Why the RV1960 continues to be popular in Fundamental Baptist Churches
At the time of this writing, the RV1960 continues to be the most commonly used Bible by Fundamental Baptist churches and missionaries in the Spanish speaking world. Many of the missionaries who use this Bible are sent out of and supported by churches who take a strong stand on the preservation of the Bible and only use the King James Version in English. Most of these missionaries would never consider preaching in English from the NIV or ASV.
Given the above fact, it is often confusing to see the same men with such convictions using the RV1960 in Spanish. As a missionary myself, I have personally known and witnessed this confusing situation many times. Why do KJV missionaries and pastors continue to use the RV1960? The following reasons are offered as an explanation.
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines pragmatism as a philosophy that "evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application." The basic question of this theory is "does it work?" not "is it true?" Pragmatism is responsible for many worldly practices in churches today. The pragmatic pastor may feel strange bringing the world's music style into his church. However, when he sees new visitors enjoying the music and sticking around, he quickly decides that the music must be good because visitors are coming and staying. Many churches are beginning to accept unashamedly homosexuality and many even have homosexual pastors. If one were to question their morality they would quickly point to their full congregation as evidence that their conduct is not sinful.
1 Timothy 6:5 sums up pragmatism when it describes men who "supposing that gain is godliness." This is pragmatism. The belief that if something has worked for me in the past, it must be right. This is a humanistic philosophy and it has been used to justify many ungodly practices in the church.
Unfortunately, this same philosophy can be seen in many Christians who continue to use the RV1960 despite its critical text errors. Often one will hear things such as "I was saved from this Bible" or "many great churches have been planted with this Bible." These statements are made to justify the critical text corruptions in the RV1960. If God has blessed churches that use the RV1960, how could it be corrupt? The fact is that the Bible is corrupt because it uses the critical text. It was corrupt when it was first printed, and it is corrupt today. The fact that many have been saved from hearing it preached and many good churches use it does not change the fact that it is corrupt. We cannot fall into the trap of pragmatism. I praise the Lord for souls saved in ministries that use the RV1960. I also praise the Lord for souls saved in ministries that use the NIV, ASV, ESV, or any other Bible. This does not change the fact that the RV1960 is contaminated with the critical text and that there are better options available. Pragmatic excuses should not hinder us from separating from critical text Bibles.
A common reason that the RV1960 continues to be popular is that the information regarding its critical text readings is simply not widely known. New missionaries who arrive on the field are often given an RV1960 automatically by a veteran missionary. These new missionaries do not speak fluent Spanish and thus trust the decisions of older missionaries who have used the 1960 for many years. When someone questions if the RV1960 has corrupt readings in it, the older missionaries play down the critical text readings as "not a big deal."
Pastors who only speak English trust their missionaries to make the right decisions about the Bible issue. They are not directly affected by the RV1960 and do not speak Spanish. They are often assured by others that the RV1960 is a "good version" or "based on the Received Text." Because of their inability to read Spanish there is often little motivation to verify these claims. Ignorance has been a very powerful tool for those that seek to propagate the use of the RV1960
Psalm 109:2 says, For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. This is the most discouraging reason of all that the RV1960 continues to be popular. The sad truth is that many pastors and missionaries have resorted to lying in order to defend the corrupt RV1960 translation. These things ought not to be so, but they are. These lies are either directed toward discrediting alternative translations such as the RVG, or toward those that point out the corruptions in the RV1960.
Some of the more common lies against those that point out the RV1960 errors are "he only uses another Bible because someone is paying him to do so," or "he believes anyone who uses the RV1960 is a heretic," or "he believes anyone saved out of a 1960 is not really saved." I have personally been accused of these lies by RV1960 defenders. Many missionaries have been attacked personally and had their name defamed simply because of pure and utter lies. Once a pastor asked me to meet with him alone in his office because he was concerned that our church did not use the RV1960. I was very cordial and respectful in our conversation. When it ended, I hugged and prayed with this pastor. Later, that pastor began to tell others that I had called him a heretic in this private meeting for using the RV1960. Nothing could be further from the truth, but this serves as an example of the depths some are willing to sink to in order to defend their corrupt Bible.
