Spanish Bible Translations


#1

There is a woman who I work with who is bilingual in both Spanish and English (Spanish is her native language, but when she was a child she came to the USA). She is a lapsed Catholic; I am trying to get her interested in Catholicism again (plant some seeds, so to speak). She is a very nice lady and I plan on making a rosary for her.

Anyway, I asked her if she enjoys reading. She says not so much but she would like to read more. I then asked her if she has a favorite Bible translation. She said she does not know much about English or Spanish Bible translations (she knows my obsession with NT Greek and English Bible translations). Assuming I survive another 3-4 months where I currently work, I plan on getting her a new Bible for Christmas.

I asked her if she would prefer a Spanish Bible translation or an English Bible translation. I'll admit, I know very little about Spanish Bible translations. From what little I do know, they are no where near as numerous as English Bible translations. I am not fluent in Spanish nor do I speak it. She told me a story of when she was a child that her mother read the Bible to her but some of the Spanish words she couldn't understand due to the difference in dialect.

She told me that if she wants a Spanish Bible, it has to be in the dialect she understands (she is from Mexico but speaks "American Spanish" more than "Mexican Spanish"). Overall, she said she would prefer an English translation even if Spanish is her native language. I asked her if she would prefer a literal translation (but warned her that some literal translations may be hard to understand in some places) or a translation that emphasizes "sense-for-sense"/paraphrase (but also warned her that some sense-for-sense translations are loose and can include gender neutral language).

Told me overall that she would prefer a "sense-for-sense"/paraphrase translation so she can easily understand what she is reading.

So I apologize for that long explanation but I need some understanding of Spanish Bible translations. What translations should I be predominantly looking for if I decide to get her a Spanish Bible? Are there any Catholic Bible translations that are done in Spanish?

In case I don't get her a Spanish Bible and decide for an English one, what kind of Catholic study Bible should I get her? Douay-Rheims is out of the option; the "thee's, thou's" etc. just will not work for this individual. She does not want "archaic" English translations.

I am honestly thinking that, if I get her an English translation, the New Jerusalem Bible would be an option. I love the 1966 Jerusalem Bible and it flows well for the most part (despite some of the odd British English). But I don't know too much about the NJB....is it still a relatively orthodox Catholic translation? Does it contain the excellent footnotes as the original JB did? On the plus side it would contain the Deuterocanon.

But I also want to get her a study Bible to learn more about Catholicism, but it needs to be something inexpensive (maybe around $30-$40, no more). I am thinking the New Catholic Answer Bible would be excellent (I do not own it myself but I have flipped through it at the bookstore). I know people on here are highly against the NAB: RE but it's currently what we use in the US liturgy; assuming she will attend an English language Mass again, I think that would be a good option for her.

Ideas anyone?


#2

Torres y Amat, the La Biblia de las Americas, or the Reina Valera 1909 (avoid 1960, and, especially, any newer editions). The Biblia de Jerusalen/Biblia de Jerusalen Latinoamerica is okay but not good, but it has the full Catholic canon (it’s the Spanish equivalent of the Jerusalem Bible, with all the faults and benefits thereof). The Nueva Version Internacional (NVI) is superior in some ways to the Biblia de Jerusalen, just as the Jerusalem Bible is in some ways (liberalism) inferior to the NIV.

The Torres y Amat is translated from the Vulgate and is hard to find, and equally difficult to read (Don Quixote difficult), like the Douay-Rheims in English. It is however the most accurate version in Spanish. The Reina-Valera 1909 is close, being, if the Torres y Amat is the Spanish Douay, the Reina Valera 1909 is Spanish King James Bible (66 books instead of 73), but, like the KJV, is based on accurate Greek texts (the Majority/Byzantine type) instead of the modern critical manuscripts like all other Bibles in most languages. The RVR1960 and further revisions are like the RSV and NRSV, offensive to religion, inaccurate, etc. Both the R-V 1909 and the Torres y Amat are difficult to find and can be expensive.

