Gomez says “diciendo” (saying). Greek word is PAST TENSE, so it should be dijo (said), just like the 1602 and 1602 P have it!”
Now I’m cringing every time Breaker makes a comment like this. What about “eipen” in Matthew 3:7? The 1602P has that 2nd aorist active indicative as “decía” instead of “dijo.” However, it is true that it might be more accurately translated as the 1602P has it here, especially considering the RVG did not include “kai” in there translation. That means the word was omitted. “
"John 20:2 Gomez says “corrió y vino” (past tense). Greek is in present tense. KJV says runneth and cometh. 1602 P says corre y viene. Original 1602 has it in past tense.”
The first verse is in past tense. It does not do damage to the narrative or the sense to keep it in past tense. The inspired words are there and translated. In the Greek run and come are two different tenses, PAI and PNI. Why doesn’t the 1602P show that? Verse one is in the past tense. It does no damage to the narrative or to the sense to translate it in the past tense. The inspired words are there and translated.
“John 20:27 Gomez reads “dijo” when others say dice (present tense) for the PRESENT TENSE Greek word. (Gomez does the same in verse 28, as well as in John 21:3,9,12,15).”
Again, the whole narrative is in past tense. This is done on purpose to maintain the narrative.
This is by no means an exhaustive treatment of Breakers paper or of the issue at hand, but I thought it would serve to demonstrate some of the reasons there is such in-fighting among those who want a pure Bible. Tone aside, Breaker makes a couple of good points. However, as can well be seen, many times he isn’t a very good judge of Greek or Spanish. He claims later that “malagradecidos” is too big a word for the Bible and that “mezquindad” is a strange word. Could it be that Breaker’s understanding of Spanish is really the problem and not the RVG? I would have to say that is the case. But, I know you all are free to judge for yourselves that’s why this is a blog entry and not a citation.
To sum things up, my problem here is with Breaker and his apparent superiority complex. The 1602 Purified appears to be a very serious purification project. We hope that the actual colaborators have a better attitude and are more reasonable than he. I don’t know if they approve his message in their defense. It would be interesting to know.
(About the Author: Donald Heinz was a veteran Missionary to Chile, South America for 20 years. He received his Bachelors Degree from Maranatha Baptist Bible College in 1989. He also received his Masters Degree from Great Plains Baptist Divinity School in 1993 through his studies at Baptist Bible Translators Institute.)