From "Answers To Your Bible Version Questions
© 2001 by David W. Daniels
Question: You said that the Reina-Valera is the closest Spanish Bible to the KJV. Are all Reina-Valeras equal, or are some better than others?
Answer: I am not a Spanish scholar, so I cannot judge the translation of that language per se. But I do know a good Greek text from a bad one. Therefore this much I can tell you: All editions of the Reina-Valera are not alike! Some are very close to the KJV, while others are near-duplicates of the perverted Alexandrian bibles. Here is a simple history of good and bad editions of the Reina-Valera Spanish Bible. (The following information comes from the excellent review "The Spanish Fountain: A History and Review of the Reina-Valera Version," by Thomas Holland, Th. D., Author of "Crowned with Glory: The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version".
Casiodoro de Reina (1520-1594), a former Roman Catholic monk, published his translation of the Bible in 1569. It had a few problems. It omitted the words "by faith" in Romans 3:28, omitted all of Hebrews 12:29 ("For our God is a consuming fire") and included the Apocrypha. [Footnote: The Apocrypha remained in the Reina-Valera until the "Santa Biblia" edition in 1862.] One of his friends was Cipriano de Valera (1531-1602+), another former monk. In 1596 Valera published a revised translation of the New Testament, and in 1602 he finished the complete Bible in Spanish, following the Textus Receptus more than Reina had.
From 1622 through 1865 many people revised or reprinted the Reina-Valera Bible, changing words at times, (though not their meaning), and the Spanish people benefited from the best Spanish Bible they ever had.
But 243 years of peace were shattered when the American Bible Society (ABS) decided to radically change the Spanish Bible! Although they had not yet switched the preserved King James for the perverted "bible," they deceitfully changed the Spanish Bible into an Alexandrian perversion like the NIV or NASV, still calling it the Reina-Valera! The Bible in Spanish would never be the same.
From 1866 through 1899, a great tug-of-war ensued. During those years people printed the preserved line of Reina-Valera Bibles, as well as the ever-worsening ABS Alexandrian Bibles, all bearing the name "Reina-Valera." Finally in 1901, the Spanish-speaking people had had enough. From 1901-1909, the Christians revised the Reina-Valera back in line with the Textus Receptus. There were still a few differences between it and the King James. But for now, the preserved family of manuscripts had won.
From 1909 through 1959, the Spanish people again used this "Textus Receptus" Bible. In 1960 came a revision, again by the American Bible Society (ABS). Although changes were again made, making some parts more like the perversions, and some parts more like the KJV, it became the most popular Bible over the years. Another ABS revision occurred in 1978, again slightly changing the text.
But now in this new millennium the same threat has reared its ugly head. The two-year-old Sociedad Biblica Iberoamericana is preparing to release a new perversion: the Biblia Textual Reina-Valera. This new "Textual Bible" pretends to "fix" the Textus Receptus. Their solution? Change the Reina-Valera into the form of (are you ready for this?) the Westcott-Hort (Alexandrian) text! They promote Westcott, Hort, Eberhard Nestle (whose perverted Greek New Testament set the standard for today) and Bruce Metzger (who has backed the false Greek text and major translations like the Revised Standard and New Revised Standard). In other words, this Bible Society wants to palm off the same old devilish, Alexandrian manuscripts on an unsuspecting public.
Brothers and sisters, we have to be very careful about choosing which Bible to use. The preserved line of manuscripts in Spanish is used by the 1602, 1909 and 1960 Reina-Valeras, (although the 1960 clearly changes many verses to match the modern perversions). The American Bible Society translation of 1865 and the Iberoamerican Bible Society's new "Biblia Textual Reina-Valera" or "Reina-Valera Textual Bible" are the same old Alexandrian trash delivered in fancy packaging. Choose your Bible carefully in any language. But in English, be thankful we have God's preserved words in English, the King James Bible.