The Torres y Amat I believe is more accurate than the DRC, as it is quite a bit easier to translate Latin in to another Romance language than it is in to English.

The LBLA is the next best translation, I think. It’s very easy to find. It’s sort of like a Spanish NASB-NKJV hybrid, based on the modern critical manuscripts but with the correct traditional readings noted as variants and thrown in italics or a footnote. It’s quite literal as well, and is accurately translated in most places that matter: it does not deny prophecy, miracles, the deity of Christ, male headship, creation by the Trinity, so on and so forth as the RSV and NRSV (and the Spanish equivalents of these) do.

The Biblia de Jerusalen has the entire Catholic canon and is identical to a Spanish Jerusalem Bible. It is quite loose and unsuited for detailed study, but, by and large, gets the message across, and is easy to read. Like the English JB and NJB, versions with notes have Modernist and liberal historical-critical heresy in them (denying Hell, creation, the virgin birth, the resurrection, prophecy, so on and so forth).

She can either learn Castillian or get an version that has “Latinoamerica” or something similar in the names (the LBLA is already in a generalized S. American Spanish dialect), or a “Latinoamericano” version of another translation (such as the European Biblia de Jerusalen). A “Latinoamerican” version of a given Bible in Spanish is roughly equivalent to an Anglicized Bible in English; there will be differences to make it seem more natural by way of a certain dialect, but no major changes that will make what was incomprehensible before comprehensible now.


#3

…is it still a relatively orthodox Catholic translation? Does it contain the excellent footnotes as the original JB did?

No, no, and no.

Now, dealing with English, the Jerusalem Bible is decent (as noted, it is loose and unsuited for detailed study, but good for reading large portions of narrative), but the New Jerusalem Bible went overboard with the liberalism (the readings of the NJB actually influenced the gender-neutering decisions in the NRSV translation process): it is gender-neutered (not to the point of the NRSV, but still badly), and has even more heterodox notes, similar in character to those in the NAB. It also is a much less literary translation. Many of the “updates” in translation are to destroy prophecy (“maiden” v. “woman” in Isaiah 7:14 in JB and NJB respectively, Genesis 1:1 “spirit” or “wind”, Proverbs 8:22, Psalms 1, 2, 22, etc.) An example of an NJB note is one that directly denies the doctrine of Purgatory from the Bible, on the passage in Paul where he says a “man may be saved, as if by fire”.

In English, I’d recommend the RSV-2CE if she doesn’t want any archaic English. It’s the only orthodox literally-translated (e.g. suitable for detailed study) Catholic Bible in English with no archaic language. It is no harder (and sometimes much easier) to understand than the Jerusalem Bible, and a good deal more accurate. It’s probably around the reading level of the New International Version, easier than the ESV or NKJV, far easier than the NASB.

(The D-R, Confraternity, RSV-CE have archaic language; the Jerusalem Bible is not literal; the Knox is not literal and has archaic English; the NRSV, NJB and NAB are inaccurate translations in many places, being a hybrid of literal and dynamic, with the NRSV being heavily neutered, the NJB less so, and the NAB containing hundreds of pages of horrible annotations, the NJB less so.)

The NAB/RE is not used in the US liturgy. A lectionary based on the NABRE, but emended to bring it in to conformity with orthodox Catholic teaching and the mind of the Church, is (minus the Psalms), but this lectionary is no more an NABRE than a Jerusalem Bible is. There is no Bible for sale on earth that matches the lectionary readings.

And, the heretical notes aren’t included in the lectionary and read to the Church, but they are included in the NABRE: and the notes are 80% of what’s wrong with the translation. They’re supposed to be secular-materialist historical-critical stuff, but they don’t even teach secular Biblical criticism; they teach long-discredited (among secular scholars) theories (like buying a textbook on the religion of Evolutionism and finding that it teaches the theories of Lamarck instead of Darwin) for the most part, and the things it teaches that aren’t discredited tend to be directly opposed to the Christian faith (and even more opposed to specific Catholic teachings such as Purgatory and the Perpetual Virginity).