Lies are also told regarding the alternative translations such as the RVG. Some examples are, "that Bible was translated directly from English and therefore is not a good translation," or "no one uses those Bibles." These things are simply not true. The RVG is a revision of the RV1909 that referenced the Hebrew Masoretic, Textus Receptus, and the KJV. The popularity of the RVG is growing very quickly and many churches use it. However, these lies have been very effective in convincing others to continue to use the corrupt RV1960. For this reason, it is critical that the godly Christian searches for the truth and does not just believe everything he hears. Proverbs 14:15 says, "The simple believeth every word: But the prudent man looketh well to his going."
The fourth reason the RV1960 continues to be popular among Fundamental Baptists is fear. John 12:42-43 says,"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." There are many missionaries, pastors, and Christians who know that the RV1960 is corrupt but continue to use it. For many of them, the main reason is fear of being "put out of the synagogue" for using a different Bible. I have personally lost financial support and friends for my stand on the Spanish Bible issue. There is a cost to not using the RV1960 in your ministry and an even greater cost if you dare to speak up about the issue. Because of this cost, those that choose to stand for what is right must not love the praise of men more than the praise of God. It takes courage to stand up for what is right because one will certainly be attacked for it. This is nothing new in Christianity. 2 Timothy 3:12 says "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
The fifth reason the RV1960 continues to be popular amongst Fundamental Baptists is compromise. Many KJV only missionaries and pastors say that they use the RV1960 (possibly for the reasons already mentioned), but they tell their people where the errors are when they preach from the Bible. This is a dangerous compromise. If the men who claim this are honest, they must admit that they do not have every critical text error marked in their RV1960 and then point it out every time they preach. Even if they did, they have crossed the dangerous line of telling their people that their Bible is full of errors and only they have the knowledge of what is truth and what isn't. 2 Peter 1:20 teaches, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." The Bible is not the property of one person. The layman needs to know he has the Word of God and can trust in it.
This compromise is completely unnecessary today since 100% Received Text Bibles exist in Spanish. Missionaries do not have to tell their people that their Bible is full of errors. They can simply give them one that isn't. Knowing that you can trust in your Bible is very important for spiritual growth. Psalm 119:140 Thy word is very pure:Therefore thy servant loveth it. Once a believer believes that his Bible is full of errors, it is a small step to then confessing it is just a book written by men. I have seen this progression first hand on the mission field amongst Christians who use the RV1960.
Another reason that the RV1960 continues to be used today among Fundamental Baptists despite its textual corruptions is because its users did not know personally any members of the 1960 revision committee. Defenders of the RV1960 will often give as an excuse that they once had a personal disagreement with someone they knew that helped with the alternative non corrupt Spanish revisions such as the RVG or 1602P. Their personal disagreement with someone involved with the revision makes them reject the revision itself and cling to their corrupt RV1960 even more. Rejecting a Received Text Bible for a corrupt one based on a personal disagreement with someone is a logical fallacy, but it is also reality for many.
The RV1960 supporters should be thankful few using this revision today knew personally the men on the revision committee. The heresies of Eugenio Nida or the other men involved in the RV1960 are far more serious than the personal spats between preachers today regarding the Bible translations.
The final reason that will be given as to why the RV1960 continues to enjoy wide support amongst Fundamental Baptists despite its corruptions is simply pride. Many preachers simply do not want to admit that they used a corrupt Bible for so many years. They view any information (such as this book) against the RV1960 as a personal attack. Rather than examining the evidence and making a wise decision, they are offended and do not even consider if the arguments made are valid. This proudful spirit is condemned in Scripture. Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Pride should not be the reason that a Christian continues to use a corrupt Bible translation.
Whether it be due to pragmatism, ignorance, lies, fear, compromise, personal relationships, or pride, the RV1960 continues to be the most popular Spanish Bible amongst Fundamental Baptist Churches. There are certainly other reasons that many Fundamental Baptists continue to use the RV1960. It is my prayer that as the truth continues to be taught, more and more would have the courage to separate from the unclean and corrupt critical text found in the popular Spanish RV1960 Bible. 2 Corinthians 6:17 commands, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." The RV1960 contains the unclean and corrupt critical text. This contamination should cause the Christian to separate. 1 Corinthians 5:6 states, "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" When we stand before Christ at the judgment seat, will He accept at that we allowed the corrupt critical text into our churches for any of the reasons given above?