Santa Biblia

A few years ago, as I was waiting for a temple session to begin, I began flipping the pages of the Spanish language Bible in front of me.

So my high school Spanish is a little rusty, but I’d swear on a stack of, um, Bibles that the flyleaf had an invitation to accept Jesus as your personal savior and “the sinner’s prayer” that would save you.

Therefore I was happy to see that the Church is now releasing its own Spanish language Bible.

One can only hope that their practice of “moderniz[ing] some of the outdated grammatical constructions and vocabulary that have shifted in meaning and acceptability” from their base Spanish translation might indicate a willingness to do this for the English Bible in the future.

45 comments for “Santa Biblia

  1. March 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    That’s great news. I remember hearing rumors about this 5 years ago when I was in the MTC, and I know a lot of people will be really excited to see it finally come to fruition.

  2. March 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    The Spanish Bible that the church currently sells is the Reina Valera Revision (RVR) 1960, which is copyrighted by United Bible Societies, of which the American Bible Society is the US representative. The church actually purchases the RVR 1960 from (or from a reseller of) the American Bible Society, for resale from the Distribution Center.

    The Reina Velara Revision 1909 is the latest version that is in the public domain. And it was the version preceeding the 1960 edition. So apparently either United Bible Societies or the American Bible Society didn’t want to license the 1960 text to the church.

    I’ll be very curious to see the differences between the LDS edition and the 1909 edition, and the 1960 edition. The 1909 edition was hard for me to read. You can usually find it in dollar stores, either Dollar General or Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, or online at (ABS).

    If I remember correctly, I assume there were some passages that were just translated incorrectly in the 1909 edition, because they didn’t match up with either the RVR 1960 or the King James.

    The RVR 1960 has been updated by the RVR 1977 and the RVR 1995. There also exists a Spanish language “Good News” Bible, and a version that seems to correspond to the NIV, called the “NVI”, Nueva Version Internacional.

    It will be interesting to see how the LDS translators handled the “errors” in the 1909 text. Did they keep the 1909 error, as long as it was understandable, or did they re-translate it from the Hebrew/Greek? And if they re-translated it, did they do so in a “clean room environment” so as not to infringe on the RVR 1960? And if they re-translated it, did they allow the King James translation to influence their new Spanish translation?

    In the LDS edition of the KJV, newer/better/alternate meanings of the original Hebrew and Greek are in the footnotes, denoted “IE”, “OR”, “HEB”, “GR”. But since the LDS RVR 2009 is a completely new translation, the translators could have substituted the newer/better/alternate words inline in the actual text.

    Can’t wait.

  3. March 30, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I found out about this forthcoming translation a year ago, after I posted Why Not an LDS Bible in Spanish on Motley Vision. I too am very curious to see what it is like, and how it differs from the 1909 Reina Valera. FWIW, the news release says “The scriptural text of this new edition is based on the 1909 Reina-Valera Spanish Bible.”

    Now I wonder what this implies for other languages! Will Portuguese be next? It would seem to be the logical choice, given the number of Church members who speak Portuguese, and Portuguese-speakers face similar problems with the João Ferreira de Almeida translation that the Church uses — a 1909 version is in the public domain, but it uses language that is hard for many members to understand, while the more recent versions are under copyright and require the church to purchase copies from other religions.

    This does have one, albeit small, downside — it could make it a little harder for any LDS publisher working in Spanish, because in order to quote liberally (beyond fair use) that publisher will have to seek permission from the Church. Of course, as it stands now, an LDS publisher has to go to another, protestant religious organization to get permission to quote from the Bible.

    So, all in all, this is better.

  4. Raymond Takashi Swenson
    March 30, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Elder Mickelsen, who leads the Mexico Area, has a house in our ward and spoke to our High Priests group about working on the translation. They were especially interested in ensuring that the new Bible would be useful in supporting the Spanish Book of Mormon and other aspects of the Restored Gospel. I don’t speak Spanish so I will have to rely on the views of other commenters on how well the committee succeeded.