#4

Ummmm, if she was educated in English, I'd get her a version in English.

A lot of people don't realize that the children of immigrants may know their parents' language, but in a way limited to their parents' knowledge and in a way limited to the conversations they had with theeir parents. Often they are not accustomed to reading in their home language, and sometimes the parents learn enough English to switch when the children are a little older, so their vocabulary is then even more limited.

In addition, the Reina Valeria was translated by Protestants looking to convert Spanish-speaking Catholics :( I tend to avoid Protestant bibles because the minor differences in translation can make a major difference in theology! For example, most Protest bibles translate the Greek word for doing penance simply as "repent." This gives a very different idea of what God wants us to do!


#5

I am so happy to hear this :) Thanks!

[quote="Khalid, post:3, topic:337136"]
No, no, and no.

Now, dealing with English, the Jerusalem Bible is decent (as noted, it is loose and unsuited for detailed study, but good for reading large portions of narrative), but the New Jerusalem Bible went overboard with the liberalism (the readings of the NJB actually influenced the gender-neutering decisions in the NRSV translation process): it is gender-neutered (not to the point of the NRSV, but still badly), and has even more heterodox notes, similar in character to those in the NAB. It also is a much less literary translation. Many of the "updates" in translation are to destroy prophecy ("maiden" v. "woman" in Isaiah 7:14 in JB and NJB respectively, Genesis 1:1 "spirit" or "wind", Proverbs 8:22, Psalms 1, 2, 22, etc.) An example of an NJB note is one that directly denies the doctrine of Purgatory from the Bible, on the passage in Paul where he says a "man may be saved, as if by fire".

In English, I'd recommend the RSV-2CE if she doesn't want any archaic English. It's the only orthodox literally-translated (e.g. suitable for detailed study) Catholic Bible in English with no archaic language. It is no harder (and sometimes much easier) to understand than the Jerusalem Bible, and a good deal more accurate. It's probably around the reading level of the New International Version, easier than the ESV or NKJV, far easier than the NASB.

(The D-R, Confraternity, RSV-CE have archaic language; the Jerusalem Bible is not literal; the Knox is not literal and has archaic English; the NRSV, NJB and NAB are inaccurate translations in many places, being a hybrid of literal and dynamic, with the NRSV being heavily neutered, the NJB less so, and the NAB containing hundreds of pages of horrible annotations, the NJB less so.)

The NAB/RE is not used in the US liturgy. A lectionary based on the NABRE, but emended to bring it in to conformity with orthodox Catholic teaching and the mind of the Church, is (minus the Psalms), but this lectionary is no more an NABRE than a Jerusalem Bible is. There is no Bible for sale on earth that matches the lectionary readings.

And, the heretical notes aren't included in the lectionary and read to the Church, but they are included in the NABRE: and the notes are 80% of what's wrong with the translation. They're supposed to be secular-materialist historical-critical stuff, but they don't even teach secular Biblical criticism; they teach long-discredited (among secular scholars) theories (like buying a textbook on the religion of Evolutionism and finding that it teaches the theories of Lamarck instead of Darwin) for the most part, and the things it teaches that aren't discredited tend to be directly opposed to the Christian faith (and even more opposed to specific Catholic teachings such as Purgatory and the Perpetual Virginity).

[/quote]


#6

[quote="St_Francis, post:4, topic:337136"]
Ummmm, if she was educated in English, I'd get her a version in English.

A lot of people don't realize that the children of immigrants may know their parents' language, but in a way limited to their parents' knowledge and in a way limited to the conversations they had with theeir parents. Often they are not accustomed to reading in their home language, and sometimes the parents learn enough English to switch when the children are a little older, so their vocabulary is then even more limited.

In addition, the Reina Valeria was translated by Protestants looking to convert Spanish-speaking Catholics :( I tend to avoid Protestant bibles because the minor differences in translation can make a major difference in theology! For example, most Protest bibles translate the Greek word for doing penance simply as "repent." This gives a very different idea of what God wants us to do!

