by Louis A. Turk, B.A, M.Div., Ph.D.
The following question has been asked of us, and needs to be answered: “Why are you inserting yourself in the Spanish Bible issue when you neither speak Spanish nor are you called to the Spanish speaking world?” There are many important reasons:
1. Because the issue is not a language issue; it is a vital doctrinal issue concerning the foundational doctrine of all other doctrines: what constitutes the word of God. At issue are the pure texts of the word of God versus corrupted texts. If the words of God are corrupted, and if those corruptions are believed to be the true words of God, then the foundation of our faith cracks, and the truth about everything the pure Bible texts say is brought into question.
2. Because the RV-1960 Spanish Bible is being falsely promoted as Textus Receptus (TR) based, when in fact it is Critical Text (CT) based. The fact that Reina and Valera translated from the Textus Receptus does not make the RV-1960 Textus Receptus based. The RSV was a revision of the King James Bible (KJB). Does the fact that the KJB is TR-based therefore mean that the Revised Standard Version (RSV) is TR-based also? No, because the source Greek text used in the revision was the Critical Text (Westcott and Hort text). In places in the RSV where the TR and CT differed, the CT reading was used. The same is true for the RV-1960. The RV-1960 is the RSV of Spanish translations.
3. Because it is simple to determine the truth about this issue. All it takes is a few hours using a Spanish-English dictionary to determine who is telling the truth. Just look up all the words in key verses, and you will quickly know if words have been deleted or added or changed. It is important for pastors to realize this, and to be encouraged to do the necessary research to find the truth. There are several Spanish-English dictionaries on-line, so you don’t even have to buy a dictionary to do the research. Don’t take anyone’s word—including mine—without first checking the facts first hand yourself. This issue is too important to let politics or personal friendship dictate doctrine and practice.
4. Because Rev. 22:18-19 gives an exceedingly clear and chilling warning not to alter the text of God’s verbally inspired word. Translators who ignore this warning will be denied Heaven and sent to Hell. Obviously this issue is very important to God, and should be to us also. Is it wise to advocate use of a translation made by a man or committee of men which God is going to send to Hell for making it? Isn’t it obvious that God is going to send that translator to Hell because he or she introduced corruptions into the text that are going to deceive lost people, thereby sending many of them to Hell?
5. Because “…we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (2 Co 2:17). Just as in the days when the apostle Paul wrote those words, there are “many” today “which corrupt the word of God,” and this is especially true on foreign mission fields. It grieves us to see so many independent Baptist pastors being tricked into supporting the use of corrupt translations of the Bible on foreign mission fields.
6. Because the issue is not confined to the Spanish speaking world, but is world-wide in scope, doing great damage to the cause of Christ. Translations with many corruptions introduced due to the influence of the Critical Text cause damage world wide. The Critical-Text-based RV-1960 has even adversely affected us here in Indonesia by motivating certain preachers in the USA to try to undermine our project to translate the Bible into Indonesian from the Received Text. The very existence of Critical-Text-based translations causes damage, and especially so in countries where no Textus-Receptus-based translation is presently available. I know by personal experience how stressful it is to have no Bible to use but a corrupt one. What should one do when the only bibles available have been corrupted in many places to teach salvation by works? That is the case here in Indonesia with the Allah bibles of Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia and the Indonesian Literal Translation of Yayasan Lentera Bangsa. My response to this dilemma was to begin making a pure translation. Of course, God is not going to lead every missionary to translate. But every true pro-KJV missionary should at least pray for and encourage the man which God leads to make a pure translation. A truly pro-KJV missionary will not try to undermine that translator by falsely declaring that one of the corrupt translations is a pure one, thereby making it appear that a pure translation is no longer needed—as one missionary did in an attempt to stop our translation project. Other pro-TR Bible translators have informed us that Satan is using this same tactic against TR-based Bible translation projects for other languages as well. Slanderous attacks against TR-based translations by CT-advocates who falsely claim to be pro-KJV is a huge, world-wide problem, causing extreme damage to the cause of Christ. Educating pastors to what is happening is the only solution.
7. Because some missionaries who advocate Critical-Text based translations take advantage of pastors’ ignorance of foreign languages to deceive them. Pastors need to realize that it really isn’t very hard to use cross-language dictionaries to learn the truth about a translation so as to not be constantly duped. The truth about translations will prevail among truly pro-KJB independent Baptists provided we can show pastors how easy it is for them to find the truth, and persuade them to try to find it.