  5. David Clark
    March 30, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Am I the only person who thinks it’s absolutely psychotic to give people a Bible that’s even harder to read than the one they already have? Let’s remember that it’s much harder for Spanish speaking LDS to get a good education than for English speaking LDS, so the phrase, “Just learn the language of the scriptures” rings even more hollow than than it does for English speakers.

    Maybe English speakers will have to do penance by reading the Lollard Bible from now on.

  6. March 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Perhaps I’ve missed something, David. Are you saying that this edition will be harder to read than what they already have?

    Why did you come to that conclusion?

  7. David Clark
    March 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    del anuncio:

    The scriptural text of this new edition is based on the 1909 Reina-Valera Spanish Bible and is comparable in the dignity of its language to the King James Version of the Holy Bible in English.

    Based on this I am going to forgo ever reading Mark again, because his Greek sucks. Had he written in the dignified Homeric dialect (preferably in good dactylic hexameter) I would know that his language was worthy of my attention.

  8. David Clark
    March 30, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Perhaps I’ve missed something, David. Are you saying that this edition will be harder to read than what they already have?

    Because they currently use the 1960 Reina Valera and the new LDS is based on the 1909, meaning it’s 51 years older, therefore almost assuredly harder to read. As it is the Book of Mormon is already harder for Spanish saints to read than the Bible. For just one example, the LDS Book of Mormon makes heavy use of the future subjunctive, which is an obsolete tense in colloquial Spanish. The 1960 Reina Valera uses the present subjunctive which is in colloquial Spanish. The really crazy thing is that the Book of Mormon translation is about 30 years YOUNGER than the 1960 Reina Valera, so it should be even easier to read, except that it’s not.

  9. March 30, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Then, David, you missed this from the announcement:

    Church leaders, teams of translators, professional linguists and qualified lay Church members reviewed the 1909 Reina-Valera edition of the Bible. Reading committees were organized throughout the world and extensive field testing was completed to ensure accuracy. The 2009 Latter-day Saint edition modernizes some of the outdated grammatical constructions and vocabulary that have shifted in meaning and acceptability.

    It is very clear that the principle reason for going to the 1909 text is that it is in the public domain, and can be modified as the Church likes while the 1960 version is still covered by copyright.

    We won’t know how successful this translation is until it is available in September, but it does seem clear from the above statement that the translation team is very aware of the readability issues you bring up.

    And, as you make clear in discussing the Book of Mormon translation, a more recent translation isn’t necessarily clearer.

    I guess I’m simply saying that I don’t think we know whether or not this version is easier to use than the 1960 Reina Valera. Just because they started from the 1909 version doesn’t mean that the readability is the same as the 1909 version.

    I’d love to see your opinion when the translation is available.

    OR, you can look at the page image available on, and see what you think of the readability of the first twelve verses of Genesis. The image is quite legible.

  10. March 30, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    One can only hope that their …might indicate a willingness to do this for the English Bible in the future.

    Hope all you want, it ain’t gonna happen. I think the BofM locks us into the KJV in an unfortunate way.

  11. David Clark
    March 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm


    Thanks for the idea to look at the image they gave for Genesis 1, I did not see it earlier. It’s not much to go on, but I prefer the 1960 version and think it is easier to read. It’s not as bad as the KJV is, but still a step backward, again based on the 12 verses I read. The wording in verse 3 is better and clearer in the 1960. I prefer the 1960’s “expansion” to the 1909 “firmamento” because it strikes me as easier to understand and more modern. I also prefer the 1960’s use of “genero” to the 1909 “especie” for describing the plants and animals created. In English this is usually translated as “kind.” The “especie” has, I believe, come to mean something like “species” in English. The problem is that gives fodder to young Earth creationists/anti-evolutionists because it has God creating species, a much more specific word than “kind.”

    Just remember my opinion is worth every penny you paid for it.