[/quote]

I agree with this. If she was raised in the US and educated in the US, get her an English version. If she hasn't received a religious education in Spanish it would be extremely difficult for her to understand a Spanish Bible so I think you should go for English. The Spanish one is going to confuse her.

Having said that when you are looking at Spanish Bible all you need is to make sure it has on the first page, the signature of the Bishop and the Archiodiocesis seal, all Spanish bible recognized by the church have this so if you don't see a seal, don't use it. also look for the words imprimatur and Nihil obstat to make sure the church doesn't have objections as to the translations.


#7

[quote="St_Francis, post:4, topic:337136"]
Ummmm, if she was educated in English, I'd get her a version in English.

A lot of people don't realize that the children of immigrants may know their parents' language, but in a way limited to their parents' knowledge and in a way limited to the conversations they had with theeir parents. Often they are not accustomed to reading in their home language, and sometimes the parents learn enough English to switch when the children are a little older, so their vocabulary is then even more limited.

In addition, the Reina Valeria was translated by Protestants looking to convert Spanish-speaking Catholics :( I tend to avoid Protestant bibles because the minor differences in translation can make a major difference in theology! For example, most Protest bibles translate the Greek word for doing penance simply as "repent." This gives a very different idea of what God wants us to do!

[/quote]

The Greek word is "metanoia" and means "repentance" - it means "changing of the mind", literally. It does not have anything to do with sacramental penance. That's a mistranslation in the Douay-Rheims because "doing penance" can not be separated from "repentance" in the Latin language. Erasmus, in his translation, used "be penitent" - the closest to the Greek possible in the Latin at the time.

Now, this isn't to say that sacramental reconciliation/acts of penance have no place, or were not established by the Apostles: it's just saying that Jesus Christ and John the Baptist, in the recorded Gospels, according to the words the Holy Spirit used in Greek, were not calling for people to do penance because the Kingdom is at hand, they were calling for people to "change their minds" - repent, and amend their lives, or intend to. Confession of sins (generally public) was an integral part of this.

This is similar to "in the person of Christ", except that "in the person of Christ" is a more valid translation than "do penance". It's still not the only, or even the most accurate, translation, which is (of prosopon) "in the face of Christ".


#8

[quote="marymary1975, post:6, topic:337136"]
I agree with this. If she was raised in the US and educated in the US, get her an English version. If she hasn't received a religious education in Spanish it would be extremely difficult for her to understand a Spanish Bible so I think you should go for English. The Spanish one is going to confuse her.

[/quote]

I second and third this idea unless she has received additional training in Spanish and/or is primarily a Spanish speaker. There are plenty of children raised in a bilingual home who can conduct basic conversations in a language but still not understand technical language of any sort... Even in English, one must learn the "jargon of religion" (propitiation, for example_ to understand even the text of Bible, and necessary to understand all of theology or the truths drawn from the text of the Bible.


#9

[quote="Khalid, post:8, topic:337136"]
I second and third this idea unless she has received additional training in Spanish and/or is primarily a Spanish speaker. There are plenty of children raised in a bilingual home who can conduct basic conversations in a language but still not understand technical language of any sort... Even in English, one must learn the "jargon of religion" (propitiation, for example_ to understand even the text of Bible, and necessary to understand all of theology or the truths drawn from the text of the Bible.

[/quote]

Exactly, as you say it is because the "jargon" of the bible. I am a native Spanish speaker myself and raised in Latin America and I am fluent in English, but I still have difficulty understanding certain concepts in the Bible and I have to go to the Spanish bible to see what section is and what they are talking about. The fact that Spanish is a very words language doesn't help either. So she is going to have lots of trouble if she was raised in the US.


#10

[quote="Khalid, post:2, topic:337136"]
The Torres y Amat I believe is more accurate than the DRC, as it is quite a bit easier to translate Latin in to another Romance language than it is in to English.