8. Because it is not right to take faith-promise missions money given by hard-working pro-KJV church members, and give it to missionaries who advocate corrupt, Critical-Text translations like the RV-1960 or the even more corrupt Allah bibles published by the Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia, or who advocate the corrupt Indonesian Literal Translation published by Yayasan Lentera Bangsa (http://www.firmanelohim.org/samuelturk/Translation_Project/KJ3_%26_ILT.html). Note that I said “advocate,” not “use.” It is excusable and understandable to use a corrupt translation temporarily until a pure translation is available, provided that you point out the errors it contains, and use only the verses that have not been corrupted. It is not excusable to advocate a corrupt translation by falsely claiming that it is not corrupt. And it is not excusable to continue to use a corrupt translation once a pure translation is available.
9. Because it is impossible to take a neutral stand on this issue—to be silent is to side against Christ. Jesus said: “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Luke 11:23 KJV). The Bible reveals to us the mind of Christ. The words of the Bible are the words of Christ. Don’t try to change Christ’s words to make him say something he did not say. It is impossible to be truly for Textus-Receptus-based translations without also being against Critical-Text-based translations.
10. Because we love all the people in the world, including those in Spanish-speaking countries, and believe that they need to have a Textus-Receptus-based translation just as much as English-speaking people. We English-speaking people are blessed with the KJV, and people of other languages need a Bible of like kind in their languages. It is wrong to think a corrupt Bible is good enough for them, as though they are inferior to us.
11. Because our children and grandchildren are affected by this issue. The Spanish-speaking countries south of our border are vital to our national security. It is extremely important that these countries be properly evangelized, and that is not possible using corrupt Bibles.
12. Because Satan is the root cause of the corruption of Bibles. Satan hates the Masoretic and Textus Receptus texts and pure translations thereof. Pure translations of the Bible are Satan’s biggest problem. Pure Bibles expose Satan’s lies, and deprive him of control over people’s lives. Therefore Satan motivates his helpers to produce corrupt bible translations to keep people in darkness and confusion, so that Satan can keep them enslaved. Corrupt translations change verses to make them teach salvation by baptism and other works, thus making it much harder to convince people to believe that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, not of works, lest any man should boast. Use a Spanish-to-English dictionary to look up all the words in 1 Peter 3:21 in the RV-1960. Guess what? You will not even be able to look up some of the words, because they aren’t there! It will just take you a few minutes to learn the truth first hand. You will find that by deleting the first part of that verse, it has been made to directly teach salvation by baptism. Does baptism actually save us? or does it just figuratively save us by picturing the death of Christ for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection which actually saves us when we put our faith in Christ? The RV-Gomez does not delete the first part of that verse, which is one example of why the RV-Gomez is vastly superior to the RV-1960.
13. Because corrupt bibles confuse and divide God’s people, rendering them ineffective. Had all of the revisions of the Reina-Valera prior to the RV-Gomez made corrections to conform it more perfectly to the Masoretic Hebrew Old Testament text and Textus Receptus text, instead of introducing corruptions from the Critical Text, the present Spanish Bible issue would not exist. Of all the Spanish translations, which one conforms to the Textus Receptus? The RV-Gomez. So, why does this Spanish Bible issue exist among independent Baptists? Because secret Westcott-and-Hort-Critical-Text advocates have crept in unaware to the ranks of independent Baptists. They need to be exposed.
14. Because the Lord says, “come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Co 6:17); the Lord does not say, Join in with them and be one. We are to separate ourselves from those who advocate corrupt bibles, not invite them to preach mission conferences for us. We have noticed that some pastors who used to be strong defenders of pure Bibles are now compromising in an attempt to be more popular. Their formerly strong leadership has turned wishy washy and touchy feelly. We hope to encourage them to return to their former stand for truth. Our Lord Jesus said, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). Every man of God will endure criticism when he preaches God’s pure words without fear or favor. If a preacher compromises under such criticism, then he has become a man of men, and is no longer a man of God.
15. Because some missionaries who advocate Critical-Text based translations on their foreign mission fields falsely and hypocritically claim to be pro-KJV and pro-Textus Receptus in order to get support from pro-KJV churches. They also falsely claim that the Critical-Text-based translation which they advocate and use on their mission field is actually Textus-Receptus-based. These men are great salesmen. They smile and flatter. But they aren’t sincere. They will say whatever they think you want to hear, in order to get your support. These men obtain support from pro-KJV churches by deception, thus depriving truly pro-KJV missionaries of badly needed support. In reality they are thieves, stealing support that would otherwise go to sound missionaries. This greatly harms the work of the Lord world wide. By unknowingly supporting missionaries who advocate Critical-Text-based translations, many truly pro-KJV pastors and churches are inadvertently funding the establishment of unsound churches which they wouldn’t even fellowship with if they were English-speaking and in the USA—churches which oppose Textus-Receptus-based translations of the Bible, and which oppose missionaries who use Textus-Receptus-based translations of the Bible—churches that are actually anti-KJV. Thus instead of speeding up the evangelism of the world, the mission funds given to help establish these churches are used to hinder and delay evangelism. Pro-KJV pastors and churches need to be made aware of this.
