“What is truth?” is a famous Bible quotation. The speaker, Pontious Pilate, is probably one of the biggest fools in history: The Truth was standing right in front of his face! Unfortunately, modern-day Laodicean “funnymentalism” asks the same question, when their answer is no further away than Pilateʼs was!
!In an age characterized by spiritual poverty, wretchedness, blindness and nakedness (Rev. 3:17), itʼs no surprise to find books like “The King James Only Controversy” attacking the foundation of our faith: Godʼs written word. To our immense shame, weʼve largely sat back and have allowed this travesty to occur. Since Westcottʼs and Hortʼs blasphemous Greek text was published in 1881, over 300 English versions of the Bible have been foisted on the American people and the rest of the English- speaking world. From a people whose first printed work, a history book, contained phrases like “the gross darknesse of popery” and “popish trash,” weʼve become a “Bible-of-the-Month Club” sheeple who will follow whatever spewage is printed in the “Butter knife of the Lord” (Sword of the Lord), not realizing that these are the very people who “have perverted the words of the living God,” and couldnʼt find Godʼs written words with a 1 million candlepower flashlight and a Tom-Tom GPS!
Moreover, however muddled the issue has become over the English Bible, the waters are even murkier over the Spanish Bible issue, with one main difference: the combatants on all sides of the issue claim to believe the King James Bible!! Now that close to half a dozen Spanish versions are on the table, and the rhetoric and attacks are heating up, it seems too late for a call to reason. While God hath given us the ministry of reconciliation, unless the parties are open to discussion, nothing will be reconciled, John Calvin notwithstanding. So, to save time and negate as much hostility as I can, I am simply going to state, for the record, what God has shown me in regard to His words in Spanish, and leave it at that. Godʼs opinion is the only one in which Iʼm interested, so I donʼt hesitate to “Tell it like it is” If straight talk chaps your hide, then either discontinue reading, or get some vaseline and read on at your own peril.
This age ends, like all others, in apostasy. I think that it is extremely apparent that we are living in the final stage of the last days, and the Bible we all claim to believe clearly defines our era as a “great falling away.” While we all want to cling to cliché phrases like “We can be Philadelphian Christians in Laodicea,” the evidence for that, especially these days, is virtually nonexistent. I personally know that I am worse than useless, and my flesh is a greater adversary than I sometimes seem able to handle, and I know from human nature and the Book that all men are the same way in one form or another, and to expect a Christian who is by default cold, calloused, and carnal to be able to produce a faithful, God-honored Bible stretches the limits of credibility, regardless of the destination language. God has already used men - native, Spanish- speaking men, to translate His word into Spanish. Now, why Gringoes think they can correct those words, I donʼt understand, but I can certainly understand how a Latino would be upset with some Nortemericano telling him that his Bible “would be better translated as such or so-forth.” (Sound familiar, Gringo??) God is fluent in Spanish, just like He is fluent in Chinese, English, German, Tamil, Esperanto and any other language that exists or ever has existed, so to think that God is not capable of putting His words in any language is stupid. Or ignorant, if you prefer Bible words. Now, this is not to say that God HAS put His words into any specific language other than English (donʼt give me that “originals” nonsense!), though I believe that He has: I am simply stating that God can and thereʼs not a cotton-pickinʼ thing that Baptists, scholars, atheists or apostates (or apostate, Baptist scholars) can do about it if He decides to use another language. At the same time, God owes no one anything, least of all the Spanish-speaking world. Spain is responsible for some of the worst torture and genocide of Christians since the Roman Empire (second only to the Roman Catholic Church), so to think that God has to give His word in Spanish is, again, ignorant.
!The Spanish Bible has a very old and rich history. Casiodoro de Reina completed the first Protestant Spanish Bible in 1569. De Reina, like Luther, was a Catholic clergyman who faced physical persecution at the hands of the Catholic church because he insisted on translating the Scriptures into the common or “vulgar” tongue. The Office of the Inquisition in Spain had expressly forbidden, in obedience to the Papal position on the matter, that any Bible be translated into Spanish. De Reina, a Spaniard and a Philadelphian-age European, sacrificed greatly for the cause of providing the Spanish people with the Scriptures. With the completion of his Bible, the Spanish-speaking people now possessed a Bible based on the Received Text (Stephanusʼ 1550 edition).
De Reinaʼs pupil, Cipriano de Valera, another persecuted Catholic, completed his revision of de Reinaʼs Bible in 1602. This revision corrected what Catholic taint had unwittingly seeped into the 1569 Bible, ensuring that the Bible, now dubbed the “Reina Valera” would, for 400 years, be the archenemy of the Catholic church in Spanish. In fact, during de Valeraʼs revision work, he, like Tyndale before him, had to flee his home country and take up residence (ironically) in England.