[/quote]

Indeed. I have not seen the Spanish editions you have described but as I seem to follow the Spanish readings, in fact the whole Mass, better given the Latin.


#11

[quote="Tous_Logous, post:1, topic:337136"]
There is a woman who I work with who is bilingual in both Spanish and English (Spanish is her native language, but when she was a child she came to the USA). She is a lapsed Catholic; I am trying to get her interested in Catholicism again (plant some seeds, so to speak). She is a very nice lady and I plan on making a rosary for her.

Anyway, I asked her if she enjoys reading. She says not so much but she would like to read more. I then asked her if she has a favorite Bible translation. She said she does not know much about English or Spanish Bible translations (she knows my obsession with NT Greek and English Bible translations). Assuming I survive another 3-4 months where I currently work, I plan on getting her a new Bible for Christmas.

I asked her if she would prefer a Spanish Bible translation or an English Bible translation. I'll admit, I know very little about Spanish Bible translations. From what little I do know, they are no where near as numerous as English Bible translations. I am not fluent in Spanish nor do I speak it. She told me a story of when she was a child that her mother read the Bible to her but some of the Spanish words she couldn't understand due to the difference in dialect.

She told me that if she wants a Spanish Bible, it has to be in the dialect she understands (she is from Mexico but speaks "American Spanish" more than "Mexican Spanish"). Overall, she said she would prefer an English translation even if Spanish is her native language. I asked her if she would prefer a literal translation (but warned her that some literal translations may be hard to understand in some places) or a translation that emphasizes "sense-for-sense"/paraphrase (but also warned her that some sense-for-sense translations are loose and can include gender neutral language).

Told me overall that she would prefer a "sense-for-sense"/paraphrase translation so she can easily understand what she is reading.

So I apologize for that long explanation but I need some understanding of Spanish Bible translations. What translations should I be predominantly looking for if I decide to get her a Spanish Bible? Are there any Catholic Bible translations that are done in Spanish?

In case I don't get her a Spanish Bible and decide for an English one, what kind of Catholic study Bible should I get her? Douay-Rheims is out of the option; the "thee's, thou's" etc. just will not work for this individual. She does not want "archaic" English translations.

I am honestly thinking that, if I get her an English translation, the New Jerusalem Bible would be an option. I love the 1966 Jerusalem Bible and it flows well for the most part (despite some of the odd British English). But I don't know too much about the NJB....is it still a relatively orthodox Catholic translation? Does it contain the excellent footnotes as the original JB did? On the plus side it would contain the Deuterocanon.

But I also want to get her a study Bible to learn more about Catholicism, but it needs to be something inexpensive (maybe around $30-$40, no more). I am thinking the New Catholic Answer Bible would be excellent (I do not own it myself but I have flipped through it at the bookstore). I know people on here are highly against the NAB: RE but it's currently what we use in the US liturgy; assuming she will attend an English language Mass again, I think that would be a good option for her.

Ideas anyone?

[/quote]

My website linked below has the Torres Amat version in Spanish. If she wants to read english or latin side by side with it, she can.

credobiblestudy.com/roman/en/dnt.san.vnt/48/1


#12

Another Spanish Catholic Bible not mentioned here with an easy to follow Spanish is:

Dios Habla Hoy

And yes, La Biblia de Jerusalem Latinoamericana is also easy to follow.


#13

[quote="irenaeuslyons, post:11, topic:337136"]
My website linked below has the Torres Amat version in Spanish. If she wants to read english or latin side by side with it, she can.

credobiblestudy.com/roman/en/dnt.san.vnt/48/1

[/quote]

Your website is fantastic! Thank you so much!

God Bless,


#14

[quote="Isaiah45_9, post:12, topic:337136"]
Another Spanish Catholic Bible not mentioned here with an easy to follow Spanish is:

Dios Habla Hoy

And yes, La Biblia de Jerusalem Latinoamericana is also easy to follow.