  12. MikeInWeHo
    March 31, 2009 at 12:37 am

    re: 10
    Not if both were updated into contemporary English at the same time.

  13. March 31, 2009 at 1:00 am

    If they’ve been at least as careful with the footnotes as the 1980 English edition of the KJV (has there been a further revision since then?), it should be possible to work around the archaic language.

  14. Ronan
    March 31, 2009 at 3:15 am

    On what basis has the “updating” of the 1909 edition proceeded? On a sound understanding of Hebrew and Greek? As a modernized paraphrase? Or to better “[support] the Spanish Book of Mormon and other aspects of the Restored Gospel”?

    One reason you hear given for using the KJV in English is that it avoid accusations that the Mormons have their own Bible (cf. the JW NWT). I wonder how far this Spanish version will seem like a “Mormon Bible.”

  15. March 31, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Ronan, all we have is the explanation they give in the press release, which is fairly brief, and seems to emphasize the “conservative” approach they took. They say that the work was done by “Church leaders, teams of translators, professional linguists and qualified lay Church members” who “reviewed the 1909 Reina-Valera edition of the Bible” which doesn’t sound like they went back to the original Hebrew and Greek texts at all.

    Your observation that using the KJV avoids the accusation that Mormons have their own Bible may explain why the Church is calling this edition the “Santa Biblia: Reina-Valera 2009” (official name according to the “brochure-ware” site for the edition – But I don’t think that will completely close off such accusations for a second.

    I do think we have to keep in mind the major difference in copyright issues between the Reina Valera (and the Portuguese João Ferreira de Almeida) and the King James Version. Using the King James Version allows the Church to publish its own edition of the Scriptures and keeps the price low for the cheapest editions. Even when quoting the Bible in other Church material is easier when the quotes go beyond fair use.

    Unfortunately the 1960 Reina Valera is NOT in the public domain. Every copy that the Church sells results in a royalty to whichever Protestant Church or organization owns the copyright. Quoting the Bible extensively (beyond fair use) could require seeking permission. And an LDS edition of the 1960 Reina Valera would clearly require paying royalties directly, if permission could be secured at all (I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the Church asked for permission and had been turned down).

    I’m not conversant enough with the various Spanish and Portuguese nations and cultures to know how much of a perception there is that each Church has its own Bible. My memory from my mission (to Portugal) is that there is an assumption that each Church’s Bible is different–the Catholics use their own translation (the Reina-Valera in Spanish and the João Ferreira de Almeida in Portuguese are both Protestant translations that have never been used by the Catholics, as I understand it), and different Protestant churches use different editions of these translations (the Reina Valera 1960, 1977 and 1995 were, I think, each done by a different Church). I know in Portuguese, the version I got during my mission in Portugal was different from the version used in Brazil. There are at least three different versions in Portuguese of the João Ferreira de Almeida translation — each owned by a different Protestant organization.

    So, it may be that the many different versions of these two translations takes any real criticism out of the accusation that Mormons now have their own Bible in Spanish. So does everyone else.

  16. John Mansfield
    March 31, 2009 at 9:57 am

    In 1979, when the LDS Church first published an English edition of the Bible, total church membership for the end of the year was reported as 4,439,000. A year ago, when rumors of this LDS Spanish Bible came up, I checked the LDS newsroom website membership counts for Spanish-speaking countries; the total was 3,909,000, to which we could probably add half a million Spanish-speaking members in the Uniteds States. So, this may give the Saints of Brazil and Portugal some idea when to expect LDS publication of the Bible in Portuguese.

  17. John Mansfield
    March 31, 2009 at 10:05 am

    “For just one example, the LDS Book of Mormon makes heavy use of the future subjunctive, which is an obsolete tense in colloquial Spanish. “

    The Book of Mormon is a very future subjunctive book.

  18. Manuel
    March 31, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I am saddened to learn that the Spanish Bible being released by the Church will contain changes to the text.