16. Because some pastors and missionaries who advocate Critical-Text-based translations intensely hate Textus-Receptus-based translations in any language, and therefore also hate missionaries to any country who advocate Textus-Receptus based translations. Unfortunately, their hatred often motivates them to spread crafty lies and slander to convince pastors to drop support of missionaries advocating Textus-Receptus-based translations. We had no reason to get involved in the Spanish Bible issue until a former missionary to Mexico—an ardent RV-1960 advocate—began to craftily and systematically undermine our translation project over the process of more than a year in an attempt to deprive it of funds. But since it was pretty clear that this man’s advocacy of the RV-1960 Spanish bible was what motivated him to undermine our translation project, we thoroughly researched the RV-1960, and soon knew without any shadow of doubt that it is Critical-Text-based. The RV-1960 is the RSV of Spanish translations. Knowing what we now know about the RV-1960, it would be treason to the cause of Christ for us to remain silent on this issue. God forbid that we be as the slumbering, willingly ignorant, useless watchmen mentioned in Isaiah 56:10 who fail to warn as enemies work right under their noses to sabotage the work of God: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.”
17. Because, and I repeat this because it is so important, the core issue is the pure texts of the word of God versus corrupted texts—no matter what language is being discussed. Pure texts motivate people to believe and teach soul-saving truths, and to do good, constructive things. Corrupted texts motivate people to believe and teach soul-damning heresies, and to do wicked destructive things. When we realized that the corrupt RV-1960 Spanish bible was actually motivating people to try to stop our Indonesian Bible translation project, we knew we had to take action to protect the ministry to which God called us and placed in our trust. To us, there is nothing personal about this; it is strictly a doctrinal issue. The translation of the Bible into the Indonesian language is the most important event in the entire history of Indonesia, and it is our duty before God to defend and finish this project. There is absolutely nothing as important to the evangelization of Indonesia as having a translation of the Bible which correctly presents the gospel message (“according to the scriptures” 1 Cor. 15:1-4). And the same is true for every country in the world.
18. Because it is inconsistent and exceedingly stupid and foolish to separate from RSV and NIV users in the USA, but then to support the use of the same type translations on foreign mission fields. Giving mission funds to Westcott-and-Hort-Critical-Text advocates is worse than flushing the money down a toilet, for it pays for opposition to KJV-like Textus-Receptus-based translations, thus greatly hindering evangelism. Do not RV-1960 advocates oppose and reject the RV-Gomez? Do they not viciously attack the character of the translator of the RV-Gomez in a effort to discredit his translation? Yes they do! Critical-Text-based translations hinder world evangelism more than any other one thing. If pastors and churches can be persuaded to recognize and stop supporting Westcott-and-Hort-Critical-Text advocates, then Westcott-and-Hort-Critical-Text advocates will have less funds to use to oppose the truth. Also, large sums of independent Baptist mission funds will be freed up to be sent to truly sound missionaries who advocate and use Textus-Receptus-based translations. Nothing would increase the effectiveness and speed of world evangelism like that would.
Hopefully, I’ve clearly answered the question. Now I have questions that readers of this article should ask those preachers who have been asking that question: What translation of the Bible do you advocate be used in Mexico, and Central and South America? Do you think a translation like the RV-1960, which in some verses has been conformed to the Critical Text to teach salvation by works and baptism is better than the RV-Gomez which instead reads like the KJV in those verses? Their answer to these questions will reveal to you whether they are truly pro-KJV/Textus-Receptus men, or if actually they are pro-Westcott-and-Hort-Critical-Text men in their hearts. Watch them then begin to try to assassinate my character to distract you from examining the texts! Because they know that if you carefully examine the text of the RV-1960 you will know that I am telling you the truth. We have challenged men who slandered Dr. Gomez with, “Have you ever met Dr. Gomez?” In almost every case the answer was, “No.” They were just repeating malicious gossip, not having the slightest clue if it were true—and not caring either. And in most cases they had never even examined the 2010 edition of the RV-Gomez; yet they hated it with a passion, knowing that the RV-Gomez is truly Textus Receptus based.
Ignorance will not be an acceptable excuse when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. We are expected to use mission funds to advance the truth. It is sin to send mission funds to support error and opposition to the truth. Be wise and examine the texts—are they pure, or are they corrupt? That is what matters. Support only missionaries who advocate TR-based translations.
We have assembled many proof documents and charts into one 175 page PDF document to make examining the Spanish Bible translations easy. You can access it at: A Line In The Sand Plus Proof