[/quote]

I'm not sure I'd trust a translation called "Dios Habla Hoy" any more than I'd trust "The Word on the Street" or "The Message": It yells, "I am paraphrase!"


#15

[quote="Isaiah45_9, post:13, topic:337136"]
Your website is fantastic! Thank you so much!

God Bless,

[/quote]

Many thanks! If you see any issues with the Spanish translations, please feel free to contact me.


#16

[quote="Isaiah45_9, post:12, topic:337136"]
Another Spanish Catholic Bible not mentioned here with an easy to follow Spanish is:

Dios Habla Hoy

And yes, La Biblia de Jerusalem Latinoamericana is also easy to follow.

[/quote]

I just want to point that the dios habla hoy version is not a catholic bible. It was done by protestants and it doesn't have the seal of approval. What happens with this bible is that it has all the books so it is commonly used but if you compare it with the Jerusalem version, you will notice the difference in language.


#17

[quote="marymary1975, post:16, topic:337136"]
I just want to point that the dios habla hoy version is not a catholic bible. It was done by protestants and it doesn't have the seal of approval. What happens with this bible is that it has all the books so it is commonly used but if you compare it with the Jerusalem version, you will notice the difference in language.

[/quote]

Yes, you are much better off using the Torres Amat or the Spanish version of the Jerusalem.


#18

I was born in Colombia, S.A., and came to the US in 1955, halfway through the 3rd grade. Though I am fluent in both English and Spanish, I have a broader vocabulary in English. I have been involved in a prison ministry for the past seven years or so, and needed an affordable Spanish translation that had the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. I have been able to purchase paperbacks of La Biblia Latinoamericana Edición Pastoralal a discount, and distribute them to the prisoners. Most of these people are from Mexico and Central America, and they appreciate this translation. ( I order from sanpablolax.com at $12.25 each). The Reyna Valera is available for less than $5.00, and there are plenty of free copies available through the different Protestant churches. I encourage those who have the RV to also read La Biblia Latinoamericana, and make use of the abundant footnotes, marginal crossreferences, and introductions to the various books.

I am no expert on scripture, but I have learned more in the past 5 years studying in Spanish, than I did in English. That being said, I find myself going back and forth to English NAB when certain terms in Spanish are not familiar. I find the Spanish to be richer in some ways than the English. Something like going from cafeteria food to my mother's cooking.

I urge all bilinguals to study in more than one language. I find that Spanish, by using different forms of the second person pronoun in singular & plural, formal & familiar adds a certain extra "flavor" to some biblical texts.

In short, although a priest I know said he had some objections to this translation (which he didn't elaborate on), this has been a a very useful edition for me and the Latino prisoners.


#19

Try these:

the New Catholic Answer Bible-
I use this with my students and it will answer many of her questions. It is also keyed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

or

The Christian Community Bible, pastoral edition
comes in both Spanish and English. I found it easily accessible.
google.com/imgres?q=christian+community+bible&sa=X&biw=1104&bih=923&tbm=isch&tbnid=HVQfxR-OrROxDM:&imgrefurl=http://ccbpastoralbible.wordpress.com/salient-features/&docid=Jr37epiXGYVd1M&imgurl=http://claretianhkmacau.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/main.jpg&w=720&h=565&ei=iKweUqmrM-_nigKg4oCQDA&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:3,s:0,i:90&iact=rc&page=1&tbnh=191&tbnw=243&start=0&ndsp=23&tx=130&ty=75


#20

I had to do a bit more digging about “Dios Habla Hoy”. This because I remember us using an earlier version when I was in Catholic School during the 70’s and early 80’s. It is my understanding that it was then approved by CELAM (Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano) I should not that in Spanish Bishop is translated as Obispo, but the Office of the Bishop can also be translated straight from the Greek - thus Episcopal - not to be confused with the Anglican version).

In later revisions of DHH, notes and a study version were added, these versions are not approved by CELAM.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the posts. Even the sarcastic one.


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