In the middle 1800s, yet another Spanish, Catholic clergyman, by the name of Ángel de Mora, completed another revision of the Reina Valera 1602 Bible, correcting 99% of the omissions that were a result of incomplete manuscript evidence at the time of the original editions. This edition compared the 1602 edition to the King James and brought it solidly in line with the Received Text and the KJB. This edition came close on the eve of the Philadelphian church age, as Westcottʼs and Hortʼs villainous, perverse text was soon to arise, drowning the world in pro-Vatican, humanistic rationalism and perverted Bibles; the hinges of Godʼs “open door” (Rev. 3:8) were squealing closed.
The next major revision of the Reina Valera Bible came along in 1909. With the RSV and ESV now vying for supremacy against “The monarch of the Books,” Westcottʼs and Hortʼs “scholarly” text was permeating every corner of Bible translation and textual criticism. It should come as no surprise, then, that the 1909 revision of the Reina Valera was “leavened” with sprinkles of Alexandrian scholarship and modernist corruption. Text and Translation: European Languages gives direct proof that the translation committee behind the 1909 revision relied on the Critical Text.
The committee behind the most popular Spanish edition, the RV1960, was presided over by a man named Eugene Nida, known as the “Father of dynamic equivalence.” The truth of Godʼs words was so important to this man, that while translating the Bible into a south seas tongue, whose culture had no knowledge of sheep, decided to call Jesus “the pig of God.” Any Born-again Christian should be
absolutely LIVID about that, but unfortunately, men like Calvin George have accepted this edition, based completely on the Alexandrian, anti-King James Critical Text. The fact of the matter is that the 1960 is inherently a corrupt, Vatican-sympathizing, Ecumenical snow-job that has completely removed the ability to teach doctrine to the Spanish speaking people.
The question faced by Bible Believers, then, is “Which Bible?,” the same question asked and answered (in English) not so long ago. Faced with “antiquated,” “archaic” Bibles in Spanish, or modern, Rome-tainted editions, we now come full-circle to the question presented in the introduction: did God provide His words in Spanish? If one assumes that the answer is no, then more questions ensue. However, I firmly believe that God not only is able to provide a Spanish Bible, but that He already did. I also believe that it is folly for a Laodicean Christian to try to improve upon anything that God has already done, as our church age is commended for absolutely NOTHING. In fact, the standard, run-of-the-mill lethargy and nonchalance seen in Bible Believing churches makes God want to PUKE US OUT!! Yes, YOU, Baptists!! Donʼt be so haughty to think that you or I can do anything lasting or permanent here: weʼre doomed to APOSTATIZE! Take Hyles-Anderson College, for example: after switching to the King James only position in the 1970s, Dr. Hyles was one of the most outspoken defenders of the King James Bible. After his passing, however, his successor, Jack Schapp, has trod underfoot the Book that his daddy-in-law stood for for around 30 years! APOSTASY!! Ghandi said it best: “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” AMEN!! To think that a lost sinner like Ghandi understood a truth that Independent, Fundamental, Hellfire and Damnation preachinʼ Baptists canʼt grasp is almost depressing! Then, those “saved, sanctified, serving” Baptists think that they can somehow produce a faithful Bible, in a language that, in many cases, isnʼt even their native tongue?! The ludicrous nature of such a concept completely boggles the mind!!
To top it all off, what seems to be the main force behind every group that has decided to do their own thing in regard to a Spanish Bible appears to have the same reason among themselves: they donʼt want to accept the available Spanish Bible because they donʼt want to be linked to Ruckman. Why believing God and accepting a BOOK as His WORD would make someone a “Ruckmanite,” I cannot understand, but unfortunately, people have decided that itʼs easier to strike off on their own and make their own Bible instead of BELIEVING the one that God already provided, because of their fear of man.
If you have legitimate reasons to make your own version, then go right ahead: but if your reason is because you think that accepting the Valera 1865 as Godʼs word in Spanish is going to link you to Ruckman, then SHAME ON YOU! First of all, why are you so stinking scared? The fear of man bringeth a snare!! Second of all, the only thing really linking Dr. Ruckman to the Valera 1865 project is that a few PBI graduates have signed onto it. Dr. Ruckman has not endorsed ANY Spanish Bible or Spanish Bible project!! Grow up!!
Suffice it to say that I believe that God put His hand on the Reina-Valera 1865 edition for the Spanish-speaking world, and anything else is but a pale imitation of Godʼs words. While my ministry in Latin America is still before me, I can say that God has shown me, without a shadow of a doubt, that the 1865 is His word in Spanish. In my opinion, anyone that insists on making their own translation simply doesnʼt believe that God would provide His words in Spanish, as a faithful, TR-based Spanish Bible is already available! Either that, or they are flat-out ignorant. When someone states that he knows that the 1865 is perfect, yet turns around and creates his own “Reina Valera” edition, based on his own opinions, that man very obviously is discounting Godʼs power on His book in that language. When FEELINGS overcome FAITH, you have a weak, baseless project that will NEVER have Godʼs blessing.