Q. Which Spanish Bible is the best?
A. As a limited Spanish speaker I am not really qualified to answer the question, but will refer you to answers given by others. Those of us who are supporters of the MT/TR/KJV tradition will naturally look in Spanish to the Reina-Valera. The Reina-Valera edition is translated from the Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text and Greek Textus Receptus New Testament, as is the King James Bible. All do not agree on which edition is best.
“The original 1602 Valera is the standard Spanish text, just as the AV1611 is the standard English text. The outstanding representative of the original 1602 Valera is the Valera1865, just as the 1769 Cambridge is the outstanding representative of the AV1611.” – (Jeff McArdle, La Sociedad Biblica Valera)
According to Bible Gateway, Reina Valera 1960 has been the basic text most used by the evangelical Spanish-speaking church. Two Spanish-speaking preachers I know in South America, who are solid “TR-MT-KJV” men, use and recommend the RV1960.
The Trinitarian Bible Society has produced the Nuevo Testamento RV-SBT, which they say is “a detailed revision of the 1909 Spanish Reina-Valera Bible, with reference to the underlying Biblical Hebrew and Greek texts, the original 1602 Reina-Valera Bible and other Reformation-era Bibles.”
Humberto Gómez Caballero has produced the Reina Valera Gómez Bible, which seems to have a wide variety of detractors and sycophants. It is a clear attempt to bring the Reina Valera into “complete agreement” with the King James Bible. There is a widespread perception of Elder Gómez making unwarranted changes just to make things appear to coincide with English KJV words – and especially to pacify Ruckman-type KJVOs. One instance includes changing in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 the Spanish word for “love” to the Spanish word for “charity” – which is not equivalent (e.g. 13:4 La caridad es sufrida, es benigna; La caridad no tiene envidia, la caridad no es jactanciosa, no se envanece).
Based on my research, the Reina-Valera editions of the 1602, 1909 and 1960 seem to be the closest to the Majority text tradition. Nevertheless, I find a good bit of the available information contradictory. If you are purchasing a Spanish Bible for serious use, I recommend further consultation with a Spanish-speaking Bible believer in whom you have confidence.
Sample of Juan1:1 (John) in four Reina Valera editions
RVR 1960: En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.
RVG (Gómez): En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.
RVA-2015 En el principio era la Palabra, y la Palabra era con Dios, y la Palabra era Dios.
RV-SBT: En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios.
Links you may find interesting
- The Spanish Fountain: A History and Review of the Reina-Valera Version “The earliest Scriptures translated into Spanish appeared in 1490 consisting of the Gospels and were translated from the Latin Vulgate…Casidoro de Reina (1520-1594) was the first to translate the entire Bible into Spanish.”
- Comparación de versos de biblia-Verse Comparisons of the Reina Valera and KJV Bibles – “A 12 page, 40 verse comparison of the 1865, 1909, 1960 and 2010 Spanish bibles as compared to the KJV bible.”
- Verse Comparisons of the Reina Valera Bibles – “An eight page, 220 verse comparison of eight different Spanish New Testaments by Rex Cobb, director of the Baptist Bible Translators Institute.”