    I disagree with the point of view that the constructions have changed so much that they have a different meaning. I don’t think this is true. Spanish has remained more stable in that sense, than English per say. I will hate it when long loved scriptures that we know from a lifetime will appear different in the LDS Spanish Bible.

    I just hope they don’t “Anglicize it” and take Jehovah out and substitute it for “Lord” as it is in the English versions. It makes it so much more vague and the reader gets lost as to when the reference was made to the holy name and when the title Lord was used. Less knowledge = No good.

  19. Dustin SC
    March 31, 2009 at 10:52 am

    re 11:

    I personally prefer the 2009 to the 1960 in verse 3. Using “haber” seems to more accurately reflect common usage in that case. I agree with you that “expansión” is better than “firmamento,” but I don’t think that “especie” has the same connotation in Spanish as does the English species. For the most part, however, the LDS version aligns itself pretty closely to the 1960 version in those passages, and this is, I assume, because the 1960 isn’t much more than an updated version of the 1909, just like the 2009 version is. At any rate, I think the Church has been careful not to put too much “interpretation” directly into the text, as evidenced by the continued use of alternate translations in the footnotes.

  20. Noah
    March 31, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I’m pretty excited about the new Bible. One of the complaints I remember hearing from my missionary companions and members in Perú about the Bible was that they didn’t have a lot of the study guides that English speaking members do in their Bibles. It doesn’t look like there’s going to be an equivalent to the Bible Dictionary, but there seems to be an equivalent to the Topical Guide. The foot notes alone will be great. I’m not really concerned about slight text revisions. It seems that most homes we went into had a different type of Bible anyway, at least this can get a lot of Church members on the same page.
    Although one of my favorite things to do was buy new and different Bibles, especially the pocket ones and the ones where Jesus’ words are in red. That probably won’t happen much anymore. *sigh*

  21. March 31, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I compared the first 12 verses of Genesis from the image on the church’s web site with the 1909 Reina-Valera, and it was interesting to see the changes that were made. The changes are mostly ones of modernization. I’ll mention some of them, including those that have already been mentioned in this discussion.

    Verse 2: Haz becomes faz. Faz here is as close to a perfect word as you could use here, as it mans both “face” (the literal translation of the Hebrew) and “surface.” I’m almost certain that haz is just an obsolete form of the same word.

    Verse 3: Sea la luz becomes haya luz. The difference isn’t very translatable, maybe kind of like changing “may light exist” to “may there be light.” In any case, the new version is more contemporary.

    Verse 4: Here and elsewhere the verb separar is used instead of apartar for “separate.” There’s not really much difference in meaning, although separar can do a bit more to suggest a division rather than moving things apart from each other.

    Verse 6: Here and elsewhere, firmamento is used instead of expansión for the heavenly vault. When I first saw this, I thought that maybe the translators were following the lead of the King James Version, but I don’t think that’s the case (or they would have used tipo instead of especie later). Even if it’s not a word in everyday use, firmamento has a precise meaning (the heavenly vault in which the stars appear), but espansión and espacio (the alternatives given in the footnotes) don’t make a lot of sense here unless you know something about ancient Hebrew cosmology. Although I would have considered using the word bóveda (dome) here, I think the translators made the right choice.

    Verse 9: La seca (since this is feminine, it refers to dry land) becomes lo seco (a neuter phrase meaning “that which is dry”). Since land doesn’t get a name until verse 10, it makes sense to keep this noun in the neuter form.

    Verses 10-11: Género (“kind” in the KJV) becomes especie. I see no compelling need to change the 1909 word here, but I see nothing wrong with especie either. It’s in more common use than género, so I think that’s why the translators used it, and while it can mean “species” (a narrower meaning than the Hebrew suggests) its meaning as “type” or “similar thing” is just as common if not more so.

    Verses 10-11: Simiente (a word for “seed”) becomes semilla, the more modern word.

    End of Spanish lesson.

