Does the KJV and RVG Deny the Virgin Birth of Christ?
By Pastor Emanuel Rodriguez
Written on May 5, 2014
The Valera Bible Sociey, a small group that supports the 1865 Valera revision, accuse the RVG of being in error in Mat. 1:20. They go so far as accusing the RVG of denying the Virgin Birth of Christ in this passage. In so doing, they are accusing the King James Bible to also deny the Virgin Birth of Christ since the RVG and KJB say THE EXACT SAME THING in this verse of scripture. Observe: KJB - Mat 1:20 "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."
RVG - Mat 1:20 "Y pensando él en esto, he aquí el ángel del Señor le apareció en un sueño, diciendo: José hijo de David, no temas recibir a María tu esposa, porque lo que en ella es engendrado, del Espíritu Santo es." 1865 - Mat. 1:20 "Y pensando él en esto, he aquí, que el ángel del Señor le aparece en sueños, diciendo: José, hijo de David, no temas de recibir a María tu mujer; porque lo que en ella es engendrado, del Espíritu Santo es."
The word in question is "wife". The King James Bible says "wife" and so does the RVG. The RVG says "esposa" which is translated "wife". The Valera Bible Society says this is wrong. Their Bible says "woman" - "mujer".
Their explanation is that because Joseph and Mary had not yet consummated their marriage and were still in the betrothal stage it is incorrect for the RVG and KJB to refer to Mary as Joseph's "wife". Therefore they believe it is more accurate to refer to Mary as Joseph's "woman" instead of "wife" like their 1865 Valera Bible revision does.
This ignorance demonstrates once again their unreliability as Bible teachers.
In Jewish culture a woman and man goes through a betrothal period before consummating their marriage. The betrothal period of Jewish culture was a much more serious commitment than the engagement period of our western culture. In Jewish culture the betrothed woman was recognized as the man's wife, as we will see in scripture in just a moment. The only difference is that the marriage had not yet been consummated because the wife was not yet living with her husband and therefore had not yet entered into an intimate relationship. However, the commitment to be husband and wife had already been made and settled once the couple entered into betrothal. Note the following verse:
KJV - Deuteronomy 20:7 "And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her"
1. Notice that the woman betrothed is already referred to as the man's wife.
2. Notice that there is a difference between "betrothing a wife" and "taking a wife". The wife had been betrothed, in other words, the commitment to be husband and wife was already done and settled. However, she had not been "taken" by her husband into her new home and into an intimate relationship yet. This was because the betrothal period was a period of time of which the husband was given to make preparations for a new life with his wife whom he was already committed to (Pro. 24:27). For further confirmation of these truths, read Gen. 20:21:
Gen 29:21 "And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her."
The 1865 supporters don't know how to study their Bibles. Therefore, they blame their ignorance on the RVG. That's irresponsible.
The KJB and RVG are absolutely correct in referring to Mary as Joseph's wife in Mat. 1:20.
Besides, if it is not correct to refer to Mary as Joseph's "wife" in Mat. 1:20 than WHY DOES THE 1865 REFER TO JOSEPH AS MARY'S HUSBAND in the verse prior? Note:
1865 - Mat 1:19 "Y José su marido, como era justo, y no quisiese exponerla a la infamia, quiso dejarla secretamente."
"Marido" is "husband" in Spanish. Oops! How does Joseph become Mary's "husband" without Mary becoming his "wife"?! Meditate on that. Looks like the 1865 crowd better change that verse to make it say that Joseph was Mary's "man" or "boyfriend" or "sidekick" or "soul mate" or something like that in order to be consistent to their ridiculous attempt of Bible interpretation.
No, the King James Bible and Reina Valera Gómez are not wrong in Mat. 1:20. God's word is right and the Valera Bible Society is wrong. Again.
Note: At the time of the writing of this article, Emanuel Rodriguez was serving as a missionary in Puerto Rico. He now serves as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Beaufort, SC as well as the President of the Reina Valera Gómez Bible Society.