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Carlos Donate Responds to Being Called "Extremely Controversial" by Calvin George

Response to Brother Calvin George

By Missionary Carlos Donate

April, 2008

1. In his internet remarks regarding the 2007 Mexican Bible Conference hosted by my friend Humberto Gomez[1][1], bro. Calvin George frowns at Bro Gomez for inviting me to that meeting, insisting I am “extremely controversial”, and one must “distance himself from extremely controversial” people. Bro. George would like for all to think of me as untrustworthy because of past statements I made regarding the Reina-Valera Revision of 1960. Despite the fact that I had already made corrections, bro. George insists on bringing up several inaccuracies I said in the past in hopes to invalidate anything else I have to afford to this ongoing issue, especially in reference to Eugene Albert Nida. Though I do not consider myself to be “controversial”, allow me to respond to his ongoing accusations. Generally speaking, it is no controversy when I emphatically state that the 1960 Reina-Valera revision was clearly intended (by Nida) to introduce Alexandrian readings over the Traditional Received Text readings.[2][2] I am in favor of these readings, and not the Alexandrian ones! What’s so controversial about that? In regards to earlier “controversial” statements I made against Nida (the real controversial person!), it is well documented that this man is responsible for affecting an entire generation of translators and revisers, having been the one who initiated the undertaking of the international committee of scholars who produced the UBS-GNT #26, 2nd Edition, (United Bible Societies & Greek New Testament---1955-1967)[3][3]. Alongside of him was Alan Wikgren, Mathew Black, Bruce Metzger, Errol Rhodes, Kurt and Barbara Aland---all modernist scholars. Roman Catholic Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini joined the Nestle-Aland team in 1968, but Nida´s influence extended beyond the evangelical crowd, as attested by Mr. Jose Flores’s comments regarding the Catholic acceptance of the UBS General Translator[4][4]. Herein is the significance of Nida´s role which bro. George never mentions: academia. Nida was a scholar—no doubt about it! His official title was Translations Secretary. When the Spanish evangelical leadership sought for a scholar to furnish textual criticism, Nida became that man. His prejudice into variants in Hebrew and Greek provided an excuse for the men to do away with the Traditional Received Text reading in certain passages and substitute it with the Alexandrian text. Bro. George rightly quotes me from the first edition of my book, stating that according to me, Nida had translated John 1:29 as “the pig of God” in a Polynesian translation. Technically speaking, that was inaccurate. Had he noticed the preface of my second book he would have noted the correction. The corrected form of the statement in fact says that though Nida himself said no such thing, he was nonetheless guilty of suggesting to a translator that an explanation be attached to any such changes.[5][5] So it stands that Nida may not agree to such a translation unless accompanied by an explanation to the change. Nida becomes angry towards those of us who consider the words of God in the Traditional Textus Receptus as pure words. He calls us “word-worshippers”. As “Father of the Dynamic Equivalence” method of interpretation, Nida´s influence helped do away with many words in the Antigua precious to us who subscribe to the formal equivalence of interpretation and the Received text . If Nida wasn’t part of the decision taking process to substitute the TR for the Alexandrian Text in many readings of the 1960, then it just shows how powerful a man he was in influencing the men that did just that! Though I may have said some inaccuracies at first, the end result is still the same—Nida had an integral part in influencing the men behind the 1960, and determining what changes were to be accepted.[6][6]

2. Bro. George assumes that Brother Humberto Gomez was referring to me when he quotes an American missionary who said that the 1960 came from the “sewers of hell”. Naturally, I was referring to the Westcott & Hort text as a whole. Yet he assumes that the “American missionary” was me, because I had just said a similar thing in the meeting. Bro. George assumes now that I am not to be trusted on the basis of my past statements. However, brother Gomez was not referring to me, per se, as bro. George thinks he is. Alexandrian texts and their overall philosophy introduced into the Reina Valera 1960 affected sound doctrine, and in the heat of the battle I got overly zealous in denouncing it. Many of my friends that use the Reina-Valera 1960 revision became offended. This earlier approach degenerated into bitterness and mean-spirit ness, and was wrong. Since 2004, however, I have taken a more practical approach as I teach and preach on this issue without the harsh attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I am still opposed to the Alexandrian philosophy, and the inclusion of it in all modern Bibles. However, when it comes to the Spanish Bible issue, I have “no axes to grind” against the brethren that disagree with me.

3. Bro. George adds my name to the revision produced by the Grace Baptist Bible Church of Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, calling it the “Donate-Reyes-Park” New Testament. However, I was just one of many who formed part of the contributing pastors and missionaries, and had no authority in the decision making process. That honor should go to pastor Reyes and his church alone, of which I am not a member. In fact, I haven’t had contact with these good brethren for quite sometime now. I understand they just finished the revision of the entire Old and New Testament. I’m sure bro. George is out of tune with them as well.

In conclusion, I just think I’m an old-fashioned, Bible-believing Baptist missionary who stands for textual accuracy and doctrinal purity of the Bible for the sake of the Body of Christ and lost souls! As of this writing I am entering my 24th year in the ministry, and each day that passes I thank the Lord who called me and counted me worthy of putting me into the ministry. Amen, praise the Lord Jesus!

[1][1] See Critique of Gomez Spanish Bible conference of November 2007 at [2][2] See the book that all 1960 defenders like Bro. George never talk about – “El Texto del Nuevo Testamento”, by José Flores, Spain, Editorial CLIE 1977, page 232. Mr. Flores was a member of the revision committee, and very clearly admits from whence and why was the 1960 published. This admission is enough proof that the 1960 included many texts from English revisions such as the RSV, the RV, the International Critical Commentary of the Scriptures, and ASV, but apparently Bro. George never mentions this embarrassing documentation. [3][3] See ppgs31-33, “The Text of The New Testament” Second Edition, 1981, by Kurt and Barbara Aland, translated by Errol F. Rhodes, William B. Eerdman´s Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. [4][4] See José Flores´s book, “La Historia de la Biblia en España”, Barcelona, Spain, Editorial CLIE, 1978, page 302. Dr Flores ascertains that by 1965, Nida and the UBS had become ecumenical. Calvin George says I fail to document my accusations. What does he call the documentation mentioned above? In his internet article, he quotes 64 of my book. The “Catholic” I refer to here is a general term describing the entire ecumenical way of thinking which permeated the publication of the 1960, of which Nida and his people were clearly a part of. Sadly, many Baptist organizations have joined the Ecumenical Movement. [5][5] See Meaningful Translators, The World’s most influential Bible translator, Eugene Nida, is weary of ´word worship.´ Interview by David Neff, Christianity Today, October 7, 2002, ppgs. 46-49.) [6][6]People, (People, Nov. 1971, Vol. 2, # 2, p.6). This is a Southern Baptist Church magazine.

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