    To judge from this tiny section, it appears that this retranslation is no superficial updating of the 1909 Reina-Valera (as I might have thought from the press release), but it does mostly keep the same sentence structure and feel of the 1909 “original.” It’s something like a Spanish version of the New King James Version (a modern Protestant translation that updates the KJV but maintains most of its style). I don’t detect any theological biases in translation here, so it would be interesting to see what they did with passages that might be more conducive to that sort of thing. That’s certainly one of the dangers of making a denomination-specific translation. (And like Manuel, I hope they didn’t change Jehová to el Señor in later passages. I would find that extremely difficult to justify.)

    Overall, the text of the translation doesn’t present any real obstacles in reading, although if I were in charge of such a project (scary thought) I would have dispensed with the verse divisions and two-column format that make traditional translations of the Bible much harder to read. This chapter of Genesis is quite poetic, and it should be presented as poetry, in my opinion. But that’s a whole other issue than the integrity of the Spanish.

  22. Julie M. Smith
    March 31, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    “I would have dispensed with the verse divisions and two-column format that make traditional translations of the Bible much harder to read.”

    It is possible to include these as really small superscript notes. That is helpful for Sunday School (“Sister Smith, will you please read v3-5?”) but still permits the reader to focus on the text without the divisions dominating. I have a HarperCollins study bible that does this well. I agree with you that they should have presented the text as poetry where appropriate, as most modern translations do.

    And thanks for your reading of Gen 1. I really enjoyed that.

  23. Rameumptom
    March 31, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Sadly, I think that too many people want a color-by-numbers scriptures. If it is extremely easy, perhaps more people will read it, form of attitude.
    While it would be nice to have an easier reading text for everyone, sometimes it shows God our desire to seek him, even if it isn’t easy.
    It isn’t any more difficult than to have an illiterate learn to read these books (Bible and Book of Mormon), rather than just have them watch the made-for-television adaptations and cartoons.

  24. queuno
    March 31, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I’m not conversant enough with the various Spanish and Portuguese nations and cultures to know how much of a perception there is that each Church has its own Bible.

    Speaking strictly of the southwestern part of the Conosur, everyone I ran into (members, non-members, missionaries) used the same Bible.

  25. Julie M. Smith
    March 31, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    “While it would be nice to have an easier reading text for everyone, sometimes it shows God our desire to seek him, even if it isn’t easy.”

    Then we should all read it in Hebrew and Greek.

  26. DavidH
    March 31, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I will be interested to see if the new translation of 1 Cor. 13 uses “caridad” rather than “amor” so that it corresponds to the Moroni version of those verses. Or if Isaiah will correspond more closely to the Spanish translation of the KJV language from the Book of Mormon than simply an “update” of the 1909 version would warrant.

  27. March 31, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Gerald’s #21 is one of the most informative, best written comments I’ve read for a while. Thanks, Gerald.

  28. March 31, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    We raised several potential concerns about this a little over a year ago.

    We’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out. I would be very happy with a Spanish equivalent of a NKJV (thanks Gerald #21 for the preview!), but it all depends on how susceptible certain passages are to accusations of theological bias, just like the New World Translation.

    And I second, that we should just all learn Hebrew and Greek, preferably in that order ;)

  29. March 31, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I agree with Ardis (#27) that comment #21 is extremely helpful. Gerald has clearly brought some of his chops as the Spanish expert ( to this analysis. A very useful contribution.

    His bio there hints at “church service” in addition to working as a journalist, so I assume Gerald served an LDS mission at some point. Its great to see another LDS Spanish expert outside of the academics at BYU.

  30. March 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I agree that Gerald’s #21 was very informative, much more so than my brief analysis in #11.

    However, Gerald’s analysis answers the wrong question. The question is not “Is the church’s version of the 1909 version better than the plain vanilla 1909 version?” which is what Gerald is answering. It’s not the right question because almost no LDS Spanish speaker uses that version. The question is, “Is this better than the version LDS Spanish speakers currently use, the 1960 Reina Valera?” By better I mean both more readable and reflects the underlying source languages more accurately.

  31. March 31, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    David (30), you are right, and not right. Yes, it would be very useful to compare this new version to the 1960. BUT, you are also assuming that continuing to use the 1960 version is somehow a good option.

    This is the same error that was made in the Faith Promoting Rumor post mentioned — the assumption that copyright issues isn’t part of the equation. After reading the comments to that post, I think the assumption was that this LDS version would be a massive departure from the various RVR versions. Without a detailed comparison its hard to know for sure, but it sounds like the changes made are mostly for the same reasons that the 1960, 1977 and 1995 versions were done — to modernize and make more readable the earlier RVR versions.

    My copy of the 1960 RVR says that it is copyright by the Sociedades Bíblicas en América Latina (SBAL), and is published by the American Bible Society here in New York. I suspect that the SBAL is related to the ABS somehow, and I know that the ABS does NOT like Mormonism very much.

    I read somewhere that the Church currently gets copies of the 1960 RVR edition through a distributor — apparently the generally cheaper option of purchasing directly from the publisher isn’t available here. The result is that the cheapest version available from LDS Church Distribution is a $9 hardcover. The cheapest paperback of the new 2009 version will cost $3. Don’t know about you, but in my book that is very significant.

    I assume that the Church originally tried to sign a contract with SBAL to use the 1960 RVR version in an LDS edition that included the material and references we are familiar with in English, and was turned down flat. That would leave updating the 1909 RVR version as the best option.

  32. March 31, 2009 at 4:21 pm


    Copyright issues, though I am aware of them, have nothing to do with the question I asked. Now, why is continuing to use the 1960 version not a good option?

  33. March 31, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    1. It increases the cost to members of purchasing the scriptures.

    2. It makes it impossible to produce any kind of LDS edition — no quads, no edition with LDS references, nothing, and makes it impossible to control what additional material is in the bibles the Church gets — the SBAL/ABS could put anti-Mormon material in every copy and we would be stuck buying them.

    3. Quoting from the Bible in Spanish beyond fair use would require getting permission, which could be denied on the publisher’s whim.

    There are probably also other factors that haven’t occurred to me yet.

  34. Cameron
    March 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    I think we’re worrying too much about things here. The main point was to include the study aides and the impact of those I think will be greater than that of the textual changes.

  35. March 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Gerald may not have answered David Clark’s question, but he certainly answered mine. As someone whom this doesn’t affect to any extent, my questions were simple curiosity and entirely linguistic, not political. I would welcome a similar set of examples showing how the church’s new version differs linguistically from the 1960 version.

  36. March 31, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    David (32) said: “Copyright issues, though I am aware of them, have nothing to do with the question I asked.”

    Yes, but my point is that the question you asked can’t be answered in a vacuum.

  37. Matt
    March 31, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    “I would have dispensed with the verse divisions and two-column format that make traditional translations of the Bible much harder to read.”

    If the 1981 Book of Mormon has taught me anything, it’s that the word of God is best enjoyed (1) with chapter and verse divisions chosen without any literary or sometimes even contextual sense by Orson Pratt (2) arranged into an Excel spreadsheet (3) walled in to the top half of the page (4) and with footnotes sneezed all over the page by Bruce R. McConkie. (4a TG: Tent, Dwelling In)

    The current Spanish BoM is already a little bit visually cleaner than our current English edition. I expect that even though this Bible won’t be as readable as a lot of other Bibles out there, it will be better than what the LDS Englishfolk are using now.

  38. March 31, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Don’t forget that the 1909 edition just had some plain old errors of translation. The 1960 edition (and supposedly the 1977 and 1995) was not limited to modernizing, but contained corrections based on updated scholarship and better understanding of Hebrew, especially better understanding of idioms.

    For those LDS Spanish scholars who want to pour over the changes, I suggest going to American Bible Society’s online store, and buying copies of the 1909, 1977, 1995 editions (they are all available in inexpensive paperback), and the 1960 edition if you don’t already have it too.

    Just checked. I couldn’t find the RVR 1977 at ABS, but it is at IBS,

  39. ben
    April 1, 2009 at 6:53 am

    One of the regulars over on MADB said (post 16), “The church originally received permission to use the 1960 edition. The permission was revoked, however, once the LDS edition was prepared. The church then used the 1909 version since it is no longer under copyright and revised it to make the language a little more intelligible. The LDS edition that’s coming out doesn’t have anything radical in it. It is pretty ordinary and boring, really.

    I can’t say how I know all of this, it’s confidential–but I everything I said above most certainly is true. “

  40. Jon B. Holbrook
    April 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I am very happy to see that Spanish-speaking members of the Church will have their own LDS version of the Holy Bible. It will increase their faith and dedication to our Heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus Christ and God’s Kingdom on Earth, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is the Day of the Lamanite. Many Hispanics are descendants of the Book of Mormon Peoples. This new Spanish LDS Bible will hasten the gathering of that branch of the House of Israel in fulfilment of prophecy.

  41. April 1, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I have no idea what the history of the translation of the endowment into Spanish is, but the language of this translation of Genesis matches up much better with the language used in the temple than in the older version. I imagine that part of their motivation in making such corrections is to create a continuity of language that is used in the BOM and other scriptures as currently translated. We have a lot of specific words used in specific ways in the church, and by producing and LDS version of the Bible it is easier to tie in symbolic language throughout scriptures and talks–like the change from ‘simiente’ to ‘semilla’. Alma talks about the word of God as ‘semilla’ in the Book of Mormon as well, plus as Gerald pointed out it is a more modern word (and ‘simiente’ always makes me think of a different kind of seed, like Onan). I’m very curious to get the new translation and see how it feels.

  42. Andrew Miller
    April 7, 2009 at 6:21 pm


    The 1960 Reina-Valera does in fact use the future subjunctive. Lots.

  43. April 7, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Hmm, you are right, it does use the future subjunctive. I remembered the Reina Valera being easier to read than the Book of Mormon in Spanish, and I must have incorrectly attributed this to the future subjunctive. My mistake.

  44. Francisco Guzman
    April 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    As a native spanish speaker there is one verse that I’m really interested to read, in fact it’s probably the first verse I’m going to check as soon as I get the Reina Valera 2009.

    It is James 1:5. That is a really important verse for our history and doctrine, it’s a verse that the missionaries teach in the first lesson and that also represents the invitation we have for people who investigate the church.

    But that verse has really significant differences in the RV 1909 and in the RV 1960.

    RV 1909
    “Y si alguno de vosotros tiene falta de sabiduría, demándela á Dios, el cual da á todos abundantemente, y no zahiere; y le será dada.”

    RV 1960
    “Y si alguno de vosotros tiene falta de sabiduría, pídala a Dios, el cual da a todos abundantemente y sin reproche, y le será dada.”

    The verb “zaherir” in it’s form “zahiere” found in the 1909 text it’s completely uncommon in modern spanish. I’m pretty sure 99% of people don’t know what it means (I had never heard of it before I found it on that verse). It makes the verse hard to understand. On the other hand the words used instead of “zahiere” on the RV 1960 are common and make it really easy to undestand (those are “y sin reproche”)

    But there’s also the fact that the sentence “y no zahiere” fits a lot better in its form with the “and upbraideth not” found on the KJV. So I’m looking forward to see what they did with it.

    So we’ll see in september but I have a good feeling about the way it will turn out.

  45. April 11, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Francisco, I agree. To me, “y sin reproche” is a radically different grammatical structure, and should be avoided because of it. But “zahiere” isn’t attractive either.

    FWIW, the Portuguese (João Ferreira de Almeida, 1974) says “e não o lança em rosto” (and doesn’t throw it in your face).

    Still not ideal, IMO.

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